I have never been alone without a boyfriend for an extended period of time. I was married for 13 years, in and out of relationships for 18 months, and back in a relationship for nearly seven years of which I was engaged for four. I ended my engagement at the end of 2017 and held on to my relationship in hopes that things would change. They, of course, did not. I broke up several months ago yet emotionally I was still connected. My sons who are in middle school have seen me with my ex-fiancé longer than their dad. That meant something, didn’t it?
Today I am alone. Alone. What does that mean for me? I am stronger today because I chose me.
Let me start from the beginning. I have always struggled to believe I was good enough and worthy of someone. I think about where that stems from. I remember an older man I was dating when I was 18. I caught him cheating and I formed a story that I wasn’t good enough otherwise he wouldn’t have cheated on me. He would have chosen me, right? Wrong.
At that time, I didn’t realize that it wasn’t about me. It was about him. The issues he was dealing with were not ones I could help him with. I internalized what had happened and thought it was me. Yet that moment marked a path I would be through my adult relationships. I picked men who were unavailable emotionally and who ultimately would validate the story in my head that I wasn’t good enough. My marriage ended due to my ex-husband’s infidelity, a story that would become too familiar in the relationships that followed.
Something different happened in my last relationship. I chose to end it when my gut kept telling me something was wrong. In the past I would ignore my gut, choosing to silence the voice inside me, perhaps even justifying and making excuses for the men. Yet this time I listened, and I didn’t quiet the voice. The voice was telling me something. I was going to choose happiness. I was going to choose me. And that meant breaking up because he was not present. He was distant and did not express his feelings. I had tried to communicate, learn what was going on, and be compassionate of what I believed was the circumstance surrounding his distance. Three months after I broke up I learned the truth, one day before I left to go to France on my friend’s 60th birthday trip.
God shed light on the truth and I was relieved. Nearly one year of questioning, wondering, and trying to figure out what was happening finally made sense. I left on my trip to France and returned to finalize the details of him removing everything out of my home. I learned three things from this breakup and I am eternally grateful for this experience.
I choose me.
It’s in my nature to serve and want to help others in any way. When in a relationship I am fully committed. I am 110 percent in it. I show up. Yet I had a recording in my head: I am not good enough. I am not worthy. The moment I had the courage to break up and listen to my gut I chose me. I was more than good enough. I am God’s child and He placed a crown upon my head that I wear proudly. He has a love for me so great and His love is enough for me. When I chose me, I chose to be happy. I am responsible for my own happiness. It is a mindset to know that I am the creator of my life, my happiness, and my environment.
I am strong.
I have always been afraid of being alone. Would I be able to provide for my two sons? Would I be able to continue my business? Would I be able teach as well? The answer was “of course.” I did it once and I can do it again. I had been the breadwinner in my marriage for 12 years. When I divorced, I knew God would provide for me. And He would not fail me. God is my provider.
I was reminded of my strength in the liturgy (2 Corinthians 12:7-10) at mass.
Brothers and sisters:
That I, Paul, might not become too elated,
because of the abundance of the revelations,
a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan,
to beat me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.”
I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses,
in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.
Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults,
hardships, persecutions, and constraints,
for the sake of Christ;
for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Through the heartache, vulnerabilities, and weaknesses, I have been made strong. He strengthens me.
I love me.
This declaration might sound odd. And for some, it won’t. I recited the Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for nine consecutive days for a particular intention. I did this with my ex-fiancé. We wanted a sign from God. Was it to show us we belong together? Was it to show us to move on? Was it to open our hearts? We did not exchange our intentions.
Today, I realized I am supposed to be in a relationship with me—my true love. If I don’t have a relationship with me and love myself, then how could I let someone else love me how God intends for me to be loved? I will show up in my relationship. I will shower myself with love. I will be kind to myself. I will be patient with my inner child. I will be spontaneous and adventurous to rekindle the sparks inside. I will listen to myself. I will be gentle with my heart. I will use my voice—always. I will have an open heart and open mind. I will be vulnerable. I will listen to GRACE—God Reveals As Coach Eternal.
I am so excited to be alone, and it might sound funny. The time has come in my journey to experience being alone and I welcome it.
I choose me. I am strong. I love me.