At the end of this essay, I’m going to give you the secret to having anyone you want. No kidding. But you have to read the whole thing for it to make sense…so don’t skip ahead.
On another thread, Anasa Troutman proposed a “new rule” for relationships: “you get to interview the last two people they dated.”
Someone mentioned that T and I had done that, and when they tagged me, it brought the post to my attention.
I answered that we’d not QUITE done that, but close enough. The first time she came to visit me in Vancouver Washington, I sat her in a room with my ex and my daughter, told them to talk about anything they wanted, and left for an hour.
I wanted T to have all the information she needed to make an informed decision. She had that right. More, I loved her enough to want her to be happy.
“Steven how did you get to that kind of selflessness? So many of us want to hide the things we think will drive the ones we want away. For many being vulnerable is still difficult after YEARS of marriage much less before the journey is hardly underway. Did you do this for her or did was that kind of transparency something you did for yourself because of some personal commitment or practice?”
This struck me as a question I needed to slow down to answer. I’ll answer it from the framework of storytelling: Here is what I call my CHILD’S STORY:
Once upon a time there was a boy who wanted three things when he grew up. He wanted a writing career. He wanted to be a martial artist. And he wanted a family to love. He was afraid he couldn’t have these things. Everyone told him he could not. But he decided to try, and work a little harder every day, and never quit. He found wonderful teachers along the way, and learned things. And still fell on his face. But every time he did, he found the faith to keep going, and got back up, changed his approach, found someone who knew better than him and followed their lead, and tried. And tried. And…one day he got it all.
THAT’S my story. The one I tell myself every day. And this is how it applies to the specific question of finding a mate. Let’s start with the failure.
When my first marriage went south, I was devastated. I had screwed up. Totally, and swore I wouldn’t do that again. I wanted a partner, a love, someone I could really share my life with, and would settle for nothing less.
I knew that the woman I desired was smart, ambitious, beautiful, sensual, creative, fun, fierce. I wanted a lioness. The natural reality is so damned simple people don’t want to look at it: A LIONESS WANTS AND NEEDS A LION. Bam. No excuses. Simple.
So…the question is: am I a lion? What about all my fears and doubts and damages. Could I be a lion despite my doubts?
There is a story about a lion cub who was adopted by a flock of antelope. He grew up, believing he was an antelope. Then one day the flock was attacked by a pride of lions. They fled, and several were caught and killed. The lion cub was cornered, and trembled, awaiting death. The lions looked at it with curiosity, and the chief lioness suddenly realized what the problem was. She took the cub by the neck, and dragged it down to the river. “Look at yourself!” she said. “You are not an antelope! You are a lion!”
The cub looked…and was transformed.
What your heart craves is the mirror of your soul. Meditation, going deeply into your essence and asking: “what do I crave? Desire? Want and need?” separating “wants” from “needs”, short-term pleasures from long-term joys…this is the process.
You have to know what you want. Believe that you can and should have it. Love yourself enough to believe that there is a gift within you worth anything anyone could offer.
The group “Fifth Harmony” has a song called “Baby I’m Worth It.” My son loves that song.
“Give it to me, I’m worth it
Baby I’m worth it
Uh huh I’m worth it
Gimme gimme I’m worth it
Just gimme you, just gimme you
Just gimme you, that’s all I wanna do
And if what they say is true
If it’s true, I won’t get mad at you
I may talk a lot of stuff
Guaranteed, I can back it up
I think I’mma call your bluff
Hurry up, I’m walkin’ out front…”
And all I think about when I hear it is that EVERYONE should feel that way about themselves–that we have a treasure in our hearts, worth ANYTHING anyone else could offer.
If they don’t see it? Fine. Go with God, have a wonderful life and find happiness with someone who’ll be better for you.
You have to believe in yourself enough to see NO ONE ON THIS PLANET as above you. You know what the cost of that is? To give up all sense that you are better than anyone else. That’s it. Think you’re better than others? You will always fear there are others better than you.
Knowing that you are “worth it” doesn’t mean others aren’t. Can you grasp that?
So my task was to find that sense of self-worth.
What if the person you want isn’t interested? Well, either my judgement is off, or theirs is. In either case, it’s nothing to stress about, AS LONG AS YOU ACTUALLY LOVE YOURSELF. The “friend zone” stings a little, but its fine. I’ve “friend zoned” plenty of ladies who were interested in me, but weren’t the right fit. Only fair for it to happen in return. Nothing personal at all. We just didn’t fit.
If Tananarive looked closely at me and saw that we didn’t fit, it was her OBLIGATION to back away. Hella better now than down the road ten or twenty years, don’t you think?
But to have that clarity, you have to start with the sense that you are precious. You are “worth it.” Perhaps with the sense that there is a precious child within you. Why is this so powerful? We are wired to protect children and see them as beautiful and filled with infinite potential. THIS is the feeling we get when we go into our own hearts, find the light within us, and form it into a child-self. And adore that child. It might take time to do this, especially if we were not treasured as children, or if we have betrayed ourselves. We can do that by selling out our dreams, being in inappropriate sexual relationships, allowing people to treat us as less than precious.
It is a form of “inner child” abuse. I did that once, and it took me a YEAR of daily meditations to heal. But it was worth it. A story for another time.
What if you are attacked by your culture, if the majority broadcasts images that say you are not as beautiful, wonderful, brilliant, sexy, valuable–the images they offer themselves and their own children a thousand times a minute on ever movie screen, television screen, video, song, and in every history book and billboard?
Well, then, you have even MORE work to do. No, its not fair. If you want “fair” you’re looking at the wrong world. Stand on the shore and say it isn’t fair for the tide to come in and make your shoes wet. You’ll get wet shoes. SCREW “fair.”
You have to be willing to fight for your heart the way a mother lion fights for her cub. Period. Or that cub will look at you and say: “why, Mommy? Wasn’t I worth fighting for?”
Hell, yes, that child is worth fighting for. No compromises. PERIOD.
If when you close your eyes and ask what you want and need in a mate you see someone fierce, ambitious, passionate and strong…you are dreaming of a lion.
Who wants and needs a lioness. Or vice versa.
And here’s the beautiful thing: if you love yourself, and are working on yourself, you will grasp that you’re doing the best you can with what you have, and it is wonderful. And…you will be attracted to those at the same point in THEIR journey, who are as far from THEIR “perfection” as you are from yours. You are climbing the same mountain, at the same rate, on the same trail. That feels miraculous, once you experience it.
The work to do is intense. You have to be willing to shed the illusions, dig down into your heart, ask that inner essence what you really desire and if it is in alignment with your conscious hopes and dreams and values…
Get to work. Here’s a couple of game-changers:
- Admit what you really want. Stop compromising.
- Commit to becoming the kind of person who can attract and hold that kind of partner.
- Love yourself enough to forgive yourself for not being perfect. No one is. But the instant you REALLY accept yourself…you will open your heart to someone who is as far from their “perfection” as you are from yours.
- Find allies. Talk to people who are in love, and have been long enough to produce grandchildren (say twenty years or so). THEY are the “winners” of the mating game whether they have actually had children or not.
- Talk to people who are as close as possible to your “ideal partner”. Ask what they are seeking in a partner. If you have chosen carefully, what they describe is what your heart truly wishes to be. Not for “them”–but for you.
- The best meditation that is BOTH powerful AND safe is simply sitting quietly and “listening” to your heartbeat. Keep bringing your thoughts back there, again and again. All there is is love. All other thoughts are the “stuff” you have to move beyond to connect to your essence.
In other words, believe you are worth it.
Oh, I promised the secret to getting anyone you want.
Simple. Can you see it? Think about what I already said and try to guess what I’m going to say next.
The secret to having anyone you want? DON’T WANT ANYONE YOU CAN’T HAVE.
No, this isn’t a word game. By knowing yourself, you know your tribe. Then simply look for members of your tribe who have their “green light” on–they are looking for partners.
Go deeply enough, know yourself enough, and all you’ll see in the world are wonderful human beings…and a few wonderful human beings with green lights shining. Approach them. If you don’t get the right response, you weren’t perceptive enough. It’s YOUR issue, not theirs. Do more work.
Here’s what I promise you…if you do enough work, you’ll hit a point where you stop making mistakes. Do that, and it feels like the world is filled with people who want you, in the same way that if you buy a new car, suddenly you see that car EVERYWHERE.
Maybe you’ll play the field a little at this point. I sure as hell did, and it was fun. But…I got tired of it. Realized that what I really wanted was a partner, someone I could share my life with, who I could really BE with, without masks or games.
And I literally dropped to my knees and prayed for it, asked God or the Universe or whatever was listening that I “got” it, understood the game, understood how it all worked…and didn’t want it. And was willing to wait for the rest of my life, if necessary, to find the right woman.
And…the very next morning, I met Tananarive.