One of the most fun things about being single lately......is dating. MYSELF.
Sometimes we just need a break from boys. A season to get to know ourselves again. Or maybe for the first time. If anyone understands how hard this can be, it's me. Trust me. BUT, these are the baby steps I took that helped me discover how FUN it could be to block out the noise and
plant something new.
Go to dinner alone
Gone are the days of arguing about where to go for dinner.
I feel like going to dinner alone is a right of passage for personal growth.
Ya just gotta do it.
Pick the place.
Sit at the bar.
Wear red lipstick.
Order the 9 oz glass of wine.
Relax & enjoy.
Take a class
Now that I’m finally asking myself • What do I want • I have found myself BACK at the dance studio! Why I like it: You’re in a dark room with music so loud you can’t think about anything else. There are a handful of other ladies in the room…but they’re not looking at you. It’s their escape too. You can shut the world out for the next hour. Get in touch with your body. And leave with a renewed sexy, confidence.
I love to refinish furniture. (Taking old, worn furniture and making it new). There’s something so therapeutic about sanding away the rough grime and residue and making the wood return to its soft, smooth state. This gets the wood ready to be painted. Once you’re done stripping away the old, you are free to cover the wood with color. PAINT! This brings the piece to life. Once it dries, it may look finished - but it's not. It needs to be sealed with polyurethane to PROTECT the work you’ve done. Do y'all see where i'm going with this..........I love the redemption of these pieces.
It reminds me that our roughness can be sanded away too. It’s not the most glamourous part of the process. And when you look at a stunning piece of furniture, no one wonders how long it look to sand it down first. But it’s 100% necessary for the paint color to go on smoothly.
Color is a reflection of light. So, the fact that we have color at all, means we have LIGHT.
More metaphors guys.....Paint color covers old, stained and beaten wood to restore it to a desirable state --> the same way --> Light absorbs our darkness too...making us bright, colorful, beautiful, abundant and full of LIFE. Again.
Soak in wisdom
God meets us where we’re at. When we take a step towards him, He shows up and brings peace and understanding and clarity that the world cannot provide. If you put yourself in a position to hear from God, you will begin hearing from him. But you’ve got to position yourself. I have listened to countless sermons, ted talks, podcasts, worship songs, you name it. And bit by bit, I get to know him a little better. And the wisdom I soak in softens my heart and raises my antenna to hear him more clearly. I only have so much knowledge in my head and I know I don’t have what I need to grow strong and whole on my own. I need to constantly learn things I don't already know. Turns out there’s a lot. (Shocking, I know.)
Whether you’re coming out of divorce or not…I think therapy is so necessary for everyone at least once in their life. Take a season to really lean in to therapy. You may be surprised at what you learn about yourself. Most of us have some type of “character defect” or way of dealing with life that’s our “go to” bad habit. Learn what yours is. And then, practice a new and healthier way.
This was one of my favorite things I did for myself during my season of healing.
I wanted to do something independent and bold. And I wanted to do it all by myself.
So, Pick a spot. Preferably one with a view. Nature. Bring books, journals, music, etc.
Sleep in. Rest. Plan a massage. Do yoga. Go for a run. Whatever makes you happy.
But, take in the fresh air and the outdoors. I spent most of my time on a balcony looking out at the sunset, sipping tea and reading. It was so necessary for my soul to just be without the pull of a 3 year-old or the buzzing of my phone sun up to sun down. (Oh yeah, preferably a place with no cell service). Don’t worry, the anxiety of not having your phone will be counteracted by the VIEW. LOL.
DO WHATEVER THE HELL YOU WANT (BECAUSE YOU CAN)
Not everyone is into tattoos. I am. I have 3.
My ex, however, was NOT into tattoos. Always putting a damper on my desire to get one.
He would get so angry if I asked his opinion about a tattoo I wanted.
But this is the beauty of dating myself: I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT!
I don’t have to ask permission. I don’t have to explain myself. I don’t have to deal with a bad attitude if someone disagrees with my choices.
My tattoos now serve a double purpose as a reminder to be who I am and never let someone make me feel guilty about it.
Note to readers: Don’t try to change people. Or manipulate them into seeing things your way. It doesn’t work. Let them be who they are. This quote speaks VOLUMES to me:
***ALERT: This is probably the most profound thing you will see here today***
“The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise, we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.”
– Thomas Merton
I watched the movie War Room after 3 people suggested it to me.
And then I copied it and created a "war room" (i.e.: prayer room) of my own.
When my ex moved out, I turned his closet into a prayer closet.
I write my prayers down on paper and tape them to the walls.
I take them down and save them when they’re answered.
I have bible verses and sermon quotes that speak to me sharpie’d all over the walls.
Out of 3,000+ sq ft, this 6x6 closet is my favorite space.
Enjoy alone time
Don’t get me wrong. I spent plenty of nights going out trying to distract myself from the struggles I was facing. But, those nights didn’t add to my healing. It was the nights IN where I said no to my girlfriends because I knew my spirit was too sensitive to be out on the town.
(Maybe this is just me and I have crazy girlfriends?!?!?!) #accurate
But as fragile as I was, I needed some internal strength and “going out” wasn’t going to fuel me. It was going to wear me down. So, for a social butterfly with FOMO it seemed boring to stay in on Saturday night but you know what – Sometimes we have to make choices that are GOOD for us in the long run instead of what we may want in that moment.
My sister in law so casually said on the phone the other day: “Ya know…sometimes you do shit you don’t wanna do cause it’s the right thing…” And I was like, “I think that’s the most profound thing that’s ever been said!” We died laughing.
That’s her though. Effortlessly wise.
She's also the one who helped me remove all of my ex’s belongings from his closet while he was at work so that I could make room for my above mentioned NEW CLOSET. (Oops!)
If it was up to her I think his belongings would have been LOST IN A FIRE. She's good people.
Embrace NEW friendships
When I went through the divorce, some of my friendships changed. I lost some and found others. But one of the greatest blessings was a new friend that I made. I’ve never been so certain of a God given friendship than I am of ours. One of the things I love about her is she’s freaking hilarious. I didn’t realize how LITTLE I was laughing until I got around her. (The more I hang around her, I think I’m getting funnier too.*Pats self on back*)
Set the mood
Lose the clutter. Dim the lights. Light candles. Turn on music. Add giant pillows and fluffy blankets. Pour some tea in a cute mug. Go overboard with lavish REAL flowers. These things just made me feel so cozy and thankful for my calm, safe space.
“Beautiful surroundings make us happier, more creative and productive.”
Write it down
Get your feelings out of your head and onto paper. Written or typed.
It’s therapeutic and helps you navigate your emotions when you’re experiencing so many.
Writing it by hand commits it to memory & helps to establish the true root of your thoughts.
Another option: Start a Gratitude Journal.
By keeping a gratitude journal, you’ll begin to see God’s provision even on the bad days.
& Before you know it…you’ll have thousands of things written down to be thankful for.
Still not sure where to start?
This PDF printable is pretty elementary. AND THAT’S THE POINT.
I’ve used it many, many times.
Be gentle with yourself
Give yourself the grace that you so generously give to everyone else. Allow yourself to move right on through the moments where you aren’t doing your best and you’re not handling things as graciously as you wish. It’s okay. Most of us learn from first hand experience and practice. Personal growth and healing is no different. There’s no cheat sheet. We all have different tests. Trial and error. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself quickly and move forward a little bit wiser.