Most LDS singles would say they agree with the concept of personal responsibility. After all, our LDS culture prizes it, and we all have a natural need for acceptance. Of course we’ll say what we need to be accepted.
Yet we singles too often blame our single status on the actions of others. “Well, I’m single because my ex was a real jerk!” Or “I’m single because no one wanted me.” Or “I’m single because God let my spouse die.”
They’re all variations of the same theme. And guess what? The solution is also the same.
As singles, we’ve all had horrible experiences. Yes, your ex really was a jerk. Yes, you cried oceans because no one wanted you. And I’m sorry for the loss of your dearly departed.
None of that changes the reality that you’re where you now are. Life isn’t about what has happened to you as much as it’s about where you’re going.
Yet we singles inordinately ignore that truth. We wallow in our own mire as we relive our horrible past. And we keep pointing that blame finger outside ourselves — so often, in fact, that it becomes habit. Living life on autopilot then brings us more and more miserable mire.
The truth? You and others in your life together shaped the life you have now.
The divorced can list the imperfections in their former companion which prove what a bum that person was. But if that’s you, you decided to marry that bum in the first place.
Likewise for the widowed. Whatever caused their spouse to die, they decided to marry that person in the first place.
And similarly for the never been married. Sure, no one’s chosen them as a companion, but the never-been-marrieds themselves made choices that influenced others to choose other paths.
Few if any of us singles consciously chose to be single. I don’t know any divorcees who yearned to hoe some hard rows. Likewise, I don’t know any widowed who wanted their spouse to die or any never-been-marrieds who consciously strove to avoid marriage. We never woke up one morning and declared, “I love being single so much, I’ll choose it!”
Perhaps that’s why I’ve also known few singles who’ve consciously chosen to make the most of their lives as singles.
Pointing the blame finger outside yourself always disempowers you. You can’t change how others choose. The only choices you can change are own. Focusing there empowers you to move forward.
For every finger you point at someone else, there are three fingers pointing back at you. Accepting your own part in producing the life you have now provides an incredible sense of liberation. Don’t concern yourself with quantifying the blame or insisting that someone else have their part. Just accept that you played a part in creating the life you have now. In so doing, you free yourself to act more constructively. And you better encourage the life you want to come to you.
If you feel that singles life is a prison, then free yourself. Make the conscious choice to accept responsibility for the life you have today. Then act on that responsibility by making conscious choices to reach after your best life. Take the cards you have and make your best play. Own your life.
God loves you so much He isn’t waiting for your permission to bless you. We all have so many blessings around us that if each one were a sticky note, the whole world would be covered in sticky notes! When you own your life, you can more easily see that truth in your life.
Stop blaming anyone but yourself for your life. Stop looking in the rear view mirror. And stop focusing on the marriage you don’t have while so many opportunities to enjoy the life you do have surround you.
Start taking responsibility for how your life has resulted. Start looking to the future. And start marching there, because with God as your life partner that future can’t be anything less than glorious.
Don’t just sit there and accept whatever part of your life isn’t right. Do something about it! Free yourself from your self-constructed prison of ineffective thinking and habits. Make conscious choices to strive after the life you want. Own your life.
Howdy! I'm Lance, host of Joy in the Journey Radio. I've been blogging about LDS singles life since 2012, and since 2018 I've been producing a weekly Internet radio show to help LDS singles have more joy in their journey and bring all Latter-day Saints together. Let's engage a conversation that will increase the faith of LDS singles and bring singles and marrieds together in a true unity of the faith.
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