I’ve been saved by grace a million times over.
I’ve been saved by the grace of something bigger and grander than my wee human self so many times that I definitely believe in magic.
In moments of overwhelm, moments where I’ve face-palmed myself in a how the hell am I still doing this alone? kind of way, I’ve been saved by grace.
Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and therapy master that I am, I still fall flat — often.
I think I would question myself and the meaning of life more if I didn’t have those emotional wall moments where a torrent of tears or primal screams are the only thing that save me from a nervous breakdown.
I’ve been a single mom for 6 years. Six years is a long-ass amount of time when you’re raising a child by yourself. Being a single parent isn’t a life I ever chose for myself. However, leaving a toxic relationship was a conscious choice that I made for myself as much as for my daughter.
Sometimes we choose one discomfort over another because we have to. Sometimes there is no easy choice, but there is a choice that will result in a lot less suffering and pain.
Most single-parents don’t choose their role — well, at least financially unprepared ones like myself don’t choose that role. I know plenty of women who have gone through fertility treatments with donor sperm because their biological clocks weren’t willing to wait for the right mate. I also know of women that choose to parent solo, because that is their MO. I will let you know, it’s not my MO, but after 6 years’ time, it’s kind of charmed me into becoming my MO.
My yoga teacher self likes to look at single parenthood as an asana (yoga pose). Some of my least favorite asanas have been the ones that my body has needed the most. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with certain asanas for years, that is, until that day on my mat when my whole body opens up and a sense of bliss washes through me, and suddenly I’m in love.
Single-motherhood has definitely been a very challenging asana for my soul.
I have wrestled with years of financial insecurity; insecurity that led me back to school for Master’s to obtain more security, only to have the life-force drained out of me at so-called secure jobs, (so that I had little to no energy for my daughter) forcing me back into self-employment where I am emotionally and physically available for my daughter but mentally experience the ongoing stress of what gigs will pay next month’s bills? kind of thoughts.
I love the word grace. It’s become my new mantra. Think ease, beauty, fluidity, elegance, dignity, agility. I could go on. All of these words speak to the magic of my Supermom self. You know, that unicorn and fairy magic you have to be really desperate to believe in (well, as an adult you often do). Pain and suffering made me believe in magic. Not knowing how my bills were going to get paid the next month made me get down on my knees and light some sage and a candle and summon all the magic I could with a big, loud Help! Please!
My secret superpower as a single mom is asking the Great Unknown (you can call it God, Goddess, the Universe, the Cosmos, All That Is) for help, often.
Just when I think I have the reigns and have finally figured out how to tame the wild horses of financial insecurity, they run rampant, leaving me face down in the dirt a sobbing, slobbery mess. I’ve learned I have very little control over how things pan out. And the more control I think I have, the more things fall apart. You could say that the Great Unknown is always humbling me.
After 6 years of praying, begging, pleading, and chanting Hope! Faith! Trust! Surrender! — you’d think I’d have mastered my Supermom self. Think again. Magic cannot be mastered.
Like Superman without his super suit, my single mom self (think a female Clark Kent with a little more social sensibility and Lois Lane hair) is a worrying fool. But my Supermom self, she’s a unicorn goddess who puts up with no bullshit. She wades through fear like a magical beast on acid. My Supermom self wears prayers around her neck, faith around her hips, grace on her thighs, and dignity on her high heels. When I summon my Supermom, she moves mountains to make life secure and safe for my daughter and me.
My Supermom self always comes through. It’s been six years and we have always been taken care of. My bills were paid when they needed to be paid. In those rare times when I couldn’t make a payment and I was honest about it, I was given more time, or a friend helped me out, or a new gig suddenly came through and paid me in advance. The magic has happened when I’ve done a trust fall into the Great Unknown. So far I’ve been caught every time.
I’ll admit, the worrying fool in me makes life exhausting at times. She thinks she needs to constantly bombard my psyche with worst-case scenarios.
It’s taken me years to realize, I couldn’t have my superpowers without having my worrying fool. Like Clark needs Superman, I need her and all her insecurities to fully embody my fearless Supermom self. I think I need her so I can learn to practice saying No! to my guilt and shame more. I think I need that worrier to help me learn to say Thank you instead of I’m sorry to those that swoop in to help me watch my kid or fix my car or buy me groceries from time to time.
I think everything happens for a reason.
Life, kind of like a yoga asana, is presenting us with scenarios that will mold us into the best version of ourselves. At 35, life saw my strong will and said, “Let’s try this single mom suit on you and see how you fare. You’re just right for it. It’s going to be good for you. Really, really good.”
Okay, life, I get it, you’re one big yoga pose that I love to hate sometimes. But my single mom body needs you to elongate my spine and open all of my chakras and make my worrying fool of a mind relax a whole heck of a lot.
I can honestly say, something in me is relaxing. Day by day. Breath by breath, I’m unwinding. You could call it grace. Somewhere between the fool and the believer, there is grace. Somewhere between the fear and the faith, there is balance.
I need my fool as much as I need my Supermom self. My walk into single parenthood was an emotional whim you could call a foolish act. The gall it took to walk this path for 6 plus years with nothing but magic to fall back on might just be the most courageous act of my life.
Superpowers don’t come easy. They are earned by blood, sweat, tears, and lots of tribulations.
Re-read this: they are earned.
Caring for another human being is no small feat. The strength it takes to ask for help when help is needed — from humans and also from fairies and unicorns and all things in the Great Unknown — is otherworldly. It can be so humbling to say time and time again to humans who know you all too well, “I need your help picking up my kid again.” And it can be so rewarding to hear, once you’ve dropped the shame and worry, “No problem, we’ve got you.”
If you’re a single parent and you’ve found your superpower, rock it; you earned that shit! Embrace it as much as you embrace the not very super parts of yourself. They all have a purpose.
Embrace your inner unicorn, one fall into grace at a time.
Don’t worry, life’s got you, you Superbeing you!
Previously published on medium.com
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