February 19, 2019

Embracing Single.

Singles Wellness
Dear Sojourners,

Permit me to make a statement. Then I will write a little about what it took for me to arrive at this statement.

I encourage singles to explore self-awareness and opportunities for personal growth. Clients I work with are looking to remain single, even for a season, so that they can heal from past hurts and become fully alive in their individuality, whether or not they choose to couple again. I am not pro single nor am I against coupling. I am for the individual embracing their single season to work on self, and, while doing so, finding and building healthy communities that nurture their wholeness and wellness.

If you haven't asked yet, I'll save you the trouble. The answer is "YES." Yes, this is very much my journey, my own story. Now that we have that out of the way, here's what I want to say.

My journey to this moment, this post, this mission, has been long. It has taken my entire adult life and brought with it elements of childhood. It is the good, the bad, and the ugly of my life's path. It has been painful and more recently it has been most joyful. I have been prideful yet have arrived at this moment most humbled. I have been stubborn and that has sustained me. I have been broken and brokenness has helped qualify me.

This moment is years and tears in the making. Failed relationships, yet all along my way incredible, unmistakably God-orchestrated timely, loving friendships. Poor decisions yet embraced and graced by others with wise counsel, professional counselling, and mentoring. An unwillingness to learn taking comfort and shelter in my blind spots but eventually a necessary and earnest search, self-study, and formal education resulting in a toolkit brimming with new and sharpened skills. Career, ministry, family, and business. Successes on mountain tops and hard lessons in a heap of depression. It all has come to this vocational focus: Singles' Wellness: Embracing Single.

Take a quick Google search, and you will find topics of wellness such as health and wellness, seniors' wellness, fitness wellness; even a recent Globe and Mail article warning readers about the "wellness" trap. (It's a great read). So many resources and services are devoted to all sorts of relationship issues, marriage support, dating advice (ad nauseam), but what about taking time to get "wellness" before a new or next relationship?

When I say I promote "Singles' Wellness", I mean I am for singles taking time out in their "single season" to work on individuation. And that being self-actualization, self-realization, breaking co-dependant mindsets and beliefs, and becoming a healthy independent. Further, I believe this process is only possible and successful while in connection with a healthy, nurturing community.

I'm for those of us who have been through multiple relationships in our adulthood, including marriage(s) and/or those who are serial daters, to step off the proverbial hamster wheel and just stop. This stop or pause (whatever is comfortable for you and for however long you need) could be the most exciting, enriching, and exhilarating time in your adult life. And warning, this pause could lead to a healthier you and quite possibly, if you chose to, a healthier coupling relationship down the road!

My quirky creative mind that loves words came up with this wee phrase this morning (even before my first cup of coffee) to get my message out with a gentle nudge of humour:

"Wait! Before you date... individuate!"

See how I did that? It rhymes and everything.

Here's what I know to be true. There are many hard things about being single. In future blogs, I will share some results of a survey I'm currently conducting where I'm getting feedback from real people on this topic. (Here's the link if you'd like to take the Singles Wellness Survey.)

There are many fears that can be associated with singleness. This includes fear of living alone, growing old alone or financially surviving on a single income. (These fears are valid; however, they might not be the best driver for making relationship decisions! I will be addressing fear-based living and decision-making in future blogs.) I don't believe we are designed to be alone but it is fact that many of us are.

Did you know that singles are making Canadian history? According to the latest Canadian household census, there are more one-person households than ever before in our history! Gloria Galloway, Journalist with the Globe & Mail, writes in her article on the latest Statistics Canada Census 2016, “For the first time in the country's history, the number of one-person households has surpassed all other types of living situations. They accounted for 28.2 percent of all households last year, more than the percentage of couples with children, couples without children, single-parent families, multiple family households and all other combinations of people living together.”

And so we have more single households than ever before. But we also kmow that we need others to be healthy - emotionally, spiritually, mentally, physically. In his book The Different Drum, Community Making and Peace, M.Scott Peck writes,
"The truth is we can never truly be whole in and of ourselves."
This is why I simultaneously want to promote singleness and community. This, on the surface, appears like a no-brainer but "community" in its most authentic sense of the word is harder to attain than one might think. I want to help singles build safe, nurturing communities just as much as I want to see singles soar to new heights of individuality and wholeness! I believe they are mutually exclusive. You'll hear more about this in future blogs and workshops too!

Embracing Single could possibly be one of the greatest personal breakthroughs, adventures, and journeys of your lifetime. I could practically guarantee the life-changing consequences of making an intentional decision to embrace your singleness!

I'm going to conclude with a list of synonyms of "embracing" for you to soak in. I challenge you to take this concept of "Embracing Single" and imagine yourself actually physically embracing your singleness. Lean into it as if it's a friend not a foe. And I mean all of it. All of its pain, its fears, its joys, and its adventure. Treat each of these words like a melty Lindor chocolate. Feel the feels. Then notice what you are feeling. Baby steps. Are you ready to Embrace Single?
Welcome. Accept. Receive. Enthusiastically/Wholeheartedly Take-Up. Take to heart. Adopt. Seize. Hold. Cuddle. Clasp. Squeeze. Clutch. Grab. Clinch. Nuzzle. Caress. Hug. Enfold. Clasp. Hug. Enfold. Clasp. Bear Hug. Cradle. Bosom. Envelop.
As always, feel free to reach out melaniejoyhart@icloud.com.

Because Every One Counts,

Melanie Hart

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