When we go through the most difficult times in our lives, we find out who we are and what we’re made of. As an Empowerment Coach, my journey to get to this point has been quite challenging, and yet, it has been rewarding beyond measurable ways. I’ve been through a lot of difficult times in my life. Experienced unimaginable losses and have been handed a lot of learning opportunities that have pushed me to grow. I went from having major anxiety attacks to learning how to completely self-soothe without medications. I went from living a life I was always trying to escape from to living a life that excites me each day. I went from barely surviving to completely thriving.
I remember being stuck at a job I hated, feeling nervous, anxious and generally unhappy. This affected all areas of my life—especially with my son. My fuse was short. I would find myself yelling more than I would have liked, getting aggravated and not having the time for him which I knew he needed. I was so busy just trying to get through the day that I didn’t know how to begin raising my son the way I really wanted to. I had always had this image of the “perfect mother” in my mind, and before he was born, I was positive that that was what and who I would be. Crazy, right?!?
Let’s be honest, most of us are not the mothers we envisioned ourselves to be. The thing I have learned is that that’s totally OK. We don’t have to be the “perfect mother”. We don’t have to be this unrealistic image. We need to be the mother our child needs, not necessarily the mother our child always wants. However, when I was at the lowest points in my life, I was most definitely not the mother my child wanted or needed. I wasn’t even the person I wanted. I didn’t love or appreciate who I was, and that showed up in every aspect of my life. As a parent, when we feel poorly about ourselves or our circumstances, the people who feel it the most are our children.
I remember the day when I realized I had had enough. When I couldn’t take the way I was living anymore. I went through a particularly difficult few months, suffered a few major losses and felt myself hitting my breaking point. At this point, I was either checked out or constantly arguing with my son. I knew there had to be a massive change—and fast. I just didn’t know where to start. I once again found myself sad, angry, hurt and confused. I felt abandoned by G-d, and I didn’t understand what He wanted from me. I found myself crying my heart out and feeling that this pain was too much to bear. I felt like I had been handed a raw deal, and I wanted a different life. As if being someone else or having different circumstances would fix all my problems. My main issue was that as much as I was in pain, as unhappy as I was, I was still trying to control everything around me. I still thought that “if only I changed this… then everything would be perfect…”.
The day that true change started to happen for me organically was the day I made a decision to Let Go and Let G-d. Changing what I could, and accepting what I could not change. Learning to let go of the things I cannot control has been the single most helpful lesson that I have ever learned. This was where my journey of healing truly started. Learning to let go has opened up doors for me which I never thought possible. It has led me down new roads and provided opportunities that have helped me grow in every which way. Most importantly, it has brought me down the path of being the mother my son needed.
Once I started to let go, I was able to figure out who I was, and what I really wanted. The more I worked on myself, the more it started to show in my life. I was able to leave the job I hated. I was able to find my ideal career and use my passion for helping people. I was able to be patient, calm and understanding, not only with my clients, but also with the person that mattered most to me—my son. Healing myself has helped me heal my relationship with my son. It has opened my eyes as to what is important and what isn’t. It has helped me be a better communicator. It has also led me to my true calling of working with parents to overcome conflict with their teenagers, so that they can have lifelong trusting relationships.
I had to go through a lot of ups and downs. There were many times when I worked on myself, but then I slipped back into old patterns. It was not a straight road, and it was not always easy. However, it was worth it. Now I can look back and appreciate the pain and the things that I thought were negative experiences. I don’t just understand them; I value them and feel truly grateful for them. Without those challenges, I would never have been forced to work on myself. I would never have become a better parent. I would never have found my passion for helping others to be the best parents to their teenagers that they can be. In life, our biggest challenges are really our greatest learning opportunities, and it’s up to us to make the most of them.