Hey loves! It’s week three of Women’s History Month and today is National Single Parent’s Day! I send love, peace and success to all the single parents of my tribe. I see you, and I applaud your efforts.
OK, let’s talk resilience this week. Resilience is defined as, “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change” by Merriam-Webster. Basically, when you’re resilient, you adapt. To me there is nothing that makes you more resilient than single parenthood.
As I’ve shared before, I have been a single mother for almost 15 years. Every aspect of my journey was an exercise in resiliency. A jail cell separated me from my then husband. I was left alone with a newborn and his two brothers. I was evicted. There are countless other things that have happened in those 15 years, but I couldn’t have made any changes without the initial push. I would have continued on, content with being miserable.
The sudden changes forced me to do almost everything on my own. I had to learn to drive because we had a car and I wasn’t traipsing 3 kids around on a bus. And because I was broke, I was only trying to do a driver’s test once. When the car broke down, I left it where it was and eventually bought myself my first car. I learned how to change car headlights. I built up my credit to help buy a house.
Women would often say to me, “I don’t know how you do it.” I would usually shrug and brush it off. But the sentiment would always bother me. I had to do it or else it wouldn’t get done. My sons didn’t care who paid for their food as long as there was food. I was resilient because of circumstance, but I stay resilient by choice. I am stronger for it.
As a God girl, I recognize that adversity breeds faith. But I also believe faith breeds adversity, like yin and yang. While I was married, I had faith, but I didn’t rely on it. When God gave me what I wanted – a way out – I was NOT prepared. (Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready – life lessons in tweet form) I asked for something but didn’t believe I would get it. This belief was not faith. I can freely admit that my faith journey has not been consistent, but it has been constant. And it is in hindsight that I realize that I am resilient because of my faith, not despite it.
Keep in mind that not ever change is bad. Good things happen with change as well – a new job, a bigger house, or a new baby. But if we ground ourselves more in faith, in whatever form it looks like for each of us, we can adapt when the changes come. And no matter if the change is good or bad, like all things it will pass with time.
As time goes on, we tend to do more self-reflection and self-assessment. You reflect on who you are, who you were, and hopefully, who you want to be. It’s an ideal time to think about how resilient you really are. What changes have you overcome? How have you used your experience to prevent or enhance a similar experience? Your resilience demonstrates your strength, your perseverance, and your wisdom. When you take what you learned and apply it to future situations or share your knowledge so someone else avoids the same mistakes, you are using your resilience to build influence.
This influence gets you a seat at the table, but often as women we don’t take what’s rightfully ours. Your influence is not just for you. It’s to make way for the ones behind you. Spreading your influence lets others know it’s okay to take their rightful place. You may think that helping others robs them of the chance to be resilient. If you hand every single lesson you learned to one person, then yes it will hinder them. But there are plenty of opportunities to adapt to change, and everyone handles their journey differently. They will either fly or they will fall. Don’t be the woman that clips their wings.
Thanks for joining me today. I hope I helped you look at resilience a little differently. Embrace the changes that happen in life and adjust how you adapt to them. Let me know in the comments how you have used your resilience to influence parts of your life. If you want to work with me, click here. Until next week, remember to G.R.O.W. on purpose!