Own Alone

For the past 8 years, I was a Valentine’s Day zombie.  Devouring hearts, aimlessly wandering greeting card aisles and drooling over a bunch of crap.  What can I say?  I’d been bitten.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong with love and the expression of it on Valentine’s Day.  If that’s what you’ve got going on, own it!  But for me, right now, I’m putting the own back in alone.  Maybe you are, too.

I used to hate the word “alone”.  Being alone?  Gross!  Why?  Now, I revel in it.  What changed?  I’m finally learning to love myself.  I know, your eyes are burning from the cliché of it all, but it’s true!  Self-love may be the slippery unicorn of life, but it’s attainable.  Take it from a recovered hater.

I didn’t just wake up one day and think “Gee whiz! Being alone is the greatest!”  Nope.  In fact, after my husband took off I was all but surgically attached to my mother.  I could barely function on my own because I had been part of a unit for so many years.  I didn’t know how to be Tiff anymore.  I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat, and I had amnesia.  I had forgotten that I was capable of taking care of myself and, most importantly, that I could thrive.

The learning curve was steep, but it was incredible.  Soon after my separation, I rekindled a friendship with a buddy who was also going through a divorce.  She stayed over one night and had to leave early in the morning, but not before she left me a note.  The note had instructions for self-care.  Things that had worked for her.  I wasn’t quite ready at the time to implement her great ideas, but it was the first time I started to see a light.  I have spent a lot of time with my buddy in recent months, and each time I learn something new from her about the beauty of alone.  She’s still learning, too.

It’s tough to be alone because there is silence.  Sometimes the silence is deafening.  That’s when the growing happens.  If you pop all of your thought bubbles, you will never watch them float effortlessly on the wind.  You have to observe them sometimes.  Other times, you need to just get up and dance, take a walk or watch your favorite show.  No matter how you do alone, remind yourself that there is healing in it.

I don’t say any of this to be preachy, or to lead the Valentine’s Day counterculture.  I say it because it’s possible that you are bumming hard today because you don’t have someone to remind you that you are loved.  Ah-ha, but you do!  You have you.

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