Once upon an evening, I was getting ready to meet a guy for the first time. I sent him a message: “Are you there? Just leaving my place now.” He responded: “No. Is it tonight? I forgot.” I took off my jacket and heels and flopped onto my bed. I can’t believe this is happening to me, I thought, in utter shock. Not so much as an apology or a “Be right there” or even a promise to reschedule. He must be the kind of guy who likes making dates and not showing up. He must enjoy making women feel bad. Aw man, now I’m gonna have to make dinner. I was just about to phone a friend when a text came through: “Just kidding. I’m here.” And then another: “I was only joking! I’m here.” I replied: “Okay… That wasn’t a very funny joke!” I slipped back on the heels and jacket and approached the date with apprehension.
It ended up being a lovely evening and he was a total gentleman. He told me that he’d planned on sending me a message straight after his not-so-hilarious first but his phone had gone dead. He had to wait for it to switch back on before he could send the text. He realised that it appeared cruel. The point is, for several minutes, I believed that I had been stood up. I assumed that this guy was weird and masochistic. And I thought I was being treated very badly. That wasn’t the reality of the situation but, for those few moments, it became my reality.
Buddha said: “With our thoughts, we make our world.” What’s real for me is whatever thoughts I’m thinking. I’m sure a lot of other women would have presumed the same as me. It was there in the black and white of a text message after all. But it was just a massive sign for me to see that my reality is what I make it. With that kind of power, I’d better make it a good one.