I can officially say I’ve been single for an entire year. That’s the longest time I’ve spent by myself since I was 14 years old. The amount that I’ve learned about myself and about other people is incredible. Even with the repeated ego deaths and identity crisis, the past year has been a gift. That being said, of course there have been moments where I’ve missed having a companion, a partner in crime, a team mate; but I’ve found companionship in myself, my closest friends, and a spiritual connection with everything around me.
I’ve been observing relationships around me, asking people questions about their own relationships, the strengths, weaknesses, and foundation. “Do you love this person? HOW do you love them? WHY do you love them? WHAT do you love about them? How do you define love? How do you know you are IN love? Are you really IN love or ARE you love?” When you ask those questions and compare answers side by side, everyone seems to have a different definition of love, and their own ways of expressing that, or BEING that.
Sadly, I’ve noticed a trend with some people in relationships. Many of them are in a relationship with someone for the comfort factor. Everyone wants to be with someone. Everyone wants to feel loved. Everyone wants intimacy, someone who will make them feel safe, someone who can take care of them, or someone they can take care of. Everyone wants to be happy, and some people think that means falling in love. But waiting to “fall in love” means you are depending on another person for your happiness. Depending on another person to make you happy is selfish and unrealistic. Happiness begins with you, and you alone. Once you have achieved happiness and love for yourself, then you can share that with others, and no one can take it away from you.
The mentality of depending on another person for happiness and love creates dysfunctional relationships. People begin having expectations of their significant other, holding them to a high standard, expecting them to do this, or be that. People get in these predicaments because they fear being alone and they think they can change people. I’ve noticed with some relationships, one person will feel indebted to the other person for the security they provide. Some people never took the time to heal after one relationship and still have residual feelings when they enter a new relationship. Some people are so focused on starting a family, worry that time is running out, and settle for someone who’s “comfortable.” Do these people “love” each other? Perhaps they do, in their own way, to their own degree. But these relationships offer no freedom. These relationships are based on feeding each other’s ego and numbing each other’s insecurities.
No one should ever be in a relationship solely because they fear being alone. No one should ever be in a relationship thinking that “falling in love” will be the solution to their problems, bringing them happiness. No one should ever feel like they “owe” someone by staying in an unhealthy relationship. Love is free, it does not envy, it is not possessive, and it expects nothing in return. If you love something, set it free.
This year I’ve learned so much about loving myself and loving others. Love is a state of being.
A year ago I thought my world had ended and I would never trust or love again. But this year taught me that love is unconditional. The emotions that I felt a year ago, the depression and sorrow, they were merely a product of my pride and ego. I depended on Derek for my happiness, and when he failed like all humans do, I was lost and didn’t know how to find happiness again.
I loved Derek and I still do. Sometimes I think I love him more now than I did before because I’ve found love and happiness in myself and I’ve learned to forgive. Am I IN love? No. Am I love itself? Yes.
Rejection used to hurt, but now I know that if I truly love someone and myself, the rejection won’t hurt because I’m not depending on reassurance or reciprocated feelings to “be happy.” I’m already fucking happy, and that’s more liberating than any other feeling or state of being. I’m learning to love freely and unconditionally in all areas of my life.
Starve the Ego, Feed the Soul…