My mother – who was a single mother and never quite fond of her career choices – happened to pass incredibly practical wisdom on to me. She encouraged me to follow my own path. While she may have never known what it is to be an entrepreneur or performer, she has always shown unwavering support. She knew her daughter’s drive and stood behind her creative talents, while letting her also understand for herself the industries she stepped into. This is the gift my mother granted me.

The moments where I have ‘self-parented’ myself (accomplishing goals, honing my craft, facing my own demons and stepping onto paths less taken) have brought great freedom, which also comes with great responsibility. This is the biggest reason many refuse to step into their own power.

As a self-parent, we recognize that we are responsible for our own shit. We are responsible for the friends who cause drama, we are responsible for the angry boss in our lives, we are responsible for the mess in our homes, we are responsible for the irresponsibility we tolerate in others. We are also responsible for understanding what makes us tick and what makes us feel alive every day so that we are able to walk away from abusive relationships and live for something far larger than ourselves. This is because we have control over nothing but ourselves.

The advantages of self-parenting are vast — limitless really! — but we overlook this. To welcome change would mean releasing attachment to one or more aspects of our lives, even if these aspects aren’t working for us. With this in mind, how can we expect a higher quality of dating experiences or love if we’re not also demanding a higher quality of life and love from ourselves?

Here are some invaluable starter questions to ask yourself as a responsible, caring self-parent:

  • Are you releasing ties and cutting off people who are harming you? (It doesn’t matter if it’s emotional, physical or mental harm — count it all the same.)
  • How many people are you bullshitting yourself into keeping in your life? Are you taking full responsibility for the damages these people are doing while being in your life? Standing up for yourself in a way that grants you resolve, regardless of the outcome, is the best medicine.
  • Are you doing research on issues you are currently facing? Are you researching a new career/spiritual/recreational/travel/pet/plant path you’re interested in? If you stopped researching a path, can you begin again? Why or why not?
  • Are you scheduling time every day to achieve a new goal you’ve set for yourself?
  • What’s the worse thing anyone’s said to you in your life? Do you feel that anywhere in your body now? If so, what can you do to release that pain? Journaling about it, talking to someone who cares about you, and asking yourself what part of you still feels this statement is true are all ways to begin. If you feel like crying, can you give yourself the chance to? Tips on releasing past anguish can be found here.
  • How often do you listen to yourself? When you don’t, how does it feel within you?
  • What’s the worst thing you’ve done? Have you forgiven yourself yet?
  • What has you the most bored in your life right now? How can you change that?
  • What were five things you’ve talked yourself out of that you regret? Can you do them now?
  • Which one of your friends haven’t you called in a while? Why haven’t you?

Attracting the love and respect you deserve in your life, whether from your friends, families, partners, etc., has little to do with them and begins entirely with you. The more you foster self-knowing and self-parenting within yourself through self-compassion and curiosity, the stronger your aptitude for love becomes.

More on self-parenting (whether you’re single or not) can be found here: