Sure, I’ll Take No For An Answer!
I used to be the kind of person who will never take no for an answer, especially when it comes to pursuing my personal dreams and aspirations. It did me well, sure, but it did me pretty shitty at times, too. Some people would call it assertiveness, which is actually healthy, right? Well, I thought so, too. But there was a point when I realized that I was not just being assertive — I was just being downright stubborn. Some people still think this is a healthy attitude, but I don’t think so. I learned that it just sets me up for traps that eventually stress me out, lower my self-esteem, and overall make me feel completely insecure.
Once upon a time, my prayerful Catholic mother would often tell me that there are usually three answers to prayer: yes, no, and not right now. I would shrug and say, okay mom, thanks, but still go on living as if the only answer I truly deserved was yes and nothing else.
And like I said, it did me well. I was a go-getter, I was, again, assertive, I was confident (sometimes overconfident but hey, take it or leave it, right?), and I always got what I wanted. Or so I thought, until the trend collapsed and I found myself face to face with my very first unachieved goal.
I was furious.
The anger and disappointment and anxiety escalated until I hit rock bottom — I just straight out chose to quit believing in myself. I had convinced myself that I was being punished, living a life that I didn’t want in the first place.
But for some reason, I managed to step out of the rut and start from scratch — but this time, with a completely different attitude.
I tried taking my mother’s words of wisdom and act on it without sounding too religious or spiritual or whatever — that wasn’t my style anyway. But since I had always believed that mother knows best, I decided to give it a shot.
First, learn how to pray. Again, I’m not one to be all Hail Mary’s about it. So I tried refocusing my idea of a prayer. I tried turning it into a lifestyle. Prayer, to me, means to make a goal and work for it; and to work for it not to the point of being over-assertive and stubborn about it, but to just work with what you have. You save yourself a great amount of stress when you do so.
Now, when the answer is yes, be thankful. Do not be overzealous, arrogant, or complacent about it. Just be grateful for the opportunity, and for actually seeing all your hard work pay off. It simply means it’s meant to be, and that’s great. Make the most out of this gift and go on with your life with both feet planted, always.
When the answer is no, cry if you need to. Punch a pillow if that’s what you feel like doing. Rant to your husband or girlfriend or journal until the load seems lighter. Then, accept. Accept that it just wasn’t meant to be. Do not blame yourself for not working hard enough — you did. You know you did everything you could, and that is already more than enough. Know that if it’s not this, it’d be something else. Continue living the life of prayer, let go and move on, and prepare yourself for the gift that was truly designed and meant especially for you.
Finally, when the answer is not right now, be hopeful. Do not lose sight of your goal. Live your life and continue preparing yourself for the pursuit, simply because ‘not right now’ means you probably aren’t ready for it yet. Be patient and continue living your life the best way you can, as this is the only way you can prepare for absolutely anything.
Good luck, and namaste.