“By the time you read this, you will probably realize I’m gone, and I’m never coming back.”
I pressed the letter to my stomach, fell to my knees, and curled into the fetal position on the cold tile floor.
I begged in my thoughts for someone to tell me that this was only a nightmare! I wanted to believe that I would wake up and everything would be fine.
Suddenly, the 125-square-foot room I had called home for the past two weeks felt as big as an ocean and I was alone, drowning.
The pain spread like cancer and it felt stronger than I’d ever felt before.
“You are worthless, you can’t do anything right, you don’t deserve to be alive,” I berated myself.
The flashbacks began playing in my head. I had heard those words everyday as a child as I was physically punished for “being bad.”
I had heard those words from my attacker when I was kidnapped, brutally raped, and almost killed at nineteen years old.
I had heard those words from the man I loved, as he hit me when I had “deserved it.”
As I lay there, enveloped in darkness, these memories haunted me. I had resisted, refusing to accept my worthlessness, but now that my own husband had abandoned me, it rang painfully true.
I was so angry that I’d ever believed in and loved him. How could I have been so foolish? I felt a deep sense of shame, guilt, and regret overcome me.
I couldn’t believe my marriage was over after only three years. I was pathetic and it was my fault!
Plagued with fear, I felt powerless, and sank in a pit of complete despair, thinking to myself:
“I don’t have any money. I don’t have a job. I am all alone in this country. I don’t know anyone in this town. I don’t have a bank account. I don’t have a car. I don’t know how to drive. I am ugly. I am stupid. I am damaged goods.”
Everything evidenced that I was a failure and a hopeless case. At the age of twenty-eight, on that October night, at three o’clock in the morning, I decided it was finally time to put an end to my life, and with it, my unbearable pain.
As I looked up, determined to go through with my idea, my anger and desperation suddenly started to dissipate.
I saw my one and two-year-old daughters peacefully asleep, beautiful and angelic.
I sighed in relief and realized that I was not really alone. While it was true I didn’t have much (and he had indeed taken everything of material value we owned), he had left the best part behind – my most cherished treasures!
In the midst of my dark agony, a sense of gratitude drew a smile out of my blackened soul.
Doubt and self-defeat crept in again as I thought about the pain my daughters would have to suffer, now that their father was gone.
Even though it had been almost two decades since my own parents divorced, I still remembered the sting of my father leaving and didn’t want my little girls to experience the same sense of doom I had felt.
Now on my knees, I sought consolation in a short and casual prayer. I didn’t get an answer, but a strange vision filled my mind.
The Be Positive List
I remembered a few years before, when Roberto Benigni had been awarded two Academy Awards for his film “Life is Beautiful.” He portrayed a father who turned the most dreadful horrors into the funniest games for his innocent son.
What if I could act as the main character in my favorite movie? I had heard “fake it til ya make it” and I’m not into faking, but I could FAITH IT til I made it.
There was hope!
As my newfound sense of purpose settled within me, I fought my inadequacy and low self-worth.
How could I raise two toddlers with no money, no support, and no resources?
I’d been in Florida just a few days after a weeklong cross-country drive from California, and I was clueless as to what steps to take, or how to move on as a single mom.
Amidst my frustration, I surprisingly felt inspired write a “to-BE-list!”
I shifted my focus, and began to furiously write down what it would take to be the kind of mom I wanted to be; the kind of mom I had to become to give my daughters a beautiful life, a blessed life.
The Eight Beatitudes?
Maybe the eight beatitudes were the answer. I had read Matthew five countless times as a kid in the slum, when the Bible was the only book we owned:
Blessed are the poor in spirit…
Blessed are they that mourn…
Blessed are the meek…
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness…
Blessed are the merciful…
Blessed are the pure in heart…
Blessed are the peacemakers…
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake…
I felt empowered. Those verses connected me with my divine identity and I discovered that, as a precious child of God, I had the potential to become all those things.
I could be a healthy role model for my daughters; a loving mom, a conscious mom, an intentional mom, an engaging mom, a connected mom, a playful mom, and a present mom.
Yes, I could be a positive mom!
No, I still didn’t have a plan, but I had the clarity to make choices that were in alignment with my new thinking and that ignited my inner power.
So I set out to design a life I loved, and to find joy in the journey.
Today, I’m in a state of constant gratitude and awe for the miracles and blessings I have witnessed in the last twelve years, not in spite of my ex-husband “never coming back,” but precisely because of it.
The words that had sounded like a torturous death sentence now represent the declaration of our freedom to live life on our own terms.
A life by design
I deeply enjoy being a homeschooling mom and entrepreneur.
As “The Positive MOM,” I tell and write stories to empower audiences with positive messages, helping moms create joy, balance, and success with my teachings, guidance, and support.
I have been blessed to support my daughters’ own entrepreneurial efforts, to get re-married, and to birth another daughter who brings laughter and excitement to our home.
In the defining moments of adversity, trials, and hardship, your circumstances do not define you; your mindset does.
A positive perspective that is rooted in your true identity allows you to reset, reinvent, and recreate your life, and ultimately become who you are meant to be.
You know what I say: BE Positive and You’ll BE Powerful! How do you use your positive mindset to unlock your inner power? Share your brilliance with us below!
© Elayna Fernández ~ The Positive MOM
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