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Mary E. Vandenack: Living Single

LIVING A HAPPY AND LOVE-FILLED LIFE AS A SINGLE

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The happy person is happy in a relationship or out of one. If we aren’t happy on our own, we really can’t bring happiness to a relationship. True happiness exists when your state of mind isn’t dependent on having someone or something. It is a way of looking at life. You can be annoyed by the fact that mosquitoes bite or amazed that such a small creature would have the courage to bite something so much larger than itself. You can choose to be jealous that someone can afford to drive a car you cannot or thrilled that someone invented automobiles and that there is such a great variety of them available.
 

After my divorce many years ago, I took seriously the suggestion of taking some time off from the dating world. After an initial transitional relationship, I decided to take a break. I set out to become physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially dependent. I wanted to become so emotionally healthy and happy that I wouldn’t change my single status unless I met someone who really added to my life.
 

I achieved that. I’m not always there. It ebbs and it flows, but I am happy far more than I am unhappy and my life is full.
 

The risk of seeking and achieving independence is that you might end up alone. I am pretty sure that if you are truly happy, you will not choose poorly when you do choose. The beauty is that you become truly content with yourself and who you are. You become patient. You learn that not having someone is not a negative reflection on you but rather a positive. When you choose a relationship from happiness, you will have a better chance of sustaining the relationship. That has certainly been true of other relationships in my life. One of my all-time favorite quotes is, “A relationship is most beautiful when two people’s love for each other exceeds their need for each other.”
 

My favorite recent song is “This Is Who I Am.” I absolutely love the lyrics. “Well, it’s alright to be myself, I have learned to stand. It’s okay to be who I am. I’ve spent years really hating me longing to be friends...I don’t care if I’m fat or if you think my clothes are bad. I’m a good person... This is Who I am.”
 

In my yoga practice in recent years, the constant message has been that all love starts with self-love. While I could understand that intellectually and thought I had that down, the fact is I still struggle. One of my significant revelations of the past few years is that self-love comes when we are okay with who we are as we are RIGHT NOW. My internal message used to be that I would care about myself when I had become who I wanted to be instead of who I am. I have finally let go of that knowing that achieving personal change is a process and that the process will actually happen faster if I really do accept where I am.

 

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