An Abundant Single Life

I feel like I’ve spent more time this week talking about the single life project than actually writing about it!  I had a great conversation yesterday with a student who is doing on paper on the sociology of dating.  Earlier in the week, I gave a presentation with the Chicago Area Vocations Association (CAVA) on the vocation to the single life.  Interestingly, in both conversations, I referenced these three principles as keys to living an abundant single life:

Authenticity

It is enough to yourself and not someone else!  There is something very attractive about people who are comfortable in their own skin.  When we become who we are in the eyes of God, we become like no one else in the entire world. This humble confidence (to be who we are and not who we aren’t) gives us the courage to live fully as single people.

Solitude

We live in such a noisy, busy world that many of us have an aversion to silence and an uneasiness being alone. Yet, there is a difference between being alone and being lonely.  Theologian Paul Tillich wrote, “Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone.  It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.”  Solitude is not about fleeing from the world, from our relationships, or our problems.  In the silence, when all else is stripped away, we are left with our whole selves.  All of the blessedness and the woundedness of our souls is there to behold.  A regular discipline of solitude exposes us to the mystery of God’s divine goodness, and it keeps us connected to God as our source of strength.

Relationships

At some point, all of us ask the question, “Who do I want to be with?”  I hope we all experience the joy of falling in love. After all, it is our call as Christians to love one another!  We are all called to be in relationship, whether that is through the joy of good friendships, the companionship of a spouse, the loyalty we experience among our family, or the support of co-workers and community members.  How can I best share God’s love with others through the many relationships in my life?

What are your keys to living a happy and healthy single life?

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1 Comment

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One response to “An Abundant Single Life

  1. Briana

    Beth, I particularly like the concept of solitude versus loneliness, and find your description to be so accurate! Being an only child, I think I flitted back and forth between enjoying the solitude and feeling lonely and alone. It affected my friendships and relationships a lot, but as an adult I’ve come to recognize solitude as a blessing and am learning to turn loneliness into solitude. I’m realizing that just because I don’t have company in my presence 24/7 does not mean I’m alone. I have a number of friends I can call or spend time with, and more often than not I need some quiet down time to unwind from a busy week, to rest my brain, to focus on my own personal activities of art-making, reading, writing, etc. I think becoming aware of my resources and being grateful for them, whether I’m actively using them or not, have helped me turn loneliness into solitude. Thank you for this blog post!!!

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