Childhood. Adulthood. Motherhood. Fatherhood. Singlehood. A different hood of which we may not have wanted to be a part. Singlehood has an array of opportunities – and challenges. The opportunities for growth are unparalleled. The major challenge is seeing the opportunities.
Many of us think of singlehood as the way station en route to a relationship. It’s the bridge we cross to get to where we’re meant to be. It’s a limbo time of searching – but it’s often a search for “another,’ rather than a journey inward.
Once we realize, finally and fully, without any doubts at all, that we are complete as we are, totally whole individuals, an incredible sense of peace descends. There is no need to strive, to seek, to search outside of oneself for happiness. No obligation to merge in order to feel complete. No necessity to find in another that which was perceived missing in one’s self. There is a freedom from struggle. A letting go of effort. It’s hopping on the inner tube of life as it heads where its meant to go, rather than trying to control a raft in the rapids. It’s relaxing, joyous, energizing. It’s being home wherever you are, whenever your heart is open. It is safety
It is your true SELF.
Many of us have lost ourselves in relationships. Many of us forfeited our truths when we were children. We abandoned and exiled our true feelings by managing them with behaviors we thought would be better accepted by our parents, siblings, teachers, peers. We learned how to please, placate, get by, function. We perceived ourselves as lacking in some way, and we were attracted to others who seemed to complete us, fill in the blanks, offered what we were seeking.
Often those traits that brought us to our partners were the ones that began to bother us the most. For example, a shy man is attracted to a talkative woman, but later he complains that she never shuts up. A woman falls for a man who is strong and assertive and many years hence decides he’s too paternalistic and controlling.
Once we know that we are complete, we lose the desperation of the search. People may come and go in our lives, but we don’t tie to any one of them the ability to make us or break us. We can be happy to share our time, our bodies, our lives with someone else, but we can do it as equals, without expectations or judgments.
We can learn how to speak our truth – without fear. We are able to discern when our needs are being met, or our boundaries violated. We can choose to stay in a relationship, or we can choose to go. And if someone chooses to leave us first, we know that we are just fine, time will heal our pride, and we are able to find a relationship that is meant to go the distance.
However long that distance is meant to be. Perhaps the “happily ever after” needs to be edited to ‘happily each day’. Rather than seek the Prince on the horse or the damsel in need, we can drop the fantasy and be receptive to reality. We can look within ourselves to find the communication, companionship, and connection we are seeking. (Being centered in your Self is not self-centered. It is our spiritual connection that teaches us how to be compassionate to all parts of ourselves and others.)Let our quest become an internal one. Let our pursuit focus on self awareness, self care and self love. Then we can nurture our hearts, our light, our ability to feel joy, and attract into our lives healthy people who are doing the same.