With the new year not far behind us, this is a good time to ask: Are you surrounding yourself with people who truly love and support you? Does the man in your life take care of you and make you feel cherished? Do your children respect and honor you? And finally: Are you attracting the love you need into your life?
Here’s a true story. A man has a dinner date with a woman. He picks her up at her house and waits for her in her living room. In the room is a long, beautiful, white sofa. And piled up all along the length of the sofa, practically spilling over the sides, are hundreds of pillows. The guy stands there sheepishly because he can’t figure out where to sit down. It would have felt awkward or rude to sweep all those pillows aside and just sit down; he doesn’t know her that well and he wants to make a good impression. So he continues to stand and feel foolish. When was the last time she had a guest over to her house? He wonders about it a little. He can’t really visualize himself there, after dinner, with her on that sofa.
What I’m describing to you is not a big moment. But it is in these little details that we tell people what we’re about, what we expect, and what we’re open to. Last month we talked about how vulnerability can be a woman’s greatest gift to the man in her life. Many single women are at great pains not to appear needy. Women are often told that needing a man – someone who might just put his feet up and fully occupy that sofa – is unattractive. So we fill space with activities and friends and work and busyness in general.
Or we put on social armor, acting like we have it all together, when we don’t always have all the loose ends of life tied up. Then we may find that others just expect more and more from us. When we stumble, who is there to help us up?
Here’s the myth:
- If I project confidence and appear to have life under control, I’ll attract people who are emotionally healthy and confident as well. We will mutually support each other.
And here’s the working reality:
- If I sometimes let others see my confusion — that I’m occasionally overwhelmed by life and don’t have all the answers — I’ll attract giving, loving, emotionally healthy people. We will mutually support each other.
- If I consistently hide my vulnerability, I’ll attract people who expect me to function without needs of my own. Emotional support will be one-sided, and my only value will be in serving the needs of others.
The next time you’re in a situation where you feel a little lost, let it show. Trying to grocery shop with 3 small children in tow? Hey, you might drop your keys, lose your phone, or not be able to locate that exact brand of yogurt that’s on sale this week. Or maybe you’re wearing too-high heels at a work conference and suddenly feel like you can’t make it across the concrete to your rental car (if only you could remember whether it’s lot B or C) … Life is made up of small, foolish moments like these. And each one is an opportunity to:
- Make space
- Let someone in
- Receive help gracefully
It’s okay to be a little undone.
Those small, messy moments help open up our lives and welcome in the right people.