What I don’t see is people thriving within their own lives.
I don’t see people truly relishing their freedoms.
I don’t see people soaking up natures gifts.
I don’t see people enjoying their careers.
I don’t see people honoring their bodies.
I don’t see people drinking to celebrate their life’s accomplishments, but to drown their worries.
I don’t see people spending and saving with intelligence, but rather borrowing to maintain lives they can’t afford.
I don’t see people savoring the limited years with their children, but instead anxiously surviving the chaos they’ve created.
I don’t see people walking in peace, but usually all bound up by their anxiety.
I don’t see people taking the time to go inward daily and cultivate their minds and hearts with intentionality; I just see them striving and hoping things don’t suck too badly by default.
I don’t see happy couples; not in almost any context.
I don’t see posts of true joy, but often highlights strategically gathered to maintain their public image.
I don’t see functional families, but chaotic units of unhealthy minds all striving for control.
I don’t see people growing old together in unbreakable relationship and unity, but often just people cycling through one shitty relationship after another, or worse, a couple together for many many miserable years.
I don’t see people teaching their kids about personal growth, development, autonomy, and self-responsibility; we can’t teach what we don’t know, after all.
I don’t see people taking regular self-inventory to check for unhealthy patterns, faulty-thinking, biases, or dark emotions, no. Most are too unaware to even know to go inward and uproot the weeds that grow by default; a simple meme about the ignorance of others should give them a false sense of where they stand socially, which will help their facade to themselves.
I don’t see people filled with passion or purpose. Most people don’t even recall how it feels to be moved by something real.
I don’t see people teaching their family and friends how to live full, powerful, beautiful, meaningful lives… because most people stopped believing that was realistic a long time ago.
I am sorry if this post depresses you, but follow me for a moment…
I am currently living single. I parent an eight year old girl by myself. I have overcome addictions, a toxic marriage, abuse, poor conditioning, poverty, and now my college degree. I am on a path to conquer an eating disorder (I am overweight), debt, my practitioners license, raising an incredible human, budgeting intelligently, and writing my first book series. I live on purpose and I am always working on myself to improve and grow. My path has continued to improve since I became intentional and intelligent about my life’s path about 5 years ago. My daughter and I are about to FINALLY leave my parents home and the plans are fucking BEAUTIFUL!!
That being said… When I sense pity from other people because I don’t do things the way they believe they should be done, I am always confused.
People have shared their “sadness” for my being a single-parent.
People have told me I should never have moved in with my parents and should have gotten a “good job” ($15/hr) until I can remarry and have a larger income for the home.
People have shared how they’re so impressed by all my hard work, but pray often that God would send me the man He has planned to take care of me and my daughter.
People have even assumed silly things, like assuming I’d be sad or bothered by their mention of a marriage or a love story. I suppose their assumption is that I would begrudge them theirs since mine didn’t work out? So not who I am.
Obviously, this is being written in a moment of light frustration, but I am not angry. I just wish people could more easily see me. It is uncomfortably ironic to me that most of the people I get this impression of pity from are people living somewhere in the list above. So even though they’re not happy, they pity me. I wish they could understand my experience and see how far I’ve come. I wish they could know how much inner work I’ve done and how empowered its made me. I wish they knew the values needed for this equation. I feel like they know the variables of “she got out of a bad marriage” and “she got her degree” and “she is raising that girl well” but that they don’t know their accurate values. Which means though we are all watching the same things happen, the end result to them is somehow not enough. It somehow will never equal a great life in their eyes because I am single. If only they could understand the deep values behind those variables, maybe they’d come to the same sum that I have. Maybe then our answers would match.
I left a truly terrible relationship. I left. I was stuck and scared and alone even in a marriage, and I got out before it was too late for me and Charlie. I am free. To know the true value of that you’d have to see it from my perspective. I was stuck in a life I didn’t mean to create for us. One of broken hearts, toxic cycles, psychological abuse, and shattered glass…literally. But now…
I. AM. FREE.
I also finished school and got my nursing license. I completed nursing school and passed the NCLEX and became a nurse! To know the true value of this variable you’d have to know how it feels to work 18-30 hours a week at 12 bucks an hour, while spending well over 40 hours a week on school, and raising a child; for FOUR years. You’d have to know how truly terrible nursing school is. You’d have to truly understand how it feels to have BARELY enough to get by. You’d have to know the shame of asking your parents to live with them. You’d have to understand how it feels to say “we just can’t afford it” to your kid for many many many things along the way. You’d have to understand what it feels like to look your kid in the face after a long shift and reject their need for your time because you still have homework to do before bed. You’d have to have felt the profoundly disturbing state of scarcity that poverty instills in a broke parent. And then you’d have to know what it feels like to look into the future plans and likelihoods and see it change from scarcity to abundance; to see profound limitations for your child one day and a wide range of opportunity the next! I can take care of us now. I can. Just me. We will be ok because I have us covered.
I. GOT. US.
& to address that last quote. I am raising an amazing young woman. I have become a great mother. I am not proud of some of my early days as a parent, and I make some mistakes still, but I have become so proud of the mother I am today. I am raising this incredible kid and it is so purely an honor that I find myself wanting to continue getting better at it. I want her to have the best of me, not the rest of me leftover after a series of dissatisfied days. But for you to truly understand the value of this, you’d have to first know what it’s like for people who grow up without a loving intelligent parent. Most people are raised by one or more parents that live in the ways I described at the beginning of this piece. Unhealthy psychology, broken hearts, faulty thinking, toxic patterns, profound mediocrity, and no deep understanding of how to love themselves or their children. Parents that don’t know how to care for their own hearts and minds and so cannot adequately care for their children’s hearts and minds. Creating many adults feeling that their parents never understood them, never spent adequate time with them, never spoke their love language, had constant conflict of interests & perspectives, or worse- things like the parent being so broken they inflicted pain on their kids too. To understand my perspective on this you’d have to first know how crucial it is for a child to be unconditionally loved; how important it is for them to be taught HOW to think, not what to think. I am always growing. I have come to believe that living a remarkable existence requires that we maintain a state of constant inner-growth and self-development. That will allow us to parent (as well as live) from a place of wholeness and fulfillment and understanding; which in turn allows us to create a life for our kids that cultivates wholeness and fulfillment and understanding in them as well. I think this is love at its best & love is everything for us. This is love that I am raising her in.
THIS. IS. LOVE.
I have never experienced this level of living before. I have never been to this place. Emotionally, Psychologically, Spiritually, Educationally, Vocationally, Relationally, and Intellectually. This is a whole new level of life for me. I am so happy with the path I am on. I am so incredibly thankful for my life and the journey. I have rebuilt us a solid foundation and the life we are building on it is one of purpose, provision, and passion. I am so full of life. I feel so excited about our future! I continue giving my best and over time my best keeps getting better!! So to think that somehow anyone out there can look at my life with pity?! BLOWS MY MIND. Please dear one… save your pity. I am whole inside and on an amazing journey. I don’t know that I will ever choose to partner with someone else again, but I am whole as I am; in a way I think few ever find. So few that it’s not something most believe in at all. But I am whole and happy and building a great future and enjoying the journey… and I can’t name even a handful of others I know to be this happy.
Can you see me now?