<p>London-based creative entrepreneur and writer, traveler</p> <p>instagram : @redrougesummer</p>
7 ways to love yourself: a path to radiant singlehood
It’s a strange thing when you are in the process of letting go of somebody. You miss rituals like getting their text messages at certain hours. It’s like your body is mechanically wired to stay up all night, as if you were actually still talking to the person. In many ways, losing a person is similar to losing a limb. It’s still itching but it’s not there anymore. In some cases it’s worse, because the person is alive on social media for example, but not in your space anymore. It’s alienating, like a clone of the person you used to know. But it’s not them.
Being blissful, is the stage when you have finally stopped crying. And while you might still gaze at your phone, you have accepted that from now on it will be just you. No more scapegoats, and no one to fill your thoughts. You might entertain the idea of having an outrageous affair with a seductive new stranger, but you know it’s not going to happen, because you are at a point when a fling just won’t cut it. You’ve been around and seen it all…the mediocre, the bad, the ugly. At this point you won’t settle. You want something organic in a prepackaged world. But this is also what brought you to being single in the first place.
So you breathe in deeply and come to terms with the idea that a relationship can never solve all your problems. Congratulations! You are now single, soon to be happily single. Happily single..?
Okay granted, it’s not a popular belief, but if we look closely, we’ll see there is no other way. Our next relationship will only be as good as our single life. There is a qualitative approach to single life, or to put it simply as my mom says: ‘you can’t run from yourself’.
Unfortunately, the status ‘single’ is overshadowed by terrible words that people naturally associate with it. Words like ‘loneliness’, ‘failure’, ‘quitter’, ‘selfish’, etc. When in fact being single is like going on a sabbatical trip around the world to figure yourself out.
Society is not easy on single people approaching thirties or beyond. We live in a world of ready-made ideas about everything, singlehood being one of them. Which is why singlehood is about stepping aside from our usual environment, such as moving from our parents’ house, and not rushing to move in with somebody straight away. A healthy single life is about reevaluating our belief system, thus becoming our own person. Knowing why we make certain choices, how we function, what makes us tick and how we can become a better person.
Yet no matter how we put it, there is still reluctance to say the words ‘happily single’. People label us as ‘selfish’, but are we really selfish?
To think a healthy (single) life is about keeping it all to yourself, is paradoxically wrong. Even by yourself, it’s never just about what you want, whenever you want. We are all interconnected and life is quick to remind us of that. I think of the tragedies in Paris that brought thousands of people together. It’s never just us alone.
A healthy single life is about giving. As the saying goes “You have not lived today, until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
Being single is an opportunity to discover your talents and share them. There’s tremendous energy behind every work of art, and in every action we take. One thing triggers the next as we are single elements all part of a cycle. If anything, being single teaches us self-awareness and how to give, which is an important prerequisite for a healthy relationship.
“But…what if I forget how to love…and how it feels to be loved?” To this I say, “Is this your only vision of what love is?”
People in long relationships will tell you there’s a point when love is not enough. Maybe we just need to expand our vision of it?
Being single teaches us the basics. Free from the need to be loved in a certain way we learn to give love freely and in different ways such as praying for a friend, helping a stranger in need, connecting with God/Life Energy/Source, or taking an impromptu trip. And as Tony Robbins would say to “live with passion”.
We can never forget how to love, because love is all there is. There is love or the absence of love. Some people fear being single because they feel they are being deprived of something of value. They fail to see in themselves the element of value and the element that brings value to the prospective relationship. Once again, a great dose of self-awareness comes with a healthy single life. It opens our eyes to those awesome little details
Here is a list of things to try in your own happy singlehood journey…
1. Challenge yourself.
Take a job that requires more responsibilities. Try something new, such as aerial yoga. Face your fears and challenge gravity. Shake things up. Don’t remain your perfectly predictable self. A few changes leads to a great deal of self-confidence and respect.
2. Reorganize your time to do something meaningful, like volunteering.
Put your creativity to service. Do you sew? Maybe create unique pieces for a charity or share your experience by becoming a freelance writer on a purposeful mission. Submit your article, it won’t hurt.
3. Stay around people in relationships.
Yes, I know this is challenging. As single folks we want to stick together away from the rest of the pack, but believe me, it’s worth it. We learn a great deal about selfless love hanging around friends with children because they teach us about acceptance, and in some cases give us something to look forward to.
4. While single, we can reorganize our use of time and money.
We can improve our relationship with finances and set up new income goals and alternative income streams, like offering to lecture or opening a small bakery from home. When you think of it, anything is possible!
5. Find your own time.
Age is but a number and numbers only have the meanings we give them. Listen to yourself. When it’s time to step into a romantic relationship you will know. Be at peace with the present, otherwise you might overlook some meaningful moments.
6. Explore spirituality.
Cultivate your soul with meaningful talks and books. Practice meditation through travel, dance or yoga. Get into your mind and become conscious of your body. Understand that sometimes the universe sets you apart for your own good.
7. Learn the rudiments of communication.
Some of us are weak in communication, because we have been involved with emotionally despondent people for too long. As a consequence, it’s hard to bond with emotionally stable people because they don’t understand us. Let go of the past and even if you have to learn how to listen and how to express yourself from scratch, go for it!
Live well. I wish you love.
If you are looking to deepen your relationships and learn the basics of authentic communication (with yourself and others) take a look at this online course – Transformative Communication – an easy and life-enhancing approach for better relationships.