The holidays are over and I know for many single women, especially some introverted or highly-sensitive women, the journey from the end of November to January can be like traversing an abandoned minefield: the emotional grenades are everywhere but we don’t know exactly what will set us off. So, we go forth, sometimes boldly, and sometimes cautiously and we tell ourselves we are fine, we are strong.
And we are.
Until we are not.
Enter the meltdown.
I remember one particularly bad meltdown I had in my twenties where I could not even leave my bed. I had relatives from Sweden visiting my parents, who were only an hour away, and I was so sad about being single I could not make it out of bed to join my family for New Year’s Eve. So I stayed home and cried for most of the night until I fell asleep. I felt so selfish and powerless over my intense emotions. But I didn’t think I could go and be festive. I didn’t want to bring the whole party down.
I wish I could say that was the only time I felt that way, but of course there were others (I’m only human!). Like when I went to that party of a new and interesting friend where I was hoping I meet a great guy. After all, her husband must have cool single guy friends, right? Wrong! Turns out I am the only single person there. But wait! There’s hope, my friend “Brad” is having a party too and he works in finance! Too bad his celebration was dominated by super flirty girls that left me standing by the cheese plate discreetly gorging on Manchego, unable to “compete” (Introversion had it’s draw-backs.)
And what about all those times when I have made a point of not really “looking”, but enjoying my single life because, you know, everyone says “it” when happen when you least expect it, and besides I don’t really need a man, right? (Sorry to any friends I may have given this bad advice in the past!) Those were the days my disappointment came out sideways by being nasty to the cute couple in front me who were kissing and cuddling and taking forever, blocking the sidewalk as I tried to finish up christmas shopping. I mean, get a room, people!
The good news is that it is over. The holidays are finally over, until next year of course. Oh yeah and here comes Valentines Day around the corner. But Valentine’s Day is really about a bloody massacre, right? Or just a Hallmark holiday at best, so who really cares, right? RIGHT?
Sometimes we need a meltdown to show us what we really want.
Here’s the thing I learned: if didn’t start to practice real self-love, then the love I sought would elude me. Self-love is not denying that we want the love of another, but accepting our desires as valid and going for them. Self-love includes loving even the ugly desperate parts of myself that got jealous, compares myself to others or wants to give up and sit home on the couch in my pajamas watching Netflix, or crying, or both.
Here is the solution I found, but it does take some effort. I’ve made a list of my top 10 ways to put off those icky feelings of self doubt, based on self-love. Doing at least three of these practices every day grew the love inside myself, and helped me see situations and my life more clearly. Even that annoying couple on the street got cute.
This may be a shocker but seriously caring for your space, and especially if you want romantic love, caring for your most intimate space, your bedroom will make you feel cared for and loved. Admit it, how does going to sleep in clean sheets that have been made nicely make you feel compared to an unmade bed you roll into unconsciously.
Get a journal and write from both ends, using one entrance as the Gratitude Journal section, and then flip it over and use the other cover as your Brag Journal. Brag about at least one thing and express grateful for at least three things every day. Do this everyday and you will start to look for things to brag about and be grateful for. So many times when we are focusing on what is missing we attract more lack.
Show appreciation to a loved one or someone that means a lot to you. This is what I call growing the love you have. You will automatically have more love in your life.
This is huge! Once you really own that you are the co-creator of your life and that the one your co-creating with is the universe at large, and your part is to create an awesome vision and be ready for inspiring thoughts and taking action around these inspiring thoughts, anything is possible. It is futile to blame others for your demise. Yes, even if you had a sucky childhood. Time to put on your big girl panties and own your process. NOTE: This is not an invitation to self-flagellate! Love yourself through this process and if you find this particularly difficult and have a lot of old familial wounds to heal, get help from a therapist or a coach.
Another way to say this is de-clutter. Get rid of stuff that you don’t want. Many times holding onto stuff that we really don’t like or want can create a block to the stuff we do want, including love. If anything in your surroundings in causing you to feel some negativity, get rid of it. This can be a gradual process and probably should not be taken all at once as that can cause overwhelm. If you remove one thing a day as a daily practice, you home will be clear of negative influences before you know it.
Negative emotions can get stuck in our bodies and physical exercise is a great way to get things moving. Even a brisk walk can clear up some energy and clear our brains for that inspiring idea.
Practice experiencing what it will be like to be in the relationship you want. What will you do together? How will it feel to do these things? Be specific in how you feel. Create a visual of this by choosing the key feelings you want to feel and make a collage or drawing with these words and post it somewhere that you can see it everyday. If you find this challenging, take note of the negative voices and address them one by one by asking, “How true is that?”
Go do those things you are putting off until you meet “the one”. It could be as simple as going to see a particular show or band or as elaborate as a vacation you have always wanted. To deny yourself because that certain someone isn’t here yet, is to block love to yourself and blocking love to yourself is blocking love from others!
Do all these things and let go of what you think it will look like. Be open to what comes along and how love will happen. When our expectations are too rigid, our life becomes dull and monotonous. Be open to surprises and expect a miracle.
One of the things my clients always tell me is what a huge difference it makes to get support from someone that is outside of their life, like a coach, who has a fresh perspective. Friends and family are great, but they often see a vision of you that they themselves have helped create. They won’t necessarily see that new future for you and will want to protect you from risks. A coach can help you see things differently and help you get creative in your solution so you can finally make the changes necessary to attract the love you want.
Try these out. If you don’t feel good about yourself and cannot really be your true self on a date, you will attract misery and calamity and settle for less than you deserve. I truly believe love is the answer, and it starts with you and for you.
Originally published at medium.com