LIES WE BELIEVE ABOUT CO-PARENTING: PT 2


AS I HAVE SPENT TIME REFLECTING OVER THE PAST FOUR YEARS OR SO OF MY LIFE, TALKING WITH OTHER FRIENDS WHO ARE IN THE SAME CO-PARENTING WORLD AS I AM AND TRYING MY BEST NOT TO IRREPARABLY SCREW UP MYSELF AND MY KIDS, I HAVE REALIZED SOMETHING.

WE ARE REALLY GOOD AT LABELING OURSELVES + EACH OTHER.

Lie #2: I am the divorced woman. I am alone. I am the scorned man. My home is broken. She is a cheater. He is a deadbeat dad. We are failures, liars, damaged goods, unworthy.

We wear those awful titles like badges… shamefully saying “This is who I am, now! This is how it always will be because bad things happened and now look at us!”

Life is going to happen despite our best-laid plans to avoid the uncomfortable bits and pieces that fall out of the pages of our dream journals. There is no planning for it or avoiding it. There should be classes in high school on how to keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times… how to brace yourself, Bessie…. how to superglue your head back on after it’s been taken off by the executioner of picket-fence perfection. But there isn’t. The ugliness of life is just part of the process and we have some choices to make along the way that can either put another nail in our coffin or, preferably, can liberate us.

Once we put hard and fast labels on ourselves then we have no choice but to act out that label. “I am a failure” so I start failing at EVERYthing because that’s WHO I AM. “I am damaged goods” so I can’t accept love and relationship from anyone because that’s WHO I AM. “He is a deadbeat dad” so he will never do anything right because that’s WHO HE IS. “She is a liar” so she will never ever be able to say anything trustworthy again because that’s WHO SHE IS.

Do you see what we are doing to ourselves and each other? We aren’t making room for grace.  We are perpetuating the things that hurt us the most because we can’t see past the mistakes. We can’t move on from our failures and see any other way to be/feel/react/respond other than the last time they hurt us/we hurt ourselves.

Yes… you are a divorced parent. But, more importantly, you are a parent who can still walk through this life with your held held high and purpose in your steps. That terrible set of documents filed away in the dark corners of family court does not define you. Your choices right here in this moment DO.

Yes… they may have lied. They may have cheated. They may have done the unthinkable. But, just like us, they deserve the opportunity to do better without that scarlet letter forever sewn onto their chest. I bet they are desperately hoping for a new start and that the grace that our Maker so freely gives to us ALL will also be extended by the ones they have hurt.

Yes, even them… your ex-spouse that hurt you so deeply you think you will never recover. {but you will}

Yes, even YOU… the one who cheated, walked away, lied, did the unthinkable who believes you don’t deserve grace. {but you do}

Listen up. It’s time to make room for more peace and joy in our lives. It’s time to extend grace to ourselves and to the ones who have hurt us the most. It’s hard work, I know. It may be the hardest work of your life. But I can promise you that the peace you have been begging God for doesn’t just magically appear… it isn’t a free gift that He just hands you on a silver platter even when you have refused His very clear command to FORGIVE those who have trespassed against you.

So, let’s take another step in the direction of kindness today… by changing what we are saying about ourselves and others. Let us begin to speak LIFE into our situations and into our hearts. Because those tiny steps toward kindness are also GIANT steps toward freedom.

I sure do love you all! (especially YOU!)

-Abs


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