Alanis Morissette – You Owe Me Nothing In Return
This is someone’s YouTube posting of mostly the lyrics of the song. I was not able to find an actual video made by Alanis Morissette.
This song is intended to be from one person to another. The general message is to be able to love someone else unconditionally – which is great and is something to strive for. It is also a message against those relationships where basically, one person is held hostage in the relationship through guilting, blaming and or shaming.
The reality though, is that we are all human beings struggling to do the right thing and always imperfectly. We all have needs and if we come from a dysfunctional background, we have not learned how to appropriately get those needs met. There is a healthy ‘give and take’ in relationships. Sometimes expressing your own needs comes to be seen – by yourself, as well as possibly others around you, as being ‘selfish’. The struggle is, basically, to come to an answer to the question ‘am I being selfish for wanting this?’ The idea of unconditional love gets distorted. An individual can find themselves stuck in a bad situation due to this confusion and distortion of unconditional love versus setting limits on someone else’s behavior.
This is a difficult topic to address in one posting. In terms of this song, I hear it as being from a higher power, not another human being. Your higher power can love you, and does love you, unconditionally. No matter how you act or what you do, your higher power will accept you and forgive you. Even while you experience the consequences of your behavior, it is not your higher power that is punishing you. You can express yourself and ask for what you need to your higher power, and your higher power will respond. This is guaranteed, although you may not always hear the answer, or like the answer, your higher power is there for you.
Can you set limits on someone’s behavior and still love them? Where does the other person end and you begin? Are you making another human being your higher power?