Dealing with Shame

Dealing with Shame Shame (sh~ame) n.,v.,---the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous,etc.,done by oneself or another.

The topic of shame as it relates to unmarried women is under-discussed, we're still in denial about how we really feel about being unattached. Many of us go through our days exuding self confidence, people can't help but notice our positive light shining, but the moment the topic of single happiness is raised we become defensive as if it's a personal attack. Why?

If you're really at peace with your life and not basing your happiness on whether or not you have a mate bringing up such topic shouldn't raise your temperature. The truth be told too few single women are really comfortable with themselves as single women. Believing deep down that true happiness stems from being a bride. I would find it peculiar if a woman never experienced the guilt,anger,or frustration when learning to live matefree, majority of us are currently or have traveled that difficult road.

According to the definition mentioned above, others can lay the ground work for the single woman's feelings of shame with their biases and outdated beliefs.Recently I had a conversation with a forty-something male who thought it was "weird" for a woman to be fine without a boyfriend. The first thing he asked was about loneliness, in his mind women who were without boyfriends were lonely and seldom ventured beyond the walls of their homes. Would you believe he said that they had reason for feeling ashamed?

Rather than getting angry with him I decided to ask other men what they thought about a woman who's happy without a mate, brace yourselves for the responses I received.

    "The first thing that comes to mind of a woman who's happy by herself is a hermit. I don't know if that term applies to women but no normal woman would find happiness alone." 33,Kent

    "I've met alot of women who were looking for mister right but pretended they weren't interested. I guess if they acted like they were interested people would think they were desperate. I'm sure those gals claimed to be happy too but I doubt they were!"21,Phil

    "She don't want a man and claims she's happy by herself, she must be a dyke. I can't see some lady saying her life is full and happy by herself."40,Dereke

    "I don't want to sound insensitive but no one's happy alone, no man or woman can be really happy if they're all alone."Thomas

    "Is it possible for a woman to be happy without a husband? I guess so but it's hard to believe that life will produce a happy effect for her. I'm of the old school and I think there are reasons a woman may have to make do by herself for the rest of her life. Widowhood and if she's a nun. Young women who don't fall into either category I have a hard time believing they are balanced upstairs, men and women were meant to be together by nature.60,Gerald

    "And she's not a lesbian? I think lesbians are women suffering from sin out of control, can't say what exactly I would classify a woman who likes life without a man, she don't sound all that normal either. If I had to chose the life for my daughter and I had to choose from her being a lesbian or that happy woman stuff you mentioned I would choose the happy woman but I'll pray my daughter fall in love with some guy eventually."57,Garry

    "Oh I don't buy that s_ _ _ _ a woman is happy by herself. That's just a "in the closet lesbian" talking or a woman who has been hurt really bad by some dude and can't deal with her pain and stuff.19,Seth

    "It's sad women have to live by double standards because men can't handle the idea a woman may live well without them. Men can be "swinging bachelors" and no one thinks that's unacceptable. Yes I think there are happy "swinging bachelorettes." Richard

I don't blame the men for the responses they gave, keep in mind they're expounding generational myths passed down from their foreparents and outdated psychological theories from dead 19th century psychologists. Happiness is a state of mind and as humans we can determine our mental state, in other words having a man's not going to make you happy only you'll make you happy.

The first thing single women must do is disregard the opinions others so freely give them regarding how they should feel being without a man. You know what I mean, when your Aunt Bessie makes a point to offer advice on how you should deal with life's shortcomings for not having a man of your own. Or maybe your mother makes a friendly suggestion you should lose twenty pounds or so to finally catch the eye of a favorable suitor. Oh lets not forget when Aunt Bessie makes a A_ _ out of herself by pulling you aside to tell you a woman alone sends a bad message to other people.

Ladies put down those romance novels. There's nothing wrong with reading romance novels but don't read them if they'll cause you anxiety and for many who haven't fully come to terms with their lives as single women they do. Think for a moment, most of us were raised on "happily ever after" stories and somewhere in our subsconscious we accepted that as the expected form of happiness a woman can wear proudly. We're trying to get away from that type of programming, for as long as you buy into that as the only form of happiness for a woman you'll never be ok with yourself as a single woman.

It's sad but we all come across people who think our lives are suppose to be humdrum and miserable just because there's no man in the picture. Keep in mind not one of the men I asked about happy single women were married,yet, all admitted to having happy lives. Kent went so far as to describe his life as a "man's fantasy".

Don't let your life light be dulled by double standards that are present in our culture, happiness is for all who desire it. Shame can be imposed by someone other than the one who feels it, so understand you can only feel shame when you take to heart the other person's hangups. Hear those people but don't hear them, let them espouse their beliefs and then cancel them out in your mind. In other words,if they're not saying anything useful disregard them. In this day and time garbage clutter so much of our thinking so lets not clutter our minds with anything that won't bring us peace and tranquility.

Shame can be useful as a preventive measure for certain activities, no one wants to feel it so whatever brings forth shame they avoid, but shame for not getting married is ridiculous. We have no control over others wants and desires, marriage requires the meeting of minds of two persons, only one of which you have control over, yourself!

For those who've never wanted marriage, don't let anyone lay the guilt on you for not wanting marriage, and motherhood in many cases. You have every right to determine what you want and don't want in life because it's your life.

At this moment make a promise to yourself to enjoy life and all the pleasures it has to offer each and everyone of us minus the energy draining emotion of shame. If ever there were one emotion single women should omit from their minds shame has to be it.