Tag Archives: bouncing back

The First Wives Club Just Changed My Life

giphy (4)Uhhhmmm ok wow! When I first saw this movie I was 25 years old. Times sure have changed as I viewed this film today digitally through Amazon Video, but back in the day I owned a VHS copy of it and I’d watch it regularly like it was a tv program. I cracked up through every scene, laughing at the whimsical characters, those mid-40 year old women who were attempting to rebuild their lives after being abandoned by their husbands, who had taken much younger wives. Well fast forward 20 years and my view of this lovely and funny story is very different. I am now that mid-40 year old putting her life together post divorce. As much as I adored the movie then, seeing it today was much more than a revisit to this comedy that I love. I relate to these characters on a completely different level now, with a few important differences of course.  I am not white nor wealthy, which all the main characters in the film are, so there’s that. But I do relate to this ageism thing of what to do with your life if you are no longer such and such’s wife. And if such and such goes on to marry someone who is young enough for you to mother, then that tends to add insult to injury. Although I’ve been mistaken for much younger, (blame it on the melanin), in reality I am what I am, and I am who I am. And that is a mid-40 year old who holds every memory and experience from her past. I ache in my joints on a second by second bases and manage regular extreme pain. I have the energy level of someone recovering from surgery, with the metabolism of a pregnant snail. I have found that my favorite recreational activity is a good nap, or posting on Facebook or Pinterest after waking from a good nap. I have more responsibilities than I can balance in my own strength as I attempt to put myself and my life back together, while raising a young boy by myself…. oh who happens to have Autism. I’m exhausted even writing all of that because it just makes my real life all the more real.

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So when I get inspiration to move out of this place that I’m in, I try to take it.  This movie gave me just the inspiration that I needed. I am more than a little moved as I watch the women in this film reclaim their own power. Now of course this is a fictional story, but it is a reflection of art imitating life as divorce numbers are at an all time high. The reality of women piecing their lives back together in their 40’s and 50’s and older is amazingly common. I’m taking this motivation and am going to hold on to it. I’m going to take this moment to set some goals for myself, because you cannot you move out of a rut if you never take some steps to do so. We recess, draw back, fall off, loose ourselves, let ourselves go when there is no movement.  Mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially, there must be movement.

giphy (5)So instead of sitting around and wallowing in self pity while I’ve been home nursing an injury and my car is not running properly, I’m dedicated to movement. I’m setting some goals and am going to act on them, but this time I’m going to be smart about it, as in setting SMART goals. Those SMART goals will be Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic, and Time Bounded. Specific goals that are measurable. Ones that agree with my core values and are realistic to my real life, and schedule and responsibilities. And lastly ones that have a time frame on them. Now speaking of time, it’s a thing. Later in life you reflect on the time you’ve spent, the time you’ve wasted, the time you have left. We respond to that feeling with either hopelessness or urgency. Hopelessness sets in when you assume that you don’t have any options, that your best days are in your rearview and that nothing will ever get better than where you are today. But today I’m choosing to believe the alternative, I’m going to take this sense of urgency as motivation to do something new. I do not have the luxury of wasting time like I did in my youth. If God blesses me with life, I have a limited amount of it remaining and I have to use it wisely. Sitting around eating chocolate while I blow up is no longer a reasonable option for my life.

One of the main areas of my life that I have allowed to sit somewhere between dormantgiphy (3).gif and aborted is my entrepreneurial spirit, but it got a big kick in the butt watching this movie.  It is not too late for me to do the things that I’ve dreamt of that will set up a legacy for my child. That’s the key phrase, it’s not too late. It’s not too late to get healthy and pain free. It’s not too late to start my businesses, it’s not too late to make a difference in the world, it’s not too late to one day have the love of my life. And it’s not too late for you either.  All of this pivots on hope, and this movie just gave that back to me. I’m going to wipe the tear marks that the closing dance scene to You Don’t Own Me just left on my face, and begin my movement. This movie will be a regular pit stop for me again, but with a greater meaning than just for laughs. Thanks Bette, Diane, and Goldie! I hope that your residual check balances increase and that this film is revisited by those who love it, and seen by those who’ve never had the pleasure.  Hope renewed.

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All That Glitters… Is Just Glitter

glitterThis is hitting home for me in the wee hours of the morning, this picture quote shared above.  I needed these words.

I couldn’t sleep much because I was troubled before even attempting to fall asleep last night. You see there was one particular person who was an authority figure over me who treated me horribly for close to two years. Last night I had to sit and shine a light and applaud her while still living in the ever present effects of her mistreatment. I along with several others have fallen victim to her vicious snares and attacks.

Have you ever been there, had to hold your tongue in effort of not exposing truth while standing in a sea of fooled people? In reality this person had loosened up her noose around my neck in recent months, she wasn’t nearly as cruel as when I’d first met her. But that loosening only took place after my standing against her attacks and ultimately winning. That loosening lightening only after her authority was lessened. But this morning I am counting the cost of what such a brutal war has done to my spirit and my soul, to my mind and my body.

This person’s mistreatment has had a lasting effect on me. It took place at the most vulnerable time of my life. When I was spiraling through a whirlwind of chaos, grabbing for stability and comfort. It was moments after a terrible divorce, seconds after my child had been abandoned by his father, while learning that my child had special needs, in the center of homelessness, experiencing failing health, ever yet aching from the untimely death of my mother, and staring the deception of loved ones square in the face. I had no one with skin on. It was only me, my son and Jesus. I was at the lowest point of my life when I turned to an organization as a last resort to help.

It was there where I was met with a level of kick you while you’re down like I’ve never experienced before. There were lies told, not exaggerations but lies. There was sabotage on every side. Constant daggers, constant deceit, constant attacks, unstopping accusation, continual knocks to my integrity, my character, my walk with God, my motherhood, my independence, and the ultimate ever present terror that one of, or all of these twists and killings of truth would ultimately cause me to lose my housing, to lose the roof over my son’s head.

This is where I lived for 2 years. This is what I was forced to swallow as hugs were given to this person causing this pain.

Now I not being one to hold a grudge or to become embittered wished her well, sending her off with a heartfelt scripture. Yet the restlessness ensued as I later recalled all that I had been through. As I mingled with those still under the web of her deceit. All of this seemingly remains hidden, while those who experienced this along with me are afraid to reveal these truths. This is a conflict at the highest of proportions.

In reality this person was at the helm of the greatest hopelessness of my life. This person used control and manipulation to have power over me. And she did it in the name of Jesus. I’ll let that marinate for a moment. That is what you call spiritual abuse, and its venom is the most vicious among all abuse.  I had to fight for the will of live with this woman having power over my son’s and my life. The level of this person’s word play left puddles of confusion on every corner, caused alliances of deceit, created division and dissension that are alive and well today. I have long stopped even attempting to get people to understand or even believe the full scale and true proportion of what I faced, only the Holy Spirit can do that. This onslaught of attack, only those closely in view or those who’ve experienced it themselves can believe. I have come to a place of peace in knowing that this is ok, this knowing that most folk won’t get it, or don’t want to. Ultimately God sees, ultimately He will expose openly.  The quoting of scripture and offering of big smiles fools no one, especially not God.

So I sit now typing in the dark from my bed of unrest now finding rest in the validation of who I am in Christ. In knowing He sees all and that if I just keep going I’ll be rewarded with light for all the darkness I’ve suffered. He whispers to me regularly, He comforts me constantly, He tells me that He sees continually. He showed me again when I came across this picture quote this morning.  The artist Maxwell has always been among my favorites, and his sharing this picture was divine intervention. Above the picture were his words “All that glitters…. Is just glitter. #love.” Thanks for that Maxwell. Words are just words, but how you treat people is the only thing that will last.

Ultimately the person I’m talking about here is not my true enemy. She has only allowed herself to be used by my enemy.  With accusation, confusion and lies, (he being the author of them all), he only uses people as tools who will allow him to do so. Ultimately he does not win, he can never win because weapons formed against me never prosper. This level of attack is only an indication of the judicatory and height that God has for me. I couldn’t be broken. I couldn’t be separated from the love of God. I couldn’t be torn from the Lord that I’ve known for two decades.

I have been stretched in my faith to newer heights as I stare the call to love your enemies in the face. This is what Christ spoke of when He commanded us to love those that scorn us. But let us never forget, He also corrected those who are out of line or turned people away from Him. I won’t be silenced as the presence and stain of false words still abide in the hallways of my life long after they’ve been spoken. This was only attempted murder but I am still living. There was only a shadow of a valley of darkness that could not completely overtake me. I can’t be silenced even as I still sit among those whom I’m not sure are friends or foes. I won’t be silenced.

I know what it is to be powerless, to be without voice. I know the struggle of the widow, the orphan, the foster kid, the abused wife, the abandoned child, the one without a home, the one without family. I know this level of pain, and knowing it has caused me to be a voice for it. And I won’t be silenced. I wont be dropping mics any time soon.

 

1 Corinthians 13. (MSG)
13 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2 If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7 If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.