So, we all know that being a mother can force you up on your toes. But what if the idea of you remaining in a constant state of attentiveness was a good thing? What if, because you decided to be an intentional parent, that you were forced into a place of intentionality, all the way around? Well, for me, that was the exact formula that I used to Boss Up on my old self.
Now let me backtrack a little bit. This formula, so to speak, also required a little faith and a whole lot of perseverance. Coming from an abusive and very toxic background, my parental skills were not always error-less. In fact, being a parent is what caused me to heal from my childhood trauma, in order to adequately raise my children. I say that to say, heal first.
However, beyond the healing is where the real work actually began. I learned very quickly, that building a solid foundation was a lot harder than what many had made of it. It was not simply a roof, food, and clothing. Better yet, it was consistency, stability, and the big one: sacrifice. Building a foundation meant to start from scratch. And scratch for me, was what I felt about myself. The foundation started with me.
Creating a stable foundation was just a minimal step toward bossing up. This foundation started and ended with God. I began by healing, later learning to forgive those that left me broken and alone, leading to the ability to allow God to put me back together again. And in that I learned how to love my scars. I learned how to share my testimony, not just with you all, but with my children. And I learned that those were the parts of me that made me great. With that, I formed a new mind about me. I started to become the woman that God had called me to be, all while learning how to manage motherhood. I stepped into an uncomfortable place of praising God for the future that I had yet to see. And God transformed who I was into who I would soon become. Me.
So here we are, I am becoming. Yet, and still I have these two little girls watching me, following me, soon to become me. Whats next, right? What was next for me was defined by what I wanted my children to call me as they aged. I chose Boss. With a story like mine, I never wanted my children to look back and say that I gave up, that I let my past take me down, or that I allowed a man make me. I wanted my daughters to wake up and call me blessed, a Blessed Boss to be exact (Proverbs 31:28). But the reality was, I had curses to break. My next step caused me to develop courage. Courage to stop at nothing. Courage to feel the fear of what people thought about me and my circumstances, but to do it anyway.
Courage. Listen, all I heard was...that it meant that I had to work full time, go to graduate school full-time, teach my children proper health + hygiene, maintain finances + friendships, volunteer, self-care, all while keeping God first and doing it on my own. But that was not true at all and let’s be real, I did not feel like a boss either. The truth was, that I needed people. I learned that healing from trauma and abuse, meant that I could open myself up again in order to receive the proper help. That I could use my courage to protect, believe, and keep hope. That I could trust that others would not harm my children in the ways that I was harmed as a child. That I could teach my children what healthy relationships and community really looked like. That kind of healing opened the door for opportunity, opportunity to grow and develop wisdom in more areas than none. I was able to hustle harder than ever, later to build a solid career and to become a first generation Masters grad as well as a first generation business owner. And still, the boss up continued.
Though I had learned to heal and apply that healing. Though I had created a solid foundation as well as a solid community. I still lacked communication. I lacked the ability to ask for what I want and what I did not. I lacked the ability to call it what it is. And I lacked the ability to say “No” and walk away. Because my foundation as a child was so unstable, although I had learned to allow God to heal me and build me, these were the behaviors that I had learned (or not learned) from my mother. I learned to have fear. Fear to stand up for myself. Fear to try the unknown. Fear to grow. And if I wanted my children to stand, I had to learn just how to kill fear and see what this No stuff was all about.
In the words of Dr. Joy Harden-Bradford, “No is a complete sentence”.
So, what did I do. I boss’d up. I started to speak to people in the way that I wanted to be spoken to. And after a solid six therapy sessions, I began to tell people “No”, with proper intent. I did, however, validate my boundaries with those who I deemed it to be necessary. But for those that I did not deem it to be necessary, I did not. I started to go after what I wanted, at all cost. I learned to reject the things that did not contribute to where I wanted to go. And guess what? That freed me up a lot of time to create healthy tribes with healthy individuals who also wanted to boss up. This courage allowed me to put my children in healthy spaces. This courage allows me to stand alone. And while I have broken the curses over my family of sexual abuse, toxic parenting, broken relationships, and unstable living, I still have much growth left in me. I still decide each and every day to work towards generation wealth. I plant seeds daily, so that my children may reap. And if you are like me, the formula is simple: heal, build, communicate, and repeat. Remain intentional and God will intentionally bless you. It will never be easy but it will always be worth it. You have gained access. Boss to Boss, you got this!
De'dria Louise Bynum