When you listen to the words and tone of the Bob Dylan song, “It Ain’t Me Babe,” you’re likely to pick up on the negative, fed-up tone of the singer rejecting a clingy, demanding individual.
I used to have a neighbor who wanted a lot of attention from me. She would come and ask me for help with things that I would never be able to help her with (like fixing a computer with a 1994 operating system – I didn’t even know anything about computers!) just to get me to spend time with her. One night, I heard someone rapping on the window. Without knowing who it was, I spontaneously burst out singing, “Go away from my window, leave at your own chosen speed!” to make my roommate laugh. It was interesting this came out of me from nowhere; it wasn’t a song I went around singing.
But when I saw who it was (as I stealthily slipped away), I got curious and looked up the Dylan song. Lo and behold, if you take away the disdainful tone, one can glean much wisdom: “…It ain’t me you’re looking for, babe, it ain’t me you’re looking for…”
Even if it’s not appreciated on the other end, sometimes the most loving thing you can offer someone is to set them free to find what they need elsewhere, because you don’t want to waste your or their time and energy and more heartbreak.
It is loving to release someone when there really may be someone who will die for them (and more).