One night, as I was struggling to make sense of this crazy life that was mine, I had an epiphany. I realized that my own fulfillment and happiness in this life mattered more to me than the pursuit of a romantic partner.
Now, I understand that this might not be the most popular opinion out there, so let me explain how I came to this conclusion for myself.
There is an undeniable gift that comes when you focus on yourself without the distractions of a partner.
Don’t get me wrong, a partner is a beautiful thing, when it’s for the right reasons.
However, most of us grow up seeing examples of relationships that are based on conditional love as opposed to unconditional love. Why? Because both parties are afraid of revealing their true weaknesses or the parts of themselves that they have deemed unworthy. They would rather hide these fearful parts of themselves for fear that, if they were to show them to their partner, they would be judged and abandoned.
So I found myself asking: Why does it have to be this way? Why do I see everyone around me struggling with the same relationship issues? Why am I constantly attracting emotionally unavailable guys?
Newsflash: it was because I was emotionally unavailable to myself. I left myself on read for years and years without a response as to why I was actually settling for less. So I decided I was done with the drama —I wanted some real answers.
And lo and behold, the answers started to come when I stopped dating.
I started to realize that heartbreak stems from the fact we believe ourselves to be un-whole, thus we unconsciously look for someone to make us whole.
Who told us that we are un-whole? Where did we take on this notion that there is something missing from us that only romantic love can magically heal? (I’m looking at you, Disney princess movies…) And how can we start to heal this longing?
When we take the time to be independent and to listen to our thoughts and emotions without judgement, we learn how to get rid of the band-aid and to finally have the courage to disinfect the wound on our own (gross, I know).
Another person cannot do this for us — you have to do it for yourself. And yes, it might take some tearful nights and some lonely hours.
But I promise you this: it will be worth it.
Because in the end, this new kind of love will be a love that knows that we are imperfect. It will be a love that honors the fact that we all have shadows and hidden pain. It will be a love that has danced through the darkness of shame and came out into the light. It will be a love that got buried under the burden of being human and decided to come out fighting anyways.
It will be your wildest and greatest love. And it will be you.