My dearest blogging friend, Morgan (aka Modern Single Momma) – the co-founder of iHeartSingleParents.com – has fallen madly in love. When she first told me about her Man in Moseley I was skeptical, the voice of rational reason and then I saw these pictures of the two of them together and got tingles down my spine. This is the real deal… and I couldn’t be happier for her.
By Morgan Siler
Couldn’t have planned for it in a million years. Same for becoming a single mom… once again proving the best things in life come entirely unexpected.
What can I say about love? For the past month and a half I have been wonderfully in it– simultaneously lost and keenly aware, like the greatest lucid dream ever experienced. My brain is still mush from my trip to visit my Man in Moselely.
There is a reason why love is such a popular topic. It’s the one thing deep down we all get, the one thing we can all nod our heads in agreement and say, “Yep, greatest drug known to man!” Love in and of itself, is nothing but awesome. A relationship may sour, but love never does. We are never hurt by love, we are hurt by the lack of it.
The thing about love though, is that it is also at the center of some of the most trite pieces of advice ever uttered. Writing about it I really wanted to avoid the triteness, especially because the experience of falling in love is so sacred; for me personally, not since the birth of my son have I felt life so alive.
I wanted to be able to share something with you all that was novel and inspiring. However, after days of reflecting on my experience, I have only the same damn trite things to say… and as much as I tried to avoid it, I am going to repeat them, because well, they are actually worth repeating.
So here they are the three of the tritest things about love (that aren’t so trite anymore):
1. You have to love yourself first
When I first found out I was pregnant and knew I would be going the road alone, I was at a very uncertain and difficult time in my life. I did not love myself much at all. I could go into gruesome detail here, but I will spare you (and myself). Its enough to say I knew I had some major personal work to do. If I was going to be responsible for the care of another soul here on this planet, I would have to get down to business facing some mighty demons.
I grew up with a mom who was chronically depressed and I learned the behavior of being unhappy. I knew how to be ruthlessly cruel to my own self. What I didn’t realize until I hit a profoundly low spot while pregnant in the June of 2006, was that lack of compassion for your own self severely hurts the ones around you as well.
It deprives them of the gift of giving you love (because you won’t accept it), and it deprives them of receiving it from you too (because how else can you truly appreciate another human being if you don’t even value the one you are?). I’ve learned that our spirits are like radio tuners, we have to set our dial to the frequency of self love in order to send or receive any meaningful signals.
Flash forward 2 years.
It’s June again and right before the adventure with my Man in Moselely really takes off. Life isn’t perfect, but most days I wake up with a genuine sense of gratitude and joy for my son Lucca and for the woman I am aspiring to be. I am able to look myself in the mirror and say I love you (this took woooooork!). I feel complete and the thought of sharing my life with someone besides my son is irrelevant; I am happier and more grounded than I have ever been in my life. Then a voice inside me says, “Morgan…you are ready to bring someone in. Prepare space for another human being in your heart. I’ve got one for you.”
I listened and prayed and when the magic started happening with my Man in Moseley, I allowed it. I was able to be vulnerable and free and completely me, because I wasn’t looking for him to rescue me from my life. I loved it already. It felt safe to love him, because I didn’t need him to love me.
Yes, I have experienced this to be true: Learning how to fully love yourself, frees you up to fully love another.
2. Love happens when you least expect it
Falling in love with my Man in Moseley happened at the height of my happiness being single. I was going out on dates, enjoying myself with friends, celebrating my time with my son, and really immersing myself in the work for Single Parent Magazine (launching this fall!) During this time, I often thought to myself, This is it! Life doesn’t get much better than this!
When the email correspondence took off with my Man in Moseley and I found myself utilizing every single piece of technology available (from hand written letters to video calls via skype) to have this person as a part of my day, I laughed out load at how blindsided by love I had been.
I, self-appointed spokeswoman for the awesomeness of single-dom, had suddenly entered the awesomeness of a loving relationship. I was completely taken aback.
Yep: Love happens when you aren’t at all looking for it.
(Note: My readers have asked me if I get married one day if this means my interest in single parent issues and the iHeart community will change. No, I’m telling you, my heart will always be here. Single parents are my peeps, my family, and I think a part of me will always identify myself as a single parent. Kinda like a veteran of war. Its an honor to wear this badge and to stand among some of the best human beings in the universe and call them “my own.” Us single parents can fall in love and grow who we are, but we never loose that experience raising a child alone. Once a single parent-always a single parent. It is its own special brotherhood, and I’m proud to be a part of it no matter what my marital status becomes
3. Love is all around
I met my Man in Moseley 3 years ago. We were living in a different town and we were both at entirely different places in our life from where we are now. He was married; I was a flighty and often drunken graduate student. I loved him like a brother and he cared and protected me like a sister. There was no hint in the slightest that one day we would fall incredibly in love with the other. Neither of us picked up on any signs that pointed to a shared destiny, but that is what is sooo cool! The universe has a crazy beautiful plan for each of us if we allow it to unfold. Seeds of happiness, fortune, and fate are everywhere.
Love is all around.
So there you have it! My experience falling in love as a single mom in three trite expressions about love.
But living this experience, I now know what is trite is true. The greatest movies, poems and literature of all time play-out these themes again and again…and don’t we love it? =)
One last one I wanted to share: Don’t be afraid to be who you are.
Being a single mom is something to be incredibly proud of and to embrace. We get the joy and opportunity of falling in love anew everyday–with our kids, with our freedom, with the self we are becoming. We are experts at loving selflessly, and hopefully, we are learning to love ourselves compassionately.
Who you are rocks. Love yourself mightily. When ‘the one’ comes around, you’ll know why he finds you irresistible, and falling in love with him will be tons of fun. Don’t forget to tell me all about it! I love LOVE!