In a special article written by guest contributor, Neena Robertson, she gives us a few tips to be happy and not be a hater this upcoming wedding season.
by Neena Robertson
In the Last few weeks I have been to more weddings than I can count on one hand. Just this past weekend I got on a Chinatown bus, said a prayer that the tires didn’t blow and headed to Brooklyn to celebrate a high school friends union. Such an exciting time and beautiful excuse to escape my own reality; I am 37 and single and judging by the caliber of “men” I keep running into on these cyber streets, I’m probably going to remain single for quite some time. And I’m really ok with that, and most days embrace the serenity of solitude but let’s be honest, at some point, there’s gonna have to be a man involved. Even if only to pick out my dress for the funeral or instruct my homies to spread my ashes all across the planet when I die, a sista is gonna need some type of companionship. But for now, however, the single life has its perks.
For starters, I get to do pretty much whatever I want. Well, whatever my bank account will allow. And for a free spirit like me, that’s pretty important. If I decide to hop a flight or chop off my hair or never shave my legs or cook another meal, I can do just that without the whispers or whining of someone else. Essentially people who are single get to be selfish, and although we’re socialized to believe that’s such a dirty word, it’s actually one of the best gifts one can give to themselves. Just imagine how limitless your life would be if you didn’t have to be bothered with considering someone else? I know it “sounds “horrible but talk about freedom!
Not to say that marriage is the opposite of free but there’s certainly a level of bondage to be had when one commits their soul to another…under God, by law…with your grandma watching. There’s the expectation that you ALWAYS consider your spouse in EVERYTHING that you do. From breathing till death do you part, your partner becomes the priority and you somehow become second in your own life. That’s an amazing level of obligation which should not be bestowed upon the faint of heart or the fickle.
I wasn’t kidding. I’ve been to a lot of weddings this season.
And most single people I know are VERY fickle. But I’m here to tell you that’s OK. Be as indecisive as you’d like, change your mind at the last minute, do whatever makes you feel good, so long as you are not hurting others, for as long as you can. Because seriously, what’s SO wrong with vacationing in St. Lucia or spending as much time in the mirror or in the gym as you’d like? But self-love doesn’t mean you’re anti-marriage, it’s more so pro-sanity, pro-happiness, pro- not having to resist the urge to wring someone’s neck if you have to tell them ONE MORE TIME to put their dirty clothes IN the clothes hamper, NOT beside it…on the floor.
So while I do believe that marriage can be an awesome institution and make it a point to show up and be fully present for all of the celebrations of love I’ve been invited to thus far, my message is more for those who are simply not at that place. Whether you find yourself standing alone or next to someone your heart skips a beat for, what’s important is that your soul is happy. And more importantly that you are honest with yourself about said happiness. And if for some reason you find yourself living a lie, here are 5 ways to get you on the road to truth, light and self-love:
- Spend some time in the mirror each morning– Unless you’re battling with some type of body dysmorphia disorder, looking at oneself in the mirror can be a completely eye opening and honest experience. Get comfortable with your skin, admire the things you like, set a plan for the areas you’d like to change, envision yourself 6 months from now, what do you want to see looking back at you? What’s it going to take to get there and what will you have to give up?
- Write a note to your younger self– often times we find ourselves living a lie when we’re not honest about our past. Think about what you needed as a child, not so much from your parents or family, but what you needed from you? What type of person did you need to be back then? What type of person do you need to be now to rescue yourself from your childhood?
- Take stock of what your friends/loved ones say– Most of us have been blessed with really awesome friends and family, they love us for whom we are and want the best for us. And often they’re the first ones to recognize when we’ve fallen off our A game. Not saying that we need to take what others say as gospel but it’s important not to totally dismiss what Aunt Sally said just because she’s Aunt Sally. Again, aunt Sally loves, you, wants what’s best for you and wouldn’t intentionally steer you wrong, listen to her, there may be some gems tucked away in all that nagging.
- Get somewhere and get quiet – Our lives are so hectic that we often don’t make or have time to just sit somewhere quietly throughout the course of our day. Quiet time is usually reserved for right before we go to bed, which means we’re tired and not in the best space to really listen to our inner voice. By 11pm, all we want to do is sleep. But it’s important to make time to listen to your soul. Not focusing on what you WANT to hear but genuinely listening to what your inner shero/hero is telling you about a situation. Your gut has a lot to say, listen to it!
- Lastly, don’t be afraid to say “yes” or “no”- being honest with ourselves also requires being honest with others. If you don’t want to go to that party, or watch your friend’s raggedy cat, tell them! Don’t waste one moment of your life being a people pleaser. If being in a relationship or friendship with someone requires you to dumb yourself down, or do things you have ZERO desire to do then those are people you should remove from your life quickly…even if that means getting a divorce. Love yourself enough to walk away from bad situations because people who love you back would never set you up to be unhappy.
Give yourself a month or two to incorporate some of these suggestions into your life. Somethings will fit, somethings will make no sense, and it’s all ok. The Goal is to begin living a more self-love filled life, and that process will take time. Be easy with yourself, resist the urge to re-evaluate your life every time you get an invitation in the mail and simply commit to doing those things that are more in line with what you feel versus what someone else is expecting of you. I promise, life is a lot less complicated and heavy when you love yourself enough to live in your truth.
Have some questions? Want to share some tips? Join me for a Facebook Live Chat Tuesday, June 14 at 8:00 pm. Be sure to like my Facebook Page: Cycle Breakers and Change Makers to join the conversation! #NOHATEWDGSSN