Antonia believes that the culture of marriage within our country was a big reason why she thought she needed to have a man to be complete. That in turn led to a series of poor choices in men. What she came to realize that was that she needed to start by loving herself. Here’s how she did that:
I stopped focusing on men and dating and chasing after the dream, the white picket fence and I started focusing on myself.
I spent a lot of time alone. I really rallied around my friends and my family and I started focusing on my career. As soon as I started focusing on myself, I became very successful, very happy. I didn’t have drama on a Saturday night because I was with my friends. I wasn’t with men, who took me on crazy dates. I just started to feel better about myself, physically and mentally and spiritually.
As I got more comfortable being alone, not relying on men and being desperate and being upset if I didn’t have a date on Saturday night, all good things started happening to me. I was getting tremendous promotions at work, I was always happy, I had the love of my friends and family and their children and their husbands, and I just started feeling good about myself again.
I think I didn’t love myself in first place because I never focused on myself. I always focused on a man. I had one boyfriend in high school, one boyfriend in college, then I married the first man I met out of college…I was never, ever alone in my entire adolescent to adult life, I never even lived alone.
With hindsight, I think I was very insecure. I was insecure about myself. However, at the time I was going through it, I didn’t know any different.
The Divorce Coach Says
I remember feeling very anxious about spending Friday and/or Saturday evenings alone when I was first separated. My children would leave to go spend the weekend with their dad and I was definitely uncomfortable about being alone with no social plans. I know now that part of that was because I hadn’t spent any weekend time alone for probably fifteen years so in reality it wasn’t odd at all that I would feel strange suddenly on my own. It wasn’t odd either that I felt that I should be doing something – that’s the way it had been for years and years and years.
Now I’m used to the weekends. Most of the time, I’ll go out with a couple of friends who are also divorced. Sometimes it happens that they’re not around or our kids aren’t on the same schedules and when that happens, it no longer bothers me if I have no plans. While there’s always more writing to be done, if I do that it makes me feel that I spend all my time working. So I like to make a point of doing non-blog/book related activities – reading, watching a movie, piano, walking … I’m not talking about becoming a recluse or being anti-social but I do think it is important to get to enjoy your own company and there’s only way to get there … that’s to just do it.
What say you? Can you get to love yourself without learning to enjoy your own company? How else can you get to love yourself? Are you comfortable being alone?
Photo credit: pedrosimoes7