February 6, 2012

I Am Not That. ~ Khaleelah Jones

Photo: Nicola Jones

Have you ever felt inferior? Brutally rebuffed? Rejected?

Unless you’re in the very lucky minority of people who always get what they want (I’ve never met someone this fortunate, but I hear they exist), you’ve probably felt like this at some point.

Rejection is like garlic; long after you’ve swallowed and digested it, you taste it on the back of your tongue.

Photo: Derek Thomas

Sadly, unlike a nice lump of garlic goodness, rejection creates more than smelly sweat. When you’re facing rejection, all those deep-seated and unpleasant insecurities that you push deep down inside yourself start to seep out.

Few things calm me down when I’m in the throes of rejection. It always begins with a simple, “I will not get upset about this,” but within moments I’ve worked myself into a state, questioning the very meaning of my life if I can’t get what I worked so hard for. I can recognize that I’ve begun to spiral out of control when I start to deconstruct years of my life, looking for bad karma I’ve cultivated to make me deserve the rejection—but that doesn’t stop me.

From there, I begin to entertain the notion that I have none of the qualities deserving of obtaining whatever it is I wanted. I’m not good, sincere, intelligent, articulate, desirable, attractive, funny…you get the picture.

Yes, I’ve been there, as I’m sure you have, too.

It is no secret that our society is preoccupied with possession. Further, there is oftentimes a tendency to make value judgments or suppositions based on what we, or others, have. This habit is especially dangerous since we view everything about ourselves in terms of ownership. We “have” friends, family, looks, age, gender, etc. When we make value judgments based on these fleeting, transitory elements of life, we get stuck in a trap.

What we have suddenly becomes who we are.

Photo: Josef Rinderer

We don’t step back to realize that everything—all these non-material possessions—are as transient as the things we collect around us.

There’s a word that we yogis love: Om. When we say this small syllable, we’re invoking a feeling, a recognition that everything is in flux, that nothing is ever constant or still. When we chant this syllable, we yoke ourselves to the movement and change of the universe, and tacitly acknowledge that we aren’t our age, our friends, our gender, our looks or anything else. We are more.

We are deeper—beyond those things that change with the moving of time.

The next time you’re taking stock of your possessions—your age, your friends, your looks, your smarts—and making value judgments based on these, just take a deep breath and hum one “Om.” Because you’re not that. You’re so much more.


Known as the girl who could talk herself out of a paper bag, Khaleelah Jones (www.khaleelahjones.com) has always loved sharing her voice with others. A avid fan of reading, anything Francophone, travel and dance, you can usually find Khaleelah gazing longingly at travel blogs or in the yoga studio. Khaleelah currently lives in London working as a freelance writer and yoga teacher.

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