Tuesday, August 20, 2013

You Are Not Single

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You probably already know that I use social media to reach part of my audience. One day while updating my Face Book profile, I saw the relationship status prompt. Mine was single, as usual and seeing this caused a twinge of discomfort, as usual. This time, I decided to pay attention to my feelings. I did this by exploring my discomfort. This is what I found:
  • Single means alone…a single rose, single word, single person.
  • I was uncomfortable with the label because I did not feel alone.
  • I realized that none of us are single.
Armed with the previous insight, this is what I did:
  • Claimed my power by choosing the label that was mine.
  • Lived my power by changing my status from single to in a relationship.

While we are focused on all of the many external relationships that we have or want to have, how often do we even think about our internal relationship? That is, the relationship we have with self. Following Ready, Set, Date required that we pay some attention to our internal relationship, but my guess would be that this is a neglected area. Humans are by nature externally focused and we build relationships with others from this frame of reference. We diligently search for friends, lovers, communities of people all while we ignore the connection within.

In addition, while we search for our other half, we often wear the scarlet S for single with shame. Only when we think our search has ended do we gladly discard the S for the coveted Y for yoked. Once yoked to the love of our lives, we expect to live happily ever after. We are totally surprised, depressed and lost when our love becomes just another statistic. In case you have been under a rock in the back of a cave on a mile high mountain, more than half of marriages ends in divorce.

Internally focused relationships are not an excuse for us to be selfish, self-involved or self-centered. Having a conscious relationship with self is difficult work and is how we learn to live as adults in the world. This is how we come to understand the ways in which we have been shaped and influenced by the experiences and people from our past. This understanding is how we make decisions in the present about who we want close and who we need to keep at a distance; how we recognize the difference between people and situations that are good for us and those that are not.

Often we focus mainly on having good relationships with our family members, furry friends, community members, neighbors, colleagues, religious communities. These are important but they keep us externally focused. Being externally focused most of the time interferes with the lifetime job of self-knowledge. Internally focused relationships are how we develop and maintain a sense of who we are. Knowing who we are means we understand what we need which gives us the confidence to wait and not settle. 

  • Not settling means that we have the patience to refrain from bouncing from one person to another because we fear being alone. 
  • Not settling means that we have the strength to leave as soon as we realize that a relationship is moving toward being unhealthy. 
  • Not settling means that we do not try to change, rescue or redeem anyone because we want to be yoked. 
  • Not settling means we do not wait around hoping for change until the wrong relationship grows into one that is so damaging that we are left with scars, pain and emotional bandages once we finally walk away.
On the other hand, when we develop and care for our internal relationship, when we progress from childhood and take on the responsibility of adulthood, we find power that we never thought we had; power that belongs only to us.
  • We have the power to share who we are with another without losing the sense of who we are. This means we can imagine life without fill in the name because we know that our life does not begin and end with one person or group of people. The whole process of grieving involves learning how to live your life when the person you loved is gone.
  • We have the power to accept another into our lives without feeling as though we need to change the person into someone who mirrors us. This means that we are able to be with someone, love someone, commit to someone with all of their flaws, beauty, successes and failures; we can truly see the person we love as independent, on her own journey, with his own energy, values, passions and dreams. That kind of love is the biggest gift one can give to another.
You are not single. You have yourself. 

Recognize your relationship. 
Claim your relationship. 
Be in your relationship.

From my PowerLife to yours,


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