Love is all you need.
Queue the eye rolling.
Before I begin, I’m aware this statement sounds naïve, idealistic, and woefully unrealistic, but hear me out. Love really is all you need.
This is not to say you don’t need all the usual suspects, money, reliable transportation, and stability are all necessary (to some degree) for happiness to flourish. But here’s how I see it, love will get you to the necessities. Let me explain why love is all you need to be happy.
I know love doesn’t buy diapers or pay for daycare. Love won’t repair that leaky roof, nor will it make the car payment this month. I get it, really I do. When I lost my business and my home (following my divorce) I thought the same thing. I called bullshit. Money, not love, was what I needed, or so I thought.
Hitting bottom left me with very little. After my (spectacularly bad) divorce all I had left was what the high powered attorneys couldn’t steal from me. My character, my skills, and the love I could manifest were all I had left. It wasn’t much, but it was all I had to work with.
Starting off (justifiably) pissed off
Love (and any warm and fuzzies) initially took a back seat to being pissed off. Really. Pissed. Off.
I spent months brooding, and frankly hating the world. My bitterness spread through me like a poison.
I cried myself to sleep for most of those early months. I replayed how I would get my revenge. I cast hate and threw righteous curses at those who mercilessly destroyed my life. I refused advice and shunned kindness.
All I saw was darkness. All anyone saw in me was darkness. My heartache had turned me from a happy, loving person into a shadow stitched from bitterness and hatred.
Needless to say, everyone around me was sucked into my whirlpool of misery. Everyone except the lone survivor of my hate. My daughter.
Letting love grow and growing yourself
My child in her innocence still basked in the only goodness left in my soul. The only person I could manifest love for was her. And love her I did.
I hid my tears from her, saving them for the quiet moments on my pillow. Instead, I played the part of joyful mommy. I giggled and laughed with her. I danced and sung songs. I kissed her and held her tight. I had my daughter and that was enough to drag me forward.
Soon an unexpected thing happened, she began to heal me.
As my child basked in my love she began to love me back. In her toddler wisdom she offered me unexpected hugs, sneaky kisses, and later, when she could talk, she offered me three magical words. I wuv yoo!
The snowball effect of love
With my child’s love, I began to heal.
Time had started to pass and that helped too. I saw myself more clearly. I had been a strong and powerfully independent woman. Now I was just a shadow of that person. I saw what I had become.
I saw what HE and my divorce had turned me into. Who was he to have such authority over my future? Who is anyone to have such authority over anyone’s future?
It was then that the momentum of change took over. I decided because I loved myself I deserved to get myself back. I decided because I loved my daughter that she deserved her strong fearless mom back.
So I began going out again. I made new friends. I tried new hobbies. I began to plan my new life. And I began sharing the love.
And in that all that crazy warm and fuzzy fest, I started to heal. One day I realized I was happy. Yes, I was also tired, broke, and missing some key pieces of my former life…but I was still happy.
Now I had support from friends and family who wanted me to find success again. Surrounded by all this snuggly love, I came up with a plan to address my remaining logistical concerns (namely my brokeness).
I still had my skills, so I used them. I was still an experienced business woman, so I started from there. I’ve always been a hard worker, so I used that as a launching pad.
It hasn’t been easy, and I’m still figuring out how my new life is going to look, but I can say that I’m crazy excited about my future. I’m pursuing big things, and soon I’ll be back to kicking ass and taking names. And that’s my message to all of you. Love yourself back to who you are meant to be.
Getting your awesomeness back
Single parenting is ridiculously hard. No one is sugar coating that. But you can prove to the world that you can do it and succeed at it. You may have been roughed up by the universe by you aren’t out of the fight.
Love yourself and love your child. Use that spark of love to light your fire. Leverage your skills and talents. Eventually you will emerge from all of this a better, stronger, and HAPPIER person. And when you do, you will know you can handle ANYTHING.
Love helped me climb out of that shitty black hole.
Love healed my heart.
Love helped me connect to amazingly awesome friends.
Love carried me forward and will keep moving me forward.
So if you’re that mom or dad in the trenches, just stop and take a breath, and consider this for a moment. If you have a child, then you have love. So now get yourself together, dust off the bullshit, and go be the happy badass that you are meant to be.