These days, the idea of a relationship attracts a million and one different online articles talking about what you need to do to be in the perfect relationship. Instead of simply following our hearts, letting come what comes, we go out chasing something with a specific list of how it must be. And much of the time, we’re let down. Or so it seems.
The title of this piece isn’t to suggest that single is better, it’s about neutralizing both experiences. Single or in a relationship, neither is better, they simply are two different experiences, and the truth is, if you want to be happy and at peace, you must BE YOURSELF and find peace in both scenarios.
It almost appears that we, at least in the west, are obsessed with finding ‘the one’ and the ‘perfect relationship.’ Sure, marriage is happening less these days, but we still sit thinking about how everything must be in a relationship for us to be happy. But have we ever questioned the purpose of a relationship? What we get from it beyond just the joys of sharing life with someone? What about the growth? Challenging one another? Having them push our buttons so we can see ourselves more clearly etc.
Why at the end of relationships do we commonly end up hating the person we were with? Why is it then normal to want to avoid them like the plague? Simple, because we don’t want to face our feelings about it. We’d rather suffer than move through the challenges and find peace. It’s interesting because for all the stuff it seems we choose to go through in how we approach relationships, you’d think people would want to be alone more. But we don’t.
Why are we so afraid to be single? To be ‘alone?’ Are we truly even alone? Or are we just not sharing a physical space with another? Most of us have friends, family and co-workers we see regularly, so is not being in a relationship truly being alone? That depends on you, your definition and your lifestyle.
Taking time to be alone, even if in a relationship, is quite important. I have run a challenge for the past 4 years that asks people to take 1 hour of alone time each day, in that time you can’t see people, use phones or electronics etc. The point is to be with YOU. Ready for the shocker? This challenge has single handedly got me thousands of bits of “this changed my entire life” feedback, even more so than many of the other things I’ve done since founding CE. Why? Because it’s simple and it’s what we need to be doing to understand ourselves.
What is this idea of discovering who we are by spending time alone and going within? Does it mean moving to the far away reaches of nature to move away from everything and everyone? Does it mean 5 minutes in the morning? That’s for you to decide, but in the end if you are not in a position where you let your mind stop thinking about all the things that are constantly going, you’re not digging deep enough yet.
When you do get to this space, it’s now about exploring how you feel, what is in your heart, what you are feeling guided or called to do. When you take actions from this space, your decisions and what you bring into your life is much different than when you simply act from the mind.
The truth is, this type of exploration can happen whether you are single or in a relationship, but you have to make the time for it. One of the biggest struggles I see so many of us in the modern world go through is how we lose ourselves in relationships, and every day life too! No more alone time, not more introspections, nor more reflecting on what we wish to have or do. We move into sacrifice mode and are constantly bending and breaking to fulfill the push and pull of our situation. While some compromise is necessary at times, it’s almost like we’ve chosen to let that idea of compromise take over everything!
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So let’s take some time to reflect. When is the last time you had alone time whether you are single or alone? That means no phone or TV too! When is the last time you checked into your hearts true desires and acted upon those? Are you finding yourself really badly wanting to find ‘the one?’ If so, are you not at peace having not found them yet?
Enjoy the moment, enjoy where you are at. Everything will fall into place as it needs to.
These pictures below are a reminder of some of the freedoms that can come when you ‘have the place to yourself.’
These illustrations were beautifully produced by Mexico-based illustrator Idalia Candelas.
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