On a wintry Christmas Eve, a young mother told her three small boys to kneel around her bed and pray. Continuing a tradition that her mother had started with her and her siblings, the young mother kissed each child and told them to bow their heads and to close their eyes as she led them into a short prayer. “Lord, thank you for my family and for allowing us to see another Christmas,” she began before breaking down into heavy sobs. The two oldest boys huddled around their mother and hugged her as she continued to weep uncontrolably. After what seemed like an eternity to the young mother, she stopped sobbing long enough to say, “Lord, I’m a fool. I know he goes to see her when he leaves me. I can’t take this anymore. Please deliver me from this man.”
The very next morning, her husband called to tell her that he was on his way home—at least he thought.
“Stay where you are,” the young mother said slowly, deliberately pronouncing each word crisply.
“Excuse, me,” her husband replied, taken aback by the unfamiliar sternness in her voice.
“I know that you go to see her every time you leave here. You pick fights just so you can have a reason to leave. Well, stay with her. I’m tired of being your fool. I’m through!”
Although the young mother didn’t know what the future would hold without her husband, she was determined to raise her children as best she could and most importantly; not be any man’s fool again.
She prayed that prayer more than 30 years ago and to this day, she hasn’t been another man’s fool.
I always love when my stepmom, the young mother in the story, recalls that Christmas Eve and how it changed her life. As I listened to her recall that memory recently, four words jumped out at me: “Lord, I’m a fool!” In them, I could feel her pain, frustration, heartache, disappointment, but most of all, her moment of honesty and clarity. From my own experience, I knew that this kind of moment usually comes after we’ve fought and done all we can in a hopeless situation. After we’ve come to the proverbial “end of ourselves”, we surrendere to reality and raise that white flag. However, in moments like these, surrender, although bittersweet, is life changing and arguably one of the best things that oculd happen to you.
These moments of clarity are bittersweet ecause we must face the reality of the situation which can be bitter as vinegar. We must deal with the facts. These moments are ultimately because we become acquainted with the truth which has come to set us free. The naked truth is not always the easiest thing to accept; therefore, we try to dress it up to cover up the obvious. Yet, the truth makes us look at ourselves in the mirror and own up to the cold hard facts. It takes one of of a man or woman to own and accept the truth. Who likes to admit that they’ve been acting like a fool? Who likes to admit that they can do better or that they’ve cheated? Who likes to admit that they lied although they know better? Who likes to admit that they need help because they can’t do it all by themselves? These are not easy things to own up to, but we must if we want to be free and change for the better.
During this moment of brutal honesty, we are usually broken and weak. But contrary to what you would think, this is a great place to find yourself when you need to make internal changes. Being so weak, you finally allow yourself to get out of your own way and get the help you need or make the changes you need. Don’t ignore these kinds of moments of clarity. They come to us all. Some of them are still and small, while others are like glaring sirens. When they come, you must surrender and remember that surrender is not a sign of weakness, but rather one of strength and honesty. It is that kind of honesty and owning up to the facts that will help us in every area of our lives.We can read one million self help books, attend one million seminars, and attend one million church services, but until we are honest with ourselves, we won’t get the help we need.
For example, a close friend of mine called me and talked at length about a pressing issue in her life. She said, “Shalena, I’m woman enough to admit that I can’t handle this situation. It took me a while to accept this, but I simply can’t handle this and I’M FINE WITH IT.” She repeated that several times during our conversation and it reminded me of my stepmother’s story. My friend was experiencing and accepting that moment of clarity that many people avoid. She was facing it head-on. Did it feel good? I’m sure it didn’t because she spoke mostly through tears. But, as she allowed her feelings to course through her heart, she was able to start making some positive changes.
Another friend recently told me about a similar situation. She wanted to be in a relationship with a guy for quite some time and when she saw that things wouldn’t pan out the way she wanted, she also had a moment of clarity. She said that one day she looked at this man and asked herself, what the hell is wrong with you? Why are losing your mind over this man? She said that moment of clarity made perfect sense and helped her to get herself together. She said it felt like a gentle slap upside the head telling her to get her head back in the game.
I was so grateful that both friends shared these stories with me because it encouraged me to write this article. Let’s face it, nobody wants to admit that they’ve messed up, but I’m here to tell you that owning that and then doing what’s necessary to make things right or get back on the right track is one of the best things that could happen to you. Thank God that you can still have those moments of clarity that guide you back to the right path.
The next time you have a “Lord, I’m a Fool” moment, remember that it is a blessing in disguise and smile!
P.S.- Remember, everything has beauty including YOU. It just takes a true D.I.V.A. to see it!
© 2014, Shalena D.I.V.A. – Author| Speaker| Life And Business Coach. All rights reserved.