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Have you ever felt that your nightmare, or the thing you feared most has turned into reality? It certainly has for me. I can honestly say I am living my worst nightmare, and yet loving my life. At the risk of being transparent, let me explain.
Since I was a very young girl, I have always wanted to be married. Now, I didn’t dream about weddings, cake, and white lace. I’ve always dreamed about the union of marriage itself. The thought of actually having a partner in life, to build and share with, is what attracted me most to the idea of marriage. Not to mention, growing up as a Christian, marriage seemed like a major goal to be attained. Once you were married, it was as if people considered you extra blessed or super special. Marriage, to me was the ultimate expression of love, safety and a place to rest, live, and be fully accepted.
I’ve always been a person who valued romance and relationships. I consider myself a ‘cupid’ and I have always been one to match people up, starting way back in elementary school. I found joy when a boy & girl liked each other. Even now, when people come to me with their relational problems, I try to be objective and make sure that no one breaks up or blows up over trivial issues. I like to see people in healthy, happy relationships. Divorces and break-ups hurt my heart. I feel that people are truly at their best and most fulfilled when they have someone who genuinely loves and supports them by their side.
If it were up to me, I would have been married at 21. I’ve always wanted a house full of love, laughter and passion with my partner & friend for life. I’ve always wanted a husband and a good marriage.
In essence, my worst fear, my nightmare has always been singleness. Because, being single meant loneliness and boredom. Single meant; rejected, unloved, unhappiness and not chosen. Single meant, I wasn’t pretty enough, good enough, or smart enough. Single meant, that I didn’t deserve love & that people would wonder what is wrong with me. As the years have rolled by, I’ve watched many marry, find love, and get into great relationships. I’ve often wondered ‘why not me’? Singleness was my nightmare, I was living in it & fearing it all at the same time. Until finally, I didn’t. I woke up one day and realized I had survived. I survived the break-ups, bad relationships and wrong choices. I survived after breaking hearts and having my heart broken. I made it to my 30’s as a single woman and I was still alive. (Imagine that!)
After realizing that I was struggling with a case of chronic anxiety for years, I decided to get serious about my pain & relational trauma. I was having horrible dreams that men hated me (I know that’s not true). I would wake up crying and scared, because the dreams reinforced the thought that I would never have love. Finally, I decided to get clear about the condition of my heart and soul. When I acknowledged it (through inner-work and much prayer), the load lifted. The anxiety stopped and the fear ceased. I learned to trust God & lean on the people He had graciously given me in the form of friends. I learned to be present & enjoy every moment with those friends. As I healed, more opportunities for connection presented themselves. I gained a full social calendar & I am very rarely bored. On the flip side, I also learned to relish my own company and enjoy solitude. I learned to pamper myself & I learned how to be still. I learned to laugh! Most of all, I learned how to take great care of me.
Even though I had evolved, the fact was that not much changed on the romantic relationship front. I was still single, but I was not lonely. I was not loved by a man romantically, but I was loved by many. I was not chosen by one man to be his woman/wife, however, I was chosen by several amazing people in which to bond in close friendship, brotherhood and sisterhood. I’ve realized the nightmare we imagine is usually never as bad as our minds make it out to be.
I’ve learned that even though I am living in what I feared most, my life is rich, rewarding and full of promise. I am happy, I am whole, I am at peace & I am alone, still single. I don’t always like it and of course I still pray/hope for an amazing marriage one day. But, for the most part, I am fulfilled and joyful. Your life may not be everything you desired, but it can still be wonderful & filled with phenomenal moments. My life is probably alot like yours, an exceptionally, beautiful nightmare.
**Special Update** Approximately 2 months after writing this article, I met a wonderful gentleman. We are now involved in a healthy, happy, monogamous relationship. Ironically, he shared that he was even more attracted to me after reading this very blog post. I am living proof that love will find you at just the right moment and it will be exactly what you need. Fear not, only believe. Stay lifted!