I almost don’t want to write about this because it’s so personal, but my unofficial modus operandi is to share personal things in the hopes it will be helpful to others. And I keep thinking about the quote that’s on the bottom of a friend’s e-mail: “You’re only as sick as your secrets.” So here goes! My secret!
You may have noticed I’ve been a bit, er, obsessed about romantic love. Many of you have been on the receiving end of complaints about my love life, lamenting the lack thereof. And there was many a night I ached for a partner so much I cried. When I want something I want it fiercely, and a relationship has been no different. There really was a part of me that believed my life wouldn’t feel complete without a partner. That I was missing out on some amazing and magical phenomena that everyone else got to experience. It hasn’t helped I’ve been fed a steady diet of rom coms and love stories that portrayed finding “the one” as the most important and noble goal of life. Most of the stories ended of course when the couple got together, very few showing what it’s like in the day to day. Probably because it’s not as exciting.
Because I wanted romantic love so intensely I did everything to try to get it. I said affirmations, tried online dating, read books, stopped looking because “that’s when I’d find my partner,” felt happy as I was because “that’s when my man would come along,” prayed about it, tried to forget about it, used the law of attraction, focus wheels, created romance for myself, etc. You name it, I did it. Admitting that I feel a bit ashamed, but I also know shame is judging myself for how I think others will view me, and seriously, who hasn’t experienced at least a little bit of what I just described? For 15 years I really thought there was some formula I could follow to bring a man into my life. So the really amazing thing is I’ve stopped.
That’s right. I’ve let it all go. I’m no longer pining after a man either secretly or publicly. I no longer feel a great big void in my chest. For the first time I feel at peace where I am romantically, and I don’t mean I’m pretending to feel at peace because that will bring me my match, I mean I really feel at peace. I no longer feel lack in my life. Everything I thought I needed a partner for is already happening – my housemates make dinner for me, I travel to foreign countries with friends, and I already experience love from so many different people in different ways. I’m no longer dreaming of the day when “Prince Charming” swoops in and saves me.
This may sound a little depressing, but at this point I’ve also come to accept my romantic relationship may never happen. Somehow by accepting that, by facing down one of my biggest fears of being a “spinster,” I’m ok with whatever happens. I’m ok with being single and I’m ok with being a wife. I’m really ok with all possibilities because I know all of this is completely out of my control. I thought I could shop for a man like I could shop for shoes because that’s what society has led me to believe, but it’s not true. There must be some divine mystical force behind all of it because if there wasn’t, I would have coupled up long ago.
I’m inspired because I finally feel at peace. I’m inspired because I never thought I’d be happy being single and now I finally am, really and truly. I’m inspired because I no longer pine after men hoping they’ll pick me. I’m inspired because for the first time EVER, being in a relationship doesn’t seem like the be-all, end-all I was making it out to be.
I dream of a world where we can all feel at peace where we are, not trying to feel one way or another. A world where we know we don’t lack for anything. A world where we live in the moment feeling grateful for what we have. A world where we know love is not something we find, but rather something that finds us.
Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.