* This Post is curated in conjunction with the ladies of The Refined Collective. Be sure and read these beautiful ladies perspective on Creating Space: Lauren Scruggs, Go Fit Joe, Danielle Bennet, Brynn Watkins, Tutti del Monte, Tonya Kae. Also, join us over on Instagram today under #therefinedcollective to see what everyone else has to say about love.
When I think of summer, I think of creating space. Space for friends, adventure, and late nights that aren’t tainted by earlier mornings.
Summer is a time when we have more space to enjoy ourselves. Unfortunately, without the noise of productivity, we have more space to notice what we don’t enjoy. We don’t enjoy the emptiness of unemployment, unfulfilled dreams, or serial singleness. These empty spaces can feel less like freedom and more like a vacancy.
Most women don’t have the courage to rest in these vacancies. It’s easier to say, “I like being single” while secretly downloading a dating app. It’s easier to say, “I’m enjoying my staycation” while hiding your pile of applications and rejection letters. It takes courage to wait in the emptiness of not having.
Before I met my husband, I went through a phase I like to call “filling the void.” Fill in the blank with your imagination.
Men, food, alcohol, social media, and workaholism became unworthy substitutes for what I really wanted. I wanted love. Since finding love was out of my control, I took control in all the wrong places. I would reach out to an ex or obsess about my flaws instead of feeling the loneliness and uncertainty that waiting for the real thing brings.
When we have waited a long time for what we really want, we are tempted to fill the emptiness with unworthy substitutes. Don’t.
In my (just launched) book I Can’t Believe I Dated Him, I describe a client who had trouble releasing a toxic partner. Part of her knew she deserved someone better, but part of her would rather feel the familiarity of a bad relationship than the unknowns of no relationship.
The problem with clinging to a substitute while waiting for the real thing is that it sends the wrong message. The longer she stayed with him, the longer a “NO VACANCY” sign hung over her heart; She had to release the wrong guy so her new partner could meet her and see a “VACANCY HERE” sign hanging proudly over her.
When we are afraid of loneliness, we cling to partners and potentials even when we shouldn’t. Most of us would rather feel toxic love, than healthy loneliness.
I refer to this human tendency as misused uncertainty. My client struggled to release her partner because she was uncertain of the future. She was afraid that if she left, she would be alone forever. She responded to uncertainty by seeking control in the wrong places.
In my book, I ask readers to reclaim an empowered response to uncertainty. Misused, uncertainty tempts us to control the future and even our feelings. The truth is that the future is uncertain and uncontrollable, but that is OK.
The healthy way to respond to uncertainty is to take stock of what is not in your control and release it.
Is the future yours to control? No, so release it. Is his opinion within your control? No, so release it. Is timing within your control? Nope, so release it.
So, how long will you wait for what you want? The answer is out of your control. What fortunately is under your control is to create space for what you want by releasing anything or anyone who is not compatible with the future you desire.
Uncertainty is a beautiful opportunity to take stock of control patterns and release the ones that don’t serve you. The more you release, the more space you create. The more space you create, the more vacancy you have for people and situations you actually want.
My client came up with a brilliant metaphor: An engagement ring. She wants an engagement ring, but only by “giving it away” can she get it back from her future husband.
This week’s mindfulness challenge: Release your “ring” aka surrender what you want to a higher power so to speak. Despite the momentary emptiness, trust that creating space on that pretty finger of yours allows you to adorn it with something new.
I don’t know how long you will have to wait for what you want. What I do know is that the waiting period is more enjoyable when you are surrendered to it, instead of controlling it.
You can journey through the empowered response to 7 more emotions in my book I Can’t Believe I Dated Him. Available for purchase nationwide and online today.
May we heal fully, live freely and love boldly,
Amazon Best Selling Author & Coach