This year I did something that has changed the course of my entire life. I left my marriage. I made the decision to be a single mom at 26 years old. This was a totally unexpected move from me because my entire family has always felt that a family dynamic should look a certain way. You should be married. And when you do get married, it should be forever. And when you have kids, the best thing for them is their parents staying together forever...right? Well, life is not always that simple. Whether you made the decision to leave your relationship, the circumstances were beyond your control, or you’re single because you’re consciously taking time to be by yourself, here are a few of the lessons that I hope inspire you to love yourself in this season.
Lesson 1 : It’s okay to be upset about not having a partner, and to feel grief for the love you had.
When everyone around you is going on dates with their special someone, and proclaiming their love for each other for all of Facebook to see, it can hurt to feel left out. The First Anniversary that you’re not together anymore, or the first Valentine’s Day, you might grieve the love you used to have. YOU CAN DO BOTH. You can be so happy that you’re no longer with someone, and also so sad that it didn’t last forever. You can make the choice to cut a toxic person or relationship out, and be sad that you had to make that choice. It’s not weird for happiness and pain to co-exist when you reflect on your relationship and your singleness.
Lesson 2: Singleness is not a hindrance. It is permission and empowerment to live life your way.
I know this may contradict how it feels to be single on a daily basis. It can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. What if, instead of letting that weight crush us, we silenced the voice that’s telling us we can’t hold it, and we started lifting that sh*t. Little by little, we get stronger. And we realize the weight that used to crush us has now made us so strong that it’s no longer holding us back. It’s actually empowered us to take on MORE. You can do that by changing your view on the decisions you’re responsible for as a single person. Do you need to try to make enough income for 2, to replace what your partner used to cover? How badass will it be when you make it happen? Do you have to wrangle the kids alone when you go on trips with them? How special will it be when they have memories with their mom that last them a lifetime? The things that we can view as hindrances are opportunities for us to step up and own this life ourself. Your kids may not know now, but they will see in the future that it was MOM who got it done. Let that be your fuel when you’re empty.
Lesson 3 : You do not need to wait for a partner to complete you. You are complete. Right here. Right now.
When my marriage came to an end, it felt like a part of me was going away. For 10 years I was with my ex..half of my teenage life, and all of my adult life. I couldn’t help but wonder what life was going to be when I was no longer someone’s wife. I want to encourage you to do the soul searching that it takes to remember that you are whole. You are not waiting for someone to complete you. Your life as a single woman is complete. IF and WHEN the right person comes along it won’t be because you are a victim that needs saving. It will be because you compliment each other's wholeness. If you read the bible, it says about marriage “...the two shall become one.” and this has always struck me because it says very specifically the 2...2 whole people...shall become 1. Not “the incomplete woman shall eventually be completed by her incomplete partner”
You are whole right now.
This Valentine’s Day, write yourself a love letter. I know it sounds cheesy, but stick with me. Force yourself to approach this letter as if you’re writing it to your best friend who just came to you saying “I need help - I’m not feeling loved right now - can you tell me something special about myself?” Don’t stop with 1 thought. Keep going and save that letter for a rainy day. I hope you spend this Valentine’s Day living in the power that you are not “less than” as a single woman. Grieve, and be whole. Be empowered to carry the weight with supernatural strength. And most of all, love yourself <3 .
-Alexis McCarthy is a REALTOR® & blog contributor with Rockstar Real Estate & Media Group at KW Jersey Shore. She is a mother to her son, Levi, who she refers to as her "why".