I would tell you a story about me, but this post is about you, remember?
Pull up a chair…I am going to let you in on a little secret about the both of us…
I already told you that being a parenting student is hard as hell. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about read this!) The fact is, doing ANYTHING worth while is THAT hard! Making the decision to pursue something valuable only qualifies you for three things: BLOOD, SWEAT, and TEARS!
Am I trying to discourage you? Nope! I’m trying to help you make what’s called “an informed decision.”
P.S.A: IF YOU ARE NOT READY TO FAIL A LOT THEN YOU ARE NOT READY TO SUCCEED AT ALL. Soak that in. Marinate in it. While that might not be the MOST exciting news, it’s real. It’s not a cute little saying I just made up so you could quote me on Twitter. *wink *wink Tweet: IF YOU ARE NOT READY TO FAIL A LOT THEN YOU ARE NOT READY TO SUCCEED AT ALL- @OneParentWonder #OneParentWonder
Anyway, I’m trying to help you make an informed decision. One of the most discouraging things that a person can do to you is to tell you all about their stage and status without being honest about their struggle. People who do that are phonies. BEWARE!
They’ll tell you in so many words “Hello my name is “A-Really-Big-Deal” and I’m a professional hot-shot! Look at my stage and my status! I did this big amazing thing so effortlessly! And you can too if you are as great as me!”
Then here you are, an innocent admirer with pure intentions, marching away from that conversation to pursue the stage and the status and you get blind-sighted by all kinds of hell that the little hot shot failed to mention.
You might get overwhelmed and quit. Maybe you’re committed so you don’t quit. Instead you just think that you are doing something wrong but you can’t put your finger on what it is. You keep picturing the hot shot on the stage saying “…if you are as great as me…blah blah blah.” You strain to reach ‘hot shot levels of greatness’ only to find yourself frustrated, overwhelmed, and under accomplished, with no other explanation than “I must not be as great as the hot shot with the stage and the status.”
I wouldn’t dare do that to you. That kind of discouragement is not the kind that causes you to make an informed decision. It’s the kind that causes you to make an uniformed decision. To set unrealistic expectations. To give up on yourself. To quit.
The truth is that ordinary people do amazing things everyday. I didn’t graduate from college twice because I belong to an elite group of the smartest and most capable single parents. Hello, my name is “I’ve-Got-Issues” and if you’ve read any of my other posts you know I’m not lying about that!
I graduated because no matter how many times I got knocked down (trust and believe that it happened often enough to qualify me as a certified, card carrying GANGSTER) I got back up again. I didn’t get here because I’m ‘hot-shot-level-great’. I got here because I’m a survivor! (Watch out Beyoncé!) I have been through hell and back. I bought the t-shirt and the key chain!
This is where you come in and we high five and do the thug-grip-handshake-hug! (You know the one I’m talking about!) Here’s what I already know about you: You are also a survivor! In fact, you can out-survive the best of them!
So here we are mid-thug-grip-handshake-hug! You feel where I’m coming from because you too have the “I’ve been through hell” t-shirt-keychain set. Don’t be ashamed of it! Take it out! Shake it off! Look at it! Don’t put it on, though! (It’s not everybody’s business. But you can show it to me because I have one too!)
No matter who you are, or where you come from, or how much money you DON’T have, you’ve already got the most important ingredient in the recipe for success—the ability to survive. Let’s be clear. Any and all survival skills count, whether that’s duct taping car windows, knitting, extreme couponing, or knowing how to make it from day to day on $5.01 per month by making that penny REALLY stretch! You have already taken blow after blow and here you are reading this blog by some crazy gangster in a “I’ve been through hell” t-shirt because you’re on a journey to live a WONDERful life. You’ve already got what it takes!
Now, there is only one problem! You’ve been through hell. True. You have the t-shirt. True. You have the key chain because it was on sale if you got the t-shirt. True–more or less. But this ‘hell’ is exactly the thing you are so desperate to stay away from! Why in the world would I get you all pumped up to go the very place you are trying to avoid? Because. There is a very big difference between going TO hell and going THROUGH hell.
Don’t get caught up in the technicalities of the H-word. (It’s in the Bible. Look it up!) I’m trying to help you understand the difference in the kind of hell you settle for on a day to day basis and the kind of hell you work through to get what you need and/or want.
Going to hell is pain without purpose. It’s a whole lot of energy with no real reward. Some examples include but are not limited to: abusive relationships, living in poverty, maintaining an unhealthy body weight, hating your job (that is taking you absolutely no where), habitual people pleasing, I could go on.
Going through hell is pain WITH purpose. It’s an investment towards a goal that will improve your situation. Some examples include but are not limited to: pulling all nighters, letting go of your precious cable to gain more financial stability, exercising and eating healthy, waking up early, having difficult but necessary conversations….you get the point.
It’s ironic to me that there are women who can endure getting slapped around by their partner, living for months in a home without utilities, or feeding 3 or 4 children on $7.25 per hour, who don’t think they can graduate from college or change careers. Are you kidding me?! Does that really even make sense?
Forget the skills you don’t have and the information you don’t know for just a moment, we will talk about that in some upcoming posts. Right now we are talking your language. If this is a game then you are a master at THE most important rule. You already know how to SUR-freakin-VIVE. The only difference is that next time, you’re playing to win!
Surviving the journey through hell is the currency of greatness if you use that power for progress and not purposeless pain. Your whole life has prepared you for this moment. And if nothing else, you know the secret to taking it all!
Beyoncé may be a Survivor but she ain’t got NOTHING on YOU!
Proverbs 24:16a (ESV) for the righteous falls seven times and rises again…
Stay Wonderful 🙂