I celebrated my 34th birthday yesterday. 34 is not really a number of any significance however birthdays always get people thinking. Another year has passed and what does the next year have to bring my way? As I reflected on my past year, I was quite content with what I saw.
Life has not played out in the manner that I daydreamed about when I was a young girl wishing upon stars and plucking flower pedals; he loves me, he loves me not. It has been challenging and it certainly has not been easy. I am grateful for that as I have taken learning about myself to a new deeper level. I would not have been grateful for life’s challenges 1.5 years ago but since taking the Choices Seminars course, I have learnt so many wonderful things about pushing through the challenges and coming out on the top. One year ago I was contemplating where my marriage was going – I knew in my heart that the love was gone and quite possibly had never really been there. I was crying myself to sleep wondering if I was doing the right thing by leaving the marriage and separating my children’s parents. I made the decision in the middle of April that I was leaving and once I had made that decision, it was from that point that I knew the only thing I could do to help my children through this was to love on them and in order to do that – this mom needed to love on herself. I poured myself into learning more about me and what made my heart happy and what didn’t. What it was that was going to make me not only get out of bed in the morning but hit the ground running and face life with enthusiasm and openness?
There are a few things that stand out amongst the many things I have learnt:
1. Loving your children’s other parent is the number one most important non-negotiable thing you can do to help your children through life – whether you are together or not! I know that sounds odd to some of you and for those of you that it doesn’t – good for you! You love on others around you every day; you support them, you respect them, you listen to them and sometimes you are just simply there for them. Your ex is no different from the other people around you and although it seems counterproductive to not being together as a couple, it solidifies to your children that you are still a parenting team. I respect my ex a great deal, he’s a wonderful father to our children and quite honestly he’s a very supportive ex for me. We have each other’s’ backs and have on more than one occasion picked up the others pieces, never missing a beat for our kids. You see, although he didn’t agree with my decision, we both agreed that we would support and respect each other as parents. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our moments through this but they get less and less as we become more of a cohesive co-parenting team and I think couples go through that whether they are together or not. I believe we have done nothing short of an amazing job of co-parenting our children and for that I am grateful every day.
2. I can only be accountable for my feelings and my reactions. What I mean by this is not everyone around me agreed with nor supported my decision. At first I tried to explain it but how can I explain what only I’ll ever understand and what only I went through. One day I realized that the amount of energy I was investing into others to help them understand was exhausting. I only had so much energy and I needed that for me and for my girls. I realized that if these people truly cared about me, they would just support me and not selfishly consume more of my energy. Yes I lost people who I thought were my friends but in my mind if they couldn’t reach out to me just to support me rather than hearing the story than I didn’t need them in my new journey. Harsh? Yes. What needed to happen? Yes. My friendships are now based on quality not quantity.
What have you learnt from your struggles in life?
Have you been open to learning from them and growing?
Have you allowed others to learn from you and your struggles?