We can throw in the towel at any given moment. We can stop; stop trying; stop caring; stop living. I've seen it happen all too often. The fact of the matter is, even the most successful people stumble. The difference is, they move on. Why do we often only focus on the most dire circumstances and assume there's no path out from the common consequences of mistakes?
Coming from an out of wedlock teenage pregnancy, I've seen stumbles. I've watched my mom grow even as she parented me and my sisters. I still remember all the stages of her growth: 1.) apathetic 2.) "party girl" 3.) acceptance, and 4.) owning motherhood. Watching her figure out how to live her life as a mother despite the disposition in the timing of her choices, taught me a lot. I watched her go through bad choice after bad choice; in relationships, career path, and friends. What stuck with me the most, were the bad relationships.
I still have images of watching her experience abuse; seeing her fight just to be treated like a WOMAN. It was tough to lay down at night not knowing if I'd be woken-up to the sound of heavy shouting or my mothers grunts of pain and tears from being struck in the other room. It amazed me how these "men" could be so abusive to my mother, and smile at me the next day as if nothing ever happened; as if they didn't get that woman was MY MOTHER. It was obvious that these "men" were just as much boys as my mom was a girl on a journey to become a woman.
No woman allows herself to be degraded, belittled, or mistreated at the mercy of any man, and no real man allows himself to be weakened by a lack of self-control and self-worth. Although my mother was a fighter, she was fighting for everything except herself. A lot of women fall victim to a lack of trust in their independence; they convince themselves that they must have that "counterpart" to balance out what they lack financially and even socially in life. It takes GUTS to walk away from volatile situations, and it takes trust from woman and man to own a degree of independence in any relationship. There's no love worth having that doesn't feel the pain of your pain; that doesn't hurt to see you hurt. That's not love. My mom taught me how to love, about real love, whether she knows it or not.
I played protector as much as I could in those days. I stood up to a few of those "men" from my moms past that now look at me as a woman with bewilderment in the darks of their eyes. The very rare times I run into one of them, and they speak to me like proud fathers paying respect, I know they wonder, "What does she really think of me?" The cynic in me would like to say I dispise them, but that wouldn't be true. The answer is simple: I think that people have an opportunity to grow at any time in their life; that the opportunity to be a good person presents itself time and time again in our life. So, when I see them, I simply hope they have taken those opportunities to be a good person- a good MAN. I hope that the experience they put my mom, my sisters, and me through, taught them something about life, as it did me.
There is much less glamour to a lifestyle that you feel "without" almost everyday. There is no hiding from the reality that some "blows" knock you down harder than others; some are just harder to recover from than others. Consequently, surviving those low-points, those heavy-hitters, should be the moments that help us discover what we should not be. When we survive the persecutions of our own life, we should emerge better people. We, each and everyone of us, are more survivors than we are any other label. We all have bad experiences in life that, in the grand scheme of our life, did not defeat us.
It's easy to throw in the towel; it's easy not to rise when you are pushed to your lowest point. But, remember that everyone has a breaking point. How you break from situations is what makes you stronger. My mama is a fighter; she taught me how to be. She's far from perfect, far from a saint, but she is a survivor. She taught me that there are limits to love, and there are greater rewards in escaping from situations that could ruin your life. She taught me that the low points are the things we should look at ourself in the mirror and say, "That was once me, and I survived."
I am the child who experienced abuse; I am a child out of wedlock; I am a child from a teenage pregnancy- but what I'm not is defeated. I am a TRUE SURVIVOR, like my mother. I'm HERE; here to LIVE despite all the strife of an un-perfect life. I'm stronger because of it.
Never make excuses to sabotage your life. You have an opportunity to re- invent your story. Be a TRUE SURVIVOR.