It is crushing. Soul altering. Deafening. Defeating. Dulling. Traumatizing. The act of suppression. There was a time in my life when I woke up every day, willing to settle. To set my own needs aside and I was actually reminding myself; “You don’t always get what you want.” I was being an understanding partner, a kind and compassionate human being. Or so I thought. I was beaming with joy to have found a few qualities in another that I truly enjoyed. But when my other needs were not being met, I simply ignored them. I literally chose day after day to accept that which I did not want. Treatment I did not deserve. Love which was not unconditional. I allowed someone to steal from me. I was robbed of my passion for life, my love for my body, my flirtatious spirit, my sensuality, my deepest desires. I allowed this to be put aside. I agreed within my mind and heart that there was no way to have all my needs met. And I settled. Time and time again.
I have been single for 8 years. During these 8 years, I have taken back what I allowed to be stolen from me. It was not retrieved easily. It was a tug and pull within myself. I had never realized how much I was giving away. But the time I took out to give to myself- was the most beautiful time of my life. It did not start out easy. I was longing for someone to come in and be everything I wanted. I longed for companionship and trust. Fun. Passion. I longed for all of it… But as I began to date, I kept noticing the same patterns of the way in which I settled. How much I was giving away to be involved with someone else. I have not just been single for 8 years, I have been falling in love with myself for 8 years. Although I don’t believe you have to be single to do so, it was what I wanted. I took the time to understand what I needed. I took the time to understand why I felt so stifled. Where I wanted passion to sprout in my life. I took the time to fix myself a cup of coffee every morning and to listen to what was on my heart. I talked to myself. I took this time to really find a moment of compassion for how I felt. What I was going through. I learned so many wonderful things about myself during this time. I could literally write a book about everything I learned—-which was all beneath the surface of my limiting choices.
So these 8 years, they have not been a waste. They have not been a lonely disaster where I have sat in my own tears. However, that did happen some nights. I have sat with myself and simply listened. I have learned to give myself what I need.. Not as a response to isolate due to trauma, but as a healing process to provide myself with the love I deserve. I have always wanted a partner, and I do not believe that desire will leave me, but what has left me is the idea that I will ever have to say yes to something I am not okay with. Something that takes a little or a lot of joy away from me. I do not have to say yes to anything at all. It is my choice and my birthright to happiness.
I love that saying. “Happiness is my birthright.” But I did have a few questions I asked myself regularly. Who decides this is so? Have we ever been told we have a choice to happiness? And Why don’t we choose it if it is SUCH an option and possibility? I have learned it is our lack of belief in self. My problem was that something inside of me said,”You can not have it all.” I grew up in toxic relationships and witnessed chaos and hurt at a very young age. I was basically taught that’s what love is. You settle. You compromise. You endure. You keep going back. You “love unconditionally.” But what happened to loving myself unconditionally? I don’t like those types of suffocating relationships and I don’t want to do it anymore and so that is what I choose.
If I had to give anyone advice about how not to settle, it would be to have the mentality that “I can have it all.” Don’t give the excuses, or the what ifs or the “maybe they will change.” If you are not happy, walk the fuck away. Stop saying longer than you are wanting to. Stop giving your all to someone who is not capable of loving you as beautifully as you would like to be loved.
Beyond my desire for a partner, I have many other desires and passions, rightfully so. I enjoy adventures, friendship, traveling, and laughter. I have learned to not seek just “ONE” relationship, one thing, one idea to save me. I am saved because I save myself. I am for me even when no one else is for me.
I believe that unconditional love is THE most misunderstood concept of this society. Such a shame to indulge in the idea of being less than, deserving less than, enjoying less than. I am worth every desire I have… and it’s as simple as a choice for me to receive, but also to believe I deserve it.