I have always struggled with loneliness. Even when I was in a relationship, I was not comfortable with being by myself and was extremely clingy and needy at times. Loneliness has been something that has weighed heavily on my heart and as a single-mother, I still struggle to find complete peace + joy when I am alone.
By prioritizing self-love, I have made a commitment to understanding the importance of being comfortable with solidarity and finding the purpose in loneliness. I have discovered that I am able to truly see who I am when I am alone. I am forced to self-reflect, face my pain, and embrace my feelings + emotions when I am by myself.
It is not easy to feel that void and accept loneliness. Feeling doubtful, insecure, and fearful of the future when you are single is something every single woman and single mother struggles with at times. I have thoughts where I ask myself if going to be single for the rest of my life. Maintaining my wellness, finding inner-peace, and embracing my truth are essential for me in my self-love journey.
Here are the 5 ways that I have proclaimed “Alone, Not Lonely” and have learned to accept my loneliness through the 10 branches of self-love: (check out A Simple Guide to Self-love to learn about the Path of Self-love and each branch of the self-love tree)
Self-awareness + honesty
There is a reason why I am single. The reason is not necessarily bad, but there is a reason and with reason, there is a lesson. I chose to be single because I was sick of setting but and in order for me to to truly understand the purpose of my singleness, I had to ask myself “what is my heart + soul desire?”
Being single has given me the space to get to know me. By checking in with myself I have become more aware of who I am and who I am not. Singleness has revealed what I desire and what I do not desire in a relationship. To truly embrace my fears of loneliness, I have to be honest with myself about the toxicity that I allowed in my past relationships and give myself what I need instead of waiting for someone else to give it to me.
Accepting that I am a single mother was not easy right away. I have always valued marriage. Raising a child in a two-parent home in a loving + cohabiting relationship is still something I desire, but I couldn’t settle for toxicity just because I wanted to be in a relationship. In order to begin accepting my current relationship status I had to do the following:
- Reflect on what toxic behaviors I allowed
- Address the toxicity
- Make the active choice to only allow myself to have loving and respectful relationships
Accepting my truth is showing me how powerful I am as an individual. In those spaces when I am alone, I am pouring into my own heart which is preparing me for the relationship that I seek. For the first time, I am accepting the imperfect being that I am so I will not settle for anything less than I can give to myself.
Self-forgiveness + Compassion
I still struggle with forgiving myself for choosing to stay in a relationship with potential for as long as I did. Self-forgiveness is life-long, not a destination we seek to attain.
A Path. A Practice. A Choice. (Christine Arylo, Path of Self-love)
I had to focus on in my self-love journey in order to embrace being a single woman and mother. In forgiving myself, I also am required to be compassionate with myself. In the moments when I am feeling lonely, I give myself the compassion that I need to remind myself that I am exactly where I am meant to be in this moment.
I am more than my past and I am not a lost cause just because I am single.
I face my loneliness by saying what my heart needs to hear. Positive self-talk and affirmations have helped me be compassionate in forgiving myself.
The definition of self-pleasure is “choosing to consistently create, receive and experience joy, ensuring that you soul is fully fed and nourished,” (Christine Arylo, Path of Self-love).
What gives you joy? What gives you great pleasure? What or who makes you happy?
In my singleness (this applies even if you are in a relationship), I had to ask myself these questions in order to actively choose self-love every day. Consistently creating pleasure for myself, giving myself the space to receive pleasure, and doing things that allow me to experience joy, helps me to see the beauty in my singleness. Being single allows me to do the things for myself that I desire in relationship, and if I can run myself a bath, take myself out on dates, and buy myself flowers, I will demand that in relationship.
In my singleness it is so important to give myself what I need emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically. When I am feeling lonely, my emotional wellness is essential, and self-care helps me to do those things remind me of my strengths. Here are 5 things that I do to prioritize my emotional self-care when I am feeling lonely:
- Emotional Awareness – understanding the emotions that I experience when I am feeling lonely and assessing my triggers has been a powerful tool in accepting my loneliness. Having an awareness of my emotions has helped me address my feelings of sadness right away instead of allowing them to overpower my space.
- Gratitude Journal – focusing on gratitude is a great reminder of all the beauty in my life. There is always something to be grateful for and when I am feeling lonely, writing down or praying about the things that I am grateful for is freeing.
- Positive self-talk – when I found myself saying or thinking things like, “I am going to be alone forever” I made a promise to to immediately say a positive affirmation out loud. There is power in our words, so I am speaking positive vibes in my life every single day.
- Self-reflection – writing in a journal, meditation, or talking to my friends + family helps me make the time to reflect on the past and gives space to identify what my fears, anxiety and worries are in loneliness.
- Emotional Boundaries – recently I started online dating and I have been severely disappointed. To protect my emotions, I blocked two guys who were clearly unwilling to prioritize dating me. Creating boundaries in what I will allow from those I date as a single woman is essential in protecting my heart + emotions.
The 10 branches of self-love can be applied in every area of life and they help us to have the heart tools to assess our needs and give ourselves what we desire throughout our self-love journey. Self-love is a choice that I am making every day and its important to me to make sure that I am facing the pain of my loneliness instead of running away from it. I am advocating for my heart in my loneliness and I am proud of me.
2019 Ta’lor L. Pinkston, LADYHOOD journey