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Jewish Singles: Recycling

Throughout life relationships become recycled.  First we have our relationship with our parents who raise us, give us unconditional love (or are supposed to.)  They are our source of love and esteem.  Then we leave home and don’t get that as much and so replace that with a romantic relationship with a significant other.  In fact sometimes it’s a little creepy how much I’ve felt like a mother to my boyfriends.

Anyway, so after marriage you have kids, and the love is renewed all over again.  You get to know your kids and their different qualities, and grow to fall in love with them just as you did your husband or wife.  It’s these different relationships in our lives that give us meaning and fulfillment and happiness.

It seems that oddly enough, the way to make yourself happy, to give yourself a happy life…Is to focus more on someone else’s.  Are relationships just an escape from making your own life happy, worrying about yourself?  Are they an easy way out?  Or is that just the meaning of it all, what we’re supposed to be doing, what would actually make us happy.  Is the secret to really liking your life just not caring about it?  Caring about someone else’s life more?  Because if you think about it, without these relationships in the equation, no amount of success would ever actually make us feel fulfilled.

But does one prevent us from having the motivation to do the other?  If a relationship is already making us feel happy and meaningful and fulfilled, why bother chasing our dreams?  When you’re already perfectly happy, where does your motivation to do more come from?

Maybe life isn’t just about making one or a few people happy.  You have to be motivated to make a lot of people happy.  You have to care about everyone which is a scary thing to try to do because the more people you reach out to, the more people that can hurt you, the more people you’re depending on for your own self-worth, and esteem.

That’s why being single is hard.  Because you’re not always getting that positive reassurance, that unconditional love to affirm that you are, in fact, a good person.  And everyone needs to believe they are a good person.

I find being single to be empowering because it forces me to do that for myself, see the good in myself, really learn to love and embrace myself.  I don’t think that’s egotistical, I think that’s confidence.  I believe in loving yourself, and being proud of yourself.  But I don’t think that means you have to think you’re better than anyone else.  That’s the modest behavior I believe in.  Know that you are great for so many reasons, but that other people are also great for other reasons too.

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