I posted last week about my dating (or more accurately non-dating) frustration. Normally I wouldn't post twice in a row on the same topic, but I've felt unsettled this week. Like I'd left something unsaid in that post. It's the part about feelings. About FEELING things. About being annoyed or frustrated with myself when I'm feeling sad, or lonely, or anything less than jumping up and down with joy.
And last night, with unwelcome no-clue-where-the-hell-they-came-from-or-how-to-make-them-go-away knots in my stomach, I had a moment of compassion for myself. A moment where I stopped and appreciated the fact that I do have feelings. I care about people, and I care about myself. I care about living a full life. And when it comes to dating and relationships, I have a big heart. A really big heart. And I care when I'm not sharing it with someone. I have a sinking suspicion that is called being human.
As I've said before, I AM living a big, full, happy life. AND there is still a part of it open for a romantic relationship, just like there is always room for dessert after an incredibly satisfying meal (at least for me there is!).
Will all of my problems be solved when I meet someone? Of course not! Do I expect the next relationship to last forever? Not really - there are no guarantees in this life.
Here is what I do know: I am grateful for the 10 percent (plus or minus on any given day) of myself that wants to be with someone. That longs to share things like Monday Night Football and holiday parties and how was your day conversations. I'm not even talking marriage (though I wouldn't complain if the FH popped up out of nowhere). I'm just talking switch-it-up-a-little from the single life.
And this is where the compassion comes in: I am grateful for the part of me that can't wait to laugh with someone, to support them and encourage them and have them do the same for me. Instead of feeling ashamed by that, or like there is something wrong with me for not intellectually rationalizing away my desire for companionship, I am going to embrace it as a strength. A strength that represents one of my core values of connecting with people. Connecting on a deep level to grow and help make each other's lives better (in a don't-worry-we're-totally-whole-to-begin-with kind of way).
So maybe the knots do serve a purpose - they are teaching me to treat myself and my feelings with respect and compassion - as I would for any friend, or any one of you. I encourage you to do the same.
P.S. For those of you tired of me whining about my dating life, I promise to bring back some very handy templates and tips...ASAP!