Read an excerpt from Tracy McMillan's hit book Why You're Not Married... Yet.
By Tracy McMillan
240 pages; Ballantine Books
Available at Amazon| Barnes & Noble | Indiebound 

For the first four or so decades of my life, I was like a house that was—and this is putting it charitably—a fixer-upper. A serious fixer-upper. Underneath all the layers of bad wallpaper and stained carpeting, you could see that there was something good there. But getting down to it was not going to be easy. I was going to have to grow. Spiritually.

What's more, remodeling my life, my self, seemed hugely overwhelming. At that point in my spiritual development, if I couldn't see how something was going to happen, I wouldn't believe that it could. It's not like I had Ty Pennington and a team of guys ready to come in and do an episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition. To me, seeing was believing. If I couldn't see it, I couldn't believe it.

Turns out I had everything exactly backward. In fact, believing is seeing. You really do have to believe something before you can see it. For example, pretend you're going to invent something. Like, I don't know, a cell phone. Before you can get down to putting all the little widgets and doohickeys together, first you have to imagine talking on the phone while walking around the block, and then you have to believe that it could, in some universe, be possible to do such a thing, even though you've spent your whole life tethered to a tightly coiled springy cord that gets all tangled up in your legs while you pace around your kitchen. Only once you've committed to those two ideas could you (or is it would you?) start pulling together widgets and doohickeys. And even then it might've taken years to work your way through the interim versions—like the cordless phone that would only go as far as the edge of the front yard.

This was true of my own personal evolution, too—from the landline where I started, through all the cordless-phone relationships, to where I am now, a place of flourishing. And—whether I am in a relationship or not—a place of self-love. So how did I get there?