You were just a little girl.
Always wondering where he was.
Always being told he was at work.
But you never saw him come home.
Then when you finally met him,
You met the people that were important to him;
You saw the women that took his time and attention;
You saw the smile they put on his face;
You noticed the love he gave them;
And you realized he never tried to love you.
You were so confused.
You had love.
But his love meant something different.
You didn’t know why, but you knew you needed him.
There was something he was supposed to give you, show you, teach you.
But then you realized he didn’t need you.
You felt such an emptiness inside –
A darkness you couldn’t interpret, translate or attempt to even put into words.
You didn’t even know or realize it was so bad — how could you?
You were just a child.
But you did the best you could to make sense of it.
Your little black and white brain, always addicted to observing everything.
Obsessed your entire childhood with understanding why people do what they do.
Reading psychology books and watching crime-solving shows at age 9.
Maybe you wanted to understand yourself and others better.
Maybe it was your only way of understanding him.
You made sense of it all,
That unworthiness, emptiness and lack of love.
You built the walls.
You designed your belief systems for defense.
You created your definition of men.
You created a definition of what you were supposed to be.
You decided that you would be different.
You wanted to make sure you would never feel that pain again,
And in that process you created her.
She was fierce.
She was angry.
She was determined.
She was brilliant.
She was rebellious.
She was different.
She drew the entire energy of the room to her.
She was strong, vulnerable and confident exactly when you needed her to be.
She told you that you were a badass.
She made you fearless at times.
She was your protector.
She was your best friend and worst enemy.
She was a counselor.
She was a suicide advocate.
She was your kryptonite.
She told you that the reason he didn’t love you was because you weren’t good enough to be loved.
She told you that he gave more love and attention to those women because they looked different than you.
She told you that he didn’t want to see you because you were not his first choice.
She told you that you would never be good enough.
She told you that men couldn’t be trusted.
She told you drugs and alcohol would numb the pain.
She told you meaningless sex was proper boundaries.
She told you a loveless marriage was the best you were going to get.
She told you to hide during your divorce and close a wildly successful firm.
She told you to eat whatever you want event though it was killing you.
She told you it was ok to let yourself go.
She told you it was normal and responsible to always put yourself last.
She told you that you failed your son.
She told you that you would never be a good parent because you’re broken.
She told you that you would never feel whole.
She gave you no other choice but to listen, and so you did.
Her voice was the only one that made sense.
Her voice is what cleared the fog in your brain and heart.
Her voice drowned out all the pain.
Her voice became a background program running at all times in you.
That little girl disappeared.
You lived your life for a while playing by her rules.
You crashed and burned, hit rock-bottom too many times to count.
You used men and let them use you.
You self-medicated to numb yourself.
You pushed yourself to succeed.
Because of that you accomplished amazing things.
But nothing was ever good enough.
Because she even though she tried her best to protect you.
She would never let you forget.
She never stopped reminding you.
She never stopped popping in your head.
She believed it, too, with every fiber of her being even though she didn’t want to:
That you just weren’t enough.
That you don’t deserve to be loved.
You don’t deserve to look and feel great.
You don’t deserve to make so much money.
You don’t deserve to drive the car you want or live in the house you want.
You don’t deserve your amazing gorgeous kids.
You don’t deserve to have an easy and happy life.
And one day you passed by a mirror and saw her.
You looked closer, and there she was.
For the first time, you could see her so clearly.
She was lost.
She was tired.
She was ready.
She was done.
She was you.
And you knew she had to go.
So you did the only thing you could.
You thanked her.
You released her.
But more importantly,
you forgave her.
And you cried like a baby.
Because you realized that everything you had been searching for your whole life –
It was always inside YOU!
You just had to stop looking to everything, everywhere and everyone.
You had to take a good, long, hard look at yourself in the mirror and realize –
You’re not permanently broken
You’re not damaged goods
You’re not “too late” to start over, keep going, keep punishing
You’re not too fat or ugly to transform yourself.
You’re not too broke and in debt to make bank.
You are exactly where you need to be.
You are exactly who you need to be at this moment.
For as long as you decide.
You were deliberately placed on this journey.
Some of your life events pre-planned,
Others by your choosing.
But all of it was part of the ride.
And part of your purpose in life.
Who you are and are yet to be —
As a parent
As an integral part of this world,
Is because of your tears, epiphanies, mistakes, and lessons learned.
Those experiences may have programmed you as a child
But you always get to choose –
To rise above all of that.
And use it to shape and fuel you.
You get to choose —
To see life’s obstacles as personal challenges to do and be better.
To embrace your past and present with love and acceptance.
To love who you’ve been, who you are now, and who you are becoming.
Set yourself free. Look in the mirror and accept the beautiful mess you are.