Eudaimonia Tip # 7 – Confidence inspires us to be self reliant
Bonne Vie it’s a new word I learned recently. It’s French for “good life” which fits perfectly with the theme of my blog; a life well lived. But what constitutes a good life? Is it the people you know? The places you’ve been? Your relationship status? The things you own? The job you have? The car you drive?
These questions are all relative as everyone has their idea of what a constitutes a bonne vie. Some people value possessions and wealth over relationships, and of course, there are those that are the exact opposite, not caring about things, but more about people. Any combination of these questions can make up a good life, but there is one vital question that is missing. While we try and fill our lives with people, places and things, we tend to overlook an essential aspect of life – ourselves!
I noticed an odd thing happens when I spend time with family. After celebrating a birthday or spending the holidays with them, I come home feeling rather insignificant. Like I have nothing to offer since I don’t have kids, I’m single again, and I’m not rich, so I can’t show up with stories of my grand travels to compensate for being single and not having kids. Usually, the feeling passes as I go about my own life, but it recently dawned on me that the only time I felt like I was important was when I was part of a relationship. When I had someone to bring with me to these said birthdays and holidays.
Ut Oh! This will not do!
Don’t get me wrong. Relationships, the right ones, are good for us as they (should) help us grow into better people. But relying on a connection to feel important or worthy somehow is, in my opinion, not healthy. There is, of course, a natural byproduct of belonging and therefore importance when you are in a healthy relationship, but if this is the main reason you are searching for one, then it’s time to rethink your confidence level. Confidence can either make you or break you. Like stress, there is a proper amount that each person should have in their life. Enough to give you the courage to do things, like learn to change your situation if your not happy, or accept that it’s OK to be alone, And of course, too much confidence can make you come off arrogant, which is a big turn off to most people.
Finding myself single again does not mean that I am inadequate, less important, or have nothing exciting to offer. Now is my time relish in my single-hood; to work on myself and to be the real me, and not someone that relies on a relationship to feel whole. I never agreed with Jerry’s “you complete me” nonsense. I firmly believe that only God can fill the void and make us complete. When we look for someone else to fill us up or complete us in any way we are putting a lot of pressure on them and the relationship which is not sustainable in the long run. Inadequacy was a major tenant in my last bout with love that caused a myriad of problems. It’s true we both brought our own insecurities to the table, but they were quite unbalanced. I tend to think that his insecurities were wrapped up in his internal sense of self, where mine centered around what others thought.
The thing is, screw what others think. Everyone is different, with different life experiences. Some will have fancy cars and watches, where others will have their lives filled with kids sporting events and college road trips, and some will have all of the above. It’s a recycled age-old truth that we all need to have confidence and a sense of completeness in ourselves for the right relationship to come along, or to discover that being single isn’t as bad as it sounds! I believe that as we learn to build ourselves up, and truly value what we have to offer at any point in our lives, we can achieve a bonne vie.