I have a confession to make…
Since I declared to the world I was choosing to be ‘consciously single’, I have spent the majority of my time chasing commitment from a man who was never going to give me what I wanted.
Trust me, the irony of this has not been lost on me.
And while the details of the connection will remain between us, here is why I am incredibly grateful for this significant, albeit short connection:
I loved, and was loved in return.
I will always feel deep, unconditional love and respect for this man, which in itself is a beautiful thing. Whether it is returned or not, and whether the love he feels for me matches mine, it is still love. And it is still absolutely worthy of expression.
I broke my own heart open.
What I was calling love was actually a desire for approval and validation from the masculine. My attempt to control the direction and purpose of the relationship came from a deep lack of trust in his simply love for me and my own worthiness of being loved in return.
Not all relationships will end with sailing off into the sunset and that is ok. This connection showed me that I had been using relationships and men to distract myself from not feeling worthy – of love, of commitment, of success, of happiness.
But - I was braver in this relationship than I have ever been and although at times I felt it might kill me, it showed me what is possible when we surrender to relationships for what they are, rather than trying to force them to be something they were never meant to be.
I was forced to fiercely love all parts of who I am.
Relationships are mirrors to our unconscious, to who we wish were and who we hope we are not.
When I realised I was not some, but all of what I was seeing and sensing in him, this connection became an immense opportunity for growth. The hard truth is that WE set our own bar for the love we deserve. No one can make us feel something which we don’t already feel about ourselves.
What hurt the most was conning myself into the belief I could change him (BIG MISTAKE). I gave away what was most precious to me because I thought it would win him over.
But love given with strings attached is not a gift, it’s an obligation – and he could feel that.
I didn’t want to share this. I told myself that if I admitted I don’t have my shit together, it would compromise my credibility as a coach.
But I got into this work not because I have all the answers, but because love and relationships have been my biggest lesson.
And because I know what it feels like to have my confidence consistently knocked by men who are essentially distractions from my pain.
Reflecting on the last decade of men I have left, lost, loved and yearned for, here is what I know to be true:
Who I attract is not a reflection of what I deserve, but what I believe I deserve.
The love, adoration and pleasure I allow myself to experience is directly proportionate to what I am able to receive from others.
What I was seeking in relationships is not love, but approval from the masculine that I am good enough.
Every man who has come into my life has been a reflection of my own beliefs about myself, about love and about the masculine. And when I CONSISTENTLY embody the qualities that I desire and deserve in a partner, I know he will show up.
So what does it mean to me now to be ‘consciously single’?
Sometimes it means feeling stoked with the freedom to please myself in every single moment of every single day without compromise. Other days, it is holding myself through the pain of being alone and the aching desire for someone to wake up next to. And to simply be ok with this.
But it always means committing to loving myself through all of it – the ugly crying, the spectacular connections and the mundane moments of a life lived on my terms.
Relationships, like the human beings that create them, are evolutionary. Starting from a tiny seed of attraction, likeness and commonality, all connections have the exact genius they need to grow into the big, beautiful stories we desperately what to call our own.
But so habituated we are to instant gratification that we forget that the things we most desire take time to grow and nurture. And even with constant watering, care and nourishment, we might not see the change - but it is nonetheless occurring in front of our eyes.