Self acceptance. Self love. This is what it takes to experience true happiness.
We are constantly looking outward for self validation. It is easier. Looking in is hard. It’s uncomfortable and honestly most of us don’t know how to do it. Self reflection, understanding our emotions, owning our stories, these are not skills we are ever taught. And then there is the question what is happiness? What does it look like? What does it feel like?
This is something I’ve been struggling with recently. And it stems from being single. Yep I am letting my happiness be guided by something I have no control over. This can be self destructive. It could lead to a path of unhappiness. And I am struggling to change that. I am turning this need to control into one of learning.
Before I go on, I want to warn you that this post does get a little deep and raw. I would also like to say that whilst I say that I am searching for happiness that is not saying that I am not happy. I am. I love my family, my friends, my life. I am just really feeling a void in the connection with that someone special. This is a raw and honest post about that.
It is actually hard to admit that my happiness, my feeling of fulfillment is resting with a guy. Me the strong, confident, together, bright and shining person I am is struggling with true deep happiness and it’s because of the lack of a guy….! It honesty feels a little shameful. It feels weak. I’m in total judgement of myself.
The stories I was telling myself
For years I have judged other women for being ‘those girls’ that need a guy. They come across as needy, fragile, fallible. Words, traits I have always been fighting against. They were in direct conflict with my ‘Superwoman’ persona. Looking back, my thoughts, my judgements had nothing to do with those other women. They were a direct reflection of what was happening within me.
For years my persona was Superwoman. I was the “driven” one. I was the “busy” one. I was the “independent I don’t need a man” one. Infallible, unbreakable, strong. It was my place. It’s how I fitted in with my friends, my work colleagues, my family. If I wasn’t this person anymore, who would I be? How would I ‘fit’ into my circles? The most confronting question – How could I live with me? All of this I am still struggling with.
Being Superwoman does not fit with me anymore. I am not that person any more. I am infallible, I do fail, I do break. I do also now know that this isn’t weakness. Thanks to Brené Brown I have learnt that rising after breaking, after failing, is perhaps the greatest show of strength. Admitting we are face down in the arena, having had our butt kicked but then daring to be brave and getting back up, that is strength. This comes from being vulnerable and stepping into the arena to begin with. It starts with being seen, asking for what we want, engaging. It starts by showing up. These women who I had judged for so long had actually owned their stories. They were being seen, asking for what they wanted, they were showing up as themselves.
For such a long time I had the story in my head that I wanted a baby. That I would feel whole if this happened for me. And in true Kirsty style I started to put plans in place to do it without a guy. Who needs guys right? About a year ago with some help from Leanna, a Holistic Health Practitioner, I came to the realisation that it wasn’t a baby I wanted, it was the man. This was huge for me. And even though that was a year ago I still haven’t stepped up and owned that. Sure I remember telling my close friends and family about it but I haven’t owned it. I was still resisting it. I hadn’t made it my story. Until now.
Two weeks ago I was dating this incredible guy. A guy that totally took me by surprise. I remember nearly swiping left (yes he was a Tinder date), nearly cancelling the date and thinking as he approached me on that first date, this is just going to be another dead end, he did not look like my type at all. Conversation flowed well, but in my head I was still thinking this is going to be a one-date wonder. Then he spoke about a movie, his eyes lit up, in that moment, with that sparkle in his eye, I changed my mind. Each time we saw each other the connection grew. Time spent with him just felt so easy, so right, dates stretching on for hours. I have a quote on my vision board “Souls recognise each other by the way they feel not by the way they look.” This was exactly how I felt. And how I thought he felt.
Being truly vulnerable for the first time in a relationship I asked for what I wanted – I wanted us to be exclusive. He couldn’t give me that. It wasn’t how he felt. I made the decision to walk away. I took the little girl inside me by the hand and I showed her we deserved better. I stepped into the arena and got my butt kicked. I was face down in the arena. I am still trying to stand tall again.
In a talk I went to by Carren Smith she said the universe will keep giving us the same lesson until we learn the lesson. This is not the first time I have been blindsided in what I thought was a great growing relationship. I have wrestled with what this lesson could be.
Normally I would wallow. This time, for the first time whilst I am still hurting, I have gotten back on the horse and been on a couple of dates. I have kept moving forward with life and not crumbled into a ball. I have certainly had moments of sobbing but I haven’t stayed with those feelings. And now for the first time I am owning my story.
I opened myself up for the first time and it truly felt great. I stood in my power, I asked for what I wanted, what I needed and I was strong enough to walk away when I didn’t get that. My heart was out in the open for the taking, no walls, no guarding. The trouble with that is, it made me vulnerable. And now it feels like shit. It hurts. Yes I’m still in it but I am not constricted by it. I would not have gotten to this place without that experience, without him, for that I am grateful.
I am someone who is looking for love.
Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming,
I now fully admit to myself that I want a man that made me feel like he did. And more than want it, I need it. No one before him made me feel like he did. He looked at me like I was magic. He awoken that playful, adventurous little girl within me. I need that, I’m missing that and I want that back. Do I feel weak for admitting this? No. Do I feel vulnerable putting this out to the world? Yes. But without vulnerability, without owning our story, we cannot cultivate true connections, with ourselves and with others. This is my wholehearted story.
And I encourage you to own whatever your story is. No matter how painful it may be. No matter what the reactions from others may be. Be Brave!