It recently occurred to me that I’ve either been in a relationship with a man or actively seeking one for most of my adult life.
And yet, unlike most other things that I’ve set my mind to, the relationship part of my life has been riddled with “failures.”
Truthfully, I have had many fulfilling relationships. Some short and some longer, but in the end (so far) nothing has seemed to stick.
The good news is that over the course of each relationship, I learn more about myself and what I ultimately want in partnership. I heal parts of my relational wounds, understand my needs more deeply, and get to show up more as my authentic self each time.
At the end of the day though, I’ve always been searching.
While I’m clear that this has been helpful for my spiritual growth, I’m aware of the dark side of this seeking.
Always searching for the next thing keeps you from the present moment and robs you of the joy that is found there.
I see this same pattern when I coach professional women through career transitions.
Last year, a coaching client was laid off from her executive role that was no longer a great fit. Despite a generous severance, she was keen on getting a new job quickly to ease her mind about future financial issues.
She dutifully job searched every day, as she always had the worry in the back of her mind about finding the next gig.
From the outside, I could see so clearly that she would land the next job when the time was right. I encouraged her to trust the process, take more time for herself and enjoy the journey.
As predicted, about 10 months into her severance, she found the right fit and accepted an incredible offer.
At that point, when her start date was just two weeks out, she said to me woefully,
“I wish I had really enjoyed my time off.”
It occurred to me that I’m doing the very same thing, wishing away my single days for the elusive perfect fit.
As I made myself avocado toast for dinner last week, I paused in a moment of deep gratitude. I’m so glad I don’t have to make a big dinner for anyone else right now. I’m so happy I can have just what I want to eat, when I want it.
When I laid the dishes in the sink, knowing I wouldn’t get to them until the next day, again I paused in gratitude. I’m so relieved that I’m not annoying anyone else with my mess. I’m so happy that I’m only doing my own dishes and not someone else’s.
There are many wonderful things that come with the freedom of being single, of being with myself. When I pause to appreciate them, I feel abundance and joy instead of scarcity and lack.
Loving the Moment
I still want that “perfect for me” partner, but I’ve decided that being present and loving the moment that I’m in right now, is the real magic of Slow Power. I know that if I can experience the bliss of this moment, relish in the freedom I have to connect with myself and practice deep self compassion, that the next right partner will come soon enough.
And when they do, I won’t have to say to myself, “I wish I had enjoyed my time alone.”