We often hear people say that pain have a way of blinding us of our blessings but never hear about how our dreams and expectations of others get in the way of what’s real. The context used is not for people to stop dreaming but to come to a revelation of understanding the power of choosing to be alive and being present right now. I know this sounds cliché but listen, it’s deeper than that.
They say “this moment is all that matters” and most of the time I knew exactly what they meant but I have never encountered an experience that made it real to me. Let me tell you something, it slaps hard when it’s no longer what we say to encourage each other but it becomes so real, it changes your whole life.
I had a baby at 19 years and obviously I had no idea what that meant. I was hurt a lot growing up, raised in an overbearing home where I wasn’t really allowed even a bit of freedom or compassion. I was raised to become a certain “saviour” that will carry the family to a better future but I wasn’t taught what love is, how to communicate, how to express myself, how to place up boundaries and most importantly how to be me.
A lot of times I would hear parents saying “I will give my child everything I never had”, “my child will have a father” or “my child will not suffer emotional abuse like I did”…I didn’t know I was raising my daughter off what I lacked. I didn’t understand that my daughter wasn’t me and I didn’t see her, not for who she is anyway but I saw what I could fix through my pain. I was obsessed with what happened to me, I missed a lot while she was growing up.
The trauma I experienced as a child is incredible, it took me a long time healing from that, in fact it took me 26 years. This year I began to let go and let God, that’s another thing people say without the depth understanding of what it really means.
In the eyes of somebody watching me raise my daughter, they probably thought I was killing it and I was but I was also a child screaming for help. A lot of my healing came this year when I was faced with the demon of anxiety as result of my trauma. I was angry for a long time; I had a lot of resentment issues and bitterness in my heart. I blamed society, I blamed God and I blamed my family because as an adult I had to teach myself everything they were supposed to give me.
There was a point in my life where my relationships were not working, I just didn’t know where I fit in, what my role was etc. and doing all this work as adult is painful but I had to go through it. I knew that I couldn’t deeply love the people who’ve done me wrong by my own strength, I couldn’t forgive by my own strength and I couldn’t move on by my own strength and power. I gave God a chance; I opened my heart to healing, to going through it and trusting Him to get me out.
I realised that I was trapped in this comfortable home called pain, I was a victim for a long time and I was sick of it, I wasn’t progressing, I wasn’t growing, I was just getting by. I was afraid of moving on because taking a step forward to a place unknown takes faith, it takes bravery and it takes strength. But I did, I released myself from those fears, from trying to be a perfect mother and I realised that my daughter came into this world with her own struggles that might be foreign to me and that’s okay.
Give yourself enough credit and forgive yourself more. Even if your child doesn’t go to best schools, or lives in a big home and even if you are a mess; know that you are a beautiful mess worth celebrating in this moment. You are enough.
My point is; children don’t know when they are rich or poor but they do know when they are loved and not loved. Children don’t need much to feel themselves, they are the simplest access to wholeness, do not rob them of this. Most love is conditioned, control-based and fear-based but choose more for both yourself and your child. Give your child the freedom to develop their own way and love them for who they are. To truly love someone, it is to love them for who they are, without you in the picture.
Another thing is, you can’t fully love someone else when you haven’t loved yourself. This applies to your child too. “Love your neighbour as you love yourself” –Mark 12:31, you can only give what you already have. Make sure you heal, do the work necessary for you so you don’t project your fears onto a child that’s trying to figure it out for themselves.
Give all of yourself to life and commit to staying alive and doing everything that gives you a sense of completeness. As T. D Jakes would say “seek a whole life”. The power lies in discovering who you are and the courage to live that truth. Do not shave pieces of yourself for anyone; your child deserves a happy mom!!!