Struggle & Strength

Society has a way to label everything. In this particular case, it evolves separated parents and a child. Usually the main care taker is demeaned as greedy and spiteful as where the other part time care taker or inactive parent is demeaned as the victim. In some cases this may be true however I find so many people automatically default to this conclusion prior to even learning that each party has a different experience.

Right off the bat I want you to know, as a reader, that this is not to bash the other party. I actually wish the other well and I hope that more positive will prevail soon. This is to simply filter through my own thoughts. Here’s a little about what I’m processing…

I am an active parent for my son and I’m continuously looking out for his welling being including what he interacts with on a daily basis that will hone his foundation for a positive future. I am going through a tough time as a single parent (all worth it). The father leads a negative lifestyle and is not active. I also want to say that I’m not keeping the father from being active even though I fear the father. I fear him due to past happenings however I want to protect my son so I’m doing what I know is right for him.

I struggle as an active parent because I don’t know how one can decide to not be an active parent. My thoughts say that at least it’s safe due to no direct presence and the negative influence will not feed into my son’s foundation for a positive future. In my other thoughts, my heart hurts for my son because the father doesn’t want to be a dad. I also feel intermediate anger (not spite or revenge) that there’s not even a tiny piece of effort on his part to see or reach out to his child. I hope that my feelings of heartache/anger are normal however I’ll continue to be a strong/positive influence for my son. I do know that the father’s priorities in life are different than mine and maybe this is the simple answer…Priorities are different.

I know that I’m not the only active parent who has this similar case and maybe I’m not meant to understand why inactive exists. I have to say though, I wish society would be more kind with understanding different positions because even though I selected him to be a father, he currently is not the same person I selected from the beginning. I really wish the father to be a dad with or without being in a relationship with me but that is not my decision. He has to want to be active and he has to want to be a positive influence.

In the bigger picture of things, I know things will work out for the best and my feelings I struggle with daily motivate me to be the best mom I can ever be. I could only hope that others who are two active/semi active parents will work together for their kid because they are blessed to both want and have the opportunity. They should make the best of it. As for people who aren’t parents, I could only hope that they don’t take societies labels as the norm or use naïve statements because everyone knows that who can make one may not be suitable to raise one. For those who are the only active parent like me, you are not alone and you can do this. Your child loves you more than you know.

I may not have filtered my own thoughts to where I wanted them and I may have taken 3 days to write this which wasn’t easy but my thoughts are shared and I can reflect.

Be strong, move forward, be the best positive you that you can be – struggle & strength

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Pick Your Battle

Day in and day out I hear about people’s worries/reactions and the impact it is having on them. I don’t like to disregard how they feel but sometimes they need to be told that the subject at hand “doesn’t matter”. I’m talking about stuff that becomes huge which didn’t need to be.

One example is an argument over who uses the small Kleenex packet in the car and neither could agree it was theirs or why it was present. All I could think to myself is I wish I had these kinds of problems to worry about but then again it’s not worth the energy. I don’t want to seem non-sympathetic but let’s put this in perpective.

Did you wake up this morning? Do you have a life threatening condition? Are you going through a long drawn out court battle? After asking questions like this to yourself, is a Kleenex packet that serious? Let it go.

I find that most people will worry or react to the simplest things and I have to say pick/choose your battles wisely. In the end you decide what you spend your energy on. If you think that Kleenex packet is that important compared to everything else then by all means spend it but for me that Kleenex packet is a reminder not to over react or worry about the small stuff.

Be humble, be grateful and choose your battles because sometimes it doesn’t matter.

Love the Imperfect

Why are people still friends after they have learned some of their friend’s imperfect life styles or moments? Why would one want to keep in contact with someone who has done or are doing something that you wouldn’t do? Maybe the simple answer is because we are imperfect too.

Over my lifetime, I’ve had people share things with me about themselves that could be classified as “frowned upon” or “extremely sensitive subjects”. I’m not sure why these things are shared but I’m glad that the people felt comfortable enough to engage in those types of conversations. As I learned the imperfect moments or life styles of others, I could have walked away, not be a friend or maybe even told their truth to others however I didn’t, haven’t and still will not. I find that we are all imperfect and as long as their choices don’t directly affect my life then it’s not for me to make a decision on. Maybe they just hurt or just need a person to listen to understand or maybe they need advice. Either way, what they need in that moment of time is an open mind/heart with no judgement.

Most important, my views or actions don’t need to change by listening to another’s imperfection. Honestly, we can’t begin to understand people if we don’t listen and learn from the person’s point of view. It’s also ok to be imperfect and it’s ok to be a friend to an imperfect person. Learn, grow and be the positive supporter if they are seeking comfort. You may learn something for yourself too because we are all imperfect.

Thoughtless Thoughtfulness

Understanding people’s perspectives is such a hard thing to boggle in one’s mind. What one person does that they think is thoughtful maybe presented to you as thoughtless. I don’t believe that people evaluate situations thoroughly even to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. We should practice pausing. Pause, evaluate feelings and respond after reviewing if needed at all.

I had a longtime friend, whom I hadn’t had a real connection with in years, reach out to me the manner that seemed harmless. It was probably an attempt to go forward and I’m sure they meant well however the way I received it was probably not how they intended it. The reaching out made me upset. This person had hurt me so badly that our friendship went to the wayside. Over the passing years I had apologized to this person for things that I didn’t need to apologize for. I had literally put all the past behind me to move on to another chapter in my life because apologies didn’t seem to make a difference. I also felt that I’d never receive one in return.

At first I couldn’t wrap my head around why I was so upset. Was it because the reach out said thank for being a friend and not an apology back? I couldn’t help but think, why did you send this to me? After I went through emotions and a long pause moment, I realized that maybe just maybe that this person had no idea how much they had hurt me. This was their way of looking through their perspective of how things stood. This was them closing the door on what once was and possibly attempting to open a new door for the future. After I evaluated, I decided to knowledge the gift. I don’t need ask for an apology. I don’t need to say how much it hurt me. I don’t need to be awful in a reply. I just simply needed to respond in saying thank you.

When it was all said and done, the person was happy I received it and that I acknowledged receiving it. I truly believe this person had no clue of the damage nor did they intend to be thoughtless. I also think that they don’t need to know the extent of the damage that was. It’s not worth reopening because life has moved on.

In the long run, I’m just actually thankful they took the time to create and send and that I waited to process before replying. It’s all about understanding your emotions and their perspective prior to being responsive. Be proactive and not reactive. Pause and evaluate. Learn before speaking.

Hidden Pain

There are so many people in this world living with pain. It’s not always shown or expressed and sometimes hides behind smiles, quietness, laughter or a person distancing themselves. It’s already hard to relate to exactly what someone is going thru because every situation will never exactly mirror someone else’s situation however it’s important to try to understand.

Throughout my life, I’ve lived with different kinds of pain. It ranges from heartache to physical health related pain. Most of my pain cannot be seen from the exterior and some is temporary while other pain will never fully go away. I try to carry myself with a smile during tough times however some days do get the best of me. I’d like to assume that people will understand if I tell them my pains however to be honest, most of the time I needed to digest the news myself prior to letting others have some insight. Even if I shared, they may think I want sympathy which is not something that is wanted.

With pain in silence people may assume, make judgement or act with negative demeanors towards those who carry the burden. They may do this because they don’t understand or don’t even think about what else a person may be going through that has nothing to do with them. In turn, the person in pain may feel less important, insignificant, disliked or personally attacked. Understanding each other’s path before moving straight to disregard is so important.

I honestly wish people would think outside the box when it comes to interacting with other people. Be more understanding.

1. Why didn’t that person say Hi to me?

* First Thought: They are rude. They don’t like me. They have something against me.

* It May Be: They just got bad news and are digesting. They are using a lot of energy focusing on other things.

2. Why did that guy just tailgate and race passed me on the highway?

* First Thought: He is trying to prove a point. He thinks he better than me. He dislikes my driving.

* It May Be: He is on the way to the hospital for a loved one. He may have just gotten bad news and needs to get there quickly.

3. Why does that person always come across in a certain way?

* First Thought: They are a terrible person. They don’t care. They are self-centered.

* It May Be: They are in continuous pain. They are not ready to share. They are doing all they can to be present.

I’m not saying that every interaction has a valid “May Be” reason however as humans we are quick to run to the worst case scenario. Which is usually only about yourself and what the other person is doing to you but it’s not always about you. The real reason “May Be” everything to do with a personal situation they are experiencing. So please remember to …

Be Kind. Be Humble. Be Understanding because not everyone shares or shows pain.

Waiting Game

Some of the life’s most challenging things are full of action and then waiting. Waiting for the next step or process to be fulfilled prior to being able to take another step toward the finish line. It seems like such a long wait to get to the point of completion and during the waiting moments the mind runs wild. What if this and what if that? The stress can be intense and the waiting may have you wanting to push too much or giving up totally. Don’t let the waiting defeat you.

I’ve had many different scenarios enter my world that have had this cycle of go….wait…go and more waiting. Some of these cases are goals and dreams that I want. While others are positions I’ve been put in and need to handle. Regardless, there seems to be more waiting moments than what I’m use to handling and/or tolerating. It has definitely taught me patience and when to bring the waiting items to the front burner. I have to say, at times I was discouraged and not always having the best outlook on the process as a whole but I kept going. I wasn’t giving up because I was passionate about getting to a conclusion. A yes or no or a positive direction or another path that made sense. Anything would do so I could move on with some sort of vision and goal.

Persistence and patience has definitely paid off. I literally had to balance the two so there was enough push (persistence) but not giving up (patience). Every time I felt overwhelmed, intense moments or feelings that maybe it wasn’t worth it, I remembered why I started. It became my continuous motivation. Write it down, post it, say it….keep going because Patience is a virtue and Persistence is key.

My Own Self Reminder

Dear Self,

Please remember…

I don’t ask for too much, I ask for what I’m worth.

I am a woman who cares for her son, home, finances and myself. I am both mom and dad. I am both housewife and bread maker. I’m the one who cleans and cares for the inside and outside of my home. I’m the one who will make sure that there’s a car to get places, roof over head and food on the table. You will hardly ever hear me complain about doing all of these things because it’s worth it. I was raised to not depend on anyone. If I want it, I need to work for it. I’m the one who can make it happen and I do. All of this has shown me my worth and humbled me as a person.

Someday, I’d love for someone to come into my life that won’t allow me to do all of these things on my own even though I can. I want a soulmate, a person whom can be comfort as well as provide at least half if not more than what I can. Compliment me as a whole and not take me for granted as pieces. Show that everyday matters. Be that someone who continues to do the small things even over time. Someone who appreciates, supports goals, is honest and humble.

I also want my soulmate to feel the same in return. Be appreciated, cared for and never guessing if they are important to me. I want my soulmate to know that what they bring is just as important as what I bring. They should feel wanted, supported and an essential piece in the relationship and within our family. We should feel as one even if the relationship may have times of hardship or hard work. I want to share my world just as much as they would want to share theirs with me.

I don’t ask for too much, I ask for what I am worth.