Secrets of a Happy Single Woman

Secrets of a happy single - Wow, it sounds like there's going to be a great revelation here.

The revelation is - there really aren't any magical secrets. This article could just as easily have been titled “Confessions of a Contented Character,” and maybe that would be more accurate. For while happiness and contentedness are not mutually exclusive or inclusive, I believe it is much more essential to be content in your daily life than happy.

Happiness has generally been treated as a final destination or goal:

“If I can just have more money – then I'll be happy.” “If I can just have a better job – then I'll be happy.” “If I can just get my kids out of the house - then I'll be happy.” “If I can just find the right man – then I'll be happy!”

In reality, it is being content with where you are that will make your journey that much more pleasant. If the truth be told, each of these goals could make each one of us happy, for a while, maybe even quite a while. But each carries with it its own load of baggage as do most things meant to “change our lives.”

More money! There is never enough. No matter how much you have, you find you'll always need more.

A better occupation normally means bigger salary, which means more responsibilities, no breaks, limited vacations, and longer hours.

Getting the kids out of the house and on their own is an amazing achievement. But statistics show that the number of grown children who are returning home to live or are still living at home with parents is on a steady rise. So maybe they are not so gone after all. And when the house is finally empty, loneliness often replaces the frustrating, head-butting arguments and constant worry.

And finding the right man? Well, with more than 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce, that obviously is not the end - all answer to happiness either.

But contentment. Now, there's a whole separate issue and a very realistic achievable goal for any woman. It is all a matter of perspective. It doesn't just mean to accept your lot in life and resign yourself to it. But it does mean that you are responsible for your attitudes and the choices you make.

The steps to achieve contentment are simple and need to be tailored for each person:

  • Find contentment in where you are right now! If there is no way that is humanly possible, explore other options and try to make a change. Don't just complain about it.
  • If there's something missing in your life as a single, find a way around it. If it's children, let yourself enjoy the children of friends and relatives. It's not the same as having your own, but the joy you will find is superb.
  • Don't rely on others to make you happy. They can't! It is your responsibility.
  • Foster a deep relationship with Jesus Christ. First, you have to deprogram your brain from believing that any of these things - a man, money, job, and anything else from an inexhaustible list of others - will make you more of a whole, happy person. It's simply not true! You are who you are, faults and all. God made you as unique as you are, and to date, He has pitched a perfect game. And you, simply because you exist in His world, are a key player!

Sure, there's no denying that sometimes you will be unhappy, uncomfortable, and even lonely being single. But, you would have just as much chance of being all of these things even if you were married with 10 children. Not having that “special someone” in your life can project feelings of inadequacy. But know in your heart that it is simply not true. The rest will follow. Having a significant other doesn't guarantee happiness.

So what's the secret?

It's in living so full a life that there's not much time left for self-doubt and loneliness.

Whatever your circumstances, throw your whole heart into them. If you're a career woman concentrate on making your job enjoyable as well as productive. Working at a job you love is important. However, if you merely like your job but wish you could change a few things to make it really great, create your plan of attack. List the pros and the cons, and determine which of those cons you have the ability and the right to change. Some things you can change. And some things you can't. If the problems far outweigh the pros and the, renegotiable cons, then possibly the problem is not in the career but in you. But you must be honest enough with yourself to really begin to change.

For example, if you feel you are not respected at work, find out why. Do you work for someone who has a control problem? Are you too aggressive in trying to “teach an old dog new tricks”? Talking to your boss is a good idea and critical if you want to clear the air. But be very tactful and open-minded to suggestions. Don't blow your stack and really “tell them.” Rarely will that get you more respect, and oftentimes it diminishes your credibility all together. If you are that unhappy, make a change.

If you are absolutely a straightforward career woman, make certain that you have a life aside from your job. If you do not, it is very easy to fall victim to the workaholic problem. Your work starts filling voids and the more it does, the more voids are created. It's a cycle.

If you're single and have a family to support, it is just as important to “have a life.” You may find all the joy and fulfillment you need taking care of your aging parents and/or your children. That's great if you do. But you will stay that way only if you make sure to take time out for you as well. It may be as simple as taking a walk in the woods or around the block. Perhaps it's as tough to schedule as a “skip” day, where you treat yourself to a full day of shopping, or the beach, or that seminar or class you've been wanting to take. Any of these (and there are plenty to choose from – use your imagination) will make a real difference in your outlook.

Don't let this fool you. I by no means am implying that you won't be unhappy many, many times in your life. You will get stressed, and when you do, take time out. You will get lonely, but that's OK if you make that lonely time productive, not simply wallow in it as it eats you up.

If you're falling into that pattern and you don't want to be lonely - don't! Join a club, take a class, invite a friend over, babysit for a coworker, visit an elderly friend, deliver food to or drive for a shut-in, write overdue letters, or call up an old friend.

Remember, loneliness is not all bad, and it doesn't have to mean that you are unhappy. Sometimes I look forward to a lonely weekend. I usually allow myself three hours to wallow in it (feel sorry for myself), and then I get busy. That is great closet-cleaning time - literally and figuratively. Being alone and lonely gives you time to process problems and develop solutions, rethink priorities and goals, and have an in-depth conversation with the Lord. I mean something tougher than “be with… ,” “please protect…,” and “if it is Your will, send me…” The really hard-core, way-below-the-surface issues take soul-searching time. Don't be afraid to lay your heart on the line and seek answers. God is in touch with your struggles and knows where all the hurts are. So there's no need to hesitate telling Him.

So what is the secret to making your life happy.

Is it your attitude? your commitments? your extended family and friends? your faith? Or is it all of these? If something seems to be missing, try tweaking one or all of them. Eventually all the pieces will fit, and you will feel whole. And after all, isn't that truly the essence of a happy life?

Society | Self-Help | Relationships

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