“The thing about being single is, you should cherish it. Because in a week, or a lifetime, of being alone, you may only get one moment. One moment when you’re not tied up in a relationship with anyone—a parent, a pet, a sibling, a friend. One moment when you stand on your own. Really, truly single. And then…it’s gone.” ~ Alice, How to Be Single
I smiled as I offered puja on the Ganges River in India.
Offering pujas is a Hindu ritual that shows reverence to the Divine. I created my puja with flowers, fruit, incense and a candle. I then lit my candle and wrote on a piece of paper what I wished to send flowing down the Ganges and eradicate from my life.
On that paper I wrote my last destructive relationship and its dismal memories. I placed it among the flowers and put the it in the water. I felt happiness rush through me as I watched my ceremonial bundle with the paper inside flow downstream.
I was happy, because at that exact moment I was truly single for the first time in my life.
The truth is, I never knew how to be single.
I feared that I would end up hopeless and alone—so, I jumped from relationship to relationship, never allowing myself to be with myself.
In hindsight, I’m lucky that my last relationship inflicted so much suffering that I realized it was about time to be single. I learned a key lesson in maitri; I would never be able to build a healthy relationship with anyone before I learned how to build a good one with myself.
I’m now glad to say I’m happily single.
I’m convinced we should be single at least once in our lifetime, in spite of the fact that society has developed a definition of singlehood as wrong and difficult. Hollywood presents this as truth. The music and film industry almost always revolves around a story line on relationships, romance and love.
Rarely do we watch a movie tackling the importance of being alone.
A recent interaction with a fellow single woman left a lasting impression on me.
Despite the successful life she’s leading and the beauty and wit she is blessed with, she thinks her life makes no sense because there is no man to love her and fill the void. She stated she was tired of pressure from her friends to be in a relationship.
It’s not her fault she thinks she’s hopelessly single. I remember feeling the same way (and in hindsight, my perspective was all wrong when I felt this way).
Single people, please know this: there’s great bliss in being alone.
Until the right person comes along—or until we decide to enter a relationship—let’s cherish our singlehood.
I consider myself now lucky enough to have all the time in the world just for myself. I’m cherishing my freedom, my independence, my choices, and my ethics. I’m fully responsible for myself and happiness.
This time, I’m building myself before building any romantic relationship. I’m tenaciously grabbing this opportunity with both fists and transforming it into something exquisite.
Relationships allow us to find ourselves on a deeper level. However, I came to see that finding myself alone is different than finding myself with a significant other. At the end of the day, when we are in a relationship, the “we” outweighs the “me.”
Now, I’m placing the “me” first so I can attract the right “we.” I’m learning to love my naked soul before a person comes along and chooses it.
The discovery of the self alone is as essential as the discovery of the self with a significant other. We get to know who we are on a personal level. To be single is the time to build our identity and flavor it with the spices we fancy.
There are so many parts of ourselves that get buried when we end painful relationships. At the annihilation of every relationship, we carry abundant emotional and mental baggage. We never give ourselves the proper time to detox.
Singlehood is the time to cleanse ourselves from the energetic and physical ties of past relationships.
Singlehood prepares us to be in a relationship. When we learn how to make our own choices, we will find the person who will choose us. That person will see the completeness we have been building, and in return, show us theirs.
“You don’t have to be part of a couple to be happy, you know.” ~ Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Relationships bring about gratification, but so does being single.
Unless we learn to find ourselves first, the right person will never find us. The void we are keen to fill can be filled with love, activities, travel, hobbies and friendships. Fill it with passion and hope. Fill it with everything that maddens your soul.
Don’t be afraid to ride solo. There is nothing to fear; it’s not something arduous to accomplish. The best discovery many of us have yet to make is the one that includes ourselves. Because trust me, when you find yourself, you will find everything else.
Instead of focusing on of being alone, focus on all the beautiful things in your life. Dig deep into your soul and extract all the stunning, striking traits that make you shine. Understand this is a reason behind it, and that reason is to find yourself.
Singlehood can get so awesome that you may want it to last longer.
“There are worse things than being alone. But it often takes decades to realize this. And most often when you do, it’s too late. And there’s nothing worse than too late.” ~ Charles Bukowski
Author: Elyane Youssef
Image: Unsplash/Christopher Harris
Editor: Caitlin Oriel