If you are a single mother and are afraid to love again, but aren’t really sure where to begin, you are not alone. Single parenting can be a path of intense isolation and loneliness that not many people understand, but, there is hope. You won’t always feel this way. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I hadn’t planned on becoming a single mom. Like most single mothers, it wasn’t something that I had intentionally set out to do. Yet, there I was with an eight-month old baby, living on my own in a big city, realizing that I had to make it work. So, to keep myself strong I made a commitment to my child: I swore to always protect and provide for him and most of all, to love him the very best that I could for the rest of my life. In the midst of that, I also made another more subconscious promise to never let myself love or be loved again.
A year or so into single motherhood, a lot of my friends started asking me about my love life and if I was dating. My response was always the same, “Love life? Please! Who has time for a love life with all of the diapers I’m changing?!” But the truth is, I was scared. I was scared to move forward, scared to make the same mistakes that I had before, scared to open up my heart again to love, and the list went on and on.
I was scared to move forward, scared to make the same mistakes that I had before, scared to open up my heart again to love…
After I had my son, I swore off love for a very long time. I was angry about choosing the wrong partner. I blamed myself for my situation, being a single mom, and for my son’s fatherlessness. I didn’t trust my own judgment anymore and the only thing I knew to do was to close myself off. I figured that I was enough for my son and that I didn’t need anyone.
However, last year when my son turned three I noticed a change in him. I started to see how effected he was by not having a father figure or male role model in his life. This meant that some things needed to change in my own heart. I didn’t know what those things were, but I started digging and asking myself a lot of questions. What I found buried very deep down inside was a fear of being loved and a fear of being known. I still deal with those fears and have to make the conscious decision to overcome them every single day, but now that I am dating an amazing man I see that the “heart” work is paying off both in my life, my son’s life and in my significant other’s life.
When we get burned or make less than outstanding choices in life, it can be tough to forgive ourselves for those choices and get back up again, but, we need to get back up. We need to forgive ourselves for the mistakes that we’ve made and give ourselves permission to move on, allowing life to flow into those areas once more. Part of the healing process occurs with time, it can’t be rushed. Part of it also has to do with learning to trust ourselves and other people again.
As mothers, we give so much every single day of our lives. We dole out love to our kids like cookies on a production line. Though, as single mothers, who is pouring into us? Are we allowing others to do so? Even if you’re not in a romantic relationship, it’s important to make sure that you are getting truth and love poured into you on a regular basis. Whether it’s through a spiritual practice, a church group, a close circle of friends or an actual partner, you need love. We all do.
Even if you’re not in a romantic relationship, it’s important to make sure that you are getting truth and love poured into you on a regular basis.
When we begin to let love in, something truly amazing starts to happen. The truth takes precedence over the lies that we’ve believed about ourselves. Shame, guilt and un-forgiveness naturally melt away in the face of these truths. We begin to realize on a deep level that we are priceless and that our presence on this earth has meaning. If you’re a single mother, don’t let the lies do the parenting. Believe that love can take root once again.
What walls and fears are you facing that are blocking you from letting love in? What’s one thing can you do today to face those fears head on?
Image via Milena Mallory