I am divorced.
And although I am the one who filed the paperwork, it wasn’t my choice.
And, I know this goes against popular thinking, but I was an abused wife who didn’t want the divorce.
Yes, that revelation is a tough pill to swallow personally, but it’s also tough to admit. I’ve always been shy, but living in an abusive marriage took away any bravery that I may have had. (Let me just state up front that the majority of my abuse wasn’t physical.) My daily life was filled with words and experiences designed to let me know that I wasn’t good enough; that I was less than acceptable.
I learned that nothing I did was good enough, so I had to try harder to be perfect. Maybe then the words would soften and I would be good enough for him.
I learned that I had to try harder to make him, and subsequently others, like me so I could please them. Maybe then the affairs and pornography would stop.
I learned that I had to try harder to get everything done that he wanted done. I started making lists of everything I did during the day so he would know I wasn’t lazy. Maybe then I’d be performing better so he wouldn’t be so embarrassed and maybe take me out, involve me with his co-workers, or let me invite people over.
Then I learned that trying harder to be perfect didn’t help. Neither did trying to please him or performing better. So I learned something else: procrastination. If none of these things helped anyway, why even try? I was going to get yelled at and called names anyway, why try?
My kids were going to hear me called names and put down regardless of what everyone did all day. They were going to see me in tears no matter what. So…
All of my years of trying harder to be what someone else wanted, which was unreasonable and unattainable, made me fall victim to several bullies. The first and foremost bully was my ex-husband. And it took a long time to re-learn that I was a valued and loved Child of God and that I was not the “things’ he told me I was.
But while that bully was one over which I have absolutely no control, the other bullies are ones I used myself. They were tools, and I use that word loosely, handed to me by the enemy to knock me down to a point where I would ultimately give up and not live out the life with which I have been blessed.
Now some may look at my life and ask, “How is your life blessed?” And from the outside they may have a point…
- I’m a single mom.
- I take care of two kids, one with special needs.
- I homeschool my kids and their father rarely sees them, so I’m rarely alone.
- Since I homeschool, I don’t have a full-time job, which means I don’t have full-time income.
- I work four direct sales companies from home, so when I’m not teaching, I’m usually working in some capacity.
- I’m living in someone’s living room. On. A. Couch.
- It’s next to impossible to find an affordable place to rent in a safe area.
- It’s almost impossible to to get a mortgage; again an affordable in a safe area.
- There is no money, no extras.
So HOW is my life blessed? My God, through various people, helped me escape that abusive life and find the hope and love that was there all along. I have a family member who is willing to help. I have my kids! I get to watch them grow up; educate them; make sure my son gets everything he needs; show them what bravery looks like.
And here lies another blessing: friends! I have never really had friends. Like I mentioned earlier, I am relatively shy. I had a few friends growing up, but being a military family, I never had time to allow those friendships to become solid. But since my divorce, God has showered me with friendships with some amazing women – some I’ve met and some I haven’t. But I know that several of these women, even those I haven’t met, support me, pray for me, love me. I can’t believe that I am finally learning what friendship is in my 40s! This is one of the best blessings lately.
Two of the ladies I have had a chance only to ‘meet’ online have written a book on this very subject. And they blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of their Braver Living Rebellion. That’s right. I’m a rebel.
Yep, I AM A REBEL! I can kick Performancism, People-Pleasing, Perfectionism, and Procrastination to the curb! Buh-Bye!
Sometimes we get so entrenched in our stinkin’ thinkin’ that it’s hard to find a way out. Sometimes it’s hard to know that there is a way out. Cheri Gregory and Kathi Lipp have teamed up to start the Braver Living Rebellion for those of us who are stuck with one or more of these P-Bullies. And honestly, Ladies, I don’t know a single woman who is not encumbered by at least one. Let’s be honest… it’s time to get rid of them!
I am grateful to Kathi and Cheri for their honesty in this book, for their friendship (even if we’ve never met face-to-face), for the opportunity to realize that I am brave, for allowing me to be a rebel, and for truly showing me that:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! (Phil 4:13)
From “The Cure for the “Perfect” Life”:
Are you crumbling under the burden of perfection?
You know the expectations are unreasonable–even unreachable.
And when everyone else seems more together than you, where do you turn for help?
Meet Kathi, a disguised perfectionist always looking to put everyone else’s needs above her own, and Cheri, a formerly confused and exhausted poster girl for playing it safe. They’ve struggled just like you–and found the cure. With unabashed empathy and humor, they invite you to take part in their rebellion against perfection. Step-by-step they’ll teach you how to challenge and change unhealthy beliefs. As they free you from always seeking more or needing the approval of others, you’ll discover a new, braver way of living. At last, you’ll exchange outdated views of who you should be for a clearer vision of who you are in Christ.
The truth is you don’t have to be perfect.
You just have to be brave enough to read this book.
I received a free copy of this book. My post and endorsement are completely my own. Some of the links are affiliate links so when you purchase I may receive a small amount, but your price will not change.