When I walked into my cousin’s wedding years ago I was already feeling a little embarrassed, even though I was looking really good for this wedding I even find a website with the best nail bars and salons in the city. I had imagined that I would have been attending the wedding with someone. I planned on being engaged by now showing everyone in the room, especially my family members, my ring and how happy we were together.
I was there with my family, and yet I felt totally alone. I was excited to see everyone because it was rare that all of us were in the same room at the same time, but I was embarrassed to have to explain why I wasn’t with Hemal anymore.
In my mind, the worst part about this wedding was that my cousin who was getting married was several years younger than me. And she wasn’t the only one! It felt like every younger female cousin I had was either dating someone or married already. I tried not to feel badly about it and I put on a happy face even though inside I was feeling totally lost. I saw all of them happily talking with one another and I just couldn’t help but wonder what I had done wrong.
When people would ask me about whether Hemal and I were still together I would say no and that is was for the best, even though that was totally not how I felt.
To them, it looked like I had it all together. I was doing really well in my career- in fact I was crushing it. I loved living in NYC. I was surrounded by lots of people who loved me. Yet at this wedding there was a sense of unhappiness I couldn’t quite describe.
Being Indian, I was immediately placed in a pool of eligible people, and was looked up and down by every Auntie in the room. (If you didn’t know, everyone is an Auntie or Uncle for us!) They were coming up to my parents and I saying that they know someone whose son is “looking”, which basically means they were looking for a wife.
I could see all of the Aunties turn to each other and ask if I was single and available. It was interesting, kind of funny, and also nerve-wracking. I remember feeling a mix of being defective and also that I was someone who was wanted.
The reason I am telling this story is because this particular wedding happened on Thanksgiving. Indians will try to fit a wedding into any long weekend, because the events are like 5 days long, which honestly I love!
I know that the holidays can make you feel like your singledom is put on spotlight. You start to dread spending another New Year’s alone or surrounded by couples joyously kissing at midnight. You probably have that same feeling of being lost inside like I did, wondering when it will be your turn. Sometimes you even think, “Will it ever be my turn?”
Well, there were several ways I got through that wedding and I want to share them with you. They totally let me get present and feel more comfortable for where I was in that moment, and where I was in my love life.
Your lovework is to try these three things the next time you find yourself in a situation like I was:
1. Take in the compliments: I totally took in the appreciation. I know it is super annoying to hear one more time, “You are such a catch, why are you still single?” or some version of that. I challenge you to take in the first part of that sentence. You are a catch. I challenged myself to take in all of the Aunties staring at me. There must have been something there for them to stare at that was pleasant! I chose to take in that what was getting reflected back to me was my beauty, that I am a friendly person, and that I am someone whom another person wants to set up with a person they know and love. That is a big compliment if you think about it!
Too often we have the tendency to translate these moments as if our friends and family are implying that there’s something wrong with us or they feel sorry for us. Choose to seek out the complements and take that in. In fact to really take it in I would respond to them by saying, “Thank you for the compliment!”
2. Be the seeker: I took in the family love. I know for most of us, being around family can be really stressful. One of the reasons it is so stressful is because we have had years and years of translating what we THINK (not always based in truth) our mom and dad think of us.
What helps me move past that is watching my nieces and nephews and how much their parents are going through to raise them. Sometimes kids can get out of hand and sometimes they are angels. But whether you attribute that to the parents or not it doesn’t matter – because they have a huge job of making sure their kids are constantly safe, happy, and healthy. I realized at an early age (I know that is totally abnormal) that my parents were doing that for me. I exist because they cared enough. So, I honored that by taking in the love they were showing. Seeking it out. It is interesting when you seek out love how the universe reflects more of that back to you.
3. Use gratitude: I know you have been getting bombarded with this one especially considering we just celebrated Thanksgiving. Honestly it is absolutely a technique that gets you present. The men you desire are all around you, it just requires getting present. This includes people wanting to set you up.
Some gratitude that I felt at that time:
I come from a family that really values self-growth
I have friends that are supportive and loving
I have divinity within me
I am free to do what I choose when I choose it
If you are able to tap into these ways to bring yourself present instead of focusing on your lack, you will be able to move from feeling lost to being open for the love that is coming to you.
What do you think? Are there any techniques that you use to help yourself be more present during this time of year? What do you do so that you aren’t placing a spotlight on your singledom? I want to hear your thoughts in the comments below!