I hesitate to share this, because it turned into something way more vulnerable than I imagined. But, I remembered a post my friend shared about being vulnerable and not just showing the strong, positive parts of our lives...maybe someone else needs to know that they are ok, regardless of their status or where they are in life.
*This is exactly why we need women's circles. To have the safe space to open up about our guilt and shame*
I saw a post on facebook the other day, about the pressure to be in a relationship. Society places little importance on platonic love, or better yet, loving yourself.
I used to feel so much pressure to find "the one" and settle down. Like somehow my life isn't fulfilling if I'm not married. And sometimes I feel like I've missed some important milestone that was expected of me.
But I always had the argument "well, I love my life, I am happy, and fulfilled".
But then, 2017/2018 happened. I lost everything this past year. Absolutely everything. I refer to 2017 as "the Lifetime movie year", it was just so unreal. Like living in a nightmare. I was under so much stress that I just shut down. I evaluated what actually mattered and chose to detach from the things that added stress to my life and that no longer served the welfare of my family.
I used to pride myself on being independent, doing it all, having a cute house, running two businesses, getting along with everyone in my life, having a group of friends that I did everything with.
But you know what happens when you stand up for yourself or for things that are not ok...things that were never ok? People don't like it. When you place boundaries on the people in your life to protect your emotional health and your child's, your status as the loving, giving, kind person goes away.
It doesn't matter what your intentions are or even if your boundaries are from the most loving place. Boundaries make you the bitch, the difficult one, the selfish one, or worse, the woman who doesn't love unconditionally.
Where does that leave you when you don't have any of the things that used to make you, "you"? Who am I now that I'm not the "nice one"? Who am I without my business, my independence, my house, my community, a friendship with everyone?
How do you love yourself, when the person you thought you were doesn't exist anymore?
Detaching from the things that I thought defined me, has forced me to let go of my ego, look at myself, and see if there's a woman in here that is still worthy of love.
And you know what? I still am. I'm still worthy. I still take responsibility for my faults. I strive to be a better person every day. I'm still an awesome mom, I have a passionate entrepreneurial spirit, and I love with everything I have. I stand up for the one person who needs me to be strong for them, my son. I do it all, even when it makes me the "bad guy". I am still completely Elizabeth and I still love myself.
Someday I'll look back on this year and maybe I'll be sitting around a table with my awesome family that includes a loving husband. Or maybe Calvin and I will be taking a cross country camping trip, just the two of us. It doesn't matter. I have so much love and value, regardless of my relationship status. I see so many people put their value on that. Don't. Just know that you are enough. None of it matters.
There are no rules in this life.
2018, here's to choosing to be free of relationships, responsibilities, chores, possessions, clutter, that don't add value to your life and family. That's true love right there. ❤
As a single mom, do you ever feel pressure to be in a relationship? How do you find ways to love yourself even when you are in a place of self-doubt or uncertainty? Comment below!