I am seeing a bit of chatter around the relational myth of “you attract what you are” being gaslighty and gross, and I have thoughts (not answers).
To start, it’s imprecise. (My glass house is filthy and also I sometimes throw stones.)
I don’t know much about what we attract and don’t attract—that part isn’t entirely up to us. Relationships are conversations, not soliloquies. However, I do know a bit about what we accept and what we don’t accept—we get to choose, because our boundaries are our own responsibility.
It is possible that we attract all sorts of people—awful people, wonderful people, scared people, hurt people, kind people, generous people, and every other sort of people. It is possible that sometimes they are the very same person, because we are complex creatures.
It is also possible that the more emotionally mature and healed we are (that’s also imprecise… we can explore sometime what ‘healed’ means in greater detail), the less we accept anti-relational behaviors from wounded and immature people in our lives. When we do not accept the toxic behaviors that unhealed people employ, we become less and less attractive to them (we tend to repel them, really).
So maybe it isn’t so much that “we attract what we are,” but that we accept from others what we believe we deserve and we repel what doesn’t align with our self-esteem and our own understanding of our innate worthiness of respect, care, and nourishment.