How to Get What You WantAs for the future, your task is not to foresee it but to enable it. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
One of the first things I did after being dealt the ego-bruising, heart-wrenching blow of a breakup was to reinforce my support system.
I leaned heavily on my family and confided in a few close friends that I felt comfortable sharing the insanity of my outbursts with.
My 4-year-old niece reconfirmed my need to do this when, in the middle of my sobbing, she gave me a hug and simply said, “It’s ok. We’re your family and we’ll always take care of you.”
Nothing else seemed more true in that moment.
Once I began to heal, I started to grow my world out again, meeting and reaching out to people that made me reconnect with the parts of myself I had forgotten were there.
It was the first time in my life I felt as if I had a group, a steady compilation of like-minded souls that knew how to bring out the best parts of me.
Then came the decision to start dating, sparking equal parts dread and excitement (maybe more of the former, not the latter).
An Either/Or Proposition
The act of dating was easy — I could carve out a few hours for dinner and be completely at ease with that. But the act of opening up my world to someone else beyond that was, in the back of my mind, irritating.
I would give my time but only when it wasn’t occupied with something else “more important.” I would open up my space, but only for a brief period. I would share parts of myself, but not enough to tear down any walls or create any significant forward movement.
I was convinced that any relationship I entered into would mean stripping myself of the beautiful life I had already created. I saw it as an either/or proposition — I didn’t think an “and” situation existed.
I could articulate what I wanted, but my actions, attitude, and underlying beliefs were saying something else entirely.
Then, I read this snippet from the book Calling in the One:
“…He said that ‘The One’ hadn’t shown up in his life until he’d given up the attachment of what he thought she should look like … When I asked him how he did this, he smiled sheepishly and leaned in to tell me his secret.
‘I literally cleaned out my closets,’ he confessed. ‘I literally created a space in my bedroom closet and cleared out a drawer so that when she showed up, she’d have a place to put her things.’ ”
Create a Space
We can create a space in our minds for the possibility of what we want, but sometimes the act of creating physical space — in both our environment and schedule — for that person or thing to show up is the final step in displaying our readiness.
And that doesn’t mean giving up what’s working — it means consolidating, scooting it over, creating space so all good things can work together. This act in and of itself is a giant leap of faith.
These four steps have become my process of getting ready.
1. Get Rid of Things and Thoughts That Aren’t Yours
Sometimes the physical, emotional and mental baggage we carry wasn’t necessarily ours to begin with — it’s what we’ve taken on from family members and past relationships. Recognize what you’ve come to claim as your own but you didn’t want or hasn’t served you and your growth.
For me this has been things in my physical space — bedding that I hadn’t selected, memorabilia that is more painful than uplifting, etc.
2. Be Deliberate with Your Time, Space and Energy
Part of my process of making room for what I do want in my life (and at this point I do want the vast majority of it) is saying “no” to things that I can do without — things that don’t speak to me.
In being deliberate, you are living and breathing the clarity that you seek. You may not think you have a clear picture in your mind of what it is you want, but by carefully selecting what your world consists of, you are physically creating that clarity.
3. Clean Up Your Conversation
When I was alone, I could convince myself that I was being open and positive about meeting someone I connected with. Then, when it would come up in conversation, I started to recognize where I really stood — I was closed off, uncommunicative, independent to a fault and pessimistic about the outcome.
While talking about it created an Aha moment, I needed to change how I spoke about the situation in order to stay in alignment with what I actually wanted.
Clean up your conversation like you would your space — make it easy for what you want to find you and settle in.
4. Don’t Rely Too Heavily on Appearances
It’s easy to leave the door dead-bolted when the person on the other side doesn’t look like the one you thought was coming. But we never really know what anyone or anything is supposed to look like, do we?
The first leap of faith is doing the clearing; the second is being open to recognize when beautiful things suddenly show up on your doorstep.
What do you need to do in order to clear a space for what you really want?