It’s almost Valentine’s Day and it has me thinking about why I tend to dwell on memories and thoughts of certain people with whom I’ve shared warm and fuzzy feelings. The truth is, I’m single now because those relationships were not meant to be. While I can intellectually accept the idea that those relationships weren’t meant to last, it’s harder to feel emotionally stable, especially when I’m spending time alone and would rather have someone to share the moments with.
After discussing these memories with my awesome art therapist, I realized I was trying to recall the feelings of romantic love and attraction. I realized I wanted to feel those feelings, and not necessarily be with those people again. That prompted me to come up with a strategy for dealing with those feelings when they arise attached to memories and thoughts of people no longer in my life.
Here are the steps:
STEP 1: Consciously separate the feelings of romantic love and attraction from thoughts and memories of specific people. Quietly meditate on what you feel in your body, while letting thoughts come and go. Recognize the reality that you felt those feelings at one point in your life, and now you are recalling them again. Let go of the memory and focus on the feelings generated by the memory.
STEP 2: Recognize that the feelings come with body sensations and, therefore, energy. Notice how the feelings manifest in your body. Try to relax as you sit with the feelings. Does it make you want to smile? to cry? maybe both? There is no right way to feel. If you feel like crying, allow yourself to release the energy that way. It’s okay to cry, and you are releasing toxins in the process!
STEP 3: Put that energy out into the universe.
You can . . .
-Do a loving kindness meditation to surround yourself with good thoughts and extend those affirmations to others in your life.
-Do some visual art to express what the feelings mean to you in forms, images, or colors.
-Do exercise such as yoga to show respect and love for your own body.
-Make a gift for someone you love, such as valentines for your family and friends.
STEP 4: Talk about the feelings with someone you trust, such as a therapist or close friend. Processing feelings, thoughts, and body sensations outwardly can lead to more clarity. Try not to suppress how you are feeling, as that will only lead to anxiety. Open your heart to a person you trust and gain understanding and compassion in return.
STEP 5: Feel loving vibrations coming back to you from all directions! Write down what you have to be grateful for. Recognize all the people and animals in your life who care about you. Remember that God loves you, guides you, and helps create the path you were meant to walk.
I’m really proud that I came up with this strategy because it makes me feel resilient and happy to be single. I’m also happy to share it with you because I think a lot of people can benefit from taking these steps, not just around Valentine’s Day, but anytime they are dealing with the feelings of loss or loneliness and wanting to feel romantic love and attraction as a way to make themselves feel better. This is what I’ve experienced, and I hope my strategy works for you too, anytime you’re looking to feel more gratitude and joy for being single.