Some Valentines Day Positivity For Singletons

Oh Valentine’s Day. The one day of the year where singletons are cast out of the societal structure as we know it, even though for  the other 364 days we relish in our freedom while most of the couples complain about their other half and the downsides to being in a relationship. Well it doesn’t have to be all misery around this time of year and hopefully by moving through these next few questions you can come to some authentic happiness with your singledom, and own it like the awesome human you truly are.

Let’s start with some honest truths:

  1. Why are you single on Valentine’s Day?

Yes, it’s a toughie and probably something you wouldn’t willingly ask yourself but let’s put all those self deflating beliefs to one side and just extract the information. Why is it? Have you not met someone who you like enough to commit to a relationship yet? Maybe you broke up with someone because they weren’t treating you how you wanted to be? Maybe someone broke up with you? Or maybe, like me you have a massive fear of vulnerability because of some crazy life situation so you removed yourself from the dating scene altogether and now here we are in singletown on Valentine’s Day? Find the real reason and admit it to yourself. Whether it’s your fault or not, just get the reason, come to terms with it and move on to question number two.

  1. How do you feel about this?

If you’re reading this article you’re probably not feeling too positive about it, but what is the actual feeling there? FYI – ‘shitty’ and ‘bad’ are not actual feelings, and if you’re struggling to identify them, check out the Non-violent communication feeling directory to distinguish what it really is. Our feeling are there to give us information so we can learn from life situations and make an effort not to re-create them. Don’t get wrapped up in the unhappiness, guilt, shame or fear, just acknowledge it, feel it and release it.

  1. Why do you feel like this?

Let’s get straight on this one – we are each responsible for our own emotions. No one made you feel a certain way and only you are responsible for your happiness – the sooner you admit this the better. I mean, it’s up to you, you can spin around in circles blaming Tom, Dick and Harry for how he/she/they made you feel, but ultimately you put yourself in that situation and you are responsible for your emotional attachment to the situation. So let’s dig deep with this one and without blaming anyone else answer why you feel like this. Maybe you’re upset that you let someone cross your boundaries without stopping them? Maybe you feel guilty for pushing someone away or self sabotaging a relationship? Maybe you’re fearful of getting hurt because of something that happened in the past? The answer might not come straight away but ask those questions and eventually it’ll come to you.

  1. What could have you done differently to prevent this situation?

This is where you need to get your pen and paper out and write down all the options. There are always a tonne of different options but we seem to get tunnel vision with our behaviour and convince ourselves that we could have only done what we did to get here when that isn’t the case at all. For example, I’m single on Valentine’s Day because I haven’t quite come to terms with something scary in my past so I’ve avoided putting myself back on the dating scene. I didn’t have to do that, I could’ve gone out and met guys on online dating, or tinder. I could have gone out on the weekend and chatted up men until I bagged a date. I could have asked women out on dates. I could have asked my male friends if they wanted to go on a valentines date and see what blossomed. I could have sold the opportunity to date me on ebay (like James Blunt kind of did for his sister). I could’ve settled dating someone who I didn’t like just so I wouldn’t be single on Valentine ’s Day. I literally could have done a thousand things to not end up in this situation, however I didn’t choose to and there is often a reason for that (personally I’d rather be single and honest to myself on any day of the year, rather than compromising my values or being in some bullshit situation that I’m not 100% authentically happy with while me and my respective other comply to the obligation of a day which only corporations cash in on). Either way I chose to be here, and my actions of choice got me here.

  1. Can you accept that you made the best decisions you did with the resources you had at the time?

Ok, so maybe you’re still not completely content with the idea that you’re on your tod on Valentine’s Day but can you at least accept that you made the best decisions that you could have at the time that resulted in you being here? They might not have been the most logical, clear minded or even favourable decision but can you give yourself the compassion and love that you need to accept them? We all have egos and we all make regrettable decisions but that’s because we’re human and it’s our prerogative to make mistakes and learn from them. Cast that self blame, judgement and guilt aside and accept that you are what you are for good and bad, and that because of that you are fully human. You’re real, own it!

  1. What can you do to give yourself love today?

If you haven’t got a date, that doesn’t mean that you have to go without love. It also doesn’t mean that you have to scowl at all the happy couples roaming around all snugly in each other’s arms – in fact you definitely shouldn’t do this because the Law of Attraction states that by resenting what you want, you only push it away anyway and the future you doesn’t want that! So what can you do to give yourself love and make yourself happy on Valentine’s day? Let’s start with what you enjoy and what would make you feel good right now? For me that’s usually going out for a walk around my favourite lake and listening to an audio book, taking myself out somewhere nice for a coffee or hanging out with a friend and talking about silly little things. Whatever it is, fill your day with it so you can spend the majority of your day in positivity, that way you’re more than likely to attract next year’s date. I mean, who doesn’t want to be around a positive beam of singledom on the one day of the year that it’s not allowed? Rebel and let your happiness shine through you beautiful authentic being.

I want to create a world of greater wellbeing for ourselves and the planet that we live on. That’s why I’m starting an honest conversation about wellbeing; encompassing self care, emotional intelligence, body and mind awareness, personal development, and authenticity. If you want to learn more about these subjects then then head over to www.shereensoliman.com to find out more about the packages I offer.

Sending self care vibes,

Shereen x

Photo credit: Shereen Soliman

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Are You Respecting Your Boundaries?

Respecting boundaries is a subject that has been rotating around various conversations lately and it’s caused me to think about what my boundaries are and how I go about communicating them.

When I think about the heartbreak and the attack, I think about the boundaries that I stated and communicated, and those that I didn’t. Ultimately we’re all in control of our own boundaries and by stating them we set the benchmark for how we allow others to treat us. In one of these instances I didn’t communicate my boundaries and when I allowed them to be overstepped I got frustrated and angry because I felt so vulnerable. In the other instance, I fiercely communicated my boundaries which weren’t respected and this literally ended up in a violent fight to protect them. When experiencing PTSD there seems to be a fear within me that I can’t control my boundaries and that they will get overstepped again. I especially feel this when there is the possibility that I might be in a vulnerable situation, particularly at moments when I have the potential to be intimate. What’s interesting is that because of the fear of boundaries being overstepped I feel a huge compulsion rise within me to protect myself and sometimes in a very fierce manner. This very action stops me from getting into situations where I can exercise my vulnerability and practice establishing new boundaries, leaving me in a catch 22 PTSD spiral. The reality here is that I control my boundaries and I have protected them before so there’s no reason to worry that they could be overstepped because the choice to allow that to happen always lies within my control.

I’ve received this lesson on boundaries on both ends in the last year and I even remember a friend shouting at me during an argument about it…

“But no one can say no to you Shereen” she screamed, when I asked why she let me stay at her house which was actually an inconvenience to her, rather than just saying no. This overstepping of boundaries led to a build up of resentment in the friendship which later destroyed it all together. What I’ve realised since is that we live in a society where difficult things aren’t talked about and people don’t like to say their truth, instead, we’re somehow encouraged to pretend like everything is ok even when we actually feel taken advantage of. This lack of communication leads to people being in situations that they don’t want to be in, situations where they’re not being authentic to themselves. Well, I’m going to be blunt here – if you’re not going to state and communicate your own boundaries then how can you expect others to know what they are? The human race hasn’t evolved to be telepathic yet so if you’re not using the communication tools you’ve been given then you can’t expect people to know what you want.

The other side of this is that women especially are encouraged not to speak out, as though to do so is some kind of shameful activity. I’ve faced this all my life when I’ve been told that I’m bossy when in reality I’m assertive and make things happen. Or that I’m too direct when I speak up against immoral actions of others, this isn’t being too direct, it’s having integrity. Another is when I call out sleazy guys who are making me or other women feel uncomfortable by their undesired advances. That one is usually delivered as overreacting when in reality I’m communicating boundaries.

Whilst I’m getting used to stating my boundaries, I know that my strength in character can push others boundaries and the statement that was shouted at me by my friend last year gave me an insight into the friends I’d surrounded myself with – some who allowed me to overstep their boundaries and then held resentment in our friendship against me and some who have the courage to stand up to me and point when I’m overstepping the mark. After the traumas, an intense light got shone on these friendships and it made me think what kind of people I want in my life. The thing is that when such emotionally intense things happen it can be difficult to see the wood from the trees and it’s more important than ever to have friends with the inner strength to say “Hold on a minute friend, you’re out of line there”, and without these friends I might have been even more reactive to the traumatic situations I’ve been through. These people are my signposts in life who steer me away from destructive situations when I’m clouded by my emotions, the ones who teach the lessons even if they’re hard to hear and ultimately keep me on the path of continuous self-improvement – isn’t that what true friendship is about? Thank you to all my ‘signposts’, you know who are you and I love you completely for being your strong authentic selves.

The shocking thing is that by acting this way I know we’re in the minority and worse of all that makes us look like trouble makers, but I’m done with feeling guilty for speaking my authentic truth and my horoscope this month even backs me up.

“You would be wise to pause and consider the possibility that people are intimidated by you. There continues to be an alignment of slow-moving, deep, and evocative planets in your sign. One response people might have to you is that things get real fast when you’re in the room. This is not your problem; don’t take it on. It’s been a long time since people in Western civilization have been this frightened of their shadow.” Eric Francis Coppolino.

Touche Eric! Not my problem at all so I’m dropping the shame around this and I’m stepping into who I really am – assertive, integral and with the courage to stand by my morals and I implore others to this too especially when it comes to setting boundaries.

So I leave you with this. What are you boundaries and are you communicating them? If not, why not? What would happen if you did? I’ve found that for me this has led to deeper more understanding relationships, even if there were a few sticky parts along the way.

In the end, it’s always worth it.

I want to create a world of greater wellbeing for ourselves and the planet that we live on. That’s why I’m starting an honest conversation about wellbeing; encompassing self care, emotional intelligence, body and mind awareness, personal development, and authenticity. If you want to learn more about these subjects then then head over to www.shereensoliman.com to find out more about the packages I offer.

Sending self care vibes,

Shereen x