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Day 357 - When you know better

I've been sitting in Lifeclass now for a few days now and to be honest I thought I was all together but....

Maybe not so much

There are some heartaches left to climb

I've spent alot of time reliving the past, mulling over mistakes, apologizing for things I've said, wished I hadn't said, should have never done.

When you know better, you do better

I can't go back and change anything but I can tell myself how much better I am now that I've lived through it.

I was sitting here, in my living room, on my couch, in front of my television silently whining to myself that I hadn't given enough.

That I wasn't working hard enough on my dream and I wasn't going anywhere fast.

How dare I believe that I could make my life better by having a purpose and a goal, I should run as fast I can to the nearest "any kind of job" and be grateful.

O how the mighty ego can while away the time when left unsupervised

It's funny how the universe sees fit to pull you back to reality

In a former version of myself I sat in a chair in front of my children crying as though I were an infant. I was crying because I had fallen so far from family's expectations without a clue as to how I was gonna get up and fix this mess I called my life.

I was crying because I wasn't the best mother, at least not in my eyes.

My marriage was falling apart

I was working a job that barely paid my bills

I'd lost the only physical thing my mother had left me....her house

I had so much debt that I couldn't afford a decent place to live

and here I was barely hanging on with less than $3 to make it to the end of the week

I was weak and irresponsible, putting myself and my children through bullshit because I had squandered any opportunity.

I could barely look myself in the eye because to me I'd failed

The walls came crashing down and I took a hard look at some not so pretty truths about myself

Early on I had put too much responsibility on my daughter to care for her brother while I did other things. True I worked and I paid the bills I could afford to pay but somewhere in there it became easy to send her to do what I was too unwilling to do.

I could give excuses and I could coddle the fantasy of making it seem as though I was just overwrought with single motherhood but the honest fact was sometimes I was just not willing to crawl out of the mental space I'd placed myself in and it was easy.

Some years later I apologized to my daughter and I firmly told her that she was not responsible for taking on a child. I thanked her for everything and helped her figure out how to be a child again.

I've always been coddled in some way by life, falling just far enough to scape myself and bruise my behind, my ego and my self esteem but never far enough where I couldn't see any day light. But this particular morning for some reason, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't see things getting better.

I cried uncontrollably in that chair with my coat on, my children hovering over me, trying desperately to pull myself together because I had no idea of how to turn things around. I remember thinking to myself "If I can just...." but I couldn't fill in the blank. I didn't have a word to put in its place.

No matter how hard I tried nothing came to mind.

But I remember feeling heavy and tired but not weak like I was giving up. I knew somewhere in the back of my mind I had an idea I just didn't know what that idea was and I didn't know how to find it.

I was desperate to cling to something

As I sat there gathering the little bits and pieces of myself I kept hearing myself breathe. I remember looking at my daughter and my son and apologizing for forcing them to live in such dire conditions because I hadn't "pulled" myself together.

In one of those breaths I heard myself say "every year we do a little better than we did before". And then it hit me

"every year, we do a little better than we did before", it was the god's honest truth

I had lived in squalor before moving to that place; eating, sleeping, existing in one room, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I had given up and only moved when I had to, I shuffled along because I was expected to but in that moment I wanted to do better because I didn't want to disappoint my children any longer.

They deserved better true....but most importantly I deserved better

I had never in my life thought I was worthy of any of things I'd been given

The things given to me were from people who were expected to provide for me a life they thought I should have.

The men I'd chosen weren't men who loved me truly but loved what I portrayed in some way and when I stopped portraying those things I wasn't so wanted any more.

I'd spent the better part of my life trying to make up for being bad, for allowing a perverted old man to touch me in places I'd only heard about years later. My entire self worth was wrapped up in the idea that I had in some way not been worthy and now I was making my children unworthy by allowing them to see me that way. Forcing them to live that way, not providing for them some semblance of what I had as a child.

How dare I

But also in those breaths I had realized how hard I worked to keep a promise not to go backwards and lose everything I was struggling to get and to keep.

I hadn't allowed myself to give up....I was just momentarily out of steam

Its hard work putting your life back together

I'd mananged to put my life back into focus without truly realizing what it took to accomplish it.

I hadn't seen that I was stronger in some ways than I was before.

I was so accustomed to looking at the big picture that I forgot to look at the little tiny ones.

I learned to pay my bills on time

I learned to speak up for myself

I learned what it meant to create and maintain a budget

I learned to ask for what I wanted instead of taking what someone wanted to give to me

To most people it was easy to do all those things

but I wasn't most people and I had to stop comparing myself to them

I had placed myself on this invisible measuring stick next to my cousins and my friends and I'd always come up short.

Because I saw myself as being so small and unworthy

Yet in those breaths, looking at my children I realized how strong I was

We were together, holding on for dear life but together none the less

I made joy out of small things

We laughed more and I heard myself say I love you more to myself

After that revelation the universe worked quick to make life a little better

I moved into a new place, I got a new sense of myself and I began to say what was on my mind

I wasn't fully intact but I was at least conscious enough to open my mouth and say no when I knew something was wrong.

When you know better....you do better

I knew better than to hold on to the fear I'd been living in, that controlled alot of what I said and did

I began to feel better about who I was, I saw me differently

I was more empowered and inspired

The universe has a way of knocking us off our feet, just to see if we're strong enough yet to get up and dust ourselves off

It took a lot of breaths to get me here and I kinda like it