It’s the last day of school and you and everyone are excited to finish high school. You are looking forward to leaving home and heading off to college. Your parents give you the speeches, a few dollars, and send you off into the great unknown. The first weeks are challenging yet fun. You are meeting all sorts of new people from all kinds of different places. You are at the freshman social and there he is standing there like a little god or something. You are swooning at how simply beautiful you think he is. How could one man have so much going on? Accidentally you make eye contact. He starts walking over in your direction, your palms start to sweat and your heart is racing. What to do, what to do. He extends his hand to shake yours. Your palms meet and the rest becomes history. You date throughout college, there are a lot of ups and downs yet you continue to date. Fast forward and it’s the last night of college. The final social has begun and you rush to meet him there. Everything seems perfect until. He freaks out because he thinks you are flirting with the dj. You argue until he finally calms down. Now let us fast forward again.
Despite the challenges, you marry him, become pregnant several times. You spend all your time catering to his every need. The children consume every remaining minute of your day not dedicated to him. You lay down all your hopes and dreams for years just to be his wife and their mother. Then suddenly one day your world crashes right before your eyes. He comes home early from work; he stomps into the family room and begins to complain about everything. The house is not clean enough, dinner is not ready, the kids are too noisy. He screams at you and then storms back out of the house. He stays gone all night. You wonder and worry about him until the next morning when he finally returns. He offers no explanation or apology.
For weeks, months, and into years from that day forward your relationship weans into a cold and sterile housemate relationship. The years go by and the kids start going off to school, one and then another; until they are all gone. Your husband has barely spoken to you, never touches you, and surely sex has become a virtual memory. Then one day after you have been out shopping for groceries, you return home only to find another woman in your house in an intimate moment with your husband. You are crushed and devastated. He does not even care that you have caught them. He announces to you that they have been seeing each other for years. In fact, he starts packing his bags and says he is leaving to go live with her. Months pass and you don’t hear from him. He offers no financial support to you and eventually the house is lost for lack of payment. The overwhelming destruction is soul wrenching.
So, your life is done, so you think. But I am here to tell you it is time to “reLive”. What is “reLive”. “reLive” is the phrase I coined to reorganize my thinking, my belief, my behavior. It is the process of taking the power of your own life back. The story above has happened to many women. This group of forty-plus women finds themselves there often. There is a way out. Your husband is not the entire universe, your children leaving home isn’t the end of your usefulness. To “reLive” starts with reprogramming of your own thoughts about your value as a person, your purpose outside of marriage and family. To “reLive” you must realize you are an entire whole that shares your presence with others. You are gifted and intelligent. The first step to “reLive” is to remove the labels that others have put on you. These labels are limiting and when used incorrectly they are damaging to the health of your person. As women, we must allow ourselves to strip off limiting labels that others have put on us that they use to control and manipulate us. In today’s vernacular, these labels make us “play small” instead of blooming and blossoming into the greatness that is within us. In my own life, which had periods of emotional and physical abuse, I allowed labels to restrict and control me. I once had someone tell me I was not a good leader. It destroyed my confidence until the words of wisdom began to saturate my thinking. I transformed into a woman, then in my forties at the time to start with a blank slate. Like a chalkboard, letter by letter, word by word, I erased those words by creating corrective behaviors. Instead of continuing to shrink back – I launched forward. I became a leader of a group of over 14,000 people. I became a speaker and have spoken in front of thousands. I became an author of books. I began coaching other women.
In closing, the death of relationships, the dearth of jobs, the death of your self-confidence isn’t the end if you don’t let end there. I challenge you to take a personal vacation, a couple of days by yourself, for a time to begin the “reLive” process. I have accomplished more in my life after 45, now 56 than I did in the first half of my life, and you can too!
A plant will only grow as large as the pot it is in allows…change your pots and grow!!!
Dr. Solina Richards is the cofounder of S.A.F.E…spiritually and financially empowered, a provider of spiritual ministries and leadership seminars. It is designed to teach, broaden, and establish spiritual discovery and growth. It is also designed to teach basic and advanced principles leading to financial strengthening among men, women, and young adults. She is an author, speaker, and minister. She has over 20 years of experience as a spiritual leader, trainer, and entrepreneur. She is also a Certified Faith-Based Clinical Counselor. Learn more here https://www.drsolinarichards.com/