The thing about loving yourself before loving someone else, is that that’s part of the equation. The other part is that relationship teaches you things about yourself that you wouldn’t normally learn on your own. A human being is not an island, you aren’t supposed to live in isolation. Now there are examples of those who choose that kind of life, but they’ve come to it either through no fault of their own or after they’ve experienced relationships (not always romantic, this can cover platonic and familial as well) and learned that they prefer that lifestyle for their own reasons. If you want a romantic relationship, don’t give up on that, because it can teach you so many things about you, the other person, and the world. It’s a rocky road, it’s not always hearts and flowers, but the lessons are worth it, and sharing your path with another even for a short time is such a blessing to enrich life.

I hear you when you say you’re being forced to live on an island. The same thing happened to me, but I know why for myself I was ‘denied’ the opportunity. I had, and continue to have, a lot of personal baggage that directly and indirectly interfered with how I could relate to others. Baggage, or in Christian terms, my cross, was a heavy burden on my shoulders and dragged me down. I could see that cross as a curse and damnation, or I can come to a point where I realize that the cross is my gateway to resurrection, to sanctification, to glorification in the Lord.

It hurts when I think of all the times I was cast aside, but after I became aware of patterns, I see that the fundamental issue lies within myself. Notice I said “issue,” not “problem.” I like Psalm 139 for this.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.

+ Psalm 139:14; New Living Translation (NLT)

I have a lot of trauma to work through, trauma that’s specifically tied to how I bond with other individuals and even a larger society. Yet I am taking steps to learn from it.

I’m not saying this is true for you, but take time to examine why you’re “unable” (a wrong word to use here, you’re quite capable) to meet someone who will walk by your side. Perhaps you haven’t met them yet. Perhaps you too have things to work through before you can stretch out your arms and embrace another, for you will have your things, theirs, and the pool that comes when two individuals share their lives. Is that pool to be shallow, deep, or sloping is up to the pair and how prepared they are.

Then again, no amount of preparation can truly benefit you completely when it comes to relating to another. You can study the great works of others before you all you like, yet experience lends its own taste of knowledge and gives birth to wisdom not found in others, but in yourself. Taking chances and making mistakes is awfully frightening.

But stagnation is worse.

Growth will always have its dangers, its pain, its burdens. A seed must endure much before it matures into a mighty tree, and even then, its journey is far from complete. The tree continues to endure, yet continues to relate to its environment.

How then are you, a human being, expected to naturally fall into your goals if a tree must struggle for its own? That question isn’t intended to shame you, for shame leads to sin, which turns you from God. It was posited to trigger a thought process, and that process won’t be serial or linear in nature.

“And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you asked for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”

+ Luke 11:9; New Living Translation (NLT)

Enjoy the journey, for it never ends, and leads to much rewarding if you press on. The rewards may be subtle, keep an eye out for these. Sometimes a miracle isn’t God curing you or raining hail the size of bricks from the sky.

Sometimes it’s the little things, the medium things, the bigger things. Whatever form it takes, it’s yours. But you must press on, for stagnation doesn’t provide growth, doesn’t move your life in a direction.

Even the pebble tossed about by the waves impacts the water. Perhaps not in a grand or noticeable way, but its effects are there.

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