Embracing Singleness

I never thought I’d ever write a post on this topic. To be honest, I never thought I’d be almost 30 and single. I had my “plan” written out at 18 years old. I wanted to be married and have children in my early 20’s. I mean, that’s what we are raised to think is supposed to happen right? I was in a relationship in my early teens – some of the most crucial years in a girl’s life and I ended up getting my heart broken in such a hurtful way. Not to say in your teens you should have your whole identity and life figured out, but personally, I don’t think it’s the time to be diving in deep with somebody else. But anyway, I did it, I got hurt, I thought my life was over and after 5 years together, I didn’t know who I was without him. So, what did I do? I packed up my baggage filled with hurt, anger and insecurities and I picked it up and took it with me to the next one. Crazy right? But it happens often, people bringing baggage into relationship after relationship, not thinking they need to unpack it, and it takes a toll; not only on the other person but on yourself.

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Remember that quote “love yourself before you love someone else”. I used to see it everywhere back in the day. I never quite understood it though, probably because I didn’t know what it meant to actually love yourself. Now I can’t say I completely agree with the phrase, just because I believe self-love is a never-ending journey and should continue even when you’re in a relationship, but I do think it’s important to at least LIKE yourself and be comfortable with being alone before you try to love somebody else.  I didn’t. I always tried to keep myself busy and was always on the move so that I wouldn’t have to face all that was going on within. So, the relationships I was in, although with great people, it just wasn’t great circumstances, because how can I be in a healthy loving relationship with someone when I had an unhealthy one with myself? This cycle lasted awhile until God stepped in and did His thing!

Being single does not have to be daunting. It’s a period in your life that should be embraced and honestly, cherished. I have spent the last year and a bit not only growing my relationship with God but with myself. Unravelling and facing so many things head-on, being present and feeling every raw emotion without unpacking it on someone else. I’ve realized what brings me the most joy and what truly feeds my soul (like sunsets and deep conversations :))  I’ve taken myself on dates and learned how to actually sit in silence with my thoughts. I fell in love with nature, picked up new hobbies, tried new things and worked towards some of my personal goals. Discovering who you are is exhilarating.

Now I’m not saying anyone in a relationship can’t do all of this stuff. Of course! But because of where I was mentally, spiritually and emotionally, I had the wrong idea of relationships. I depended on that person for my happiness when really, they should be adding to it – not being the source of it. And because I didn’t truly know myself, I was compromising who I was and my life to fit theirs. You also feel validated in a relationship. It’s nice to be reminded by someone that you’re loved and beautiful, but the reality is you are already those things plus so much more. I was able to look in the mirror and start believing it without needing the affirmation from someone else. Without getting to know yourself, it’s also easy to settle for what you think you deserve. You might feel that something isn’t right, or this isn’t “your person”, but you stick around out of loneliness or comfort and then weeks together becomes months that becomes years. We end up tolerating relationships that take away from us, steal our peace and affect our joy. I heard someone say before “If you don’t have a standard before you get in relationships – the relationships will create the standard that you live by”.

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I don’t want to minimize the loneliness or sometimes pain that can come along with being single, I just want people to see the richness and beauty that can be found in this season. It’s a time to become a better person for ourselves while God prepares us for the person we’ll end up with someday. I am nowhere near perfect, but I am so much more aware of who I am, and deal with things in a healthier way. I know now that if God is not enough for me, no person ever will be.

2020 has really shown us that life is short, and time is valuable. Embrace and appreciate wherever you are right now in life and trust that God has a plan for your next season.

_Travel Opens Your Heart, Broadens Your Mind and fills your life with stories to tell_ -Paula Bendfeldt

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