Learning to Live Single

Being single has its upside and its downside: I get to make all of my own decisions, that is the good news; I HAVE to make all of my own decisions, that is the not always such good news. Clo brought out the best in me. I would intentionally be my nicest, neatest, most caring, wisest, most helpful self so I would be seen in high regard by her. I still try to be all those things. Mostly I think I succeed, but I have to do it just for myself and sometimes I just get tired of it all. It does often help to have someone close to receive our good intentions. Two or more people together share energy that satisfies and encourages us to simply be the best self we know how to be because we are being listened to, noticed, and cared about by someone we in turn care about and admire. Clo was very caring and exceedingly loyal; I deeply admired her skills and her wisdom, and I felt her respect and commitment to me.

There are times when I want a hug and it feels strange to not have someone immediately available for me to hug and to hug me in return. I felt vulnerable and raw for so long after Clo died that initially I resisted being touched by anyone. This morning when I was puttering around waiting for a new couple to arrive for a couple’s intensive I thought of Clo and wished she were with me to give me encouragement. That could happily come in the form of a hug, an encouraging word, an understanding glint in her eyes, anything to let me know I was being seen as preparing for my day and not being seen as an agitated dolt requesting unmerited support.

I don’t require a lot of maintenance. Clo fully understood the emotional warm-up to something as intense as 6 straight hours of therapy with more than one person. She would witness me pacing or going up and down the stairs, getting a drink of water that I didn’t want, checking for emails every 2 minutes, rattling the mail box, and she would say warming up, huh? While giving me an understanding and supportive smile.

It feels good to know the feeling of being safe and seen and wanted with all of my strengths and as well with all of my many flaws.   I know there are people who seldom if ever have known the relief and pleasure of being held in high regard. I am sorry that is true, because although it is important to find self-esteem within, it defiantly never hurts to get some from outside of self as well. There are moments when I don’t know quite exactly who I am unless I can feel the comfortable and familiar presence of someone who KNOWS me Sometimes it takes physical contact to know there is a solid foundation under foot.

I don’t want a life partner; what I want is the occasional hug. I will get as many as I ask for and many more I haven’t asked for but adore receiving from family over Christmas. There are so very many people in the world who do not have a partner and as well, do not have a family to hug them. I may not fully understand the feeling of isolation that causes, but I can certainly imagine what it must be like, given the moments of longing I have experienced lately. The words that come to mind when I long for that deep sense of recognition are: Am I really THAT alone? The answer is NO actually, Nancy, you aren’t. But I know that is not the truth for everyone. I have been known to forget how very fortunate I am.

That longing for intimacy gets satisfied for me through writing, through taking long walks with Aimee, and through really listening to music. Not having music in the back ground, but sitting in a chair and losing myself in the music. Classical: Cello, piano, flute, violin. Music helps me transcend my angst. I go somewhere else and when I come back I am complete again. Somewhere on my journey into the mystery of music I am able to put all my pieces back together and feel whole. The reassembling process is not conscious on my part, the turning to music for that to happen is totally conscious and intentional.

My work helps me transcend myself as well. I focus and channel all of my energy and attention and intuition into blending my spirit self with the spirit selves of the people I am in the room holding and supporting. I feel blessed as I am allowed to witness the pain, distress, angst, multitude of feelings couples risk sharing with me. Hours go by quickly and I am always so grateful to be let into the world of wonder and learning and longing present when 3 or more of us are co creating together.

If you want me to, I can enter your world as well. And together we can co-create a new way for you to be with your partner and in your life. Changing hurts, it is tough and it has great rewards. Changing might very well mean you start by being free with hugs, appreciations, and kind words of encouragement. If you change, you might find your partner will change. It fact, it is inevitable. If you do something in a new way with a positive spin to it, the energy between the two of you will necessarily be different. It is absolutely worth the chance you take to begin the changes. Something good is certain to follow. It is scientific: when something changes, all is changed.

If life isn’t going the way you want it to go…..YOU have to be the one to change. No matter how much you wish otherwise there is no one you can change but yourself. I recommend you take the plunge. Try being softer, kinder, easier, quieter, happier, more open and available. It is risky no question about that, however the rewards have the potential of being terrific. If you smile, open your heart and your arms, and invite someone in chances are your arms will get filled, your heart ease, and your soul will feel seen and safe.

I am courageously and wisely learning to warmly welcome hugs other than from Clo. I am learning to listen to a bird sing and look deeply at a flower blooming and breathe in all the beauty and peace that surrounds me, and know it is nature giving me a hug. I am expanding my concept of what nurturing is and not allowing myself to pass up opportunities that are offered to me: Quiet moments with others who are also learning about Buddha, peaceful sound of the water fountain in my back yard while birds take bathes and drink their fill, sunshine in my face, warm sand on my feet, Aimee stretched out on my stomach and legs. Nature loves me, new friends in passing share a familiar longing for hope and peace, there is a profound place in my new world for me in my singleness.

I love learning and I love realizing what is new to me. I like it when I move about in my world filled with hope and confidence and trust in a rich full future. I am learning to remember that all is well and I am enough. My inner spirit has compassion for me and guides me as I learn to accept as well as give compassion. It is very strange to me to think it may have taken the loss of my partner for me to learn to have compassion for myself, but then I think how else could I have done it? I needed to tumble into the darkness before I could find the light.

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