Being “Alone” Doesn’t Always Mean Being “Lonely”

When Christ said: “I was hungry and you fed me,” he didn’t mean only the hunger for bread and for food; he also meant the hunger to be loved. Jesus himself experienced this loneliness. He came amongst his own and his own received him not, and it hurt him then and it has kept on hurting him. The same hunger, the same loneliness, the same having no one to be accepted by and to be loved and wanted by. Every human being in that case resembles Christ in his loneliness; and that is the hardest part, that’s real hunger.

-Maya Angelou

We all want to be loved but first you must love and accept yourself.  At times, we get so caught up about acceptance from others that we tend to forget about acceptance within ourselves.  It is a myth that to be happy you must be in a relationship; in fact, if you think about people you know who only feel completed by another person, they are probably unhappy people on the whole.

The idea that one is only completed upon finding their mate is deep-rooted in our culture and isn’t going to change any time soon. But you can change your own attitude and reject this unhealthy idea. Be more aware of the pressures of being single – there’s pressure to find someone new; there’s pressure to be comfortable and confident on your own. Pay attention to the latter – focus on yourself and enjoy this time you have to be independent. Don’t adhere to the norms that are detrimental to bouncing back. Don’t accept that alone means lonely, because it doesn’t.

Putting your ability for happiness in the hands of a total stranger is a very dangerous idea. Not only are you already being needy before you’ve even met your future mate, you are discounting your own capabilities. You are capable of happiness and completeness on your own.

As a single mom, there is rarely “alone” or “quiet” time but the time that you do have does not have to be used to dwell on how “lonely” you may be feeling.  During my “alone” time I find myself doing the following:

– Reading my bible and daily devotional

– Writing down my thoughts (frustrations, achievements in myself and my kids, blessings of the day, struggles I may be going through).  I find this helps me to remember not only how much I have accomplished but also helps to relief the frustrations and pressures of the day by getting it on paper.

– Hobby ~ I like to read suspense books and even if I only have 20 mins. to myself in the evenings it helps take me away and relax.

– When the kids are away (even it is only a 2-3 hour time span) I will sometimes take myself to the movies or dinner.  The first time I did this was extremely hard and I thought everyone would be staring at me.  I found out that I didn’t care what they thought and I was falling in love with myself and nothing felt better.  I can order what I want on my budget and can see the movie that I want and not have to worry about what someone else wants to see.  It is true bliss!

– I think about what who I am and what I want for myself, my kids, and my life.

Do I want to settle for less or do I want to continue to love myself first and know that if I am meant to have a partner that it will come at the right time and will be the right one.  But, if it doesn’t happen I will still be in love with me and completely full and happy with me.  Love yourself first and learn who you are before you try to offer an incomplete soul to someone else.

– Ms. Kristi