A recent study proves what I’ve known for quite some time: the happiest subgroup of people in the USA are unmarried, childless women. Other research explored that women get happier with age because they become more invisible to men. So here I am, a single, childless woman in my late thirties and dare I say, the happiest I have ever been.
I like to think I have been doing things the “right way,” pushing back on the patriarchal narrative that romantic love is the most important form or that all women should want to be partnered and have children. We know how much marriage benefits men, they live longer while it shortens women's lives (though I think this study only was on heteronormative relationships). So I’ve spent the past 10-15 years thinking something was really wrong with me...wondering why romantic love felt antiquated or too normal of thing to want.
I didn’t understand why some people seemed addicted to finding "the one" while I was more excited about planning a girls’ night. I wondered if I was more bisexual than I realized, or maybe asexual.
After a slew of disastrous romantic relationships and messes in my twenties and most of my thirties I instead began investing my time in my business and self-employment and my friendships--and it paid off...or so it seemed. When I look deeper I realize I have been much more protected than I realized, my devaluing of romantic love was actually a defense. I had become so unavailable to it that I couldn't even imagine it as a possibility for myself. It was defeating and depressing to even think about.
My sense of self didn't feel strong enough anymore to navigate the uncertainty, fear of rejection, or vulnerability that romantic love invites in. My sensitive empath nervous system overwhelmed so easily by others. So, I pushed my desire for it so far away from my consciousness that I thought it had disappeared. I killed mine, doing my best to destroy it with my own will and denial. But that's the thing about desire, it can only hide so long.
I feel like I should have known better...I often preach to my clients the importance of honoring the desires of the soul through astrology. Often the natal chart will show us what we value and crave, and mine clearly speaks to this yearning, even if painful.
Something finally cracked open more recently, perhaps it was a person, the timing of the sky, or that the repression became too great. But I can't do it anymore I need to push against the parts that want to shut down, that are terrified of someone seeing all the insecure parts. I don’t fully trust my sense of self is strong enough to survive another break. I don't trust my attraction and desire, usually leading me someone who is more unavailable. Another breaking open, another cracking in my defenses and identity.
It reached a threshold and breaking point, of me being tired of projecting unavailability onto others and take more responsibility for the unavailability in myself.
But I have to start showing up, no more cool girl, no more armored amazon. Working with the fears I have of being uncontained and emotional and feeling too much. The patriarchal programing that that containment is more attractive rather than the immense flow of care and love that moves through me in my feelings for others.
For the first time in a long time, I’m ready to risk, ready to risk falling apart again. Actually facing my own unavailability and trust my self soothing. To start knocking down the defense mechanisms that hinder my ability to more deeply connect with others, to look closely at the cracked places in my ego where I feel fragile.
As a woman my life feels peppered by pains of relationships and the subsequent recovery from them. I needed the defenses against wanting a relationship to really come into my own to start my business, to focus on my friendships. Truth is that I still don’t know if I can emotionally hold the anxiety and disorientation that comes up for me in meeting some one new. But I trust this is where I need to be.
On the eve of the next Libra new moon across from healer Chiron, I'm harmonizing my heart with my head to value my desire for romantic love. To no longer dismiss or repress it to open to its own form of magic and soul medicine.