Are you tired?
Are you tired of people pretending to be something that they aren’t or hiding the reality of their life for fear of rejection, embarrassment or dare I say¦.being real?
Well, I am.
I have decided to share some of my raw and real life with you so that you know that you are not alone and as an invitation to you to step fully into the wonderful reality of your own complex and often complicated life.
I’m and ex-wife, girlfriend/partner, step mother, mom, employee, entrepreneur, home owner, dog owner, cat owner, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I am an upper classman in life and love¦I have been there, done that; and intend to do and experience as much as I can as I move forward.
So here are a few raw and real words about the many roles I play.
Ex-wife “ the role is harder than I ever imagined. Going from wife to ex-wife and co-parent is one for which there is no rule book. The re-defining of this relationship is one that requires enormous attention and has provided me with the greatest amount of self-awareness and growth. My relationship with my Ex that once began highly collaborative and amicable has grown tense and often uncomfortable, but I have learned how to navigate it with intention and grace, which has allowed me and my children to flourish. There have been many difficult moments, but I learned that letting go of what was to create what will be is the key to successfully building a peaceful future for yourself; which in turn allows you to create peace for those around you.
Tip: Learn that your ability to parent your children in the way that you want can’t be deterred by your ex-husband or any adversity; you can be the woman and mother you want to be under (almost) any circumstance if you understand how.
Girlfriend/Partner “ I never imagined that I could experience the kind of relationship and love that I have now. My relationship with Drew (BF) is one that has been built on raw and real; even when it hurt. And despite how wonderful it is, there have been moments that have been excruciatingly difficult. We have had conflict over children and parenting, money, Ex-spouses, time, attention and all kinds of other things; but we never took our eyes off of the vision we each have for the love we want to create with each other. Doing the incredibly hard work on me first and learning to be responsible for my own emotional and physiological health, happiness, and financial self-sufficiency has been the foundation for its success. He is completely different from the kind of man I ever dreamed I would want, but he is also everything that I need and desire. While we are perfectly imperfect and extraordinarily ordinary; we come to the table each and every day not only choosing to be with each other but putting our attention on what Anthony Robbins calls CANI (constant and never ending improvement).
Tip: You can only create the kind of intimate love in a relationship that you are willing to create with yourself.
Step-mother “ Drew has two children; one college grad working and living on his own and another that is working full time and living with us. My role as GF is to support Drew as he parents them and to honor my values and boundaries as I build my relationship as their step mother. This is the one area Drew and I have fought the most about, the difference in our parenting styles; but we have chosen to manage our differences through curiosity, not criticism. I believe that the relationship between children and their mother is one of the most important relationships there is and therefore do everything I can to strengthen and support that relationship for them. I have been able to slowly and intentionally build an open, honest and trusting relationship with each of his kids so that they are open when I choose to share the best of my parenting wisdom with them.
Tip: Make parenting conversations a part of ongoing communication with your partner/spouse so that you can support each other to be the parent you know you are meant to be; and let the relationship with stepchildren grow slowly over time without pushing the role/label of “step parent” on them.
Mom “ This is the most rewarding and most challenging role I have ever had. I have never sought to be popular with my kids or their friends, but rather remain steadfast to my values and boundaries despite any and all challenges with their father or other normal parenting situations. There have been extremely difficult and painful parenting challenges, but when I have let go of needing my kids to love me and parent from the place of what I am committed to teaching them as they grow, I have found that they are more profoundly connected to me and our relationship.
Tip: The best way to parent more effectively and create the relationship you want with your children at any age is to learn strategic communication that will allow you to be heard and understood by them in the same way that you listen to and understand them.
Employee “ I have always worked. I continued to hold a full time job when I started to build my business many years ago, and still maintain a part-time job. Maintaining a job while building a business has allowed me to honor my responsibilities as a single mom, develop into a self-sufficient woman and serve you, and all women from a place of what you need rather than desperation for money. It has often been a challenge to manage my time and resources against the many areas of my life that need my attention, but it has also given me the ability to do, be and create all that I want.
Tip: There is nothing that will free you to be and do all that you want in life and love more than creating financial self-sufficiency. Make it a priority.
Entrepreneur “ My business began after my divorce when I made a commitment to become the kind of support that I wish I would have had for myself. It started as a desire to serve and support you and that has not changed over the 8 years that I have been a strategist and coach. I am a Transition Strategist and Life & Love Intentionalist. I want you to have all that you desire while still being able to navigate the many significant life transitions that you will face both anticipated and unexpected. Serving you and all women is my passion and purpose and I won’t stop until you have what you want.
Tip: Follow you passion no matter what your life circumstance is; you can always do just one thing to bring it into your life.
Pet Owner “ I got my dog, Molly, after my divorce¦she was the first pet I had ever had. Last summer my son rescued a kitten and I allowed it to stay with us for some reason (I don’t particularly love cats). We have all bonded with both and they have provided warmth and comfort through many quiet nights. I have found that having pets through transitions that feel lonely can be a really nice experience. While they are a responsibility, if you are open to considering them as an option, it can be extremely rewarding.
Tip: Take the decision to have a pet seriously, but also know that it can add incredible joy into your life.
Daughter (sister, aunt¦) “ The relationship between my parents and I, especially my mother, has been an incredible but sometimes difficult journey; despite the depth of love that I have for them. But no matter how challenging it may be at moments, this bond may bend and twist, but it will never break. I have learned that those that love us the most, our family, need help and guidance as to how to support us while we go through our own life journey. Learning to communicate with them as I grow and evolve into the woman I am meant to be is where the success of our relationship begins. Be patient with those who love you. If you honor the truth of who you are and what you want, and are able to articulate them in a clear, kind and compassionate way; you will find that those relationships can be the most fulfilling there are.
Tip: Choose to love them more than that you want to fight; they are relationships worth your time, energy and attention.
Friend “ Friends come and go. As I have traveled along the journey of my life, I have welcomed in all kinds of amazing friends. At the same time, I have had to let go of many others. In fact, I let go of a friendship this year and it was a reminder for me as to how painful it is when that happens, even when it is necessary. After my divorce I made the commitment to live every day around the truth of how I feel and what I want. Sometimes friendships have not aligned with who I am becoming and what I desire; and that is okay. As I manage my time and energy across all of the areas of my life that need my attention, I make sure to include time to connect with friends on a deeper level. I have also learned just how important it is to surround myself with friends who are also living from their truth; and who align with the values I live by.
Tip: Friends are not skilled and trained to guide you through your transitions in life and love, even though they love you deeply. Make sure create a friendship garden that is full of beauty and that you make sure to remove the weeds.
This is the just the tip of the raw and real story of my life. It’s complicated. I have and continue to make many mistakes, get myself into situations that are not my intention and occasionally, unintentionally hurt someone along the way. It is part of life; it is how we learn and grow. I take risks and I sometimes get hurt.
But it is in the complex and often complicated challenges and experiences that arise that I have found my strength, courage, confidence and wisdom; and so will you. I am here for you¦you are not alone.