I Don’t Have To

Most empowering four words I discovered.

Happiness. Peace. Health. Comfort in my own skin. An adult life of body shame and discomfort shed like a molting snake.

A month ago, I spent 24 hours in solitary meditation. I experienced happiness and peace I had not felt since childhood. Or ever.

Suddenly the beauty of whatever I am as an interconnected, interdependent being apart from any conditioning about what I have to do or be shined forth.

Just as we don’t have to respond or react immediately to every input and demand for attention and we can learn to create a breath before response, so can we choose what we have to do.

It’s all conditions of our social structure, our culture, family, network we allow to tell us what is best for us to do. What if we do something different?

The issue I’ve caused myself greatest suffering around is intimacy and relationship. It’s been a six-year process since I walked away from online dating in disgust and despair and held a little marriage ceremony to myself in the rain forest. That was the beginning, but I kept longing for that soul mate that wasn’t myself.

It suddenly dawned on me all the times I’ve been in close relationship or partnered, my mental and physical health declined. I spent a good deal of my adult life being in love with people who were unable to love me. Whether because they chose someone else or because they were limited due to their own life experience.

It is truly liberating to see I don’t have to spend any more energy visualizing soul mates or pressure myself to date ever again or feel I’m broken or ugly or fat or inadequate or depressed on Valentine’s Day and all that crap and instead consciously choose to live the remainder of my life solo. I don’t have to continue believing the best way I can be my best self is if partnered in some magical future and therefore the majority of my adult years as a solo have been or will be somehow less than.

It has been a long process of letting go of a dream that probably never was my own, but now that I have, I intend to live the most compassionate, caring life I can for others and myself.



About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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