2

The River (A Short Story)

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I was dead set on scouring the Earth, desperately searching… For what? I wasn’t quite sure.

All I knew was that I was alone. I yearned for meaning, for connection, for something to wake me up out of my shallow pursuits. Though at the time, these yearnings felt like vague apparitions on the outer boundaries of my consciousness.

I had glimpsed what I was looking for, yet it was fleeting; too fleeting to understand. The glimpses in some way involved the river.

The river was mysterious. And presumably perilous. I feared it, though I didn’t want to admit it. It wasn’t the fear of the river itself, per say, but my fear of surrendering to the mercy of its power.

When I felt particularly courageous, I would dip into the river. But every time I touched it, I would quickly jump back, afraid that the current would carry me away.

The river was an intriguing enigma. I began to analyze it, attempting to understand all of its workings intellectually. These calculations were solely focused on the risks of the river and the threats it posed to me. Risk rumination without trust equates to crushing doubt. I felt paralyzed.

I wanted to explore. Driven by rugged stubbornness, I set out. After dragging myself through forests, up mountains and over vast fields, I realized that I was landlocked, surrounded by rivers on all sides.

On the bank of one river (they could’ve all been the same river for all I know); I decided to turn my focus inward. I asked myself questions like “What is my purpose here? Where am I trying to go? What do I want?”

I honestly didn’t know.

Then, delving deeper, I asked the question, “Who am I?”

This baffled me even more. I had never seriously entertained such a fundamental inquiry. Being next to a calm part of the river, I decided to take a look at my reflection in the water. What I saw astonished me. “I’m a dolphin?!”

I gasped.

Here I was, a dolphin, dragging myself across the land, literally killing myself for fear of letting go and allowing the river to carry me. “Absolute madness,” I thought.

It was insane, too insane to even take seriously. I laughed at the utter ridiculousness of my self-imposed suffering. With that epiphany, that simple shift of awareness, an enormous weight was lifted from me. Then, trading my hesitation for trust, I dove into the river.

It was nothing like the monster I made it out to be. Sure, the current was strong in some parts, but I’m a dolphin!

I could’ve swum upstream if I wanted. However, I decided to get out of my own way for the very first time in my life. I trusted. I flowed. Soon enough, the path of the river led to the ocean.

My world opened up, limitless. Other dolphins greeted me with love, ushering me into this new yet intensely familiar place.

“Home,” I thought to myself. “This feels like home.”

“Now the journey really begins…”
 

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2

How To Be An Alchemist When Faced With Rejection

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Rejection helped propel me to where I am now.

It was borderline comical at one point… I faced so much rejection and missed opportunities with women, to the extent that I thought something was wrong with me. But before I threw my hands up in defeat and hurled myself into to vicious cycle of self-pity, I used rejection as a major catalyst for self-improvement.

The story goes…

I was a virgin until I was 21, and not by (conscious) choice haha. I wasn’t comfortable with myself, desperate to fit in, had no genuine confidence and the assertiveness of a limp noodle. The perfect recipe for great (un)success in the female department. But on top of that, because of societal conditioning, I was hopelessly dead set on “getting girls.” It was like an eagle living on the ground just because all of the other creatures are doing it.

During college, I had a streak of (almost) sexual encounters that were painfully close to coming to fruition, but nothing happened. It was frustrating to say the least, but the Universe was welcomely whispering to me that I needed to be more self-confident and assertive.

I took heed. Instead of feeling sorry for myself, this series of experiences became a catalyst for my personal growth and development. It sparked something deep within, and I’ve been on a journey of continuous growth ever since.

Literally everything changed once I cultivated self-love and started to become comfortable in my own skin.

As Ralph Smart says, “love yourself 100%” because that’s the point from which everything else falls into place.

Note: I’m not saying that I changed and went all Wilt Chamberlain. I just honed the genuine confidence to go after what I wanted. Nothing was done out of spite, fear or ego, which is why I’m still on good terms with every woman I’ve had an intimate relationship with (oh heyyy, if you’re reading this). And this improvement carried over into every other aspect of life as well.

What actually sparked the idea for this post was an interesting weekend I recently had. I went out Friday and Saturday night in Portland, Maine (great little city btw). I must have talked to 30-40 different girls over the weekend (young women, if you want to be politically correct), but nothing came to fruition. It was a bit disheartening, but these so-called rejections are actually a blessing in disguise. Why? I’ll get to that soon.

The main point is this… Turn rejection into self-improvement, not self-pity.

“Every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.” ― Steve Maraboli

 

It never seems like it in the moment, but with hindsight that quote always proves true.

Now let’s get to the action items…

How to change your perception of rejection (and become a ‘rejection alchemist’):

1. Don’t take things too seriously.

Why are you taking things so seriously? Let go and enjoy life. Drop all the self-created fear and step into your true potential. Not taking yourself, or the world too seriously, is a major factor in cultivating genuine happiness and self-confidence.

Have fun with your life, and you’ll end up attracting kindred spirits (see #3).

“I asked the girl at the coffee shop out on a date. Unfortunately she said no, probably because I asked her out to coffee.
” ― Jarod Kintz

 

2. Rejection is a tremendous learning opportunity.

Rejection reveals great opportunities to fine-tune yourself. It shows you of any character flaws you have, guiding you along the path of self-mastery.

It’s also an opportunity to stop overanalyzing everything; a sign to let go and unleash your unique brand of awesomeness.

“Bad luck with women is a determined man’s road to success. For every affliction, he makes, out of indignation, yet another advancement in order to exceed the man that the woman chose over him. This goes to show that great men are made great because they once learned how to fight the feeling of rejection.” ― Criss Jami

 

Use rejection as fuel for self-improvement. It provides a golden opportunity to get better at something, or a lot of things. Rejection lays out the path to continue growing into the greatest version of yourself.

3. You attract the same energy you put out.

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

 

Like attracts like.

Sometimes those people just aren’t compatible with you on an energetic level. Maybe you’re looking in the wrong places. This is why I don’t have much “luck” in bars. Because the setting usually (though not all the time) attracts people with a certain energetic/mental-emotional state. And that state isn’t too compatible with where I’m at right now. I’m probably better off meeting women at a yoga studio or something like that. (Where my yoga girls at!?)

Be who you want to attract, live your own truth and reality eventually conforms.

4. Sometimes it’s just them.

Maybe they were too consumed with their own inner turmoil to see your awesomeness. Most people are too preoccupied with their own dysfunction to effectively interact with others. So don’t take it personally if people don’t respond well. Just don’t be captain creeper, of course.

Be yourself, without harming yourself or others, and let go. That’s what allows everything to naturally fall into place.

Every rejection presents potent opportunities to better yourself…

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Just as this blog is the mental/emotional manifestation of ‘rejection alchemy’, this picture is the physical manifestation. Self-improvement > self-pity.

 “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” -Lao Tzu

 

Our society focuses on manipulating or changing others to get what you desire, but changing yourself is the only way to bring about change.

Be grateful for everything you have, while continuously improving. Always grateful, never complacent.

Turn rejection into self-improvement, not self-pity.

Swords are only forged in intense heat. Diamonds are created only through immense pressure.

Uncover your inherent greatness.

Infinite Love.

-Stevie P!