Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Secret

Time taken to get over a major heartbreak – 2 years, and good thing it only happened once.

Time taken to get over a fling – a few days.

Time taken to get over not getting that job – 1 week.

Time taken to get over the death of a pet – 2 weeks.

Time taken to get over a fight with my husband – 1 day, sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on whose fault it is.

Time taken to get over not getting something I really really want – 1 hour, which surprises me.

These days not many things seem to pull me down. I’m not saying that I’m constantly jumping for joy.

A good friend told me that I’ve turned into an indifferent person. She said I’ve lost my spark. She told me I could be depressed.

It got me worried because how could I give anyone the impression that I was depressed without even feeling it? Was I sending out negative energy, all the way through cyberspace?

Anyway, I did get depressed yesterday because I didn’t get something I really really wanted.

About two months ago, I applied for a scholarship to do a distance learning course in Creative Writing. I received a negative reply yesterday. It broke my heart.

As I read the reply, I felt tears streaming in my eyes. I don’t even know how to explain that feeling. It has been such a long time since I felt that way and I was surprised at my own reaction. Mainly, I wasn’t prepared to get a “no” for an answer.

Most of the time when I want something, I tell myself mentally that I might not get what I want to spare myself the disappointment if I don’t get it. This time, I changed my strategy.

For my birthday, a dear friend gave me The Secret book. If you haven’t read or heard of it, it’s a book that teaches the law of attraction. It’s main theory is that if you want something, you need to visualize that you already have it. You will attract the things you want if you believe in it.

So anyway, this dear friend knows how long I’ve been looking for a job and how desperate I am to get a paid job. She wanted me to get what I want and as a birthday gift, she shared The Secret with me. She wanted me to believe and hence urged me to read it.

I did and decided to adopt the theory. It wasn’t so much as I am a believer, but I wanted to believe, or perhaps, I wanted to test the theory. So whenever a negative thought came to my mind, I dispelled it quickly and replaced it with positive thoughts.

That positive thought occupied my mind for 2 months until yesterday.

My first instinct was to feel sorry for myself. Then I started to question what went wrong. Why didn’t I get it? What had caused me to lose that scholarship? Was my submission letter not good enough? Most importantly, did I not deserve it?

Whatever questions I had, I knew it would never be answered.

I couldn’t even bring myself to tell my husband about this because by confronting it, it would confirm that I didn’t get it and what a failure I have been. That was when I knew how much I wanted it, the scholarship more than anything else. I wanted so much to make it on my own, not asking anyone to pay for the fee but the institution itself.

After brooding for about an hour, I suddenly snapped out of it. Yes, I didn’t get what I wanted and nothing’s ever going to change that.

I was informed that the two successful applicants are from Nepal and Zimbabwe. I don’t even know them but I can pretty much guess how much they wanted this scholarship too, perhaps much more. I wasn’t the only one who applied and I don’t know what they have written on their submission letters, but I’m sure it was way more compelling than mine. Simply put, they got it because they deserve it more than I do.

Should I not be happy that two strangers who really deserve and need the scholarship got what they wanted? To be honest, this thought shocked me. I never knew I had the ability to be happy for strangers at my own expense.

Then it got me thinking. It’s so easy for us to feel sorry for those who have it bad but how often do we feel happy for those who have it good, while we don’t? Must our happiness be guided only by what we have or don’t have?

I think The Secret really lies in learning and knowing how to be happy for others.

To be frank, I am somehow relieved that I was able to feel some sort of emotion, even if it was painful. It reminds me that I still want something badly enough to feel hurt and that I still want it despite it all. So, I’m going to keep on trying.

Maybe that’s what they mean by it’s better to love and lost than to never have loved at all.

And P/S:

Time taken to find the peace inside me to be happy for someone else – an hour.


  1. Wow, thats profound. I believe you are right, we often measure our happiness by what we have. Its kinda selfish.

  2. I think we have so much to give but we spend it all on feeling sorry for ourselves and the misery in the world. Hence, forgetting that we should feel happy too when something good happens to others.