Isn’t it strange how we instantly determine whether something that happens to us is bad or good?
“Things aren’t working out here, and we’re going to have to let you go.”
“Congratulations, we’d love to offer you the job!”
“This doesn’t feel right… I think we should break up.”
“Will you marry me?”
“It’s with regret we inform you that you haven’t been accepted to our university.”
The news we are programmed to believe to be “bad” gets marked as a negative experience. While the news we are programmed to believe as “good” gets marked as a success.
But what if we’re simply seeing things the way we’ve been conditioned to see them?
And what if that piece of bad news is actually a gift, or an opportunity in diguise?
So many times I’ve been on the receiving end of what I thought was a setback, or failure, or blow from the universe. A reminder that I’m not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough; and to try harder next time.
At 11, I failed to meet the pass rate on a verbal & non-verbal reasoning test, to get into a local grammar school that my dad desperately wanted me to attend. I failed it again the following year, along with a bunch of other tests.
At 17, I didn’t get into my dream fashion school in London—in fact, I didn’t even get an interview. After graduation, I sent hundreds of job applications, failed a new bunch of online tests and interviews, and couldn’t get anyone to hire me as a fashion designer; and resigned myself to working part-time in my local bakery.
I’ve met countless guys on random nights out, who have gone from red hot on me to ice cold in a matter of weeks. I’ve been stood up on dates, and had guys simply stop replying to my messages, as if I wasn’t worthy of an explanation. Nobody took me on a date, or said the words, “will you be my girlfriend?” until I was 25.
Eventually, I managed to weave my way into the fashion industry, and work with some big high street brands; only to realise it wasn’t what I really wanted at all. So I switched careers, started writing, and applying for freelance jobs. Stone cold silence and rejection met me once again. I wrote a book, and couldn’t find anyone to publish it. Then I self-published a book, and couldn’t get any book stores to stock it. I created online programs that nobody enrolled in. I put hours into growing my social media, only to watch my numbers stagnate.
And I tried and failed, and tried and failed, over and over again.
My life, some would say, has been a continuous stream of bad news: no’s, knockbacks, setbacks, and rejection. You might look back on yours, and think the same.
And that’s one way of looking at it, I suppose.
The other way is about shifting your perspective. What if all the no’s were actually gifts, opportunities, re-directions, and blessings?
What if that rejection was simply a gentle nudge from the universe, telling you to go a different way, or saying you’re not ready for this, yet?
Because now, when I look back at all those no’s; all those closed doors; I only see the many more that opened for me.
I see how what I thought I wanted wasn’t what my soul wanted at all. And I see loving guidance, a call to tune in to my intuition, and allow it to guide me forward.
Now I see that all the things that passed me were never meant to be mine. And I believe that everything I want; everything I want on a soul level, will never pass me by. Because they never have. Not once.
You see, what is for you will never pass you by. So look for the doors that open when one closes. Look for the signs the universe is giving you. Trust in divine timing, and trust yourself.
Praise for Bloom by Shani Jay
“I read Bloom in one night. I started feeling hopeless and pushed down. Shani picked me up, dusted me off, and guided me to self-love in a few short hours with only print. Truly inspiring” – Rebecca Barnoff