I Stay Where I Stand

16 February 2014

I'm reading about this woman and her tales of motherhood (see yesterday's soap box).  The diaper blow-outs, the post-partum depression, the snotty-faced exasperated crying into her husband's arms (so sweet, right??).  But it's not told in a wallowing kind of way.  It's told in a Full House kind of way.  Like, allow everything to get real messy before you cue the music and tie everything together in a paralleling lesson.

I just really appreciate her honesty about her life as it is in the day-to-day.  She's a mother, and that is the truth of a mother's world.  It's relateable to about every estrogenic species.  Well here's some of my life honesty for you, though I am in a very different stage of life than her.  Not motherhood.  But datinghood.

I went to a cosmic dance party with Kersti and our buddy, Christian, last night.  After we had become sufficiently sweaty, Kersti and I were standing next to the fog machine, under a string of pink balloons, talking about relationships.  Suddenly, I remembered this book that I once read, after being suggested to me by my counselor, though I can't remember the title.  It rang more true for me and my dating life than any other book I'd read to-date.

It was about women who are successful, who really apply themselves, or who have a considerable amount of talent or determination.  And, as the theory outlines, some men are drawn to this type of woman, because she inspires him to reach higher for his own dreams.  The man becomes particularly stimulated and hard-working, looking heart-eyed at the source of all this inspiration - the woman.   But then, time goes on, and the man cannot sustain his motivation.  He feels insecure, possibly inferior under the feet of this woman, and he begins to resent her.  He'll feel like she changed him.  He'll feel like her expectations are too high.  He'll feel like it's her.  And, often, he'll walk away.

Well here's my truth of it all.  I cannot tell you how many times I have sat across the desk of my co-worker Katie, as she's held one hand solid, representing me, and her other hand symbolizing a little man running up the hill to reach me, and by the time he reaches the top, he's panting and gasping for air, and then his pace slows down and eventually he retreats back down.  At this point, Katie has basically made a full-length film of my life with just her two hands.

But is it really on my shoulders to create a clear gap of inadequacy for him to fill?  Because what of this world if women have to be less than they could be in order to be wanted?  No.  No way.  Any conclusion I reach that I would not teach my daughters is one I should reassess. 

Well, here's my true conclusion.  I believe in action-based orient.  I find men (including myself and people in general) passively retracting from feeling insufficient or personal insecurities.  I hear them say "no given need" or "place for them to stand."   A better approach would be taking action - "What can I do for you today?"   And in that, they'd learn, love.  I need love.

My man has to have that loving willingness.


  1. I support this idea as it furthers my want of being a stay at home dad.

  2. Gah. I had a relationship with a guy I REALLY had feelings for end last year because he said, and I quote, "You don't need me." It confused me because I did WANT him, but no, I didn't need him. He was right. Need and love are two different things to me. And he needed someone to need him. Actually that same guy got engaged recently and I found out like 2 hours ago, so reading this post was particularly timely. Ehhhh (i felt like making some kind of sound effect)

  3. Don't come off your hill, Chantel. And certainly don't allow your daughters to be taught they need to hold themselves back from being self-sufficient. I think men, especially in the church, are told to focus so much on the "provide" label, that many guys really only know how to do that. But there is so, so, so much more to a relationship! I think if both partners can be more open and honest about expressing their needs, in whatever form they come, a couple has a better chance of not running into the "you don't need me" problem. Because we ALL have great wells of emotional needs, even the guys. We just have a hard time expressing them to others. Because, vulnerability. Eww! We're all freaked out by it. But, I think I can safely guarantee that vulnerability in expressing needs builds a stronger relationship than the provide/nurture dichotomy the church teaches. Just my two cents.

    But yes, stay up on that hill, baby! Someone will climb up for you and that is what you deserve!

  4. Oh Chantel I LOVE this. I cannot wait to see the kind of man you end up with. You know your worth, you know your potential, and you know the kind of man you want. If he's going to be able to make it up your hill WITH you, he's going to have to be general authority status at least. Just the best of the best... because that's what you are and that's what you deserve! Thank you for your honesty and amazing insights, as always :)

    1. General authorities Became general authorities. They weren't always like that; it's a process of becoming that we all experience!

  5. Reminds me of this quote from Marianne Williamson:

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

  6. I think in the end you describe well what we all want...to be adored, loved and understood.