“If you are not happy as a single person, you will not be happy in a relationship.” I learned this from my mentor some years back.
Last July, I went home to our town to attend the wedding of a friend and batchmate in high school. While the priest was concluding the marriage rites, a well-intentioned aunt turned to me and teased, “Aren’t you jealous of them (having partners and you having none)?” I smiled and said, “No, I’m not. But I’m so happy for them.”
Here’s the thing: We should not marry because of envy, we marry because we are ready.
There are a lot of things that we can do to be ready. Surprisingly, most of them can and should be done while we are still single.
Here they are: be happy, be healed, be whole and be wise.
First, be happy. Don’t wait to get married before you become happy. Relationship experts would say, “If you are not happy as a single person, you will never be happy as a married person.” So true. Because marriage will magnify what is already there. We hope that what is going to be magnified is happiness and joy.
Think about it – would you expect two lonely people coming together to create a joyful marriage? Where are they going to generate that joy if in the first place, there is no joy and happiness in them while they were single? They may change through time but that would be a tougher journey than if they were happy in the first place.
So don’t wait to get married to be happy. Today, make the decision to be happy. Be happy of who you are and where you are. This should not be confused with being complacent or staying in the meadow of mediocrity. We push ourselves forward. But while we are at where we are, we have to be happy.
Second, he healed. I have read accounts and heard from wise men and women that relationships fail because of wounded men and women. They have wounds which were not healed. Childhood wounds. Unsettled issues with parents. We have to forgive the past and those who wronged us. We surrender them to God. Let us not try to change the past because we cannot. Today, we have to make the decision to receive the healing grace of the Lord to mend our past pains and problems, even with our parents.
There was a young man who had an alcoholic father. He struggled with this. He wanted to change his father, but it never happened in the ideal way he wanted. When he grew up, for some reasons, he had been attracted to several women who indulge in alcohol. Yes, they may be physically attractive but what was subconsciously attracting the man is the longing to change that other person – something that he wasn’t able to do to his dad. By choosing that alcohol-indulging-woman, he would have the chance to change that woman. But will he be able to change her?
Similar situation it is for women who had been wallowing in a wounded relationship to go into another wounded relationship because such kind of relationship has become so familiar to her. And what is familiar is home. We gravitate to what is familiar. These painful pasts, even how familiar they are, should be healed.
So today, we have to heal ourselves through the love and grace of God. It can be through the church, priests, pastors, professionals, and healing retreats or events.
Third, be whole. Although it sounds romantic, it is not right to tell this to a woman: You complete me. No other human being will ever complete another human being. Only the Divine can. Only the Creator of human beings can. Only God can complete you and me.
Yes, it takes time to grow in this area. It is a journey. It is a life-long endeavor just like being happy and being healed.
My mentor said that we should not seek from a human being that which only God can. Let us not expect persons to love us perfectly because only God can do that. Let us not expect persons to complete us because only God can do that. If we have a better understanding of this, we can heal ourselves because we can forgive those painful and problematic pasts and persons – because they, too, maybe were hurting and they are humans – so we surrender them to the Lord and let Him be the one to love us first. After all, we cannot give love if we do not receive the love of God.
So while life is not yet complicated with another person, have this time to be whole in the love of God. It won’t be easy and our journey may not go as perfect as the ideal. What’s important is that we always go back to Him no matter how imperfect we are. Amidst human weaknesses and frailties, we have to go back to His light. It is in this way that we can be made whole – even if it has to take a lifetime.
Four, be wise. This is the best time to seek knowledge and wisdom in different forms and different ways. This is the best time to explore the world and experience the goodness of the world and its wonders. This is the best time to be wise!
Put them all together…
Combine these four and it is with hope that when you meet the one, you are also the one (or at least, going to that direction of being the one). When two happy, healed, whole and wise persons come together, what a wonderfully blessed relationship they would create.
Today, if you are single, make the decision, commitment and effort to be happy, be healed, be whole and be wise.
This is a great challenge I know. I fall into lots and lots of mistakes in my journey to live with these four essentials but I still try.
You and I have to strive.
We surrender to God. As it is written, His strength is made perfect in our weakness. I pray for you. Pray for me. Let us pray for each other.
Live your life, young mind!
(Chris Dao-anis aims to empower his fellow young minds with practical instruction and inspiration in the fields of communication and personal leadership. He is an author, trainer and speaker. For talks, seminars or speech coaching, email him at email@example.com. His latest book ‘Living Large in the Little Things’ is available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road and at Psalms Bookstore (Sunshine Supermart) in Baguio City. Other options are available at www.chrispoweracademy.com/livinglarge.)