I have been single for one full year today.
It’s not the longest I’ve gone without partnership since adulthood, but it is the first time I made it a conscious choice.
On the night that I ended my last relationship, I sat outside of a Carvel (yes) with my friend Imani. After ending a year long relationship with an absolutely incredible guy who just wasn’t my person, I almost immediately entered into a brief but extremely intense partnership with a man who undeniably altered the course of my life forever. I loved him deeply, and, our partnership needed to end. Imani gently offered an inquiry that knocked me entirely out of orbit. Or into orbit…
“What are you afraid of?”
Now there was a question. It would turn out I was afraid of a lot of things, but what I was aware of that night was that I was afraid of one thing in particular. I was afraid of having failed to be the one to “conquer” this man. He was powerful. Deeply spiritual. He was impossibly sexy - physically everything I’d ever wanted. Intellectually - the same. He has incredible potency. Women fell over him. I wanted to have been worthy of his commitment.
I was afraid that I wouldn’t have been in the end.
I looked at my friend and heard myself say these things out loud. In my own voice I witnessed the power I’d given away. The love I’d placed outside of myself. Suddenly the fog had cleared from my lens and I could see. And you can’t un-see, that’s for damn sure. Sitting in the truth that I could feel without his breath for the first time, Imani made me write myself a note speaking the truth into my own heart. Then I went home and got in a hot bath, and made a phone call that would land on the other side of the planet, where by then it was morning. I left a voice message that released us both.
In the coming months I would get up close and personal to the real fears - being alone and knowing the truth of who I am. Sitting without company in a noiseless home where you are the sole inhabitant, delivers you straight into your patterns of avoidance. I kept the lights on so that I could see those. I locked the door so I couldn’t run from those. I shared my stories in safe places so that I could unpack those. I questioned whether or not I’d done the right thing. I trusted that the Universe would let me know if I didn’t. Over and over again, it revealed that I did.
The last year was riddled with agony. It’s painful to end a relationship. But what’s even more painful is to live as a stranger to yourself, and to have no idea who you are when you’re alone. The remarkable thing about pain is that it exists in effort to communicate something to us. It is a symptom of wounds and trauma to be healed. The sharp nature of my separation was a clue. An indication of rivers running deep into my unconscious beliefs that gnawed at me somewhere I couldn’t yet see - but that manifested itself in every facet of my life - especially my partnership.
In a year I’ve clocked many, many hours of aloneness, and grown increasingly fond of my own company. I’ve held myself in candlelight, known unfathomable pleasure in my own hands, in my own body, and in my own breath. I’ve acknowledged a pain point, put on an oxygen mask, and dove in.
I’m not writing this, 365 days later, as a woman who isn’t afraid. Unafraid isn’t what wholeness is. Wholeness is the luminous integration of our every shadow place. It is not mutual exclusivity. What I am now, is a woman who is intimately known by the only person who’s love she needs - herself. My humanity means that I will still have moments where I transfer my power to something external. My divinity means that I am whole and worthy throughout - no matter how long it takes me to come home. The more diligently I work to cultivate immense self-love and autonomy, however, the less I stray and the sooner I return when I do.
One year later, I have my own oxygen - and I don’t need the mask anymore.
I definitely still want Carvel though.
If you can relate, if you're navigating the end of a partnership, if it's time to make the move and you're frozen, if you already have and you are sad and afraid and confused, if you don't know how to be alone, if you want to know yourself boldly and honestly - I invite you to explore TUNE IN: Breakup - a tool for consciously surviving a breakup and cultivating deep self-love.