A part of this post is dedicated to my mom whose mindful, persistent and compassionate nagging has led me to finally approach the question: Why am I still single?
For the record, my current relationship status has nothing to do with my past breakup. I am not lingering in the past.
If anything, my current state is independent of all past relationship successes and failures — but there are lessons to be learned in both. So, why am I still flying solo?
There is one lesson that I pulled from every relationship, and I haven’t really had that many, to be honest. I always gave 101 percent, even when more than half of that meant losing time with family, friends and myself.
After my last breakup, I knew I looked like a perfect little housewife. Anything that had to be done, I did. I drove, I bought, I defended, I supported, I lied and covered up in the name of love and loyalty.
I managed, I tolerated and I sacrificed everything. I held strong and I held long to a concept I hadn't really contemplated, because there was no me in my relationship.
I left the building. I kept silent and I created a room for love in my heart because I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I loved unconditionally because I expected that same level of love in return.
It never truly came, but disappointment did, and I tolerated that, as well. Expressions like, “It doesn't matter to me, you decide,” became frequent. I held a neutral ground where everything was a green light just so that our perfect, little, happy place didn't turn bad and we could avoid a fight.
I now know that I don’t handle conflict well; I shy away from it because I don’t know my true inner strength. But, in that relationship, I shied away from the reality that not everything is happy and peaceful and that sometimes, couples need to fight to reach new levels in their relationships.
I didn't want to believe that because I knew it would mean facing my own shadow, and that simply wasn't going to happen. It took a long time for me to reach a bottom from which I could look up and see just how far I’d let myself fall.
I experienced a hard breakup that shattered me only because I built a series of expectations that were irrational and superficial. I released my anger and hurt the ones around me with my silence and my depression. I hurt myself.
Only after I fell to pieces did I find the will and reason to put myself back together again. Not everyone can walk away from a broken love, strong and proud. I am simply not that kind of person and I never will be.
I am sensitive and I am emotional. I find that writing this post alone is difficult because I feel exposed. But, that’s alright; it feels okay now, and here’s why:
I opened my heart to someone who, at that time, was ready to receive it, and I was happy. But, the one person who deserved all of the love I was giving away freely was me. I didn't love myself enough, but I loved someone else.
This past year has been a pure transformation for me. Little by little, I am facing my inner demons and my shadow, and with each little encounter, walls come down.
I feel more naked than I ever have in my entire life, but in that exposure, I feel pure. I feel a burning light at the center of my being, and I know it’s getting slightly brighter each time.
It’s self-love, and it’s the pure and unconditional love that we all possess and need to feel and share.
It’s the love I thought I knew and thought I gave to my partner, but never to myself. Now I can work on that, and I can divert the attention inward to find the foundation from which that love can grow outward.
I've realized that no matter how much I go out and search for someone, I’m not quite done searching for myself. I’d like to give myself the extra time to cozy up in this new identity, and I know I want to feel secure in my own heart before I can open it up to someone else.
It’s not about fear; I've forgiven my past partner and I've forgiven myself. This has enabled me to go on and pursue this inward path. It’s about acceptance and it’s a new beginning.
Being single doesn't mean you’re lonely because your friends are dating and you feel like a third wheel. Being single is a strong-minded decision that shapes you and changes you for the better so that once someone does come along, you greet him or her with an open heart that is free of baggage and regret.
Sorry, mom. You’ll just have to wait a little bit longer.