Talk about the Single life – As Seasons
Ease – joy – Life is easy.
There are so many blessings, and whatever happens, happens. There’s almost a sense of blaze about it.
Longing – impatience
Longing for a stat of life you wish to be in. With that comes a sense of impatience.
There’s nothing wrong with having a desire, but there is something wrong in being completely consumed by that desire.
Seen too many (particularly women) who have become miserable because they aren’t in the state they wanted to be in by this stage in their lives.
‘Relationship rumination’ isn’t just for people who are in relationships and jumping on the emotocoaster, it’s also for those who aren’t and living in a future that is not rooted in the present.
Who is the author of our lives? Do we truly believe OR is it just lip service to say we’ve surrendered our lives to God.
It’s ok for it to be hard, but we should live like we know God can do all things, and will fulfil our greatest desires even in ways we never thought possible.
– It’s also easy to turn marriage and family into an ‘idol’ and this leads to 2 problems
- We begin to worship something that is not God and we lose focus on who is most important to us
- As a result – we begin to look for something or someone to satisfy us that is not God, which is an impossible ask of anything. Along the way, vocationally we also lose focus on what is most important – and the vocation we’ve all been called to.
Therese of Liseux would say ‘My vocation is to love’ regardless of the state of life I’m in.
Acceptance – Hard, but peaceful
Not without a desire, but it’s not an all consuming longing.
Choosing the choice that I would otherwise not have chosen – Jacques Philippe
Accepting is hard, but brings peace. Anchored in knowing God has you in this place now.
No shortcuts – Be aware of looking for the shortcut – We can fall into the trap of thinking, and sometimes even be taught that this ‘time’ of singleness is to be treasured purely because it will pass, and when it does we will regret not having so much time. That this season is merely a ‘holding pattern’ that will end before the fuel runs.
That misses the point.
This time is valued, not because it is fleeting, but because it is where God has called oyu to be in this moment of your life – on that basis it is to be valued.
Be realistic – See the season for what it is
Not pretend there aren’t people whose dreams are still to be unfulfilled, that would be wrong. It’s a real ache to not be where you thought God was leading you. Let’s not pretend otherwise.
E.g Knowing women who have met their spouses late in life, and they in their single years had to grieve that they won’t have the large family they once dreamed of. That grief was necessary in order to be real about their situation, to be humbled, and transformed by God’s love which prepared them for their marriage.
It doesn’t mean they ended up with a large family, life isn’t a fairytale, but it does mean she has a full heart, bigger and more full than they thought possible even without that original dream coming true. Enabled to have much bigger dreams than thought possible.
Highlight to young people that some people are called to marriage young, or old, or to live the ingle life, striving in holiness with God alone. Life isn’t clean cut.
This leads to the idea of the virtue of Hope – the truth of WHO God is, and WHO you are to him, comes the acceptance of his will.
God is the author of our lives. I want his will in my life. Knowing that God is good, and accepting the present circumstances.
It’s when we realise, my dreams are real and they are deep, good, and holy. But God is the author of my life, and I want his will in my life, and he knows there are paths and ways that I could never fathom that will bring me greater delight than the dream I dream. We have to be able to let go of being possessive of our dreams on this earth.
– Practical Refocus and Tips
– Growth –
Write down all the things you want in a spouse and become that’ and I used to think that was really sound advice. PROVIDING the 1st thing is ‘Being a beloved child of God’ – because if we have anything related to being the best spouse, or parent etc. We’ll fall straight back into that idol worshipping and only becoming who we are for the sake of our future spouse.
Don’t fall into the vice of pride, admiring ourselves for all our good things.
– Relationship Rumination is very real –
And it’s not the way we were made. We were not made to fashion ourselves to suit another on this earth. We have already been created, our job is just to grow into that. So providing that’s number 1 on the list, then the list of characteristics is a good way to start.
– Build community and work on those relationships –
Invest in the people around you. Build community. These people will help to challenge us and grow. Good to be detached, but not breed detachment from people.
Detachment from things is good for us because it frees us to allow God to move in our lives. But detachment from people doesn’t do the same, these may be the very people God wants to use to speak into our lives. Entering into deep relationships of relying on others, including looking for others to guide us in various aspects of our lives will help keep us humble and cooperating with others.
- Be mindful that we’re looking for complementarity not the same –
It’s easy to look at a list and say, I’m looking for someone smart, and strong, and independent so I need to be all those things too in an equal and same manner.
Instead consider essential qualities to be a good partner such as adaptability, flexibility, and patience which doesn’t mean we forego intelligence, strength and confidence but that we couple it.
Two smart, strong and independent people can easily clash if they are set and rigid in their thinking and ways, so it’s worth considering ‘how can I bring these gifts I’ve cultivated to meet other’s gifts?’
We need a vase and flowers to adorn an altar – so it’s worth thinking how can my strength marry the strength of another.
What kind of strength do I bring to the table? This isn’t about ‘what areas do I need to remain weak in’ this is about being humbled in knowing none of us are perfect, and none of us will be on this earth, but we are designed to match, to work together.
These things don’t have to be guess work for when you enter into a relationship – they can be exercised with the people you live with, or work with. Take note of what your strengths are, and the strengths of the people around you and how you can all bring the flowers, the water and the vase together to adorn the altar to Glorify God.
If you’re considering consecrated life of singleness or curious or even just want a wholesome, faithful words of hope and joy in your single years….
Go Read ‘Single for a greater Purpose – a hidden joy in the Catholic Church’ by Luanne D Zurlo
Padre: A return to confession in Wagga Wagga
It was like going on a pilgrimage with a book. Vivid imagery, so many details to meditate on.
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