"Is something wrong with me?"
I’ve asked myself that on many occasions and what comes up is a tarnished view of myself as I run down a list of my “wrongs.” That list says….I’m divorced. I’ve had two abortions. I have a sexual past. I’m skinny. I’m dark-skinned. I wear glasses. My hair is kinky, not straight. The list goes on… As I type this out I can see that those thoughts are absolutely FALSE because I’m an amazing and beautiful black woman. However, when I’m in those negative moments, I let my emotions feed off the lies. So what’s the “Is something wrong with me?” question really all about? It’s rooted in how we see ourselves. Let me explain…
If I’m a single woman who is asking “is something wrong with me?” simply because someone hasn’t decided to be in a romantic relationship with me, I’m pointing to a belief about myself that may have been lying dormant all along. If I were in a relationship, it may show up in another form, like “Am I pretty enough for him to stay?” or “What if he finds someone better than me?” So in the end, it’s not really about being “chosen” by a man. It’s about what I believe about me. Make sense? So if I’m a single woman who subconsciously doesn’t believe that I’m enough in some way, then I will subconsciously look for others to provide what I don’t believe about myself. As a result, I begin to crave validation and attention from men to make me feel like I’m worthy and valuable, because I don’t really believe it for myself.
Many of us single women get trapped in this way of thinking and don’t realize it. So how do we break this cycle? Well, it starts with being aware of where we are. It’s time for us to know that it’s okay to not have it all together. Let’s be real and acknowledge that we have insecurities, need to be validated, need to be paid attention to, etc. It’s perfectly okay to have emotional needs. The question is, how do we get our emotional needs met in a healthy way? When I say healthy, I mean a balance between offering what we need to ourselves and getting it from others; Engaging in interdependent relationships rather than co-dependency. So basically, I’m not solely relying on someone else to give me what I need. I’m starting with giving it to myself first.
So what are some ways to break up the “Is something wrong with me?” belief? Here are a few suggestions that have been helpful for me:
Create a list of the amazing things about you, beginning with “I am…” (i.e. I am beautiful, I am intelligent)
Look at yourself in the mirror and speak affirming things (i.e. “I love you”)
Pray and read scriptures in the Bible that affirm who you are (i.e. Psalm 139)
Participate in activities where you get to serve others and use your gifts and talents (i.e. volunteer in the community, serve on a ministry at church)
Give yourself permission to have sad moments and cry
Process your emotions with a therapist (I recommend therapy for everybody. Lol)
Vent and seek encouragement from close friends and family
Hire a life coach to help you see yourself as the awesome person you are (my life coaches have been amazing!)
This list is just a start and I’m sure you can add more. Being single doesn’t mean you’re going to like it every single day. Allow yourself to have your moments, get the support you need, then make a choice to continue enjoying your life where you are. Most of all, please embrace that there’s nothing wrong with you!
~Shavon Carter, the “You” Relationship Coach