My song today is ‘Since I Don’t Have You’. This song was written and composed by Jackie Taylor, James Beaumont, Janet Vogel, Joseph Rock, Joe Verscharen, Lennie Martin, and Wally Lester. It was a 1958 hit single for the group, the ‘Skyliners’ on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’. It was recorded by Barbra Streisand in 1974. Country music singer, Ronnie Milsap had a hit with the song in 1991. ‘Guns and Roses’ also had some success in 1994 with their top ten hit cover on the ‘UK Singles Chart’. Don McLean’s 1981 rendition reached Number 23 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ and is the cover version to come closest to the success of the ‘Skyliners' original in the USA. It was a major Adult Contemporary hit, reaching Number 6 in the U.S. and Number 2 in Canada.
As a testament to its longevity, it is frequently played on the radio and the song was featured in the films ‘American Graffiti’: ‘The Age of Adaline’: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai’: ‘Lethal Weapon 2’: ‘Shag’: ‘Mischief’: and television shows such as ‘Happy Days’, ‘American Hot Wax’ and ‘Outcast’.
This song is essentially about the breakup of a relationship and ‘the emptiness’ which is felt by the person who has been walked out on by their loved one. This song reminds me of the self-evident truth that when a person invests all they possess in another; along with every emotion they have, they are inevitably devastated and doomed to experience prolonged misery, in the event that they are left by the other person.
I have often told the many people I have worked with over the years that happiness comes from within oneself, and if it is to remain lasting, its source has to be owned. It may seem to be found within another's presence, but that is the greatest love illusion of all. All we can say is that it is felt within oneself. One may drink happiness from the loving cup, but when such happiness is wholly dependent upon the presence of another in one’s life, the loss or removal of that person from your life will also take away ‘your sense of happiness and wellbeing’. The ‘well’ in your enduring sense of ‘wellbeing’ involves you being able to be happy with yourself and within yourself, with or without the presence of another. True, that being in the presence of another may make you feel ‘happier’ than you otherwise would have felt (had they been absent from your presence at that precise time), but that does not mean that the core and the source of your happiness originated from them. It was increased and possibly enhanced by the presence of another, but was not created by them!
I have known too many rudderless people in life who genuinely blamed any negative feelings or emotions they may have because of being on their own and not having a partner. Such assessments couldn’t be farther from the truth. No other person in the world is capable of producing lasting happiness in you except yourself. It is true that being in the company of certain others can seem to make you happy, but that is never quite true. ‘It can make you happier’ is the more accurate reality.
Whenever your happiness seems to depend upon the presence of another solely, it only remains present in your life if the significant other does also. If you believe your happiness to be dependent upon the presence of another in your life, you will artificially ‘make it so’. Do this and you are most certainly psychologically, mentally and physically preparing your body to go into a psychological panic, mental confusion, physical breakdown, and emotional collapse should the other person stop being with you, whether their absence is caused by desertion, divorce, emotional distancing or even death. Indeed, in such circumstances, the death of the person (however bad an impact it has on you) is often less hurtful than if the other person you loved ‘too much’ left you by choice. It is in such circumstances that your well of happiness runs dry.
If there is only one significant thing you to take from my words today, please let it be this: “I acknowledge that I make me happy or sad! Not you, not anyone else, but I!”
If there was ever a less true and more damaging sentence of words, it is the sentiment expressed in today's song that says: “I don’t have anything, if I don’t have you!” However good or bad relationships become in life, never overestimate the importance of another in your life or forget your own importance regarding the presence and maintenance of your own happiness and sense of wellbeing.
That is why two people coming together in a romantic alliance; each of whom has found happiness in themselves before having met each other, are destined to make each other, not ‘happy’ but ‘happier’ when they unite in true love. Conversely, any unhappy person of low self-estimation, and who does not love themselves enough, can never know the reassurance that only ‘true love’ can bring. Being with a person who makes you happier (because of their presence in your life) may bring you snatches and glimpses of greater contentment during the earlier stages of a new relationship, but such experiences of happiness are often shallow and unstable. Such relationships tend to be built upon a foundation of shifting sand, bound someday to be washed away in a sea of sadness when the tide changes.
Imagine two people meeting for the first time on a date, each having had a previous unhappy relationship breakup and only having re-joined the dating scene after many years of loneliness and depressive symptoms. In this instance, the woman is looking forward to a good night out for a change instead of putting up with her own company in front of the television. She is wanting to experience an enjoyable night out, have a bit of fun, and enjoy the experience of light-hearted banter.
Now, imagine that the man she is meeting on the date is still stuck in his angry past. Imagine that he is someone who is still bound in bottled-up bitterness, knotted in bitter resentment, and carrying too much emotional baggage around with him. Imagine that he uses every opportunity to offload this emotional baggage in conversation with his new date. All through their date, he insists on making his sole conversation about nothing else except the horrible way his ex-wife treated him before deserting him and depriving him of all access to his three children and ensuring he didn't have enough money to live on after he had paid his extortionate level of monthly child maintenance.
The lady expecting a fun night out might as well forget about having an enjoyable experience with her new-date disaster.This couple is undoubtedly on a collision course from the start of their date, and the inevitable consequence of their meeting will most definitely be a social car crash! She would have been better stopping in watching 'The X Factor' on her own with her fluffy pink slippers on her Cinderella feet, a box of soft-centred chocolates at her side, and a dozen rollers in her hair.
For anyone in a similar position, who sadly separated from their former partner, and after a few depressive years of their own company decides to re-join the dating scene, please bear this important message in mind. When a person drums up enough courage to throw their hat in the ring again and re-join the dating scene, please realise that they are hoping that a happy, go-lucky person will turn out to be their companion for the evening and not a 'miserable moaning Minny' who carries a sick bag around with them instead of a sympathetic ear.
A man or woman going out on their first date in years are fragile carriers of hope. While some may unrealistically hope to meet the love of their life, most are simply wanting an enjoyable night out, a laugh if possible, and some light-hearted relief and pleasurable conversation. Please give them what they want; a pleasurable night to remember and not the type of depressing conversation they've probably had too much of in their past relationship, and which they want to forget!
Let me illustrate to you, through my own personal relationship with my loving wife, Sheila, one more important aspect that reinforces the concept upon which my central argument is based in this post. Take Sheila and me for instance, and for the purpose of today’s discussion, let us accept that we each love ourselves, we both love each other, and that we shall each miss the presence of the other when one of us dies. Is there anything that we can do in our relationship to lessen this inevitable future event that healthily assists the person left behind in bereavement? The answer is yes in our circumstances.
When Sheila and I first fell in love with each other, got together and married, during the earlier years, our love bond was very close. It still is, but I had to conclude early on in our marriage that it was so close, that it would provide Sheila with an additional burden when I died. Being 14 years younger than me, and being a bundle of health into the bargain, it was odds on that I would go first (especially with my age and two previous serious heart attacks I'd had).
I realised after I had been medically diagnosed with terminal blood cancer (two years after we first met and three months after our marriage in November 2012), that the ‘probability’ of me popping my clogs before my wife, Sheila, had now been transformed into a ‘near certainty’. My initial assessment of Sheila’s character was that she was ‘too nice a person not to be put on’ when I wasn’t going to be around to ‘protect her’. We were each dependent upon each other for making our individual lives together happier; myself needing Sheila to provide more of my daily caring needs as my illnesses advanced, and Sheila in all of the traditional ways of being loved in return as much as she loved me.
Over our married life, I have gradually withdrawn more from everyday responsibilities that have traditionally fallen to and been expected of ‘the man of the house’ and have encouraged Sheila to take them on. In short, I have deliberately acted in a way that makes Sheila more dependent on herself and less dependent upon me. I have literally forced her in many situations to be able to stand up for herself, and have reinforced in her the belief she should always say what she believes and should never withdraw feelings she wants to express, especially when expressed to me and about me. I want her to have regard for my feelings without ever having the fear of hurting them through truthful expression. I want Sheila to feel what she is experiencing, I want her to be able to express her views at all times, say what she wants from me, what she doesn’t want from me, and when she wants it and doesn’t want it.
In short, I decided early on into our marriage that the best way I can demonstrate my love for Sheila is to do everything I can to ‘enable her to love herself more and more each day without loving me any less!’
The reason why this action was perceived as being essential by me, was to do with Sheila and not I. Please accept that Sheila is the least selfish person I have ever met in my entire life. Not only did she receive a convent education, but it also wouldn’t surprise me in the least to learn that I’d really married a saintly nun who had been granted the pleasure of being married before ascending into heaven. Because of my wife’s selfless characteristics, she is naturally more prone to consider others more than herself, and their needs more than hers. I wanted her to learn to put herself first sometimes!
Consequently, I wanted to help Sheila rebalance the scales a bit more in her own favour so that her core of happiness remains solidly within herself, and so that she can continue to make others happier by her presence until the day she dies also. I don’t want to change the essence of the person who is my loving wife, merely the circumstances that might otherwise have followed my death at a future time. I want Sheila not to be sad because I am no more, but desire her to be happy because of who I was, and who we became as a loving couple.
Love and peace Bill xxx