Except for my faith, I would not have been able to leave an abusive relationship, relocate, and provide a home for three children. I embraced the power of God in me each step of the way. Anger and stress in the home was a large part of my childhood family. Therefore, tolerating chronic stress was like an addiction to me. I have read that one of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous is to believe that a Power greater than yourself can restore you to being the person you were intended to be. In my case, the Power was greater than the abused me, and abuse became intolerable.
My introduction to God was through the Christian tradition. Therefore, I reach back to those foundational principles to draw my strength. However, whatever belief encourages personal growth, extends compassion, and promotes change will benefit an abused mother. All of us, worldwide, have the same needs and responsibilities. We all get up, go to work, and take care of our family. We all want to raise our children in a healthy environment. As mothers, we all need peace and meaning in our own lives to enable our children to reach their individual potential.
I believe spirituality moves beyond religious traditions. Religion is an organized, community-based, system of beliefs. Spirituality is a personal journey to find meaning in life by asking questions and seeking answers. Some universal questions are: What is the meaning of life? Why am I here? Why is there suffering in life? Many questions may be answered through religious traditions.
In my opinion, to be spiritual means you have a deep personal relationship with a higher power. Furthermore, you work to make yourself a more loving, compassionate, and forgiving person. You take care of yourself. You appreciate the things around you that express a higher power like sunrise, sunset, the night sky, and nature. You connect with others, and you give back to the world.
There may be times in life when traditional religion practices become confining and inhibit your spiritual and personal growth. Sometimes there may be an inconsistency between the original tradition and the manner in which a house of worship is currently teaching and practicing the belief.
I realized that I needed to move deeper into my personal relationship with God when I began to feel robotic. I recall reaching a point where I was going through all of the motions of church and losing more of my spiritual self in the process. God wants us be a unique masterpiece and experience our full humanness.
As abused or formerly abused mothers, it is critical that you have a goal for yourself. You need a plan of action to bring peace to your life, and you must implement your plan. As a wise pastor once told me, “Put wings on your prayers.”
I am a firm believer in seeking help when you need it. We are on this planet to help each other. Find a psychologist, life coach, social worker, understanding pastor, or caring friend to help you find your true and authentic self. Don’t pass your issues onto your children. Once I began my healing journey, I connected with my suppressed feelings and emotions. I started to feel and behave less robotic.. I am becoming the person I was intended to be! You will feel that same excitement. I am grateful to God for being with me as I pursue my inner work. I believe becoming the person you were meant to be is an exciting lifelong journey!
Like all essential parts of your life, you must practice what you value. My daily practice includes prayer, meditation, reading the Bible and other spiritual text, and expressing gratitude. You will know what practice works for you!