Singles awareness day

And if I built a fortress / around your heart/ and circled you in trenches and
barbed wire… Sting

Well over 90,000 hours ago, back when I was still single, I felt desperate.

I wanted some resolution and consistency. I wanted to be done with falling for guys who had problems and addictions, guys who I felt compelled to fix and change and save. I was tired of cracking open my heart to these guys and not liking what I saw, and not being supported in what I experienced.  I wanted someone who understood me for me. Actually, I wanted someone who understood me better than I did.

My husband and I met at a personal growth workshop. That was me breaking out of the mold of getting drunk and following some guy home from the bar. (I was never really one of those girls, but to the benefit of my life experiences I did try this once or twice). That was November. By February, on one of my weekend visits (we lived in separate cities at the time), I had the sense that we were practicing getting acquainted for when I would move in a few months later. I had no plans to do this and neither did he, but the thought stuck and manifested. I moved in after I finished my final semester in school.

I can’t say that it has always been smooth or easy, but it has always been right. I never doubted, in my most honest places, that he was right for me. He has been supportive, amazing, loving, tolerant, entertaining, and true. He has always been “home.”

But a good relationship does not a life make. I think back to my life before I was in a relationship and look at the person I was. I was in ‘relationship’ with myself, and it was a struggle.

vday

Some people believe that we don’t change: our morals, principles, beliefs, and core personality traits are not swayed by life or experiences.  I don’t believe this; I think we can and do change. We call this growth.

Through the support and willingness and permission of my husband I have been through tremendous growth. Being in a relationship and having kids just forces this on you, ready or not. I say I had my husband’s permission but I don’t mean this in a submissive or obedient way. He gave me the permission to be whomever I wanted by loving me all the same.

I know that I am a loving and supportive partner; if I had the choice I would probably date me now. But I am not always loving or supportive with myself. I have struggled -and continue to struggle- with this.  It is much quieter and more subtle now, but I have a busy mind and am full of calculations and negative affirmations. It is no longer the ‘pretty enough’ or ‘skinny enough’ whispers of a singleton’s life that lead me to say, “if only….” Now I have different reasons.

Today, on this day of extra chocolate and chubby winged children with pointed sticks, I think about my relationship to myself. We are all, foremost, in relationship to ourselves. The world and our external relationships reflect this back to us. I wonder about the fortress I have built around my heart. I have let in those close to me, but I have not accepted myself as I am.

blogit

I am not sure what would happen if I loved myself for who I am. Part of me fears that I would lose control. I may no longer be the person I have roles for: a mother, a runner, a friend, a wife. Maybe I would not be so compartmentalized and rational. I would not know what to expect so clearly.  Maybe I would have more fun. Maybe I would surprise myself. Maybe I would like myself.

Today, I choose to pay attention to myself. I want to support my Self and be her friend. I don’t want to feel desperate or sad. Things really are okay; there is love in the fortress.

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40 thoughts on “Singles awareness day

  1. I love the idea of paying attention to yourself on Valentine’s Day. After all, if we don’t love–or even like–ourselves, it’s tough to get anyone else to. Nice Valentine’s Day post!

  2. So why did you have to make me do math? Other than that, I love this post…I was once one of those guys who looked for girls to follow him home from the bar, but I got over that pretty quick (never works out well in the morning). I ended up falling in love with my best friend, and we are eighteen years into this phase of friendship – I highly recommend it!

  3. “Through the support and willingness and permission of my husband I have been through tremendous growth.” For me, there has been exponentially more growth with my man than when I was single. Feeling like there’s a true net under you allows you to fly much further. Great post.

  4. I relate to so much of this post. I feel like that about my relationship with Mr. Weebles–not always easy and not always pretty, but with him I’ve been safe, loved, and supported, in a way that I never was with anyone else. And because of that, I’ve been able to develop a better relationship with myself. It’s a work in progress, but hey, it had to start somewhere. I hope you’ve been having a great SIngles Awareness Day, T!

    • Madame Wonderful Weebles,
      Thanks for your thoughts. It’s true that when we chose a relationship it reflects so much to us about ourselves. Then, we learn more about ourselves and can be more honest with ourselves. I think starting from somewhere is far, far better than just living in denial.
      Singles Awareness Day is a success!

  5. “I am not sure what would happen if I loved myself for who I am.”

    I have to really stop and think about that. On the one hand, I find it sad that you don’t already love yourself for who you are, but on the other hand, could I honestly say the same thing to myself and be able to come up with a happier answer? Not sure. I will need to ponder this some more . . .

    • You get what I mean. Sure I ‘like’ myself, but when I look at the parts of me that make me feel sad, or get me down, or that come out when I am angry with myself…. those are the parts that are locked away.
      Thanks for your thoughts!

  6. Ah, you finally said it at the end! Control is something I struggle with. Keeping myself under under control, actually. On the outside I’m cold as ice, on the inside I’m a raging inferno of every kind of emotions. I really think that kind of control is what blocks growth. Once you relinquish it, I think you just stop caring about what other people think. That’s what it boils down to. Controlling ourselves and our emotions/thoughts/feelings in order to influence a positive reaction from someone else. Eff that. Let go. I’m workin on it…

    • Adam, you control maniac!
      I think it’s less about caring about what others think (those that’s a huge hinderance to our growth) and more about self-acceptance. Maybe that’s the same thing. We need to chose to let go, and sometimes we hang on because it’s security for us. So it’s little by little, every day. It’s like a “control” diet – you have to stick to the regime.
      Keep working on it. I’m off to go read you and Becca’s V-day vlog now!

  7. Hey! I only just realised your happy list on the right side of your posts. How awesome – I need to do this – I get sad and depressed too much here in the monastery. How often do you update it? I’ll need to keep an eye on it! Likee!

  8. Powerful post!

    When I got divorced, I went through a lot of this… a book that really helped me was “Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts.” Check it out!!

  9. Just asking the questions brings you closer to the relationship you want with yourself.
    And I couldn’t be happier that you have a supportive external relationship to lean on while you sort out your internal one.

    • True enough: asking the questions brings about our awareness and we can start to change, shift, and grow.
      I also am very thankful that my external support is so great.
      Thank you for your comments. Always nice to hear your thoughts.

  10. I need to get back to me. I have been all too consumed by work and home responsibilities to give myself time to reflect and focus inward. Your post just reminded me that I need to get back to meditating and sitting quietly with my thoughts. You also made me realize that I need to stop with the negative self talk. As my nutritionist once said, “Would you ever say to a friend the things you say to yourself?” my answer: “Of course not.” her response, “They why do it to you?” Excellent point, why do I?

  11. Great concept. We don’t really think about if we’re compatible with ourselves. Would I date me? Probably not. Does that make me think less of myself? Probably. Hmm. You’ve struck a nerve. I’m going to go get some better clothes.

  12. Best Valentine post I’ve read this year! When you do love yourself, you’ll love your roles also and you must shape those roles to be totally yours. Growth is so important, I’m loving that your relationship is so good for you. It’s so important to find someone who just allows you to be, and loves you whatever. Yay!

  13. This is such a great attitude to have about Valentine’s, and such a great way to describe what it’s like to be with the one who’s “right” for you. Contrary to all the ball-and-chain stuff we here about commitment, there’s actually a lot of freedom there.

    • Hi Ashley,
      Thanks for your comments. I think our relationship with others starts with the relationship we have with ourselves. Pooey on all those hearts and chocolates and overpriced wilty flowers: let’s be honest with ourselves and eat chocolate every day.

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