If you could go back in time, what wisdom would you share with your teenage self? It all starts with two words. Dear Me.
I’m late with this message but I wanted to spend a good deal of time putting down the right words. International Women’s Day was March 8th, but it’s not just a day, it’s a movement. For everyone that feels women have enough and don’t need more . . . For anyone that feels minorities and homosexuals or anyone “not normal” has enough so what are they grumbling about? This message is written to me but it’s really about what makes me unique and what you can do to be inclusive and part of a solution. Pope Francis said, “Argue Less, Accomplish More.” To that I say, train for your victory lap.
When you were a teenager you didn’t expect to be “Dallas Single Mom.” I’m sure you expected to not be a “single mom.” At that time you had a great boyfriend and you expected to be married to him, have a corporate job, making lots of money with a great big house, and be on top of the world. You were going to go to college (great decision BTW) and you were going to move away from that little pond you knew in Maui, Hawaii to a way bigger pond with much more life experiences in Dallas, TX. I don’t think you could imagine doing that but you did and your life blossomed into wonderful things in spite of many of the challenges that you have encountered. You completed a marathon baby! Yeah YOU did that. Your path was not easy and for the most part everything you faced was like that marathon you ran. At times you wanted to give up but you couldn’t because the finish line was ahead. You could have easily given up and walked off that course and nobody would blame you. Some parts you walked and at other parts you ran but you finished. This is the part where I tell you to train for your
Your Victory Run
A lot of training goes into the marathon itself. Any kind of project, trial or situation that requires you to “stay the course.” If you have a goal you don’t just snap your fingers and reach it. We all work hard to attain it. You plan, you try, you work hard and many times you pray to make it through. Pray, meditate, write – whatever it is you need to do to get through it that doesn’t destroy you in the process. I consider my “victory run” to be that part of the marathon where you reached the finish line. That euphoric feeling that builds up so much adrenaline that you are on an emotional and sometimes physical high that you take that one last lap in order to “cool down” from the toll that journey took on your body. That victory run to show all of your loved ones that you appreciate their support. The victory run is like the cherry on top of the sundae, that diploma after you graduated, that one significant symbol of the end of a very long journey. So Train for your Victory Run!
I had a conversation with a wonderful mentor the other day and she told me about something called a “Victory Run.” She and her friends would drive around the block of this neighborhood for this woman who was being abused every day. She was married to a police officer and his police offer buddies would cover it up and say “Oh there she goes again falling off the porch.” So the women at the church called other people and they all got in their cars and circled the block over and over again for a few days at the 15 minute interval when he would leave for work. They would all pray for her protection. It caused enough of a stir that the executive administrative assistant told the police chief who told the officer and his buddies to knock it off. The physical abuse stopped. Now an abused women has a lot of barriers to leaving. She didn’t leave right away. She was protected at least by prayer and people who cared enough about her to want the abuse to stop. Eventually a big rat came into their house. The husband grabbed his gun and shot at it. That was the “trigger” that caused her to pick up her children and leave. Would any rational person pull out a gun to kill a rat?
That’s not going to be me
I used to think a woman like that would not be me. I would tell myself, “I’m not going to be like that. I’m going to be educated enough that I can see the signs and just leave.” Never be too overconfident. It can be you even if it’s not exactly like that. You will be abused in some way either by your own negative self talk or by someone else. You will be put in fear of the unknown and may feel stuck like you can’t move forward. You will be afraid to try and afraid to progress. You may think this is not you but we all go through it. You will be betrayed and it will be by someone you love or trusted. Some people will be betrayed more than others. Just know that being betrayed is a temporary thing and it shows that you loved and cared. So rather than train just for you goal, train for the victory lap.
Stop screwing up your own success
At times you will be afraid to try and everyone will tell you that it can’t be done. Those are the same people that don’t run marathons or they are running their own marathons and training in a different way. If you don’t put in the training, and you don’t wake up everyday identifying what needs to get done or if you keep obsessing over small details that don’t matter you will pretty much screw up moving forward and succeeding. Even failure is a success because its a teaching tool and you can learn from the experience. You can’t run a victory lap if you’ve never started the race to begin with. Find out what is blocking you from your own success. Think with your heart and feel with your mind.
So Dear Me – I am proud of you as you embark on your path to adulthood. You will never regret anything in your life. I know because I’ve been there.
Hear more inspiring #DearMe Stories on Youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AbqT_ubkT0Y