Pre- and post-Valentine’s invitations to “find the perfect mate” flooded my Inbox last month. One even promised to make me irresistible to every man! But Andy Stanley’s simple question, “Are you the person you’re looking for?” is what caught my attention.
It reminded me of my relationship with James. He was tall, handsome and intelligent. We had great conversations and his head was on his shoulders. The only problem was that he kept his soul in a perfectly locked vault of unavailability. For months, I tried to find the key that would change things.
Finally, I accepted that we weren’t going to happen. It’s not that he told me we weren’t, our relationship patterns made that message loud and clear. Whenever things got too close for comfort, he disappeared…surfacing only when he felt safe!
Thankfully, I recognized his game and didn’t allow him to toy with me for too long. But the biggest shock came when I realized that I only knew his game…because I was good at playing it. It was pull and push. Like him, I knew how to pull people in with a listening ear and push them away when they wanted more than my pretense. When I realized that the pain in my life was merely a mirror, I was forced to change.
How could I want someone who was emotionally available, when I wasn’t willing to be the same? Sounds ridiculous…but I know plenty of people looking for what they aren’t willing to give! Whenever we notice patterns in our lives, we must pay attention. New rules of engagement have the power to break the patterns that keep us feeling trapped and frustrated.
If you’re fed up with what you’re getting—take time to analyze what you’re giving! Ask yourself:
1. What are my relationships showing me about myself? Every relationship serves a different need. But the truth is we tend to default into certain roles. I thrived off of knowing how to get people to open up to me, while giving them very little of the real me in return. I always needed to have the emotional upper-hand. Real connection only came when I stopped playing it safe.
2. What do I want to look like? You have the power to transform whatever it is you don’t like about yourself. It starts with a decision and commitment to the process. Radical transformation is possible in the incubator of time! However, set goals that you can measure. Knowing what you are is a start, but you will only make changes when you know where you want to finish!
3. What needs to change for me to get there? Unknowingly, my friendship with James helped me to realize that I was longing for real connection and transparency. It was only after being on the receiving end of my own behavior that I began to understand the impact my fears were having on my life. In order for me to have a different outcome, I needed to face my fears head on. We must dare to be what we need for others—it is a sign of faith that opens the door to possibility for us.
Do Your Work! Examine your current relationships and see what they are telling you. If finding the right partner is your greatest concern, examine your previous significant relationships for insight into what needs to change.
Define Your Wealth! “I am who I am looking for!”
Named eWomenNetwork’s first “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” in 2012, Coach Felicia is a Personal Worth Strategist who empowers her clients to “Turn their Worth into Wealth” as she partners with them to DISCOVER their WORTH, DO their WORK and DEFINE their WEALTH. As a gift this week, ESSENCE.com readers will receive FREE registration to her “THRIVE! Ideas Journaling Teleseminar” at www.coachfelicia.com/essence-gift. Visit Coach Felicia at www.coachfelicia.com!