“This book is a scam!” I say quite loudly on Monday morning a few minutes after I walk into the office. I am standing at Louise’s desk, and Louise, fingers poised over her computer keyboard, mid-typing, is looking at me askance.
I can see the top of her belly above her desk; she’s starting to show, although it’s not too obvious just yet – you have to know that she’s pregnant to see it. I wince slightly as I glance at her stomach – a reminder of all the things I wish I had right now but do not seem able to access.
“What are you talking about, Liz?” Her eyes dart around the office, possibly looking to see if anyone else is paying attention to us.
“This book does not work!” I say, slamming her copy of The Secret on her desk. “Just take it back.”
“What happened?” she asks as she stands up quickly, scoops the book up and shepherds me towards my office by my elbow, closing the door quietly behind us and settling down in a chair across from me. I explain to her the sorry happenings of the
weekend, and at the end of it, she sucks her teeth and leans back in her chair.
“I don’t think it’s supposed to be as immediate as that,” she offers, dropping the book on my desk. “I mean, it’s not about wishing for something to happen and then have it happen exactly like you pictured it.”
“No? But that’s what it says in the book!” I wave my arms in the air.
“No… You’re supposed to visualise and raise your vibration…” she stops when she sees the look on my face. “Anyway, all I am saying is, you didn’t do the work like you were supposed to.”
“There’s no work to be done here!” I poke the book.
“Hmm, no…” Louise says. Then she gives me a curious, probing look. “I’m starting to think that what you need, above all else, Liz, is therapy.”
“What on earth are you talking about?” I ask her, bristling.
“I mean, this endless quest for a relationship that you’re in… Don’t you think it’s time you gave it a break and just learnt how to spend some time by yourself? Learnt how to enjoy your own company?”
ENJOY OWN COMPANY
“I do enjoy my own company!” I toss my hands in the air to reinforce my point.
“Do you? When was the last time you spent a substantial amount of time by yourself?”
“I did just the other night! I went home and read a book!”
“One night?” Louise laughs dryly. “That doesn’t count.”
I frown at her. “The only reason I am not going to explode is because I respect the fact that you are pregnant and I don’t want anything to upset that. But I am very insulted that you would suggest that I need therapy.”
“Really, Liz, a good psychologist would be able to help you understand your issues.”
“Oh, so now you think I am mad?!” My temperature is rising and it is taking all I have to keep it together.
“No, no, that’s not what I meant at all,” she says. “Look, before I met my current boyfriend I decided to have a chat with a therapist to help me understand why I was having all these relationship difficulties.”
I roll my eyes. “I really don’t want to get a lecture about this,” I insist.
“No, seriously,” Louise continues. “It really helped me dissect my issues. Helped me see myself clearer. I could see that I had a lot of abandonment issues, and because of that, I was afraid to put myself out there and take risks. But after a few sessions, I finally found the courage to do that. And look at me now.”
“I thought you told me it’s this book that helped you.”
“Yes, the book did. But it was the therapy that helped make the book’s principles work.”
I raise an eyebrow; there is no way I am going to see someone to talk about my ‘issues’. I am not mad – I have no issues!
“Look, all I am saying is, you have to consider that if ALL your relationships are not working, perhaps the person who keeps breaking them is you. It’s not possible for you to only meet commitment phobes. Maybe you’re the one who is unconsciously avoiding good guys. Think about it.”
And then she stands up, opens the door to my office and walks back to her desk, leaving me alone with my thoughts.