This is going to be an article that asks a lot of questions and doesn’t necessarily give you the answer and I do this intentionally. Asking yourself the right questions can change your life, asking the wrong ones… well, you get the picture. A little spoiler alert… if you haven’t seen the movie you may not want to read on 😉
So, let’s go back six months or so when I, like every die-hard romantic thought I’d catch a movie and see A Star is Born with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. I sat in the movie theater and gushed over Bradley and his voice like every woman in there. My heart swelled and I quietly cheered as he fell in love with his woman, stood by her, believed in her until she could believe in herself. I beamed as he beamed watching her with pride at her talent. I watched with delight as her star started to rise and she had her handsome and successful man by her side every step of the way. I enjoyed the brief moment a power couple was born. And, even though the writing was on the wall, I still hoped against hope that their love would survive the trials of her success rising and his falling. I hoped against hope that love would save the day, even though I knew the classic Hollywood formula. And so the Greek tragedy ensued and I loved every minute, every minute that is until the end. At the end of the movie when Bradley’s character hangs himself in the garage and while the entire audience wept at the loss and tragedy and the wasted chance at love, I was numb. Only a faint stirring of something beneath the surface. This is not normal for me. I mean seriously, I’m a crier people and a total sucker for this stuff. I’m as sappy as the next gal but I couldn’t cry, I couldn’t place what I was feeling… it was uncomfortable to say the least. I sat there confused by my lack of emotion in that moment. I sat there and questioned what I was really feeling, what this weird feeling that came on instead was. The truth came swiftly… I was PISSED! I didn’t understand at first, I left the theater in a daze of confused emotions. A few steps away from home it came to me!
“WTF!?? YES! Of course! Here we go again, another man that can’t hack it! Another example of how a woman can’t have it all. She can’t have the success she wants and have the strong, confident and successful man too. She has to somehow lose something as the price for her dreams coming true! FUCK THAT”
My internal monologue was going nuts! I was and am so sick of being handed this story by the patriarchy and WORST yet, handed to ourselves BY ourselves, that we can’t have it all. The idea implanted so deep into our psyche as women that it feels almost like a natural choice to grapple with.
“I can have success and my dreams come true OR I can have the man/relationship of my dreams, but not both… heaven forbid we have both!”
I know this tape, I had it playing in my head for years before I caught it, and I’m here to tell you it’s bullshit ladies! And, it is the very way that many powerful women hold themselves back just to keep love or settle for a man not stepping into his power. So what exactly does that voice sound like? Here’s what I hear from the women that I work with, let me know if it sounds familiar:
What if I grow too big and leave him behind/he doesn’t grow with me?
What if I am successful and make more money and he doesn’t step up?
What if I stay small and don’t meet my potential in order to keep the status quo in my relationship? And then I resent him. (spoiler alert on this one… the relationship ends anyway!)
What if he feels insecure and threatened and leaves me for stepping into my potential?
I want to be with a successful man, one that has all his shit together so I can be the best I can be and not feel that he or the relationships will be threatened by me, my success or finances.
Is this all a way we just keep ourselves small… do we use these excuses not to grow or do we keep attracted men who somehow ‘don’t measure up’ in some way.
What if he has EVERYTHING else I’ve ever wanted?
So my rebuttal to this is always something like this:
What if you grow anyway… give him a chance to show up and step into his potential without you requiring it of him in order for you to step into yours?
What if who he is and what he chooses for himself doesn’t determine your life, and is exactly perfect for the journey he is on?
What if you let him know the potential you see in him and express your need for him to do something with it? (hint: if he doesn’t show up and keeps playing video games with his spare time, it ain’t gonna happen!)
What if you stop enabling him to be less than and you stepping up your game challenges him to grow? (hint here, if he’s really the man you think he is and he cares for you the way he says he’s going to want to do this anyway because men want to have a purpose!)
What if you TRUSTED him and his journey. What if you TRUSTED that life had your back and you went for it anyway? Knowing that if he’s not the one then maybe it opens the door for the next relationship but you don’t stop growing in the process?
And the final kicker question: What if you’re using him and men like him as an excuse to stay small, not grow and not rise into your own truest potential?
Why are strong intelligent women holding themselves back for love is the deeper question? The underlying issue here is that as women we have a strong value for relationships and connection and this strong value can sometimes override our equally strong desire to want more for our lives; better homes, finances, bodies, careers, you name it! There is such a strong pull to maintain status quo in our relationships because we fear losing the love we crave so deeply. This my dear ones is being lovesick, the unlovable driver at work in your life, and when lovesick runs your life and your decisions, nobody wins!
So lots of questions here and not many answers because I want you to use this post as a way to ask yourself these difficult questions. You don’t have to choose. You can learn to do things differently. You can require a man to be better at the same time that you don’t try to change him or just fall in love with his potential. You can keep moving toward your greater becoming without the fear of leaving someone behind. The truth is, if they don’t follow then it wasn’t meant to be long term anyway, right?
Mantra for today: Everything is okay when I focus on me and not on the other.
When you are able to claim the fullness of you, your passions and desires in the world, and not play small or hide out of fear, everybody wins; including and especially your partner. And guess what if he doesn’t step up and he does fall away, then you both still win because neither one of you would have been happy anyway. Staying in fear guarantees that you don’t allow others to have their own journey, least of all you. We can’t control every aspect of our lives and certainly not our partners’
Here’s the last what if for you ladies… Who do I have to become to attract the type of relationship where I can and will have it all? Stay in your own lane ladies, do your work and YES you can have it all.
Spread your wings and fly my lovelies!
P.S – Did this article hit a chord? Ready to do this work? Let’s talk – click here to book a call