Gratefulness Challenge Day 16

Today’s Gratefulness Challenge post makes my Saturday sound a lot calmer than it actually was. Perhaps I should go to yoga before a full work day more often. Apparently the zen feeling carries all the way through the day.

1. Ritual: It can be as simple as always having the same morning routine, but there is something about ritual that is so soothing and spiritual. Some rituals that are very important to me include my warm up before starting a dance class, making my bed before leaving the house, journaling before going to bed and checking post secrets every Sunday morning around 12:30am. Also, all my favourite physical activities include a form of ritual. C-I Training, yoga and dance are all very full of ritual. I even find myself drawn to the teachers who make the ritualistic component of these activities a focus in their teaching style. For me ritual brings brings a sense of peace and helps me remain centred within my body. Partaking in rituals grounds me and brings focus to my busy life. When I am centred within myself I feel free to enjoy chaos that might be taking place around me.

2. Forgiveness: I have left this one alone for a while, even though it keeps popping into my head, simply because I didn’t know how best to tackle it. Then I realized, that it’s actually a lot simpler than it seems. Forgiveness has a lot less to do with who you’re forgiving or who you’re asking to forgive you and a lot more to do with yourself. The person most impacted by negative feelings is the person feeling them.

Its really more about forgiving yourself, either for something you have done, or simply for being human and having feelings. It’s ok to feel mad, sad, or hurt but when those emotions fester instead of moving on, then we are allowing them to become a handicap for ourselves. The only hard part is acknowledging that we can’t and shouldn’t control it all.

I may not forget what people have done to me or what I have done to both others and myself, but I am able to forgive. This forgiveness allows me to learn from the lesson of a negative experience instead of being bogged down by the emotions of the situation. You can’t change the past, you can only allow yourself to learn from it.

3. Being single: I’ll be honest, I’m not grateful for this one every moment of every day. Most of the time though I genuinely am happy being alone.

I think words like “single” and “alone” have such a negative connotation to them. Society creates this assumption that everyone wants to be in a relationship. I believe that yes everyone wants companionship, I have said before that I think humans are instinctively social creatures. I wouldn’t go as far as to assume though that EVERYONE wants a life-long monogamous relationship.

Now yes, personally I would like to find someone to spend my life with at some point, but I am in absolutely no rush. Firstly, because I am young therefore don’t feel the need to be and secondly, because I have never felt defined by my relationship status. I am no less or more of a person based on if I have a partner. Regardless of if Mr. Right shows up I still plan on living life to the fullest, and enjoying every last minute of it. There really isn’t anything now a days that you must have a partner to accomplish.

Plus no one is really truly ever alone. We are surrounded by people every single day, whether that is family, friends, or complete strangers. I think that most of us are able to say we have at least a few people in our lives that genuinely love and care for us. And sure, it isn’t the same thing, but don’t underestimate non-romantic companionship. I have always said that I would rather spend a night alone than a night with someone I really don’t like. And after being single for a while, I have spent many a night out wishing I had just stayed home. And, if the deadbeat dates are too much too handle, but I still want to go out I have all these awesome friends that are more than happy to go out to dinner, movies, shows and dancing with me. Plus with them I know there will be great conversation and lots of laughter.

I have always said that to be a good partner to someone else, you must first learn to be a good partner to yourself. Being single is important because it allows you to take the time to invest in the most important person you will ever have, you. Relationships take time and effort, so until one comes along I like to take all that extra energy and put it into investing in making me the happiest and best version of myself I can possibly be. If I can’t love myself, then why should I expect someone else to love me. I am grateful to have this time to do whatever my heart desires with no concern for how that may impact my partner’s life. I will have years to share my bed with someone else, so for now I am enjoying sleeping smack-dab in the middle of it.

Poet and singer Tanya Davis created this phenomenal video with filmmaker Andrea Dorfman a few years back entitled How To Be Alone. She tackles the subject of singledom far more eloquently than I have.

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