Many fairy tales end with the line: “And they lived happily ever after.” Ditto for most romantic movies, which have the same implied message: true happiness lies in being coupled. The holy grail of life is to find that special person. Certainly, life can be quite wonderful if you are lucky enough to find a great mate, but what if you are in a hiatus between relationships? What if you haven’t met that person who tempts you away from singlehood? What if you are devoted to something else meaningful? What if you are in a different stage of life where plumbing your depths, being with friends, or work calls to you more loudly than romance? There are many paths to joy; a committed romantic relationship is just one.
What if you believed you’re the one you’ve been looking for? Sit back and allow yourself the luxury of thinking about how believing that might feel in your heart, mind, life, relationships, work, and family.
Where do you feel that thought in your body?
What physical sensations come up for you?
Did you notice a sense of peace?
Were you aware of a lack of striving, being just fine in the moment?
How would your life change if you really believed you are the one you’ve been looking for?
Think about it. Stop reading for a few minutes and really ask yourself that question and the following ones.
If you truly believed you were more than enough, how would that change what you accept from others?
Would your perception of yourself change? If so, how?
What would you consider when making life choices?
Would your view of your body change? If so, how?
Would you spend time with the people you associate with now?
How would this affect your relationships with friends, family, romantic partners, and coworkers?
How would your self-care routines change? Would you take more time to nurture yourself?
How would your sleeping patterns change?
How would your eating habits change?
How might your behavior toward others be affected? Start by thinking about generosity, compassion, and patience. Would they increase, decrease, or stay the same?
If you like the answers to your inquiries, how might you go about becoming the person who simply feels good inside?
Here are a few ideas to get you going:
When you hear that inner critic pushing you to be different from how you are, gently tell it you are being in this moment as fully as possible. It may not be your happiest moment because life intrudes. Perhaps you have cramps, a headache, or a sick child waiting to be picked up from school. You don’t have to do your best all the time. It’s OK to feel cranky, irritable, annoyed, impatient, displeased, even self-pitying.
Paradoxically, if you allow yourself to embrace whatever feelings arise, you will experience more peace and joy. As you become more self-accepting, you will accept other people’s foibles with greater ease and equanimity. Ironically, this ability to settle in with your least favorite moods and emotions actually makes you more present with other people’s. Your awareness and sensitivity make you a better friend, listener, and participant in life, whether you’re coupled or solo.
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