February 17th was the day my life change. I was late. The kind of late most single woman dread, and I was convinced that if I took a pregnancy test that it would trigger my flow.
Instead, the test came back positive. Both tests were positive.
The fear immediately took over. I am not married. I am in a very new relationship. I just started a new job. What am I going to do. I immediately called one of my closest friends, crying and hyperventilating, all at the same time. I was a mess.
Her calm voice reached through all the fear and noise in my head and told me it was going to be okay. Over and over again. Then she said probably the most powerful thing, something that would help me through my darkest hour that was soon to come. She said, “From this moment on, you are a mother.”
The abbreviated version of what ensued is that, my new and promising relationship ended. It was such a painful experience, but there was always a light. My friends were consistently reminding me of who I was, how strong I was, and that it was important for me to not give over my power to someone else in this moment. I was praying for rescue, that someone else would step in and fix the situation. That did not happen. And then I read this quote on pinterest:
“I am the hero of this story. I don’t need to be saved.”
It was actually a photo of a tattoo across someone’s back. And that was the beginning of me harnessing my own power. I know it is so random, but I believe just like the words of my friend on February 17th, that this message arrived right on time and was meant for me. I decided to be my own hero. I repeated these words, and other similar phrases to myself all day for several days. And one day, I decided to act on this new belief and stood up for myself (and my child).
To say that I was scared would be an understatement. I know what single motherhood looks like. I know the statistics about children raised without a father. But I also truly believed that I this was my path.
I immediately reached out for support. And I was very surprise to see how much support was standing there waiting for me. My parents, who tend to be more conservative and traditional did not hesitate to support me. I was three months pregnant before I told others in my life. I was so fearful that I would be judged, that others would carry the same judgments I have held. But they didn’t. The love and support that family (including my pastor-brother) and friends showed me was overwhelming.
But, I was still on my own most of the time. And it was still hard. So hard.
There were many days when I wanted to lay in bed in darkness. No one would have known the difference. Just call in sick to work, and not answer the phone. But I knew that would not be helpful to me, or the little person growing inside of me. I’ve read enough books to know wallowing in self-pity is not how you get to the other side of pain, and negative emotions impact developing babies. I had to become my own self-help guru, kind of pretend I had Louise Hay and Iyanla Vanzant living with me.
Everyday I had to decide if I was going to be my own hero, or wait for someone (maybe my now ex, in particular) come and rescue me from the situation. Every day it was choice. I slowly realized that I did not need anyone to come and fix me, or the situation. I had choices. I was fully able to respond to this situation. I knew what I needed to do.
And I did.
Most of the time.
I did not deny the pain. I felt the pain. I cried (probably scared my neighbors with some of the loud sobbing). I did not die. I was able to release it. (More self-help book stuff.)
I laughed. I smiled. I thanked God for my little blessing. I read pregnancy books until I had to stop (more on that later). I prayed for peace of mind. I continued to live.
Things are better. Not perfect, maybe not even ideal. But better.
In all of this, I learned a life-saving lesson: I do not need to be rescued. I am the only person who can really save me. And I am fully capable of doing so.
I am my own hero. And I am so grateful that I learned this lesson.
Have you had moments when you rescued yourself? What are some life lessons you learned the hard way?
Love and light,