At 17 years old, I imagined how happy I would be with a beautiful girl in my life because I thought that would change my identity away from being lonely and single. Each day as I played video games and resented the Universe for not putting the right girl in my life, I never once considered what I would need to do to be prepared to receive what I so desperately wanted. During my summer between junior and senior year, I worked as a cashier at a grocery store to help save up for my first car and go to college. Halfway through one day during my break, I grabbed a few snacks from the store I worked at and went to pay for them. As I put my items on the conveyor belt, I noticed the girl at the register was looking at me in a way no other girl had ever looked at me. It was like one of those looks you see in the movies where the music starts playing and the characters realize they are madly in love. I remember being shocked that this was actually happening as we exchanged phone numbers right at the cash register while customers were waiting. Just five minutes earlier, this incredible girl had just been one of many coworkers that I hardly noticed in the business of each working day. I was really excited and called her right away resulting in plans to go see a movie. She picked me up looking just gorgeous and drove us to the mall. Here was everything I wanted and had fantasized about for ten years. A girl that was beautiful, fun, popular, really liked me, and even had a car! How would I handle it? It turns out I was not prepared to get what I so desperately wanted. Instead of being excited about having an amazing girl wanting to go out with me, I was full of fear about what might go wrong and what I might later regret. Instead of enjoying a sense of adventure in finally getting out of the house on a date, I found fault and mentally was criticizing every little thing she did. These were my normal daily habits and they were not about to change just because of circumstances. On the way to the movie, she was driving fast and all I could think about was fear of getting in a crash. About half of the time we were not in the movie, she was talking on her cell phone to her girlfriends which I decided was annoying and proof she was not that into me instead of realizing that was normal. After the movie, we went to one of her friend’s houses which was filled with more beautiful girls while I was the only boy. This felt like an alien universe where I did not belong and the fear was suffocating. I ended up asking her to take me home so I could play video games which I had been doing the whole day before our date. She was confused, hurt, and upset as from her point of view it must have been difficult to see what was wrong given I had not said anything or asked for help with what I was feeling. Once she dropped me off, I realized what I had done as if waking up from a nightmare. To make it even better, I logged onto my video game only to see I had banned from my clan for my behavior earlier that day. I cried and saw what a fool I was without understanding where it had all went wrong. 17 years later it makes perfect sense. I was unprepared to receive what I so desperately wanted. Who I was on a daily basis was structured around the identify of a lonely and single man. To actually date an attractive, fun, and popular girl that was into me meant completely giving up my idea of who I was. The next eight years of my life were filled with much more of the same ranging from many more stories like this one to settling in relationships were I could keep feeling lonely and single on the inside while saying I was in a relationship on my Facebook status. Almost eight years ago, I met my wife and I began giving up the lonely and single man in favor of being a partner and companion. I realized I would have to be someone new and face my fear of the unknown in the process in order to actually live the life of my dreams. I could not continue my old ways of thinking and behavior without ending up back at the same results which I could no longer stand to live with. Today I see it is possible to prepare to receive what we want immediately and change before whatever we seek actually shows up. I used to think that getting what I wanted would change me and I learned the hard way that it is the other way around. If I am not getting what it is I seek, I must prepare to receive what I want which means to change myself and act as if I already have everything I want. This also gives me freedom from being constantly afraid of losing what I have because one that is prepared to receive easily adapts to any changes life brings. One who is a partner and a companion internally stays that way regardless of external circumstances just the same as one that is lonely and single shall stay that way until a decision is made to be different and followed with actions matching the new identity. I write this for all of us today with the hope that we might never need to be lonely and single again because I am imagining a world where no one is lonely and single without making a choice to be that way.

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