Is your self-worth combative, competitive, conditional, or intrinsic?

bees
Photo by Skyler Ewing from Pexels

Nothing stings like writer’s rejection.

As a writer and first-time author, I’ve had to learn how to absorb rejection like never before in my life. First, there was the rejection from literary agents after I pitched my book proposal. Then, the noes from the publishers. And finally, the no-thank-yous from the bookstores to stock my book after I’d gone ahead and published the damn book myself.

I’ve always believed in myself. Even when doors haven’t opened for me, I’ve built and hung my own doors. I’ve always assumed I’ve had sufficient self-worth to get me through any number of rejections.


Take a first step into a new life.

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

I recently left a publication where I’ve been writing regularly for a number of years. I loved this publication for so many reasons—most of all, because it was the first place that ever accepted my work for publication.

While I’ve come and gone from this publication over the years, I feel like it’s time to leave for good. I don’t want even the temptation to return. It’s been an easy and comfortable relationship, but that’s not reason enough to stay; in fact, it’s more likely the reason to leave. Instead of continuing with what I know, it’s time to branch…


My spiritual desires lured me away from my family and my life. My body made certain I reentered.

hospital beds lined up
Courtesy of Pixabay

I’m lying in an emergency room bed in the middle of the night, a white cloth curtain providing the only privacy from the people in the beds on either side of me.

I suppose, as long as I can still breathe, hives aren’t considered critical or life-threatening enough to warrant a room to myself.

When I was admitted, the nurse asked the usual questions I get every time I've sought medical help for my “idiopathic urticaria” (or, in layperson speak, “hives for which there is no known origin”). How long have I had them? (four months). What have I done…


It’s all about giving them the right touch

eggs in a spiral display
Author’s own

There’s probably no other food on the planet that can be cooked and presented in as many different ways as the simple egg. From the basic and straightforward to the rich and complex, the egg is as versatile as they come.

And, there’s probably no food on the planet that I’m quite as particular about, either. Actually, “particular” doesn’t go far enough to describe exactly how precise I am about how my eggs get cooked:

First, crack the eggs open. Now, there’s no need to go banging in those eggs. …


That’s why you write, remember?

girl lightbulb dark night
Image by Roanne Copin from Pixabay

Dearest Keri,

So, I get it. Your ego has taken a beating from the string of rejections you’ve received lately. Especially the one with the job that looked tailor-made for you. Ugh. So fricken frustrating. What are some of those new English swears you learned from Rachael Nixon? Bollucks. Chuffin eck. Use them all. Get it out.

But, you already figured out that the purpose of that 1–2–3 punch was to drain away the last drops of an unstable, flimsy kind of self-worth that came from pushing off of others (like your family), competing with others (peers), or setting impossibly…


Even in the midst of a loneliness pandemic

Photo courtesy of Gratisography

“The pursuit of inner peace is more important than the search for happiness or success.”

~Chris Shea

If you’re reading this article, it’s probably because you find inner peace to be elusive. You’re not alone.

Given the turmoil of our planet due to climate change, the ongoing COVID pandemic quickly followed by a loneliness pandemic, and deeply divided, cynical, and angry people everywhere we look, it’s understandable that so many of us feel stressed, lonely, and exhausted.

From the American Psychological Association:

“We are facing a national mental health crisis that could yield serious health and social consequences for years…


And by that I mean, a failure of imagination

three skeletons in the hear no evil say no evil see no evil positions
(Image by Paul Brennan from Pixabay)

Lack of imagination

“We couldn’t imagine.”

Listening to the 9/11 remembrance coverage over the last weeks, I’ve been struck by the repetition of this phrase.

That dreadful day 20 years ago, I was woken up by a phone call from my husband whose flight from Minneapolis to New York was grounded in Chicago.

“Some pilot is going to be in trouble,” I mumbled in ignorant response, while rubbing the sleep out of my eyes.

A failure of imagination—I couldn't imagine a scenario in which human beings would hijack planes and fly them into the World Trade Center towers on purpose.

I couldn’t imagine…


Literally and metaphorically—I burn

man adding sticks to a fire
Photo courtesy of Reshot

My high school math teacher nicknamed me kerosene.

He didn’t just pull this name out of thin air. My maiden name is Rosene, and, combined with Keri…well, Diana C., not only is my truth kerosene, but my name is, too. Or was, at least.

It’s a weird feeling when you’re young, and someone makes a comment about you, or calls you a name, and you don’t exactly know whether it’s a compliment or an insult.

In sixth grade, I was playing catch with a friend and at one point, she laughed and told me I didn't know my own strength…


Get active in the most passive way possible

Image by Sh1ra from Pixabay

The end of the world is fast approaching.

Whether or not it will be the true and final apocalypse promised in many religions and mythological texts, it sure as hell feels like we’re standing on the edge of a precipice.

Smallpox, the Spanish flu, and other deadly, contagious viruses may be eradicated, and we may have learned from them, but now that COVID is here we get to start over.

Fascism and authoritarianism have descended on humanity many times before to painful ends, but here we are again, with leaders in the American Republican party praising Hungary’s authoritarian government and…

Keri Mangis

Deep-thought translator. Deep end only. Award-winning author of Embodying Soul: A Return to Wholeness. https://kerimangis.com

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