My wife is one of the best people I know. And hot. Still, marriage is one of the hardest things I’ve ever attempted. It’s that way for everyone. I’ve never met anyone who’s been married longer than 10 years who hasn’t considered divorce at some point. There were a few times in the early years […]
It’s a good thing Boaz didn’t look at how much money Ruth could bring to the table. When he saw her getting the scraps and found out her story, instead of judging her, he saw that what she could bring to the table was priceless. Loyalty exceeding death, beyond bloodlines, doing what she had to do, commitment and the ability to love and labor for those she loved. He would have missed out. #SomeThingAboutBoaz
When I first found out I was pregnant, I was filled with fear. I didn’t know what to do. I was not married, the daughter of a pastor, and the father of the child broke up with me to be with his long time, off and on, high school sweetheart while my heart was shattered into a thousand pieces. I was in my mid twenties, making decent money, and free to change my mind, location, and clothes at a whim. My sister was the first one to know and the first one to support whatever decision I wanted to make. You see, the shame of being a single mother in the church and in the world, AND a black woman, was and is tremendous for some of us. Also, the double standards are real today just as much as they were 16 years ago. You know, women who have children out of wedlock are heavily criticized and penalized in the church and in society. The man goes scotch free pretty much to be promoted in the church and in the world. However, I found out my dad did not share the same view of the church as he told me “That’s my grandchild and we will do whatever we can to help you and the baby.” Also, through a prophesy a woman told me “God never made a mouth that he could not feed.” I am sure she sense my worry of provision.
I didn’t know the entire time I was carrying my child if I would have a boy or a girl. The second decision I made after deciding to keep my child was to arm myself with as much knowledge about being pregnant and parenting. I wanted to know all about the stages of a developing child during and after. I ate right M-Saturday noon and I had what I wanted Saturday evening and Sunday. I remember thinking, if something is wrong with my baby when he or she is born , I can have a clear conscious it was not my fault. It’s the same way I parent. Be strict when I need to, discipline if I need to, be flexible enough to try a different method if what I am doing is not working, education first, God is a must, admit when I am wrong, have fun, protect, loosen the rope of parenthood and give her more freedom at the appropriate time, be okay with her being mad at me, not understanding why I say no sometimes, because I have to be able to know I am doing the right thing and she will not like it or me all the time, but she will still love me and thank me later. Do all of that and more, so that when she flies the nest I can say, I did the VERY BEST I could.
So here we are at 16. She’s sleeping late like any teenager during spring break. Her room is messy. She’s a smart girl with good grades, a good heart, a funny child with a uncanny sense of humor, wise at times and naive at other times, you know….just a child growing up. She’s enjoyed her first trip to Atlanta, the World of Coca Cola, the Georgia Aquarium (saw a dolphin show), and shopped until “I” dropped. I gladly forked over my money, my family made accommodations and sacrifices to make the trip possible (as I am not working due to permanent health issues). I forgo my usual birthday plans happily (we share the same birthday month and our birthdays are three days apart) for her happiness and a memory of her Sweet 16 she will never forget.
She said “I do love myself. I get my hair done, I get my nails done, I take myself out to nice places, you know, I treat myself.” Yet, she continues in a job she hates, she moves from man to man, she allows the mistreatment of her heart, mind, and body. She is unfulfilled spiritually and goes through the motions as a single parent. Question: Has it ever occurred to you that loving yourself goes DEEPER than an hour long mani and pedi? Beyond expensive purses and exotic trips?
Those things are surface and fine. However, I urge you to search for a deeper love of self that involves self worth, self esteem building and fulfilling your destiny. I urge to a deeper connection to being in the present moment with your child/children if you are single parent. I urge you to a commitment to living in the now. Seek healing from the past wounds. Discover what is you want, need and desires in a relationship and don’t accept anything less that God given. Define what a healthy relationship to you. What are your values and your morals and grow your roots in them. Take care of your body via exercise and healthier choices. Invest in quality time with the religion you have chosen. TREAT YOURSELF to a JOYFUL, expanding life and not fleeting happiness or relationships (friendships or “workships”) that are everything you DON’T desire.
When I first saw this, I thought to myself, I can relate. I never cared for the hoax of “I am single and I 100% enjoy it, 100% of the time, and I never ever have lonely moments or times when I want to through in the towel” type of single people. Or the “Sure, I get lonely, but you’ll never know it” type. I like real single people with ups and downs. I like real single people that can encourage, but say hey, I had a bad day, week, month. I like single people like me!
The other night, I don’t know what came over me. I was thinking way too much and feeling way too much. I said, “You know what? I give up! I’m never going to find someone or someone will never find me. This is taking forever! Just forget it!” I turned off the computer and I went to bed. All kinds of crazy thoughts bombarded me. I kept telling myself, I had the ability to respond to this situation….so respond. It took me some time to pull my disheveled emotions together.
“Okay, what is the root of this madness?”
You have to answer yourself honestly to get to the root. SO I went through some BS answers and got to the root…”You’re lonely. Things are not working out with the guys you are coming across, you are tired. You are upset.”
Now, “Do you want to just continue the self destructive talk and talk about this in the morning or do you want to try to handle it now?”
I chose now because I needed some sleep.
1. Deal with the self destructive talk. Are these things true about myself that I am saying? Are these things that I am spewing about myself coming from insecurity, frustration, or has someone said those things to me in the past? If so, is that person relevant now? If it is true I can fix it. If it’s not true then what is true? Speak those things about myself! (I did!I started feeling better instantly. But, I had to come out of that place of frustration).
2. Breathe. No really. Three deep breaths. Yoga. Breaths for clearing.
3. Now, reassess. “You’re having a meltdown. A single’s temper tantrum.You want what you want and you want it yesterday. It’s not happening now. It’s like 10:45 P.M. and you’re home in the bed. It may happen tomorrow. You should give up! You should give up for the night and get some rest. You should give up trying to make something happen before it’s time, AGAIN. You can’t force it. If you did, it wouldn’t last or you would be miserable forever. So, you know none of that stuff you said about you is true. Reaffrim the good things, the good qualities…and chill.” Then I prayed. And that was it! (still had to settle in).
Look, some of us will never be the poster child for the strong confident single woman/man. It’s too much pressure for me. 95% of the time, use to be about 50%, then it kept rising as I kept learning, I am okay. Other times, not so much. I don’t mind. It makes me reachable and relatable and I love to encourage others from a realistic point of view.
Maybe your situation and circumstances are not so beautiful at this time or maybe, like me, it hasn’t been for a very long time. Know that things will be beautiful in it’s time. When it’s time. I am sure a caterpillar may not fill pretty during this phase of its life (can’t say for sure since I don’t speak butterfly, but just taking a guess here), but in it’s time…when it’s time, it is made beautiful. If only it/we knew we are beautiful in many ways in each phase of life. You may not feel it or look like it, but you are to the Creator.
Even in the hard times, the incredibly painful times of my disease and illnesses, I have strength and hope. Even if I only have them in the back of my mind or an afterthought. When I pull through those things, I am made aware of my beauty. Strength is beauty. Hope is beauty. You may not have gotten to this point yet, but when you are made aware of your ability to live anyways, to press on anyways, to rest even (it says you care for your body, and that’s beautiful), you will realize many things can be made beautiful in it’s time. When you become aware…it’s time.
However, there are some situations that take more than awareness of beauty. I find this for me, the waiting or searching for one to connect with on a personal and intimate level. It’s an ugly process for some of us single people. Hoping, searching, waiting, discerning, disappointment….etc…and well…you can find beauty in the fact you don’t give up. Or you can know that in due time, all of that will be made beautiful. If by the one coming along or by you realizing life doesn’t have to be stained by you not finding one or one finding you. Overall, you’ve had plenty to be thankful and grateful for and life has been beautiful because it is life, not because he or she “found” you.