Being penniless, with the certainty of raising my two boys as a single mother was never my downfall.
My rock bottom didn’t come with physical characteristics.
It was a feeling; an overwhelming feeling of despair brought on by the restlessness of pessimistic thoughts. I had an abusive mind that did not want to waiver from its constant persecution of unattained perfection.
It proclaimed to me that I had essentially failed in life.
Failed at being the good, domestic housewife; failed at being an overly affectionate mother who put the well-being of her children before her own. I had even failed at being a feminist.
I was now, despite all of my previous efforts, nothing more than a statistic; a young, Latina mother stuck in a lonely, partnership pondering the many what-ifs I had let pass me by.
At rock bottom, none of my accomplishments mattered. To me, I had none. It was as if the ending of that chapter in my life held more weight than anything written before it.
I had discounted the fact that I went to a top university – an achievement that few others in my family had even strived for. I had disvalued the fact that I had managed to travel a bit – whereas a good number of my peers had never even left the tri-state area. And I had completely discredited the fact that I was willing to leave the marriage – a source of pain for many who still dwell in their own marital prisons.
So when life dipped and I became a single mother with only lint in my pockets and debt in my bank account, that was merely the physical manifestation of the mental downfall I had already created.
My dips in life have never been the actual downfalls, mi gente.
They have merely been the universe’s way of waking me up to the reality that I had given up control of my being to something external; something outside of my soul.
The loss of power, I now realize, came about when I abandoned myself spiritually. The voice of my inner guidance turned into whispers and then silence.
It was easier to stop what felt right and give in to what others deemed correct.
Over time, I had willingly allowed my mind to freefall into the abyss of abusive thought-patterns and then blamed the world for not catching me. Under those harsh conditions I had imposed on myself, my true essence could not rise. It, too, plummeted.
And when I actually hit the rock bottom of that mental abyss, I was spiritually, but moreover, mentally exhausted. The emotional darkness began consuming the little bit of light I had left until magically, my physical world rescued me by breaking apart. That was the beauty of my dip.
Having to pick up the broken pieces of my life allowed me to restructure a world I really wanted to be a part of. I was no longer mentally confined to the parameters of being the good, domesticated housewife that I had been raised to be.
Now I had the opportunity to be the type of mother I naturally could be, and the person I desperately needed myself to be.
Thankfully, my road back to spiritual redemption hadn’t been paved by others. Finally, I was able to release those feelings of failure once and for all because there were no measurable standards I needed to reach. I had survived the fall, and that was the only accomplishment that mattered.
Walking down the road less traveled has not been an easy path. There have been plenty of times I’ve had to search for a light to illuminate my next step, but at least now, I have the room to roam free.