Many of my single friends are stressed about finding a good man. Some are in true panic mode. Most are in their late thirties and forties and have been around the block and had their share of knuckleheads. They are ready for love and fear that their prime is slipping away. They talk of biological clocks and the need to get “started.” They are successful, know what they want and hope to get it – ASAP. They are driven, wonderful and stressing themselves the hell out about whether love will ever find its merry way to their doorstep. Well, if this sounds remotely like you and this stressful state no longer serves you, let’s try something else. Try living meaningfully in the meantime.
The brilliant Iyanla Vanzant taught us about the “meantime.” This is the time in between starting your journey and getting where you intend to be. Imagine that you are taking a car ride across the country and though you know the final destination, you have yet to arrive. You might be anxious and just want to be out of the car and there already, but there’s so much to do in the meantime. What would you do while in the car to make your journey more fruitful? Would you listen to books or brush up on your Spanish? Would you sightsee and journal at pit stops? Would you pray and enjoy the silence? Would you stop to get rest? Maybe you pause to eat delicious meals, collect rocks on the side of the road and visit long lost relatives. Whatever you’d do, it should involve being present, prayerful and grateful. There should be an instinctive trust that you are prepared for the journey, and that you will eventually arrive safely and at the precise time that you need to be there.
On the journey to finding true love, we must commit to doing some of the same things we would on a road trip. We ladies can get anxious and impatient when it comes to finding love, especially the “older” we get. We want a partner now, today, or preferably – yesterday. And we are frustrated and a bit depressed and questioning whether it will ever happen. Some of us have already picked out the ring, the house, the kids names, and the wedding location – all without the input of the partners we intend to get. Some would call this good visualization while others might call it pressure. When we rush love, it seldom works. Haste makes waste. Don’t place that kind of strain on yourself. Be content within yourself. Trust that your remarkable love life will work out as it should – in God’s time and not yours. Shift your focus to yourself instead of the external. The meantime is precious time that should be valued and nurtured.
Use this freedom to do all the things you want to do. Be selfish and explore the beauty and wonders of you. Take time to determine what your needs are and work to fulfill them on your own. Fall in love with yourself. Sweet talk yourself. Hug yourself. Compliment yourself. Write yourself a juicy love letter. Travel by yourself. Touch yourself. Make yourself a mixtape. Take yourself to dinner. Rest yourself. Laugh at and with yourself. Be your own best friend. Dance with yourself. Treat yourself. Be kind and patient with yourself. Take time for yourself, real time. Be sexy for yourself. Trust yourself.
Whoever your partner will be, that person will be a reflection of you. So if you can truly and selflessly do all of these things for you, then you are equipped to do it for someone else – without losing yourself in the process. Charity starts in the heart of self.
While you’re catering to your fabulous self, work on yourself. I mean it. Be honest with yourself. We all have things to work on because we are constantly becoming our best selves with each moment. Lovingly point out personal areas you could strengthen and use this time to work on them so that they don’t become a distraction in your relationship. Trust God. Check the ego. Be flexible. Make a choice to be happy. Be on time. Follow your dreams. Fervently slash items off the bucket list. Learn to nourish yourself properly. Gain some work-life balance. Watch the temper and the tone. Advocate for yourself and learn to speak up when it counts. Cut the debt. Cut the superwoman act and learn to be vulnerable. Release the fear that you won’t find love. Release the fear that you won’t find love. Know that what’s meant for you shall be. Ashe.
You are on a voyage and whether it’s a bon voyage or not is entirely up to you. Know that this trip is blessed and that you’ve packed just enough, but not too much because you left the major baggage at home. Love yourself, stay present and enjoy the ride until you get to your final love destination. I’ll see you when you get there. To love, Tina