“Learning to be alone, and enjoying it, is the most empowering gift you can give yourself.” ~ S. Aitchison
Despite the smile upon my radiant face, inside a voice whispered—what if I am alone forever?
It’s a voice that I have been at war with for years. It’s a voice that kept me in an unhappy and unhealthy relationship far longer than I should have been, because I was afraid of being alone.
I spent many dark nights having conversations with this subconscious fear, because I’d thought that accepting any old love was better than not having any at all.
But that’s the thing about our fears—eventually we must conquer them, whether we want to or not.
At some point, between the times I spent on my knees crying and letting my face be warmed by the brilliant sun, I made the choice to leave where I was—not because I could see where I would end up, but because staying became impossible.
It didn’t matter if I was alone anymore, as long as I was happy.
When I left my relationship, I didn’t even know what would make me happy—but I took small steps in the direction of whatever made me smile. I stumbled at times and played with situations that I should have stayed far away from, because I still needed attention to feel worthy.
I still needed someone else to make me smile.
Yet even when I was covered in the residue of discontentment and lay down to bed each evening, the only thing that I wanted was someone there with me.
I didn’t want artificial attention, drama or sex—I wanted love.
Yet because I still hadn’t fallen in true love with myself, it remained just out of my reach—and it seemed the more I tried to grasp a hold of it, the farther it slipped away from me.
And the voice would still whisper—what if I am alone forever?
Then something surprising and sublimely beautiful happened—this time, I answered the voice and said: “So what if I am alone forever?”
So what if I don’t find someone who wants to stay?
So what if I continue to remain just a little too much?
And so what if romantic love just isn’t meant for me?
I realized that the entire time I was wondering if I would always be alone, it was because at the time I felt alone.
It didn’t matter how many friends I had, or how many suitors I had begging for my attention.
I felt alone—and so, I self-fulfilled my prophecy of being alone.
But instead of asking what if—I began to ask so what?
I came home to myself and opened my eyes to the blinding love that flutters within my radiant heart.
I had taken the time to make mistakes and to figure out just what makes me happy within this carousel of life.
Between long evenings spent in solitude—delicious bubble baths, yoga and meditation, trips alone and dinners out—I had not just fallen in love with myself, but with my entire life.
For the first time in my life, I not only knew who I was—I knew what I wanted.
I knew what I was worth, and I knew what type of relationship I wanted to have.
It was then that my life stopped being about finding someone to be with, and instead, it was about becoming someone who I want to be.
It wasn’t always easy. And of course, at times, I long for companionship—as we all do.
But my life is not set up to audition men to be my next lover, nor am I even spending time in the pursuit of love.
I am the woman who I wanted to be all along, and I truly believe now that nothing was ever meant to work out before.
If I had entered into a relationship before I was at this point, then I would never had known if I was with him because I truly respected and loved him, or if it was just because I simply had a fear of being alone.
I can see the difference now, in trying to make a situation work that just was never meant to, and the type of relationship that comes so effortlessly no amount of denial or fear can hamper its progression.
I have learned the difference between being desired and being loved.
I also have come to the point where I no longer ask: “Why would he love me?” Because I’m too busy thinking: “How could he not?” And this is the gift of self-love.
I have taken my time on this journey, hitting the delete button more times than I can count, but it has paid off because no longer do I spend evenings having conversations with my inner fear about whether I will end up alone—because I know that I won’t.
I know that I am meant for love—that I am meant to be someone’s wife.
And I believe that love is already on its way, even if I can’t see clearly through the mist yet.
I trust in this journey of life, and I know that in those uncomfortable moments, there are also those in which we have the opportunity to truly learn the most.
When we do finally fall in love with ourselves, it’s not about holding out for that romantic love from one specific person, but rather—it’s about being love with every facet of our own lives.
I extend love to all of those who are in my life—or even simply cross my path—because now I know that loving in the way that I do is my super power.
I know that not only I am worthy of love—but I deserve it too. So no, I don’t know when it will happen, but I do have the confidence that it will.
Because I’ve simply arrived at the point where everything I touch turns to love—and it’s only a matter of time until I touch the heart of a man whose been falling for me since the very first day we met.
And until then, I’m not alone—because I have myself, and I know now that is the most important aspect in learning to love another.
Author: Kate Rose
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina