Have you ever dreamed about someone walking into your life and changing it for the better, forever? One day you’re going about your business — quiet little job, boring social life, untapped dreams and ambitions and suddenly The One walks in. Maybe this person is your soulmate, your new best friend, or the mentor who’ll get you off your butt and into the big leagues. Suddenly you’re going on new adventures, accomplishing more, and having the time of your life. The promise of someone who can make your dreams come true. Whatever the particulars, the arrival of The One always guarantees two things: disruption and oddly, certainty.
We’ll talk more about those two traits in a minute, but first a question: where did this dream of The One originate from? Like a lot of our fantasies, it may well have been born in Hollywood. Think about it–romantic comedies make finding The One not only a “meet cute” but also the key to finally–finally–breaking out of that old job, going on adventures, and becoming a genius at what you love. Who doesn’t want that? And “Meeting with the Mentor” is such a standard storytelling device that it’s part of Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey,” a template for movies now for over two decades. This meeting has been described as an encounter that starts to allow our hero to see themselves in a non-dualistic way–unshakable belief in the hero’s potential ignites their transformation into a unified character–someone no longer at war with themselves. That sounds pretty great.
But… the bad news is that the person you want to save you is probably not coming. Oh, there may be great friends, mentors, and lovers to be discovered down the road, and they will bring gifts into your life but each will also come with their own baggage and won’t necessarily be able to change you or your destiny.
The good news is that there is one person who can change your life and be your cheerleader; someone who knows and sees you better than everyone else, and someone who–with a little time–can help you see yourself in all your glory and potential. That person isn’t coming because that person is already here.
I know it sounds lame. You want the dream, the outside force, the caring lover, the wise teacher. You don’t want to rah-rah yourself; you want someone who will throw parades in your honor. You don’t want to have to, voice shaking, expound on your own abilities; you want a champion who will shout them from the rooftops.
Sorry. Believe me, I’d still like my fantasy hottie to walk through the door, my new best friend, lover, and inspiration all rolled into one. That sounds a lot better than struggling alone through the weeds and worry toward the life of my dreams. But, if you look for someone else to complete you, you will never really be complete.
And, when you stop to think about it, there’s a lot of advantages to becoming the one you’ve been waiting for. And you CAN do it. It all starts with remembering the twin promises of The One —
Disruption: We settle into habits and patterns, but the arrival of someone new guarantees change, a reshuffling of our lives, priorities, and plans.
Certainty: What could you do if someone showed up with complete faith in you, your talent, and your future success? I once dreamed that director J.J. Abrams appeared at my door, praised my abilities, and told me to get myself to Hollywood, because there was a place in the movie business assured for me. When I woke up, I wanted to buy a plane ticket–that’s the power of a mentor’s certitude.
Ask yourself this question: if the one you’ve been waiting for showed up today, how would your life change? It’s fair to simply long for personal connection with a new person, but what else would happen? Ask yourself:
* Where would you go? To study in Europe? See Paris in the spring? Climb a mountain?
* How would you look? Would you get in shape? Try that crazy haircut you’ve always wanted and buy a new outfit?
* How would your day-to-day change? With the right support, would you quit your job, go back to school, or start that business?
* Would you go out more? Finally see those new movies, visit gorgeous parks, and try crazy, new restaurants?
* How would your work become better? If you were challenged by someone you admired, would you study harder, do another rewrite, or submit your work more often?
* How would you feel? Excited? Inspired? Ready to see the world and tackle anything?
Gloria Steinem said, “Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.” The secret for the past few years, for me, has been becoming the “me” of my dreams–bolder, more dynamic, healthy, self-accepting, and full of joy. Sometimes I felt like I was faking it, but I kept seeing a vision of the ideal me and believing that I had the potential to reach that dream and amaze the world.
We are often told to be humble, and not speak to the grace and power that lies within us. We may feel that the only time we can be heralded is if another voice speaks the words. And that if The One never shows up, we must lie dormant and unfulfilled–a victim of poor timing or a too-vast world failing to deliver us our champion.
Instead, we find the answer to our desire–as all answers–already within us. Rumi said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
And the more we see in ourselves the person we seek–supportive, bold, beautiful, funny, inspired and inspiring–the more we find the The One already walking through our everyday lives. You wish to be startled, awakened and challenged, to be loved. You have been right your whole life to seek these things. You deserve them.
You simply didn’t realize until this moment how close you were to the treasure you sought.
Katherine Cerulean is a writer, dreamer, and doer. Her life's purpose is to share the beauty, magic, joy, and perfection of life with others by creating works of uncommon genius and living a life of bliss. She's the author of several books, including How To Come Alive: A Guidebook To Living the Life of Your Dreams, which is available as a free website.