Know How to Ride Solo
When I was younger, I’d watch my mother host these get-togethers that made everyone feel special. People would rave about her cooking and she took pride in the fact that she could make our home feel welcoming to just about anyone. My mom taught me the jedi secrets of my house is your house.
As I got older, I began to emulate what I’d seen her do. It turns out that one of those jedi secrets wasn’t some special hack at all. Instead it was a way of life rooted in the fundamental basis of loving people simply because they’re human and deserve it.
Love, with its unconditional perfection, is sometimes hard to give. And as much as I’d grown a reputation for scouring the ends of the earth for donut towers and balloon arches, sometimes I felt empty afterwards. Love, with its rainbows and butterflies, can run you dry if you need to be refilled from the outside.
Lesson #9765: Know how to ride solo.
One of the most poignant, earth-shattering, life-changing things I’ve heard this year is that love is a mirror. I can only love you the way I love myself. With that realization came the shining light of truth that said I needed to start loving myself better in order to be who I wanted for the people I love.
When I think about the ways my mother prioritized herself -- the way she dated herself long into her marriage, the way she set boundaries, shook tables and sounded alarms -- I understand better how she was also able to give to others.
Knowing how to ride solo means loving yourself enough to be alone and enjoy it. It means that the company you keep becomes an embellishment and not a completion.
When you know how to ride solo you get to take your power back because you’re not hanging on for a lifeline. Once you reach a place where you alone are enough, it becomes very clear whether people are adding value to your life or sucking it from you. What becomes even clearer is how you’ll handle it.
When we think about creating lives of intention, environment matters. Intentionality means demanding of your environment the excellence required to grow. As I look around at my own life, I’m so thankful for the group of women who surround me. They allow me to place that demand on them in seasons where I’m barely getting it for myself. What’s more they allow me the space to grow alone in seasons when that demand is too much.
There comes different points in our journeys when we all have to walk alone. Let’s start loving ourselves better so that we are prepared when those times come.