Michelle - I am not a victim, I am in control of my destiny
Michelle loves people. She is passionate about helping and serving others, especially those who do not have the resources to help themselves. She has been involved in various humanitarian efforts, each one of them leading to the work that she is not doing, and planning some very exciting things in the future.
With all the people that she loves, she loves her husband and children the most. She is passionate about motherhood and the mission that mothers have in live. Her journey to motherhood started out easy enough. Things were nice and easy, and she had no major problems with her relationship with motherhood when her first child was born. It also helped that she was leaving a job she did not particularly love in order to stay home.
“In almost every reading you do about great people in the world, each one of these people attributes their success to their mothers.”
Things started to change when her family started to grow. Not only were they adding more children to the family, but her home life got a little crazier when her husband started Med School. This was something that she knew she was going to have to sacrifice for, but maybe she did not realize exactly how much the sacrifice would affect her. That frustration was expanded when her second child had colic, making the long, lonely hours seem longer and lonelier.
Even though this was something she knew she was signing up for, when things got hard, she began to hold herself as a martyr for the things she was giving so that her husband could keep up with the rigors of his graduate education. She was playing the victim and telling herself that these choices that she had been a part of were somehow put on her, and it was something that she simply had to endure. This went on for several years. It wasn’t helpful and it made her lose her way.
“Making myself a victim took the power away from me and kept me from making the choices that I needed to make in order to have the life that I wanted to have.”
One day, probably one of deep self-pity, she came to the shocking realization that she had in fact made the very conscious decision to live this life that she was living. She was an intelligent person who had weighed out the pros and cons and knew what she was getting into. She realized that she was not a victim, but she had the power to make the choices that she needed to make in order to have maximum happiness.
“Everything changed in that moment.”
She decided that this was the life that she was lucky enough to have chosen, and that she was also lucky enough to choose whether to enjoy this life or not. She had the power to exercise if she needed to exercise, to reach out if she needed support, and to take care of her needs so she could care for the needs of those who she loved most.
“I had the power to make the choices that would make me happy.”
She made the choice to tell herself that she was powerful enough to take the kids to church by herself and be happy about it instead of feeling sorry for herself. If she wanted to go on vacation, she was strong enough to board a plane with kids in tow and no husband with them.
The entire world opened up to her. She had the power to have all the happiness that was available to her. She only had to choose to take control of her life.
This conscious decision brought the power back to her in a very powerful way. She was able to find passion and joy in every aspect of her parenting; even the activities that do not tend to naturally bring joy. For example, instead of thinking about how people do not appreciate all of the cleaning that she was constantly doing for them, she realized that reason that she was cleaning was because she felt more peaceful in a clean home and she wanted that in her life. This turned cleaning into an activity that she was doing for herself instead of for others. It became a way of taking care of herself. It was so liberating to no longer put it on them, and by doing this she found joy in this service.
“I clean because I want to live in a peaceful home.”
When she stopped being the victim, another magical thing happened. She started to notice all the wonderful things that her husband was doing for her. She started to notice the sacrifices he was making for the family and the kind gestures that he would give her. This helped her joy in motherhood to grow even more. It makes me wonder how many things we are missing in our own lives simply because we choose note to see them.
Once she was able to find joy and purpose in her motherhood, God started to prepare her for things she never would have imagined. She started seeing simple ways to serve those far away, like putting together a library in Africa, or starting a blog in order to highlight the service that others are giving. All of these, and many other experiences were preparing her in ways she could not have anticipated to help serve others. She received a scholarship to the CARE Organization and is now called out to lead on many projects, including conferences and lobbying in Washington D.C. for those who do not have a voice.
Her humanitarian work she is most passionate about is working with Compassion Takes Action, which is a foundation her sister and a friend founded. She is a voting board member and is very excited about the wonderful things the foundation is doing. Their next big project is to build a school in Bangladesh, which she is super thrilled about.
She not only finds passion in helping other people, but she feels like these projects help her to feel fulfilled, which helps to refuel her enough to be able to better serve her family. It helps her to come home and be present and passionate about the things that she is doing at home. She is able to give her kids a better life, because she is helping others to have a better life.
“The more I do things I am passionate about, the more I have energy to do the things that make me a fun mom.”
If you are one of those mothers who are struggling to find purpose in your parenting, she wants you to know that the struggles that moms go through are very valid. It is hard. It is rough. The load you carry is heavy. Give yourself grace. Give yourself some time. The hormones are controlling you. This is not your new normal.
She pleads for you to imagine that you are looking at yourself the way an outsider is looking at you, and give yourself a break like they would. A true friend would not judge you for the way you are feeling. Be a friend to yourself. Try to get yourself out of the thought process that makes you a victim, and take control of your life. Think about what you have control over, and take back the power. Ask yourself if the thoughts you are having are doing you and your family good or bad.
“Turn your thoughts over to God and He will help you change them.”
Story about Michelle Greer Photos property of Michelle Greer