Earlier this week...
An "On Fire" gal (thanks Lori!) sent me an open love letter that a mother penned to her daughter entitled "Letter to My Daughter After Watching 'The Bachelor'". Although you can click on the link to read the piece in its entirety, here are the main points that she raised:
1. The most beautiful women in the world look ugly when they are mean.
2. No one, in the history of the world, has done anything out of jealousy and made it look good.
3. Don’t confuse SELFISHNESS with STRENGTH.
(And as an added bonus excerpt)
Oh, and one more thing the show made me want to tell you: If there is ever a boy who you are – I was going to say “kissing” but the thought of you kissing boys will probably give your dad a stroke, so lets go with – rollerskating with and he is openly rollerskating with several other girls. Like six…or seven…dozen…other girls, STOP ROLLER SKATING WITH HIM.
This is not the type of boy that makes a good skating partner. Someone who’s really fun to roller skate with will like you because he sees what an amazing girl you are. He’ll never ask you to prove to him that he should pick you over a dozen other girls. He’ll be smart enough to know you’re the greatest thing he’ll ever find.
When I initially checked the letter out, I wrote Lori and said "Very sweet. Hope she doesn't tell her daughter to dream of being an Esther, then." My running reply to people who tell me how much they absolutely loathe The Bachelor or The Bachelorette (and spoiler alert, I'm actually going to show two clips from this season in just a sec) is that one, they have the right to watch whatever the want on television; two, I can't help but wonder if a part of them can relate to the program in some way (sometimes we don't like to look in our own "mirrors"; we'll get to that in a moment) and three, they must have a total disdain for the Book of Esther too. After all, for all intense purposes, *it is* the biblical/untelevised version of of The Bachelor:
"Later, when King Xerxes was not so angry, he remembered Vashti and what she had done and his order about her. Then the king’s personal servants suggested, 'Let a search be made for beautiful young girls for the king. Let the king choose supervisors in every state of his kingdom to bring every beautiful young girl to the palace at Susa. They should be taken to the women’s quarters and put under the care of Hegai, the king’s eunuch in charge of the women. And let beauty treatments be given to them. Then let the girl who most pleases the king become queen in place of Vashti.' The king liked this idea, so he did as they said."---Esther 2:1-4(NCV)
"Before a girl could take her turn with King Xerxes, she had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments that were ordered for the women. For six months she was treated with oil and myrrh and for six months with perfumes and cosmetics. Then she was ready to go to the king. Anything she asked for was given to her to take with her from the women’s quarters to the king’s palace. In the evening she would go to the king’s palace, and in the morning she would return to another part of the women’s quarters. There she would be placed under the care of Shaashgaz, the king’s eunuch in charge of the slave women. The girl would not go back to the king again unless he was pleased with her and asked for her by name."---Esther 2:12-14(NCV)
Yeah. I'm pretty big on discouraging individuals from romanticizing the Bible. Did you peep how the selected chicks stayed *the whole night*? And remember that King Xerses was pagan. Don't get it twisted. There was some "fantasy suite stuff" going on all up and through there!
Yet I need to stay on focused so we'll have to, as my mother says, "unpack" Esther at another time...
As for me and The Bachelor/Bachelorette, I honestly can't tell you the last time I've watched the show. I mean, it doesn't really bother me anymore (or less) than a lot of the, let's call them scripted dramas, that also are on television. However, because I do some entertainment writing from time to time, I have peeped out a lot of this particular Bachelorette Desiree's story. What intrigued me is that from the articles that I read, it appeared that there was a man that she was "all in" about (to the point of declaring it fairly early in the season...which from what I recall is uncommon) but he was not totally sold on her. Yet. She didn't know that. (Or perhaps, didn't want to look at the signs.)
So being that I knew this past week was bringing the season to a close, I was curious and I checked it out. Again, I'm not a fan of the "reality series" (and I use that term loosely) but I did find the scenario to be pretty intriguing.
Here were two men who wanted her. They both said and acted like they wanted her.
And here was one man whom she wanted. As far as how he felt about her? Yeah, um. Well. See...
"I do so badly want to be in love. So many things have reminded [me] how great it is to being in love. I don't have a problem saying that the idea of committing to love or marriage...I'm ready for that." Hope you watched the clip, but to recap, Brooks is ready for a relationship. HE DOESN'T WANT DESIREE.
Next clip: "I feel like you're a much better person than I am. That's what I want. That's what I love about you. I really do...I really want to be madly in love with you." OK but the subtext within that text is "I want to love you, but I honestly don't want you."
Look. Whether they're both acting (which if so, they did a pretty good job), whether he decides next week to come back and declare his "love" in order to boost ABC's ratings, there are still some really good lessons in this. So for the super cynics, act like it's a play (LOL). Either way, today, I only have time to address one point.
I have been Desiree before. More than once. I know *a lot* of Desirees too. Sadly (and even defiantly), they are so focused on (or consumed by or sometimes even obsessed with) the one who simply doesn't want them almost to the point of acting like the man needs their assistance or the word that I'm penning a devo about today, *orchestration* in order to change his mind. (Why does a man need to be convinced of what he wants? Why would you want to lower yourself to a place of doing the convincing? Take it from me, it's a pretty "emotional gutter" existence.)
And you see, the thing I liked about a lot of what Brooks said is it's not that he doesn't like or even love things *about* Desiree. It's just that he doesn't want to be *with* her. This doesn't make him a bad guy simply because she gave him a starring role in her fantasies (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message). This actually makes him probably one of the more realistic characters on the history of the show (being that I'm still not sure how folks are so deeply in love in a few weeks anyway).
If you go to YouTube and looked at other clips, you will see that Desiree questions why she keeps wanting men who simply don't want her. Again, *who don't want her*. Who don't feel a need or desire for her. Who don't wish for her. Who don't require her. Who don't believe that without her in their lives, they are lacking something. Who don't feel her absence. Who don't long for her and seek the presence of her.
I promise you that if you watched the show, it was almost like watching a train wreck that you couldn't stop. As a matter of fact, Desiree even acknowledges that she didn't allow herself the heart space to fall for (one of) the two guys who were *actually interested* (and treat her very well) because she was "in love" and could "see a future" with Brooks. Meanwhile...he was...somewhere else.
Wanting what she wants. But not with her.
Just last night, I heard someone say "We tend to pick people that mirror back to us the way we feel about ourselves." That really is something to ponder (Proverbs 4:26), a few times over. Why should someone want you if you don't want you? If you have to convince yourself of your value? If you are trying to get them to make you feel like you don't truly feel about you? If you are so "wishy washy" when it comes to your own love of self that you'll basically settle for any version it that someone has to offer (even if it's under the disguise of lust)? If you are so into getting a "certain kind of guy" to validate your self-worth that you can't even see (or see straight) the men who really have taken an actual interest...who are clear about their future...who desire to be married...*who actually want you*?
Just because a guy spends time with you, that doesn't automatically mean that he *wants* you.
Just because a guy has sex with you, that doesn't automatically mean that he *wants* you.
Just because a guy is contemplating being in a relationship with you, that also doesn't automatically mean that he *wants* you. (At least not yet.)
"WANT" SPEAKS TO INTENTION *AND THEN* A FOLLOW-THROUGH OF ACTIONS.
I just heard a man say on a trailer "You had my curiosity. Now you have my attention."
In other words, when a man *wants you*, you won't have to wonder. You'll know it.
It will transition from mere curiosity concerning a few things about you to all out wonder about all that you are.
The thing is, we have to get to a place of recognizing not what we want to hear or say, but *the facts*. Also, we have to get to a place of thinking enough of ourselves and what we bring to a relationship that if "he" doesn't want us, we can respect AND accept that...so that we can put more energy into discerning what a man who wants us acts like rather than trying to convince one who doesn't to change his mind.
It's degrading for you and emasculating for "him" to try and get a man to want you.
If he does, great.
If he doesn't, great.
The one who does is going to show it. And you deserve that. *Every woman does*.
Real talk, sometimes we're so busy wanting the wrong man that we don't even know what the right one looks like. Remember, cravings are a sign of an internal deficiency, one that we should seek to correct well before approaching a relationship with any one person. So that we're picking outside of *neediness*.
The title of this blog is pretty loaded and it's worth asking yourself. Indeed, there are way too many "Brooke and Desiree stories" than there need to be, so ask yourself if you know how to want someone who wants you. And adjust accordingly.
Your heart and future depend on it.
WANT to take care of them both.