I was in Thailand as the 7th wheel on a romantic trip –tagging along on the honeymoon of two close friends, and two other couples.
Prior to the honeymoon, during the first few days in Bangkok, I could ignore my singleness and blend with the few other non-partnered guests. But after the wedding ceremony, the other singles peeled off and the rest of us flew to an exotic resort on a remote Thai beach. Here, amongst the crystalline water, the white sandy beaches and the sexy sunsets, it became impossible to deny that I was on a romantic getaway with me, myself and I.
In the past, I would’ve been sad and lamenting my predicament. I would’ve gone into some kind of ‘why not me?’ story in which I was victimized by my tortured romantic history and feeling punished by the universe.
But not this time. This time, I came to a realization: I actually really enjoyed being alone. It was easy. Not to mention familiar, comfortable and safe. I’ve come to identify as the independent single girl. In fact, I realized that I’d been wearing that identity like a badge of honor.
The dialogue in my head runs something like ‘I’ll show the world that you don’t need to be partnered in order to be happy and fulfilled—screw convention! I will not conform to being a dutiful lover/partner/girlfriend because society tells me I should’.
I recognize that, to some degree, this inner dialogue comes from my ego. But I also believe it’s important to model independence for other women; a healthy self love and self reliance that comes from the attitude of ‘I’m open to love and partnership, but since it hasn’t showed up for me yet in a form that feels right, I will still relish every second of my life, continue to deepen in self-love and live every day to the fullest… until that person does show up for me”.
The moment I arrived at that resort, the Goddess (I’m pretty sure it was Yemanja) whispered in my ear: ‘It’s time for a Baptism. You are ready to fully blossom into your divine feminine. You are ready to receive love and open your heart. Come to the beach. Alone. And we will do this’.
So I walked down the secluded strand until the emotion overtook me, and I couldn’t walk any further. In that moment, I felt fully into all of the safety, ease and security that I was giving up by opening my heart to someone. But I also understood that it was time to put aside my old, outdated identity and to step into something terrifying, yet potentially expansive. It was time to lay down my armor and allow the mirror to show up in the form of a looming partnership awaiting me back at home.
So, I turned towards the horizon and walked in until the water enveloped me completely, feeling the ocean’s unlimited expansiveness as the perfect metaphor for the state of being I’m ready to step into. I was talking to the Goddess the entire way. I told her that I understood what was needed, but I was scared. She comforted me and encouraged me to feel into all the fear and doubt. To validate those feelings, but to challenge the thoughts that might’ve built up those fears in the first place. The failed love affairs of my past no longer need define me and keep me isolated on an island of emotional safety.
And now, as I fly home, I’m feeling into the full magnitude of my commitment to this new state of being. I must learn to honor myself and my needs within the confines of a partnership…and to shed any remaining bits of the identity that keeps me locked safely on that self-contained emotional island called ‘single girl’…
I am still scared, but also hopeful. And I trust that the Goddess has my back all the way.