Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Freedom of Independence

On July 4, 1776, the United States officially declared its independence from Great Britain, after having fought for said independence for 13 years. It was then and still is now a huge victory for the United States of America. God bless America.

In that same spirit, I challenge you to not only celebrate independence, but to grant it as well. Grant it to yourself for not finishing college. Grant it to your sister who is genuinely sorry for insulting your mothering skills. Grant it to your father who was never emotionally available to you. Grant it to your mother who criticizes everything you do. Grant it to your child's father who is not as good a dad as you think he should be.

Most of the time people are just trying to do their best. Sometimes we will fall short. It's a simple fact of life.

A couple of years ago, one of my friends was being evicted from her home and I was helping her move some of her things. As you can imagine, the atmosphere was intense and frantic. She was trying in a very short time frame to decide what she would do with each item in her two-story house. In the midst of this frenzied packing/trashing session, she came across an item that she didn't necessarily need. She asked me if I wanted it. I had just purchased the exact item maybe two days ago. So I said, without thinking, "Man, I wish you had offered me this a couple days ago. I just bought one."

Now you and I both know that I in no way meant that I wished my friend had been evicted sooner, but that didn't stop me from sounding and feeling like an ass. I don't know if she caught the inappropriateness of my statement at that moment, or if she thought about it later as she recalled the events of the day, or if she ever caught it at all. But she never once held a grudge or made me feel bad about it. She forgave me and as a consequence, I was able to forgive myself.

"Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself." I heard that on Oprah a long time ago, but I'm pretty sure it was Dr. Phil who said it. It was those words that help me forgive the mother who abandoned me as a child. I still see her sometimes and despite my best efforts, I could not let go of the pain she had caused me. Then I discovered that by forgiving her, I was opening a door to a part of my heart that I didn't even know existed. One can't love with the whole heart, if a part of it closed. Don't kid yourself; if you're harboring hatred and bitterness in your heart, there's less love there to give to your children, your spouse, your friends. Stop denying yourself and your loved ones.  Forgiveness is incredibly freeing. Have you ever felt so good that it was like you were floating on air? That's what forgiveness feels like.

Since we're talking about forgiveness, let's talk about "deadbeat" fathers. I was assaulted by the barrage of bad daddy talk on facebook on Father's Day. It was so prevalent, that it made me turn off my computer just so I wouldn't have to feel all that negative energy on a day that should have been positive. I want to warn you that I'm about to get in your face, step on some toes, and maybe hurt some feelings. But I'm not judging you. Everything I do is out of love to promote healing, even if it hurts at first.

1. Your child's father may be a deadbeat to you, but he's daddy to your child. That means he's important to your child and he is loved with your child's whole heart. You may not think he deserves all that wonderful love, but it's not your place to take it away. When you insult and degrade the man, you hurt your child and you hurt your relationship with your child. Think about how fiercely protective you were of your parents. If anyone said anything bad about them, you immediately hated that person. Do you want to be the object of your baby's hate?

Stop expecting your children to understand an adult situation. They can't. AND they shouldn't have to. You put them in a confusing position when you make them choose one parent over the other. As they get older, they will recognize your hard work and sacrifices and they will love and appreciate you even more, without having been damaged by your resentment of their father.

2. You chose to have a baby with a "deadbeat." Make no mistake, unless you were raped or "tricked" into condom-less sex, you chose to have this man's baby.  That doesn't make you a bad person; it means you made a poor choice of who deserved to father your precious child. Take responsibility for your part in your single parenthood. I suspect that's why so many single mothers are angry. You can't believe you had a baby with this man and now you're struggling and can't have a moment to yourself because of his lack of support. Please forgive yourself. Forgive yourself and realize that this man may not ever do the right thing by his child. Don't let his absence determine the future of you and your child. Don't give him control over your life. I know this will be exceptionally hard, but you have to forgive him. Really. You have to. Forgive him and let him go. It's the only way to regain control over your life.

I wish all of you a safe, happy Independence Day and I congratulate you on grabbing some of that independence for yourself!

Feed on love, subsist on peace.


  1. I love makes So much sense in All aspects! U would think that being BORN on the fourth I would have been got the 'subliminal' message God was trying to give/tell me FOREVER! Heck, I just got it as I began writing this comment.

    Today, this 6th day of July in the year of 2010, I grant myself INDEPENDENCE! No longer will I hold on to the past, but rather celebrate the present and LIVE for the future! I will BELIEVE in myself and talents/gifts and no longer grab for another's hand to help me to do something I know I can do on my own. While, it is wonderful to have help and resources to accomplish your dreams and aspirations, it's not at all wonderful to depend on those same people to do the things you can do ( with ur eyes closed). So TODAY I am reprograming my brain/spirit/life and whole-heartdly LIVING LIFE for the first time ever!

    Peace and Love,


  2. Of all the people who might have read this, I was most nervous about your reaction, Kia. Not ever having been a single mother, I braced myself for the backlash. I was sure that some would think I couldn't speak on this subject because I didn't know it personally. But the truth is, I do know it personally.

    I was talking to an old friend about this blog post and I remembered how angry I would get as a child when anybody said anything bad about our daddy. Of course you know this, I'm mentioning it for those who don't know me personally, but my father was hardly around and I STILL loved him with every fiber of my being. That man hung the moon as far as I was concerned. When our mother spoke badly of him, I hated her in that moment. Then I thought I was a bad girl for hating her and that that was the reason they abandoned me.

    In case somebody doesn't understand that: I THOUGHT IT WAS MY FAULT THAT THEY LEFT AND I BLAMED MYSELF FOR DECADES.

    I hope my childhood pain helps people realize how this situation can really affect a child.

  3. I was not at any way offended, because I to felt like you on Father's Day when I read Facebook messages and when ppl were texting me. I remember reading it in a magazine or seeing it on Oprah, but I remember an expert saying that we as mothers are only responsible for being mothers, so from that day forth that's what I focused on, being the Best mother I can be. I also remember them saying that if we want true happiness from/with a significant other we can't play the male role, even if we are single, that's when I begin to reject the Father's Day wishes because I knew I was and never will be a father.

    However, I do understand and respect where some people are coming from, but that is their way of dealing with their present situation, but with physical and spiritual growth they will understand your point as well. I am not saying that I do not get frustrated with my 'baby daddies' at times, but when I do I have to remind myself of the decision that I made for myself. I am blessed to have my children I just wished I would have had more patience, observation, and love for myself and then maybe I could have given my children a home I dreamed of as a child.

    You live and you learn! However, sometimes we want things for our children that we did not have and sometimes they are just as contempt with what they have in the present!

    So I say, be the BEST U can be and everything else will fall in place.



Let me hear your voice.