This is a story about a woman we will call Anne, a
thirty-five-year-old woman who concluded that she could never find a man. She
determined that loneliness was her fate and, thus,
went as far as accepting it as fact. Her case proves what I have discovered in advising single men and women: it does not matter what your circumstances are, every man or woman can and is able
to find a happy relationship or reach their potential by making the right choices.
Anne is a very beautiful and educated woman. When I began counseling her, I could see that beneath her beauty were a lot of problems that I could never have imagined. She had grown up in a family where she was led to believe that no man would ever want her. She was the best looking and best educated among her family members. Yet for many years she worked in the family business for minimum wage. The sad part was she was willing to work under those terms until the day she died, because she had accepted that she was the black sheep of the family.
One of the ideas I suggested to Anne, to help her to stop
thinking she would never find love, was to start dating. But she was even
afraid to date. When the suggestion was made, Anne declined, saying, “But who
wants me? No man will date a woman like me.” I tried my very best to let Anne
know that she was a very attractive woman. All she needed to do was believe
was a man out there for her.
She was so concerned that no man would accept her, the
thought of having to start dating made her cry. I personally began feeling
sorry for her. I could not understand why she was so
afraid to venture out. I finally reached a point where the only choice I had left in my attempt to help Anne was to give her an ultimatum. I told her: “Anne, you can do it. I am willing
to help you, but if you are going to come to me for advice, only to make one excuse after the other, then why bother? Don’t waste my time. Anne, you must try. Give guys a chance to take you out at least in the daytime. If you are concerned, tell someone about your date, your date’s name and phone number, where you will be going and what time you should be arriving home.
“Don’t let your date pick you up from your mom’s house,” I told her. “Meet him somewhere in the open. This way he will not know where you live and you will not have to worry about him coming to look for you.” I proceeded to tell Anne that unless she was willing to try, I didn’t see any reason why she should continue coming to me for help.
At the same time, I knew a spiritual couple who were
visiting from the U.S. I invited Anne to have dinner with me and the couple in
the hopes that the woman could befriend Anne. Anne
told me she didn’t have any friends. The only people she saw were myself and a couple of friends I had introduced her to. Unfortunately, none of them wanted to befriend Anne, because she was so negative about everything. People simply did not want to be around her. After the dinner was over, we all began to converse.
I had tried to encourage Anne to leave home and be her own woman.
As we talked after dinner, the woman began to share a story with Anne. The
woman told Anne: “Once there was an eaglet
who grew up with ducks. When the eaglet grew strong wings to fly, the mother duck told the eaglet, ‘You hatched with ducks but you are not a duck. You are an eagle. Eagles don’t walk,
they fly. So fly away to be with eagles…’ The eaglet replied, ‘No, I am not an eagle. I am a duck. I cannot fly.’ The mother duck told the eagle, ‘Yes, you are an eagle. You were helped to hatch by a duck, but you are an eagle. You can fly.’ The eaglet was so afraid to try and replied, ‘No, I cannot fly. I am a duck—if I try to fly, I will fall.’
“The mother duck told the eaglet, ‘You are an eagle. You
don’t belong here. Fly and be with your own kind and you will be much happier.
Try, please try. Eagles fly, they don’t walk. You are an eagle. You can fly.’
The eagle thought for a minute. It began to stretch and flap its wings. It
bounced around a little, then it jumped up and flew. As it lifted off the
ground it realized
it could fly and began to soar in the air.”
We all sat and listened to this emotional story. I know I
wept and so did Anne. I cared about Anne so much. I wanted her to find
happiness. Not long after, and with a little encouragement
and support, Anne moved out of her parents’ basement. She found her own apartment and a full-time job at a local hotel. She began to date and met a man who cared for her. Although it was
difficult and frightening at first, Anne tried and when she did, she soared.
This real-life example shows that we can all find happiness and success if we choose to make the choices and do the things that bring us happiness and success. Anne only found success when she left her comfort zone and tried. In your love life, the only way to experience sure failure is if you don’t try; if you give up or try to hide behind excuses and justifications.
The eaglet eventually flew with eagles instead of walking
with the ducks. This means, for example, in relationship, you can find love
with your appropriate mate—not just any man or woman for the sake of having a
lover. You can live your potential. But settling for unhealthy and mediocre
relationships is not a way to find happiness. You can achieve your true
potential in all
things if do your part.
You can tell from Anne’s story that despite her upbringing
and life experiences, she was able to find happiness by making choices that
brought her happiness. When Anne left her comfort
zone (like the eagle leaving the ducks), she reached her potential. Do you make choices that bring you stress and disappointment? Do you settle for relationships that bring you misery? What is your emotional well-being worth to you? Decide the kind of life and relationships you want. Then you will know what you need to do.