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Alone and Holy

I spent many years alone, living by myself, meditating, eating by myself, and walking by myself. I was my own best friend and proud that I was able to gain such internal peace and holiness.

Just when I was ready to celebrate my enlightenment, I began to include others in my life, romantically. “I am Zen now,” I thought, “I am ready to be in a relationship now”. All of those articles that talked about working on yourself before entering into a relationship, all of those articles that talked about becoming your own whole person so that you don’t need anyone to complete you, they all encouraged me to learn to be alone before joining with another.

 

Well, being alone, as holy as it can get, did not prepare me for being with someone. All of the internal peace within me vanished when I was hungry and my partner and I could not choose a restaurant to eat at. For years I chose what to eat and when to eat and there was no discussion about it with someone else. It was a peaceful process. But now two people were choosing and I didn’t like pizza and I wasn’t even hungry yet. But we had this dinner planned and it was time to eat. Wanting to be peaceful, I sucked it up, kept my complaints inside, and forced the pizza in. And then I felt sick and resented my partner. And so when my partner didn’t want to walk me home that night because he had something planned that he had to run to, I burst.

 

“I ate a whole pizza for you!”…That’s what I wanted to say. Instead I said, “You can’t even walk me home?!” I felt abandoned and not seen. But I was my own best friend all of these years! Where is that inner best friend to comfort me and hang out with me instead now? I kept telling myself, “I’m complete by myself. I don’t need him to walk me home.” But I wanted him to walk me home and it hurt that he didn’t and my inner best friend could not fill in that night.

 

After a few incidences like that I realized…I could be alone again and be holy. But I could be even more holy is if I can be with someone, face my dark sides, my selfishness, and my neediness and other “nesses” that I didn’t even know I had inside, and continue to love my partner and myself in the process.

Taking time to get to know yourself is good. But don’t expect that it will prepare you for being in a relationship. Being in the relationship will prepare you for being in that relationship. Also, it’s not always about being holy :)

 

 Elham Farhodi, MFT intern is a therapist at The SF Marriage and Couples Center. She offers sliding scale therapy to couples and individuals who can't afford full fee. 

Elham Farhodi, MFT intern is a therapist at The SF Marriage and Couples Center. She offers sliding scale therapy to couples and individuals who can't afford full fee. 

Taking time to get to know yourself is good. But don’t expect that it will prepare you for being in a relationship. Being in the relationship will prepare you for being in that relationship. Also, it’s not always about being holy :)

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