I recently read a post by a fellow blogger named Shannon. (Hi Shannon!) The post began with the words of Anais Nin:
The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Shannon’s post is about how she started to blossom. Recalling her life over the years, she makes this profound statement about her ex-husband:
I had spent my life with this person. . . starting at the young age of 13. He was all I knew. I had learned how to see myself and what I believed to be true about myself in his presence. It was hard to be me.
In this I see the first hurdle that many (not all) single mothers must overcome in order to create the best life for their children and for themselves. They have to recreate an identity that’s separate from their children’s father or ex-husband. It helps if, as women, we already had a strong identity to begin with, before we formed a relationship with a man. That’s why I encourage girls not to date so young, but that’s for another post.
Back to acceptance and recreating our identities as newly single women. Shannon goes on to say:
Since [my divorce]. . . I have been unable to accept myself. Well, to be honest. . . I haven’t been able to accept myself for most of my life. I depend on these precious people to accept me. . . . When my husband stopped accepting me, decided I wasn’t worth fighting for. . . it was a major blow to my worth as a woman.
I walked around in a bathing suit and played with my children. . . without a single moment of feeling insecure or worried about my body. This, folks, THIS is me! I am a mother. . . and this body gave birth to THESE 4 boys at my side. That is what my inner voice said to me on this day. I am Worthy and allowed to walk the earth unashamed of who God made me. . . and all the battle scars I wear as a result of fighting through life. . . including the unsightly extra pounds and stretch marks.
And my favorite part:
Acceptance: finding peace with myself. Resigning to the reality that I am a single mother of four boys, without a man to validate me or even love me. . . and yes, I can survive and I am still valuable to the world outside of my identity as a wife.
If you want to learn more about Shannon or contact her directly, visit clearinghermind.