Single Life Perks – The Value of Walking the Path Alone
Having written an Instagram post earlier this month in honour of Singles Awareness Day (yes, it’s an actual thing!) and having spent an inexcusable portion of my adult life ‘walking the path alone’ and embracing these 'single life perks', I felt a blog dedicated to the opportunities that single life affords us was called for. So, whether you are currently single, or considering entering the world of singledom, here are some benefits worth a mention...brace yourself we are going in deep from the outset!
1. Time to Focus on Emotional Healing
We all have a story to tell - a past, unhealed traumas and losses, emotional scars. We have all had experiences which have caused us self-doubt, judgement, shame; experiences that have eaten away at our self-esteem, self-belief, and self-worth. Experiences which continue to haunt our thoughts and emotions, and somehow seem to attract further painful experiences into our lives. When we hold onto painful thoughts, memories, and emotions we unconsciously take them with us into every relationship we have. Emotional wounds from the past almost always open back up demanding to be healed, and is a painful process for everyone involved.
Being single gives us the time to work on our emotional scars; to understand them, reframe them, transmute them, let them go; and to grow from them stronger, wiser, and more resilient. The the path of the single warrior is to face and exorcise their demons and break free from the chains that bind them so as to enjoy the ultimate freedom - inner peace! This is usually when we start to explore different healing modalities and where Mindfulness and Life Coaching can be the gateway to deep emotional healing. The path to healing is also the path to self-discovery and mastery; it can be uncomfortable, even excruciating at times, but the rewards are incomparable.
2. Learning to Love Yourself
We can only accept the love we think we deserve. And how we love ourselves is how we teach others to love us. Sadly, however, many of us have had to go through life with low sense of self worth and belief due to experiences we have had along the way. There are things we do not like about ourselves, sometimes even hate; we doubt our abilities, and we tell ourselves things that hold us back from showing the world who we really are. This type of self-rejection makes it difficult to attract a healthy relationship or to maintain one, because self-doubt and fear of rejection will always make themselves known in the end.
What is not always obvious is that we would have learnt to deny, suppress, and reject certain aspects of ourselves from a very early age. We were all born relationally dependent on our adult caregivers who were responsible for socialising us into the world. They taught us what aspects of ourselves were socially acceptable and what parts were unacceptable (at least to them). They did this by approving and praising us for the behaviour they liked (e.g., being quiet and obedient); and when we did things they didn’t like they would judge, criticise, shame and reject us (e.g., when we were loud, or became aggressive or demanding). So we learnt to exaggerate the qualities they approved of and suppress the qualities they disapproved of. This would have created a splitting within the psyche and is sadly our first act of self-hate. But these qualities/parts which make up our authentic selves never really disappear – they merely hide in the subconscious until the opportunity arises for them to come out of the shadows. Romantic relationships provide the perfect conditions for this to happen, and very often we get to see a side of ourselves that we do not like, or try to hide from.
The path of the single warrior is to bring light to the shadows – the parts of ourselves that we dislike, are ashamed of, hate, deny, bury away – and to learn to love those aspects so that we can integrate the broken pieces of ourselves back together and become whole once again. The fear of being seen for all that we are is usually at the forefront of what holds us back from attracting or developing a relationship, because as cliché as it may sound, how can we expect someone else to love us unconditionally if we cannot unconditionally love ourselves. By working on self-love we can eventually attract healthy relationships into our lives, instead of relationships which trigger our shadows and fill us with even more conflict and self-hate. Here are 30 Self Love Exercises to help you get started - Increase Clients' Self-Love With These 30 Exercises, Techniques and Worksheets (positivepsychology.com).
3. Discovering Who You Are
Who are you? What do you like? What do you want? What don't you want? What is important to you? What do you want to achieve? What unique imprint do you want make in this world? What is your legacy? If we don't know the answers to these types of questions, and if we are not living authentically and in alignment with who we are, then we are never going to be happy living off the back of someone else's life. While we are all intrinsically connected, we come into this world and leave it as individuals. We are therefore all on very personal journeys with a mission to discover and create who and what we are. Bypassing this process will only suppress our core wants, needs and desires which will eventually re-arise and cause us to go into crisis.
Self-discovery is an amazing experience and one that can be prioritised while we are single. To help you get started here is link for self-discovery type questions - 52 Weeks of Self-Discovery Prompts for Your Bullet Journal | Page Flutter - and a free questionnaire to help you identify what your core values are https://personalvalu.es/ - only by knowing what truly matters to us can we hope to attract a relationship with someone compatible.
4. Focusing on the Other Pillars in Life
In order to live a healthy, happy and abundant life, we need to ensure the various pillars in our lives are solid enough to withstand the storms life will inevitably bring our way. These pillars include our home, our work/study, our relationships, our physical health, our emotional health and our spiritual/personal growth. When we focus too much time and attention on romantic relationships (surges in love hormones often prompt this type of behaviour) the other pillars often get forgotten and neglected. As a result, our foundations weaken and our roofs risks collapse when life’s storms come in and obstacles inevitably come hurtling our way. Ensuring all pillars in life are solid and resilient, make attracting and maintaining a healthy happy romantic relationship much easier when the time is right. So when we are single this gives us the opportunity to focus on our careers, our learning, our friends and family, our hobbies and passions, getting our home and finances in order, optimising our mental and physical health etc. And we should remain mindful that like attracts like – when we present the best version of ourselves to the world the world has a habit of mirroring it back!
5. Building Independence & Resilience
I saw a quote the other day which said: “if you have the courage to make it through a lonely night with nothing but self-destructive thoughts to keep you company, darling you have the courage to make it through anything”. Walking the path alone is not easy – it can be lonely, it can make us feel exposed, vulnerable, sometimes even unsafe; and it allows for all our insecurities to come to the surface. But it is in the stillness and silence of our own company that our greatest strengths can be cultivated – you ask yourself questions, you seek and find answers, you allow yourself to dream, you find solutions, you create, you manifest, you develop wisdom, independence, and resilience. These are lessons which cannot always be taught with or by others. These are lessons which are learnt best when we walk the path alone and are essential for our personal growth, self-mastery and evolution.
6. Be Unapologetically Self-Indulgent
As everybody knows, healthy relationships are about working as a team, compromising, taking the best interests of the other person as your own etc. It can often mean having to do things we don’t especially want to do (e.g., few people enjoy cleaning up after someone else); making decisions we wouldn’t otherwise make (e.g., visiting the in-laws when you’d prefer to hang our with a friend); showing interest in things we have no personal interest for (e.g., watching football or trashy reality tv shows); even living life in a way that compromises our personal happiness (e.g., going to holiday to Euro Disney when we’d rather be trekking through the Amazon jungle….or maybe that’s just me!).
Being single affords us the luxury of being unapologetically self-indulgent and doing exactly what we want to, when we want to. To get up when we like, eat what we like, see who we like, do what we like…we can design our lives to include all the things that we value and bring us joy. Because once we find ourselves in a relationship this type of freedom often disappears. If we are fortunate it can be replaced with something even better, but in the meantime we should at least try to cherish the time we have when our little world revolves around us!
Now don’t get me wrong, I appreciate we are social creatures and that love indeed makes the world go round. But while we wait to meet the right person, finding the joy in single life is key for raising our energetic vibration in order to attract a compatible partner and cultivating a healthy happy relationship. It also reduces levels of resistance we may have about our single status; high resistance to being single creates a sense of panic and desperation which is often off-putting for anyone who may romantically cross our path because even unconsciously people pick up on vibes. Learning patience, to accept what is, being grateful for all the opportunities single life gives us, liking and loving who we are and the life we have created, is more likely to attract a partner who is in alignment with the best version of you when the time is right.
If you are interested in accessing Life Coaching to support you on your journey towards attaining your single life perks – e.g. building your confidence, healing and letting go of painful past experiences, learning to love and care for yourself, exploring who you are and what you want, balancing all your pillars in life, building your resilience or learning how to raise your vibe to attract the right mate - then be sure to complete the consultation request form on my website www.themindfullifecoachuk.com and we can arrange a free call to discuss how I can help you!
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