I recently posted this photo my good friend and favourite photographer Sanjin took, as my private fb profile pix, and got an interesting comment about it in my inbox: “You're glowing, you must have finally found someone who makes you happy.”
It was a well meant comment by a friend, but it did make me think. Yes, I am happy, maybe even happier than I’ve ever been. I feel great in my skin, my heart is content, I’m healthy and living my dream. And I guess it’s true. For over a year now I’ve been in a beautiful, magical, supportive and loving relationship with - myself. All that I am, all this abundance I am blessed with right now, I have created myself. That special someone is me. Yes, finally.
But, as far as romantic relationships go, I am actually more single than ever.
As a former serial monogamist and a fun-loving (man-loving;) flirt who falls in (and out) of love quickly in between more serious relationships, and in those more (and less) serious ones, will turn her life upside down and take giant leaps of faith, or blindfolded jumps into an abyss, this is all rather new to me. I’m not saying I was never single for a longer time, of course I was, but there was always a fun, exciting story to tell and/or something to be (over)analysed. Whether it was a recent exciting encounter on my many travels, a new development with an old flame, or a drama with an ex, I always kept close friends entertained with my love life. A few months ago, after hearing me say: "No, nothing's happening in love department" one time too many, a good friend seriously asked me if I'm hiding something, a forbidden love affair with a married man perhaps? She knows this is something I would never do, yet she thought it was still more plausible than my "nothing is happening" answer.
Of course, between those movie scene worthy moments I entertained my friends with, there was also much heartbreak and each one took a toll. But, every time I fell, I would get up. Every time my heart was broken, I would duck tape it and was ready for more. Love was like a drug and one relationship cured the gap and pain of previous one(s). I thought it was me being fearless in life and love. It took me a while to see was hidden beneath the surface.
After my last failed relationship, when I recognised same stories are repeating with, what seemed, completely different men, I knew something needs to change. I put my duck tape away, gave my heart time to heal, and decided to focus on myself without distractions. It was time to lay new foundations and to detox from the old, to cleanse from this cluster of old energies, some older than myself, still lingering on. It was time to take responsibility for my own heart and happiness. And, to be honest, it wasn’t a mental decision at first, it was more a feeling of enough. It felt it in my body, like there was no more space for anyone else than me, I felt like my heart needed to relearn love for self before it loves anyone else again.
I was still attending my psychotherapy course at the time, and knew there was no better or safer time to dig deep and see what lies beneath the surface. Yoga and everything I know about body, mind and soul helped, but when you need to dig a deep hole you need someone to hold a light torch as you dig. You need someone who knows what can be encountered in those dark corners. To tell you what you see with objectivity and to explain to you why it's there, to hold a mirror, to guide you when need guidance and finally, help you build new foundations. Today, when people struggle with things and come to me for help, the advice is always the same. Therapy. Find someone who will guide you through the dark corners of yourself, hold space when you crumble, show you your shadow and light, and help you integrate both.
On the surface, I was a fun loving free spirit, a wild horse, fierce warrior. But beneath I was also a lost little girl in need. A princess in a pink dress, as I called her, a part of me locked in a dark tower, hidden from daylight. I disliked her pink dress, thought she was weak, hated when she came out and messed things up for me. It took me a while to see her light, to accept her shadow and to love her. That stupid dress (I picture her in) and all. It also took a while to see and accept the flaws of the fierce warrior Self, to take off the armour without fear. I needed to learn to love and accept all of me, to understand and accept my past, to lay new foundations and plant new seeds for the future.
Now I enjoy my own company and will choose it over superficial connection any day. On most days I accept and love all of me, and don't need someone to fill that void. Just like anyone else, I still believe life is about the connections we have, but I now try to be more conscious and connect out of love, not out of need. I believe that only from this space of wholeness within, we can truly connect with others.
I feel I have found this home within, but I know there is still a long way to go.
And I know this story doesn't finish with 'The End' but rather with 'to be continued…' The integration and love for myself and the world I feel right now will for sure be tested over and over again. But, I feel I am ready.
So... to be continued... ;)
"It was when I stopped searching for home within others,
and lifted the foundations of home within myself,
I found there were no roots more intimate,
than those between mind and body
that have decided to be whole."
- Rupi Kaur