‘She’s not showing any commitment to your relationship,’ a girlfriend counselled me as we took our habitual walk and talk by the sea.
I check my phone every few minutes, exasperating my husband. I wonder if he thinks I am having an affair.
Maybe my email was worded wrong and she misinterpreted what I said. Or – I missed something written between the lines of her text. I check again. And again.
Maybe she’s just not that into me.
No, I wasn’t having an affair. I was stressing over the lack of contact from my literary agent. It really is akin to dating. That feeling of elation when you receive an email full of exclamation marks – the agent loves your work and, in my case, ‘I am waiting on the edge of my seat,’ to receive my full MS. And another the next day, ‘I can’t stop thinking about your novel.’ Heady stuff. You hand over your heart.
A new love affair or a collaboration with an enthusiastic literary agent is wonderful. It is to be celebrated and enjoyed. However, it is important to stay grounded. When we look outside of ourselves for affirmation that we are ‘good enough’ we hand over the responsibility for our happiness and wellbeing.
Take back control for your happiness
I am not suggesting that you hold back in any way, or distrust this new relationship, only that you do not look for external validation of your worth. We hear it said by spiritual gurus and counsellors that we are enough, in fact, more than enough. They are wise words, but not so easy to believe when we are filled with self-doubt.
To take back control, listen to your heart and not the thought goblins who whisper criticism and doubt in your head. You need to really listen to your heart to understand what you want and why. That’s easy you might say, ‘I want to be a successful published author.’ Or, ‘I want to meet my soulmate, get married, and start a family.’ Dig a bit deeper. Ask yourself why. Get to the root of what you want and need.
For me, it is to reach as wide an audience as possible, because I have something to say and want to be heard. I want to connect with readers through my words and make a difference – whether it is to give a few hours of escape or to inspire in some way. I have a unique combination of skills and experience that make me who I am. My purpose is clear and is not dependent on another person. A publishing contract is just one way to achieve my goal. I have everything I need to fulfil my potential and achieve my dreams.
It is great to find true love, to get approval, and positive affirmation. We all need this. But when it does not come from the source we expected, it doesn’t mean that we are undeserving. It just means, it isn’t the right one for us at that time.
You are God’s gift
You must have heard the saying, ‘He/she thinks they are God’s gift.’ Well, guess what, you and me – we areGod’s gift to the world. We have been provided with all that we need to fulfil our unique purpose. It may have arrived in a box, like a flatpack from Ikea – full of odds and ends that are a mystery to us. The instructions assure us that everything is there, we just need the patience to put it all together. When we are distracted, comparing ourselves to others, and seeking approval, we are neglecting our gift.
Spend time marvelling over everything in that box. Value each of the parts, however small, because they are essential to creating our true self: our skills, attributes, personality traits, our dreams and wishes, our passions. When we realise just how amazing we are, we are fired up with positive energy. Not only is that very attractive – we are no longer a box of oddments, we are the shiny fully assembled model in the shop window, it enables us to know exactly what we need and to be discerning. Instead of waiting to be chosen, we do the choosing.