Part of choosing to be single included for me a conscious commitment to myself and my life. Too often, my life had been hijacked by a relationship and every time I was left to rebuild my path. Well, actually, sometimes I even had to find that path all over again. I half-heartedly had decided to do this before but ended up in yet another detour relationship. So, I decided that this time, I needed to go out all the way. Sasha Cagan talks about marrying herself in her Quirkyalone
book. I didn’t quite feel like having a marriage ceremony but I thought I could steal some ideas. On July 14, 2007, I got a cheap ring to wear on my left hand’s ring finger (after all that’s the commitment finger, isn’t it?). I put the ring on every morning while repeating my vow to live authentically myself. I also spent some time writing up my mission – really more of a statement of intent of where I’d like to see myself in a few years. I found this rather difficult because I was stuck with the idea that I somehow needed to discover my mission, that somehow I had an inborn mission that I simply needed to uncover. Well, despite reading a lot of self-help books this uncovery seemed to be impossible. It seemed no matter how much I dug, I couldn’t find my mission. It wasn’t until I read Eric Maisel’s Van Gogh Blues
that I realized that I had the option of making
my own meaning, of deciding on my mission. That shift – from seeking to making – helped a lot and I was able to move forward with writing a mission statement for myself. In the meantime, I stumbled on a silversmith
who engraves rings, among other things. I decided that I was worth the expense and engraved a short version of my vow
on a ring, which I now wear on my left ring finger (you can see a picture here
I am finding that staying true to myself is a continuous experience – it weaves through everything from what I write about to what books I read and, of course, the people I associate with. But it helps me to feel more grounded. It also helps me to figure out my priorities.
I have since discovered a couple of books that might be helpful for others who would like to create their own commitment: Patricia Lynn Reilly’s Promise Yourself, which actually guides you through developing your own self-commitment vow and Mary Goldenson’s It’s Time, which helped me let go of things and start building my own life rather than waiting for Prince Charming.