When you look in the mirror you see the opposite you. No matter how hard we work, if you are always checking the mirror to make sure you are perfect, you are bogged down by that opposite image. You can be successful, but you see failure. You can be strong, but you see weakness. You can be beautiful, but all you see are the minor blemishes that no one notices. The mirror image can make you feel defeated. It never shows you how far you have come. It doesn’t show what it took for you to look this great. It does not show the days you cared too much or cared too little. It only shows you the opposite image at that moment.
In our haste to be perfect we must slow down and take the time to see how other people see our successes and strength. They are able to remember when we were at our worst and at our best. They can remind us how we were when we overcame the biggest obstacles of our lives. They can see our weaknesses and instead of harping on them, they can remove them through encouragement. No one is perfect. We all struggle to get to success. Everyone has a story and staying in the mirror won’t show us anymore of that story.
The point is mainly to check the mirror when necessary but don’t remain there because the world does not need the opposite you, but that woman who is beautiful, strong and fearless. Be you. Do you. Live in your truth. Tell your story. On your own terms.
Society wants to dictate to you what you can have. They throw statistics around without any context and run anecdotal stories filled with extreme examples of people who are forced to choose or those who quit before they accomplished their goals. I am a living witness on how prayer, determination and hard work will guide you through and to your destiny. When you have to weigh your options, quit now or keep pushing through the pain, you realize that you really don’t have a choice. If you quit right now you won’t be happy and will end up further behind than you would have been if you kept pushing through.
Before I had my baby, I dreaded going back to school. I knew that physically I was going to be challenged and I did not have everything in place as I had expected. I am a control freak and very type A. I needed a tangible plan with back up plans in place. That was not happening. I cried and cried and begged Adam to let me quit but he said the same thing every time, “You have come too far to quit.” I knew he had my back but the unwavering support I received from my classmates, friends and local family was unforeseen. Everyone rolled up their sleeves and sacrificed their time at various points over the past two years to help me get through. My co-worker who had just retired watched baby Adam for the first few weeks for free. The days she couldn’t watch him, my classmates allowed me to bring him to class or watched him for me on their breaks. My co-worker was scheduled to watch him for six weeks but as the weeks passed by, I had no idea of who was going to watch my son permanently.
As life would have it, I ran into a classmate walking down the street and she suggested I ask another one of our classmates. Through her I was able to find an amazing sitter who has taken care of my son since he was 3 months old. When I leave my son with her, I never have to worry if he is being cared for. I am always exhausted, always running, always busy and my schedule is hectic but it was all worth it. My son survived. My marriage survived. My personal finances are a little tattered but I am great at getting things in order, so I will fix them. But most importantly I survived and achieved what I set out to get done. I could not have planned for all of these things to have worked together. They did because I was where I was supposed to be.
Bottom line. Never stop dreaming. Never stop believing. When it gets hard keep pushing through the pain. Ask for help when you need it. You are stronger than you even know. Don’t let expected or unexpected obstacles overshadow your purpose. Don’t ever quit. God will provide. The universe knows what you need. Live in your truth. Be you. Tell your story. On your own terms.