“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” Seriously, one of the best movie lines—Ever. I remember watching the movie Dirty Dancing for the first time as a young teen at a slumber party. To this day, a song from the soundtrack will transport me back to dreams of being Jennifer Grey dancing with Patrick Swayze. While I don’t condone much of the movie’s premise, Dirty Dancing taps into one of the deepest desires of any young girl, teenager, even woman. The desire to be noticed. And not only to be noticed, but to be loved for our truest selves—the deepest parts of who we really are.
I think of my own precious daughter. Since the earliest moments of her life, since she could twirl in beautiful circles, she has wanted to be noticed by those around her. Nothing brought more simply joy than to dress like a princess and twirl around the living room with her daddy and me as her audience. Some little girls are subtle in their quest for attention, while others blatantly cry, “Look at me! Look at me!” But I believe their hearts’ cry is the same. It is not a desire to be simply glanced at, but rather, to be truly noticed. Their tender hearts, freshly pressed and molded into delicate flowers by the Creator’s hands, want desperately to know if who they are is worthy to be noticed. Worthy to be loved.
Every single day, I watch teenage girls desperately seeking the attention of others. The way they dress. The way they talk. The way they act. Everything. Everything they do begs for the attention of classmates, teachers… the male population. Some of these adolescent daughters were noticed, truly noticed by their parents, yet they continually long to be noticed for who they are becoming. Other daughters have faced the dark shadows of obscurity their entire lives. Throughout the hallways of high school and college campuses, amazing young ladies offer up their delicate petals of self as a sacrifice for the acceptance of others, often only to be crushed, releasing the fragrance of defeat and heartbreak. This is the fragrance they carry with them into womanhood.
It doesn’t get any easier when we reach adulthood. We still long to be noticed. All one needs to do is turn on the TV for more than 60 seconds. From the Real Housewives of Some-Big-American-City to Keeping Up With the Kardashians, we see women desperately wanting to be noticed. Though the sometimes shallow tactics used only mask the hurt, we still want to be loved for who we really are. The problem is by the time most of us reach womanhood, our flowered hearts have been crushed beyond recognition, we have forgotten who we were created to be, and we have built impenetrable fortresses around our hearts, locking in our beautiful fragrance, never to be shared again.
As women, our deepest hearts cry out, “Love me. Love the real me. Notice who I really am and love that part of me.” My sweet friends, we must do a better job of seeing each other for who we truly are. We are beautiful. We are intelligent. We are caring. We are loyal. We are imperfect. We are strong. We are flawed. We are emotional. We are tender. We are worthy of being noticed. We are worthy of being loved.
It is a purpose of ours, as women and as sisters, to notice each other and to notice the daughters, biological or not, in our lives. In order to do this, we must take the time to look for the truest self of the women we walk by each day. And then, my friends, we must be willing to love what we see. For we will witness the imperfect and the flawed, but if we look deeply, and truly notice our sisters, we will experience the beautiful. You see, scriptures tell us that the world will know Christians by our love. Our love must run deeper than the hurt. It must be willing to truly notice the beautifully imperfect hearts of others. When we can do this, we will point our sisters to the One who noticed us before we were even born. The One who made us who we are. Our sisters will better know the Father because we take the time to notice their deepest selves.
We must be the ones to pull our sisters out from the corners of the room and onto the dance floor—teaching them how to twirl. We were not created to sit our true selves in the corners of the human experience. We must stand up, pull the women and daughters of our lives up by the heartstrings, look at the Liar and say, “Nobody puts my sister in a corner!”