The thing about love is that it starts with you.
Singleness can feel like the heaviest of burdens when your deepest desire is for intimate companionship.
A burden borne from the fear of forever loneliness. Borne from the trepidation that there will never be someone to share a life with. Borne from a perception that without another entity to join your own, there will be no happiness. Borne from the prospect that you are not enough.
These are the lies carefully and deliberately fed to us from foetalhood through whispers, colourful screens, shiny print, dramatic declarations, heart-stopping and heart-wrenching precipices, and pretty characters we are made to believe model reality.
Singleness was never a choice for me. I desperately wanted a partnership. I still remember praying every night that someone would come into my life. I remember telling God that I was content to wait as long as it was for the right person (but please let there be someone and let them come soon!) He sent me lessons instead.
I learnt that I can provide everything that I truly need for myself. I learnt that I can experience happiness, joy, contentment, explore companionship, cultivate relationships, and discover love WITHOUT a forever intimate partnership. I learnt that I can do all of these things for myself and I learnt that if I truly wanted to find love with another person, I had to do it for myself first and foremost.
It doesn’t mean you have to love yourself 24/7, it doesn’t mean you will get everything right, sometimes you will hurt, it doesn’t mean you can’t have days where you think it would be nice to be someone else for a change.
But it means you choose to try. It means you choose growth, it means you choose intentional healing, it means you prioritise your needs, it means adventuring, learning more about yourself, identifying your values and goals, it means understanding your trigger points, it means exploring what gives you joy and discovering what gives you pleasure. It means shifting from a yearning mindset to an opportunities mindset “I look forward to…” instead of “I wish”. It means working out what you actually want and if you don’t know what that is then communicating that, it means having boundaries and standards to protect your comfort and care, expending energy on whatever lights your soul, discerning the cravings of your own spirit . It means letting go of your expectations of permanence, it means having faith in your intuition, and the courage to release what is no longer for you; no matter how much you wanted it to be. (As an aside and in case no-one told you; it is okay to go on dates, to hold hands, to have sex, to cuddle and to have no intention of being in a relationship with someone. It’s also okay to do this with multiple people at the same time. As long as you communicate, intentions are clear and you are honouring your comfort; it is okay. That is a journey of loving on yourself too.)
“It means you chose to try…it means having faith in your intuition, and the courage to release what is no longer for you, no matter how much you want it to be”
Choosing to love on yourself is one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I have ever experienced and continue to experience.
There’s still loneliness, sadness, anxiety and fear, but these are normal. You will relish every experience of happiness and contentment because you will know you intentionally cultivated space for those feelings. You’ll form deep interconnected relationships where the healing of others will positively impact on your own journey of self-discovery and at some point on the journey to loving on yourself, someone will meet you along the way, someone who aligns with you, someone who loves you, and by this time, whatever they have to offer, will simply be a bonus to the life you have already created for yourself with others, and regardless of whether their presence is transient or permanent.
That is the power of learning to love on yourself, that is the power I want for you. This will not only be your journey of finding love, it will also be your journey of finding you.