Every Christmas, my mom gives me an astrology reading for the New Year.
I’m not sure how much I buy into it, but I really love hearing what she has to say about the different ways the universe affects my everyday life, the choices I make, the opportunities I have and the influences around me. I don’t know if it feels accurate because she’s my mother (and knows me probably better than anyone) or if just hearing that you’ll be successful makes you conclude it’s destined, but more often than not, she is spot on and my year is usually right on track from her predictions.
As she went through all of the things that could very well happen this year – more freelancing, prosperity at work, stronger friendships, more travel – I nodded along and smiled. But when she got to the big black hole in my chart (okay, not really, but what feels like a bottomless pit of frustration) – she started to go over the signs of love orbiting my solar system. I listened intently and perhaps grinned a few times, but I also finished my generous glass of red wine and let out a hefty sigh.
“Why don’t you believe that love can happen in the same way that you believe in all of your abilities as a writer and as a city person in New York?” She asked, never one to allow me to get away with anything. “Linds, you have to change the way you’re talking to yourself in your head: you can’t keep saying that everything works in your life except for love or it’ll keep being true. “
“But I don’t believe it will actually happen,” I said. “Everyone tells you that it just happens one day when you’re least expecting it, when you’re not looking, blah, blah, blah. But it seems way too impossible to be true. In fact, nothing seems harder to me.”
“It’s not love that you don’t believe in because you live your life by it, honey. Just look at your blog and how you notice love around us all the time,” she countered. Why don’t you believe in love for yourself?”
“Because I don’t believe I’m good enough to find that kind of love, mom,” I said, swallowing hard and looking up to keep the embarrassing tears from falling on my last night in North Carolina before returning to the city. “I’m not pretty enough or thin enough or perfect enough to attract what I really want. They aren’t interested in a relationship with me. I’m just not good enough.”
She quickly hugged me and reassured me of all the wonderful things about me (like my parents and any of my best friends would naturally do), and though I brushed it off and continued the rest of my visit with laughter and ease, as I sat at the Atlanta airport, awaiting my flight and sneaking Lucy treats into her bag, I thought about all the things I say to myself on a daily basis:
Ugh, Linds. You need to lose weight, you look gross.
OMG is that a zit next to your mouth? On your chin?
Maybe you should dye your hair. Or can you afford those porcelain veneers? Don’t smile with your teeth in photos.
Oh he wasn’t checking you out. He was checking out that thin model-like girl behind you. Move on, he’s not interested.
Frankly, some of the things I say in my head I won’t even put on this post because I think they’re way too mean and I would never (ever!) say to anyone, even someone I didn’t particularly care for. And not to toot my horn – as my grandmother would say – but I do have a lot of things going for me, and I’m really proud of the hard work, determination, courage and hope I’ve put into nearly everything I’ve done, including this blog. In fact, there has never been one moment – even when I was writing for a business magazine and hating it – that I doubted my ability as a writer.
So why is it that when it comes to snagging a specimen of the male species, do I think I’m so inadequate? Why do I feel like I’m a failure at love and a bright, shining star at nearly everything else? Why – even four years of writing about dating and learning to really value myself as a rockin’ individual – do I still constantly and consistently put myself down?
Why do I feel not good enough?
I’m no expert in finding love (obviously) but I’m going to try something new in 2015 (along with a lot of other little things, but more on that later) – I’m going to think about love the way I think about my career. I’m going to be hopeful and confident, brave and open to all opportunities that come my way. Instead of worrying if it’ll ever work out, instead of rolling my eyes when my friends reassure me that I’ll have a love I can’t even imagine yet, and instead of nearly bursting into tears when my mom says something about my 7th house of something in some planet of happily ever after, I’m going to say this:
I do believe in love. I see love everywhere. I believe that the man meant for me will find his way to me. I am more than enough to be the love of someone’s life. I. Am. Enough.
It might not change a damn thing about my dating experiences and it might not result in meeting a special guy in 2015. It might not do anything at all to change my life. But I’m pretty sure that I’ll be even happier than I already am if I stop being so mean to myself. And if I remind myself – instead of being cruel – that I am not only enough…
…I’m amazing. And you, my dear loves, are too. So start saying it. And more importantly, start believing it,