Tis the season for all of the festivities!
This is that time of year where the world fills our spirits with all of the love, cuddles and togetherness that the holidays bring. It’s so magical. Hallmark movies always release the greatest movies of unexpected love that forms, everyone is posting their best holiday family photos, and everyone's rushing around the stores for so many people they’ve got to buy presents for.
It truly is a wonderful time of year and it really places emphasis on loving those around you and creating wonderful memories together.
But there is definitely another side to this holiday season. One that I can say I have experienced pretty much every year of my adult life.
The dark side.
That inner voice that reminds you of all it is that you DON’T have. Even when you know it is silly to focus on that and there is so much for you to be grateful for, the hype and highlight reels constantly remind us otherwise. This extremely familiar form of comparison-itis comes from the space of being single at the holidays.
Let me paint a little bit of a picture for you…
I am the youngest of my siblings and out of all of my cousins, aunts and uncles, there is only myself and one other in my family that are single and have no children. Now, I also have a pretty big family. So there are always at least 20 plus people at our holiday gatherings which makes it a little lonely when everyone else has their little clan….and then there’s you.
Out of my entire thirty years of living, I have only had two-MAYBE three-holidays where a significant other was there to attend with me. I’m not just talking about Christmas, but also Thanksgivings, Easters, Valentine’s Days, etc.
I get it…There are far worse problems out there than what I’m sharing but hey, this is my blog so I’m gonna vent it out because I know there are many who struggle with this as well…Many are individuals that I coach.
As usual, I’m sharing this to hopefully spark hope, light and encouragement to even just one soul during this season because I know from experience just how dark and ugly it can get. So if this blog is for you, you’ll know. If not, God bless you.
I’m gonna lay it all out there because although it makes me feel awkward to share this stuff and be this vulnerable, I know this is reality for so many.
“Ughh…is there something wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone want me?
Here we go, another holiday to put on a happy face. I love my family but I just want what they have. I want annoying kids running around. I want someone to help me do the holiday cooking, go see the Christmas lights with, cuddle up and watch Christmas movies with. I want my own mini family to share memories with while being with my big family.
Another holiday party? Awesome. I get to just register myself. No plus one from over here.
Maybe I’ll just bring a friend…
***then, insert here that I am at the event and everyone thinks I’m a lesbian because they are all their with significant others.
Getting around solo to go be around everyone and their people.
Sitting at the holidays, looking at the happy couples sitting on one another’s laps, playing kissy face, their kids sprinting over to them in excitement for the new toy they just unwrapped…”
…I think you’re catching my drift.
It’s such a drastic dynamic to mentally pull yourself together to go be around a whole bunch of people, just to come home to absolute silence. I get it, I’m sure many would appreciate the ability to have that sense of quiet after a busy day being around a whole bunch of people. Many would kill to have that silence, but let me explain this it this way:
You’re nice and cozy in your warm home and then you have to go outside into below freezing temperatures.You walk outside and shut the door. It takes your breath away at the shock of how cold it is compared to where you just were. It makes you want to run back inside to get nice and warm…but you can’t because the door is locked. So you are stuck…standing alone in the freezing cold.
It’s such a shock to the body and mind and because of that, it sucks the energy right out of you. It makes you want to isolate and almost wish you hadn’t even experienced that brief feeling of warmth because it made the cold that much colder.
If you are pickin’ up what I’m puttin down, I’m here to tell you…I get it. I’ve mastered this feeling.
So now that I’ve probably sent you into a super not-so-good feeling space, I’m here to tell you there is encouragement and a point to this post.
Now although this struggle and darkness still creeps in for me from time to time, I do believe that this has been a blessing for me to work through so I can be utilized for healing to so many who are struggling with this very thing. My pain can now be used as medicine for you.
There’s been a lot of valuable but uncomfortable growth that has transformed through this journey and I want to share some of that with you.
First of all, I know you’ve probably heard this before, but it is so very true. You cannot expect someone else to fill your happiness. Whether you have a significant other or not, it is up to you to learn what it is that makes you happy, choose to focus on those things and see the happiness of having someone else with you as a bonus. I’ve fortunately but unfortunately been in a couple of relationships where I made all of my problems someone else’s and expected them to fix it. When they failed to, I was just as miserable as I was without them there. The common denominator was…me.
Secondly, I learned how to appreciate the necessity of learning how to be alone. It is easy to distract ourselves and avoid our own emotions by being around others. Again, it is uncomfortable but so valuable to face the music and sit with those deep emotions that we would rather avoid. In my opinion, it is the best form of self discovery possible. No one will ever fully know and understand what you’re feeling, experiencing or desiring. That being said, it’s so easy for us to expect someone to know us well enough to bring us that happiness we crave, yet we haven’t actually even sat down with ourselves to know for sure.
We think we know because we obviously live in our own thoughts all day everyday, but this is where a lot of justifications and false statements take place. It’s important to actually spend time with just you. Actually pour out your thoughts onto paper, write down those things you want to do and experience and what it is that you dislike. Start getting real with yourself instead of creating all of these false scenarios in your brain and then believing them to be true or to be the story you’re choosing to tell.
And last but not least, once you DO sit down in the uncomfortable and learn how to do all of these things, you will start bringing the right people into your life. You will learn how to respect and appreciate your time and space. Those “cold” moments will still creep in from time to time, but the value that you’ve finally started placing on your happiness will allow you to enjoy those around you so much more…and not settle with those that do not act as a bonus in your life.
Although “my person” still has yet to enter my life, I’m grateful for all of those I do have in my life and all of those I am able to pour into while continuing my season of singleness. Reflecting back on past relationships and although I wasn’t really ever able to experience the feels of having someone at the holidays with me, I’m reminded of how much more happiness and worth I carry and how much happier I am now than when I was in those relationships. The company you keep is so very important and sometimes, you feel even more alone being with someone that isn’t meant for you. When you choose to create your own happiness and see your partner as a bonus, you will stop using others to “fill a void” that will only satisfy you temporarily.
So I hope this blog is able to encourage you through the struggles you face in this holiday season and you can be confident in knowing that even if you are alone right now, the choice is yours in how you decide to see it. Yes, the negative emotions will creep in from time to time, but remember even those who are not single are experiencing negative emotions as well…maybe just in a different form. Again, the choice is yours and I pray that you choose to focus on the blessings and opportunity to celebrate you and those relationships that ARE in your life currently.
…And last but not least, I hope you allow yourself to have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
With Love, Gratitude and Understanding,