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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

S is for Strength


I’ve truly enjoyed sharing my life with you. I’ve shared five of the six qualities (determination, resourcefulness, energy, ambition and motivation) that moms need in order to make their dreams come true.
I showed you how these qualities helped me accomplish two of my biggest dreams – earning my graduate degree and starting my coaching business.   

The last quality you need to make your dreams come true is strength.  Some days are pretty easy.  Other days are pretty challenging.  Through it all, I’ve realized just how much strength I have. 


(Even though my muscles look pretty fierce here, I’m referring to my mental strength.)

My mother recognized my strength when I was a little girl.  Every now and then she would refer to me as “mule”. That nickname always seemed a bit strange to me.  It wasn’t until I became an adult that my mother explained why she used to call me a mule.

With love and kindness my mom explained that she would refer to me as a mule because I was very strong-willed.  Once I made up my mind to do something, I wouldn’t stop until it was done – no matter what.

As mothers often do, my mom saw strength in me that I didn’t even know I had.  As I got older and started experiencing life, my inner strength became my fuel. 

 
When the Going Gets Tough…

 
How is it that I didn’t throw my ex-husband’s belongings out on the front lawn and burn them after he casually dropped the bomb that he’d been cheating and possibly fathered a child with a woman who was “just a friend”?  How was I then able to go for one whole year and not tell one single person? How did I manage to stay in school while going through all of this?

After my family knew what I’d been going through, they kept telling me over and over again how strong I was.  But what other options did I have?  I couldn’t just leave with four young children.

I relied on an inner strength to keep me steady when my world, as I knew it, became an unfamiliar nightmare.  The early months after our marital separation were dreadful.  There were many days when I prayed that I could just wake up the next day and my life would be normal again.  But that never happened.

Instead I had to deal with the reality of being a divorced woman with four children and no real plan B.  I had no plans for that life and certainly did not sign up to take care of four children on my own.  I was hurt, sad, resentful and downright pissed off!

Despite my circumstances, I kept my eyes on the prize.  I knew that if I could finish my Masters degree, I would be well on my way to creating a better life for us.  My strength as well as my faith held me up when I felt like giving up.  For this I am eternally grateful.                                                       

I’m no longer stuck in my story…

I realize that some people look at me and would never imagine my life story to be what it is.  Trust me – there were many days when I wished I could have changed a lot about my life.  But I don’t feel that way anymore.

Today I can proudly say that I am standing on my story with strength, power and confidence.  I am no longer wondering and wishing why things happened the way they did or why they could not have been different.

I accept my life just the way that it is.  I’m thankful for the lessons that life has taught me.  I know that everything I’ve gone through was not for just for me – it was so I could help other women going through pain and sadness and thinking they’re alone. 

My message to women dealing with infidelity, divorce, separation, single motherhood, or any other difficulty, is simple – you are not alone and please do not give up on yourself and your dreams. 

The road ahead may be full of bumps and scary turns.  But you owe it to yourself and to your children to keep pushing forward until you make it to the other side.  Take it day by day, hour by hour, one step at a time and you will eventually see that it was all worth it in the end.


(This summer we took our first family trip to California.  If you would have asked me four years ago if I thought I would be able to afford a trip to Disneyland, I would have laughed in your face.  But look at the magic you can create when you dream BIG and believe in yourself.)

This is not the end

As always, I’d like to know when’s the last time you found yourself fighting to get through a tough situation and what you did to get to the other side.  Did you feel stronger and more confident afterwards?

Before I go, I’d love to know what you thought about my D.R.E.A.M.S. series.  Please drop me a quick comment and let me know if this blog has served you in any way.  While you’re at it, feel free to let me know what topics you’d like me to cover in the next few weeks.

Next week we’ll start a new journey.  It’s a surprise, so you’ll have to show up to see what’s in the works for Moms with D.R.E.A.M.S.  See ya then!

Lots of love,
Erica