Arguably one of the Rolling Stones most famous song, Wild Horses has a slow, building rhythm and mournful lyrics that stick with your soul long after its over. This song has always had a special place in my heart, since I equated the chorus (Wild horses couldnt drag me away...) with my habit of sticking with men who were undeserving of my love. I saw myself as the hopeless lover who perservered in the face of infidelity and drinking binges. Surely, I would be rewarded because of all the crap I put up with. I was due a partner that would realize that no matter how bad he screwed up, I would be there to help him pick up the pieces, and my selflessness would inspire him to become a better person for my sake. Unfortunately, real life does not work out that way. The bad boy remains that way, because he knows that he can continue to be a jerk and I will suffer his shit with a smile in the name of love, and he can continue to do as he pleases with little to no consequences. I deal with these behaviors for years at a stretch, and when I've finally had enough, I walk away not angry with him for not caring enough about me, but at myself for not being able to make him want to change.
My last boyfriend was the kind of guy I never should have been with in the first place. That was evident in the numerous times I went through the make-up, break-up cycle with him. I couldnt stand the crap he pulled, yet that tenaciously stubborn part wouldnt let me let go. Yes, he hurt me and lied to me and even made me fear for my own well being, but wild horses couldnt drag me away. He was mine, and damned if I wasnt going to save him from himself, despite the fact that he didnt want my saving. This particular mess was so hard to let go of because admiting defeat meant that the horses had finally won. I gave up the fight and let myself go, and who knew which of us would end up worse for the wear. It was the hardest pill I ever had to swallow.
But things feel different lately. I'm not sure if its because I'm starting to trust my own instincts more, or because I've found more fulfilling things to occupy my time, or if I'm just plain over him. I can finally see that me not being able to "fix" someone doesnt mean that I failed. It means that they didnt want to be fixed, and that's their problem to live with, not mine. I feel stronger, happier, prettier, and more confident than I have in years. Finally, its all about me again. I can now listen to that song and not think of my self-sacrificing missions that have gone toe up, but sing along in my strong, off-key voice and know that now I mean that wild horses couldn't drag me away... from loving myself. Because I deserve it.