As single parents, we tend to bear all things. Every bill, every sickness, whether our own or our kids, and every hurt. We have to learn to release negativity and not dwell on all the bad. Our job is difficult enough as is. We must make room for the good. I’m not saying to pretend or wish the bad away. I’m saying to not let it take over your life. Deal with the bills, the money, the shortage of this or that, and spend your energy on the good. Life has so much beauty to offer us. Let’s show our kids that although life can be hard at times, we know the art of Doing it Anyway.
With all the positivity of the previous paragraph, I digress to say that I recently learned of the passing of a young woman who was doing great work in the world to inspire women of color to love themselves. She ended up being a light for women of all colors, but she took her own life this Thursday. Hearing her story, I thought about how hard single parenting was for me when my boys were small. Praise God, I never thought of hurting myself or my children, but I remember being tired and wanting to just quit. I wanted to sit in my house and complain about how hard it was to do it alone. I wanted to just have a moment to be where I didn’t have to do everything. I was tired. I was bitter. I was sad. Luckily, I had family and friends that encouraged me to keep going and also chipped in to help. And, I had my faith that would not let me quit. For these, I am thankful. But, I now wonder if I was depressed and did not know it. So many of us are taught to keep going when we hurt, when we’re tired, when we’re wounded. I know I was. I was hurt. I was in a position I had no expectation of being in and I had to deal with it mostly alone. Because of what I’ve gone through I am stronger. I work well now because of it. I can tackle deadlines and handle a million things at once. It made me tough. But, I wonder what of the ones who are not as strong, or do not have the support? I write this post urging us all to take time to find balance and get medical help, if needed. Sometimes what we battle cannot be cured by a night out, a vacation, or a self-help book. Sometimes, we need assistance our family and friends cannot provide. I’m a Christian, and I believe in the power of prayer. I also go to the doctor when I’m sick. One doesn’t cancel the other. Be brave enough to share the great things of life and the dark with those you love and trust. Your kids need you here and no one or anything is worth your life.
So, as I close, if life is roses and peacocks for you, that’s great! But, please check on your loved ones. When friends come to mind, call them. We are losing people too young and too old to senseless things. I wrote a post recently about engaging our kids. I find it is absolutely important that we are listening to our family and friends and really being present. We don’t know how people internalize our words and actions. Life hurts because people do the hurting. It’s easy to say “I wouldn’t let that bother me”. But, it really does bother the person who is hurting. Allow them to deal and heal. We can all stand to be more compassionate. Who knows what people are really going through behind closed doors? We must make it okay to be authentic.
Live your life to the fullest and love those who love you. Do It Anyway.