Becoming A Party
It reminded me of a good friend who had been single and dating for about 15 years. Then one day, he realized that he had a belief that he couldn’t have fun or be happy until he found a partner.
So, instead of needing someone else to “create a party” with, he decided to become a party that someone else would like to join and that he would want to invite them to. He completely gave up dating and started pursuing his own interests. He travelled. He took courses. He played more music. He truly started loving his life.
And then one day, he decided to load the dating app “Tinder” on his phone. On he went and after swiping for a little while found a woman who he was quite struck by. They began chatting, met and are now happily married. (Ironically, she is the one who much later lent me the Spinster book!)
Truly Becoming Happy
There is something really important about developing our own personal life according to our true loves and passions. If the only thing that will make us happy is finding someone to be with, then we will not actually be happy. We will be conditionally happy because we are only happy as long as they are with us. We are only happy as long as they fit what we are looking for. We will live with the constant fear that we will lose them. We may become clingy, controlling or co-dependent. We have no personal happiness. Just conditional happiness on another.
And this doesn’t work in the long run… or even really in the short run.
And it isn’t like we need to give up the desire for wonderful company. This is a very natural and healthy desire. But there is something about when we have extended time alone. What is in there for us to learn? Are we being given this time to grow in some way? In a way that won’t happen if we are focusing on another? Is there something we need to heal?
And then there are the Philosophers…
I have always been drawn to the philosophers who speak about solitude.
“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.” ~ Jean-Paul Sartre
Conversation enriches the understanding, but solitude is the school of genius.” ~ Edward Gibbon
When we cannot bear to be alone, it means we do not properly value the only companion we will have from birth to death—ourselves.” ~ Eda LeShan
“To have passed through life and never experienced solitude is to have never known oneself. To have never known oneself is to have never known anyone.” ~ Joseph Krutch
“Find a day for yourself—better yet, late at night. Go to the forest or to the field, or lock yourself in a room … You will meet solitude there. There you will be able to listen attentively to the noise of the wind first, to birds singing, to see wonderful nature and to notice yourself in it … and to come back to harmonic connection with the world and its Creator.” Rabbi Nahman
In no way do I believe that they are saying that we should be alone for our lives. Being in love and being with people is a wonderful part of life. But I think that they have some interesting points to ponder.
To truly come to a place where we love our own company.
To really come to inner peace alone.
To understand that this truly is our own journey whether there is someone with us or not.
To really love being alive… and then to invite someone to come enjoy it with us.