Dear Beautiful, Exhausted Woman:
This is for you. The one who doesn’t know if she can make it one more minute, much less one more hour or one more day. The one who gives and gives to everyone else until she literally has a vacancy sign in the hotel of her heart. The one whose eyes are filled with sadness and pain– a pain that is either invisible to everyone or else they just choose to ignore it. I know that pain because I’ve seen it staring back at me so many times in my mirror.
This is for the lady who always puts everyone else before herself. You work hard, every day, harder than most of those around you, and yet it appears to go unnoticed. You cry silent tears in the shower or the bathtub so your children don’t hear you. You fall asleep with tears streaming down your face and just when you think there are no more tears left to cry, you think that the tear well in your heart must be bottomless, because you’re sobbing again. Your days are lonely, even in a crowd of people and your nights are even worse.
You silently suffer.
This is for the woman who wonders if things will ever become easier, if life will ever get better. Each day brings a familiar feeling of doom, as life unleashes its newest storm for you to weather. You’ve been spinning your wheels for so long, not really getting anywhere, just trying, with all you have, not to crash. Life has become so hard and so difficult and the bully’s in life have nothing on you. They could never beat you up worse than you beat up yourself. Countless times you’ve said, to yourself, “How could I be so stupid!? What was I thinking?! I should have known better.”
Well my dear, sweet warrior and survivor, it is time to give yourself a break.
Believe it or not, you can’t insult yourself into becoming a better you. It doesn’t work that way. As our self-confidence and self-worth go down, our walls and blockades to happiness go up. If you are always carrying around the bricks of your past mistakes, you will end up constructing the exact same unhappy structure you’ve been a prisoner in for years. You are so much more than any mistakes you may have made, and it is time you forgive yourself.
Eventually you learn that running from who you really are is a race you can never win. It is exhausting and depressing and it depletes your soul of the energy you need to become all you are destined to be. Maybe you are alone. It is an undeniable fact that some of us are alone at the time being. We have no one to fight for us and we are standing in tears, facing all of life’s battles single-handedly. The world is a very big place and it is horrific to be alone.
I know all about dragging my past with me wherever I went. My past was like a phantom or a ghost–it was a poltergeist that constantly haunted me. Confronting that past was terrifying for me and I talked myself into believing, for many years, that if I just ignored it and left it alone, it would magically go away. So, I buried the nightmares of my past. I buried them so deeply in the cemetery of my heart that I almost convinced myself that they didn’t exist. I was playing a sort of hide-and-seek with my soul. But monsters don’t hide forever. They will always resurface and usually in the darkest of times, because that is when they are the most terrifying.
The truth of it is, we don’t get over our past. We don’t get over our grief. We aren’t gifted a new childhood that is minus the monsters that were real. What I have learned, though, is that we can learn how to live in joy, in spite of our past hurts, mistakes, losses, and heartbreaks. It takes courage. It takes genuine bravery and strength to face, head on, the demons of our past. I can tell you that I know, firsthand, that the secrets we keep in the dark, fester and grow and become poisonous to our soul. They make us sick, they deplete everything good in us, they kill our hopes, and they make us live in fear of life itself.
As petrifying as it is, when we expose our monsters to the light, their power is lost. They no longer control us. We suddenly realize we are free. We have stepped out of our darkness and into the safety of our own light. Even if we are standing alone, a place of happiness and serenity can exist. We may have to build new relationships and create a new family. Family has nothing to do with DNA. DNA determines your relatives, love determines your family. Ultimately, we determine who comprises the inner circle we call family.
So, my tired, beautiful, amazing woman, this message is for you. Don’t you dare give up. Giving up is not even an option. The bridge to your dreams and your happiness does exist, but you must be courageous enough to cross it to arrive at a better destination. The first step may be that you have to realize that you are going to have to walk your path alone for a bit longer. You will not always be alone. I do not believe that God wants any of us to be alone forever, but when we discover our solitude, we can choose to grow and allow beautiful things to bloom in the healthy new garden we’ve planted.
I can honestly say that in my darkest hour, when I realized that there was no human being coming to save me or help me, I discovered my own strength. Yours is there waiting to be discovered as well. I slowly regained my momentum and I want to emphasize the world slowly. Healing takes time, trying to rush the process doesn’t help. Be patient and gentle with yourself. My journey began with forgiving myself, allowing God’s love to start my healing, and slowly learning to be proud of who I am–flaws, mistakes and all. Do I still have bad days and moments of doubt? Of course I do. But I’ve learned my intuition, God’s voice inside of me, is powerful and I need to trust it. I’ve also learned that I am stronger than I ever thought possible. When I needed help the most, there was none, and no one came. Because of that, today I am a different woman. I don’t need or want anyone to save me.
This Queen saves herself.