January 30, 2019
By Rachel O. S. Edmund
I dealt with the emotions that I felt in the previous article and having identified the key emotions I want to focus on moving forward. Many are stuck in the emotional conundrum of their situations and cannot move forward. Dealing with emotions is never easy and solutions do not come overnight. It is a process and it requires one to be absolutely honest about oneself and one’s emotions. It means to move forward you must look back and you must look deep.
It may seem daunting at first but in order to live your best life you have to sacrifice what you feel and see for what you want to feel and see.
How to move forward
When things seem to normalize sometime later because you’ve grown accustomed to the separation you think that you will be open to co-parent because (for me) the child was the only important thing. I didn’t have a father so I wanted to ensure that my children had that sense of stability in their lives. I tried to remain humble and cordial. I never believed in alienating a father from their child so I never spoke ill of them to my girls though I will admit that I was tempted to on many occasions.
In my case other things became more important for the fathers of my children so they essentially turned their backs on their children. People have asked me how I managed and dealt with that and I often tell them that knowing that God would provide strength and that I was the only one supporting my children was the thing that helped me through the rough days.
For you I think I can give some clarity with this article.
1.Accept the losses
I thought I lost my whole world when I left my marriage and became a single mother but indeed I gained a whole other magnificent one! I thought that I would never find my way in this world because I was so lost in it. I accepted that my marriage was over and there was no returning to that life anytime in the near future. I accepted the choices of my exes and that I couldn’t change them.
I stopped crying over the fact that they didn’t or couldn’t love their children the same way that I loved them. In accepting the losses I looked at what I had gained: my independence, my sanity, my freedom! My children and I are so closely bound that not a day goes by that I feel far from them. I love no other like I do them!
2. Make peace
I made peace with the fact that they just didn’t care. People always have choice in everything that they do. Just as they chose so did I. I chose to be there and do my best with my children. I tried to be there for everything. Yes, I did miss a lot of events because I had to work to provide a meal but I think that my children both knew that I loved them beyond measure.
Peace is something that many seek and rarely find. Once one accepts the loss one can make peace with it and let it go! There is no peace without acceptance.
3. Let go of the anger
I threw away my anger, bitterness and fear. Anger, bitterness and fear causes us to make poor emotional decisions. I chose indifference to their fathers in terms of their choice to be poor fathers. I chose not to be afraid of making mistakes with my children. We (my children and I) laugh today at some of the mistakes I made as a parent!
Throwing away the anger, bitterness and fear is a gift to your spirit and your soul. The mind, body and spirit literally cannot function optionally with conflicting emotional states. We have to choose what is best for ourselves and holding onto such negatives will eventually destroy us and our relationships not only with our children but with others and God. When we do this we open ourselves to loving ourselves more honestly; we can better love our children and eventually others.
4. Build your self-esteem
I built my self-esteem; I went to counseling although that didn’t help much. You should definitely go to a professional if you feel overwhelmed by your emotions as they offer a myriad of tools to help you cope with those negative emotions. It was another difficult process to endure along my journey but one that was well worth the endurance of any physical or emotional pain it caused. It was unnerving and unsettling but I persevered until I could love myself through my brokenness and in my own skin!
I knew that I could do anything I put my mind to and I started to believe in myself as much as I believed that my children would make me proud of them one day. It was hard work and I wasn’t an overnight success but I took intentional steps toward being present in the moment with my children. I built my children’s self-esteem as well because that was crucial to their development; they needed to know that they were always loved and cherished (though their fathers chose to be absent) and that they could do anything and be anyone that they wanted to be.
This is the most difficult thing to do but I truly believe that a person cannot move forward without forgiving others of the hurts that they may have inflicted. It was hard for me and it took many years to do. I struggled daily because I simply wanted to knock some heads in! Little by little I began to forgive my ex-husband for the abuse and the abandonment.
The murderous rage I felt whenever I thought of him slowly began to subside because I didn’t want to have such negative emotions inside of me whilst raising a daughter. I didn’t want to project on to her that negative image of her father; I wanted her to grow up and see him through her own eyes that meant that I needed to let go of those feelings so that I wouldn’t colour her vision with mine!
I focused on the positive outcomes that I wanted for my life and that of my children. Sometimes it is easier to be negative but I have learnt to see the glass as half full rather that half empty and life has become so much simpler. It is more comforting to me to believe in what I cannot see than what I actually do. That is called FAITH! I trust God with everything that I have and am. Though this is my last point it should be first but it didn’t come first for me because my faith in God honestly wavered but thankfully I found the light and I’m passing it on to you!
Because I experienced a lot of anxiety it meant that I didn’t sleep very well; insomnia was one of my best friends! Many nights I would lay in my bed simply thinking. I didn’t have a social life and I had few love interests. I fussed as I tried to sleep because of the hectic schedule that awaited me in the few hours ahead. I would think of all the wrongs that people did and consistently think about how much I was failing.
I thought to myself that I should make better use of my time so I started writing again. I started to channel my energy into something that I loved and something that brought me great joy. I lost myself in my marriage but I found a better version as I wrote in my journal. Sometimes I would listen to music because it was always such a sweet escape. I didn’t dwell on the things that made me sad anymore but I talked about my feelings to myself in my journals. You can find something as simple as it may seem to take your mind off of your problems to help you to re-focus and channel your energies differently.
Channeling my energies helped me to understand myself more and helped me to live intentionally by developing the best version of myself. It helped me to develop strategies to get things done for myself easier and faster. It helped me to stop beating myself up and stressing over the things that I couldn’t change. It helped me to face my realities and to be realistic. I was able to set goals and make attempts to achieve them. To date I have achieved every goal set in the time-frame that I’d set!
It is never easy to accept other people’s choices which ultimately affect you but the moment that you do, you can walk lighter and faster because you no longer carry that weight! You have to be intentional about your life and the things that you want out of it!
I hope and I pray that you will be able to come to terms with your own situation so that you can move forward with your children and live a fulfilling life with them with obscene amounts of memories that make you simply smile at the struggle you once faced.
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