by Joseph B. Washington
On August 12, 2011 my life was forever changed. I lost my mother in a tragic car accident. I was raised in a single parent home by a matriarch. Growing up with her was challenging at times, to say the least, not due to the more common issues of being a single parent: lack of finances or a woman raising two young boys, but because she suffered from being bi-polar, a mental disease that went undiagnosed for many years. Nonetheless, throughout my years, up until her passing, and even today, my mother proves to be my first true love, my biggest fan and my very best friend.
By no means am I an expert on women, nor do I profess to be. I do not understand what women experience physically or endure emotionally. However, I am an expert on my mother. And in an attempt to better understand me, I have discovered a better understanding of her: her life, her decisions, her pains. While looking at my mother’s picture a year ago, I saw an image of a high heel shoe, and the heel was broken. It was in that moment that I realized, my mother had been “Running on a Broken Heel” for the last 68 years of her life.
One of the many things that my mother taught me is that there is power in the presence of a woman. Across the globe, women share a common trait: while appearing beautiful and unscathed, like a stiletto shoe, on the outside, their interior is broken and many times shattered. Yet they sacrifice their emotional, mental, physical and spiritual health to remain strong for themselves and those around them. But there is a flip side to that woman–she is a natural born leader! Whatever the situation, women seem to possess the intellect and instinct that guides them accordingly. At home, in their communities or in the workforce, women wear many hats. They know when, how and where to change those “hats” without skipping a beat or breaking a sweat. And amazingly enough, women do this despite their own hurts, pains, struggles and idiosyncrasies.
As women, you must now take an active role in participating in the rescue of your own personal success. You must learn to forgive your past mistakes and to become your own BFF–Best Friend Forever. Cultivating a positive relationship with yourself is the building block to start your healing. It’s crucial to have a great relationship with yourselves, because it’s the only relationship that you are guaranteed to have every day of your life!
So in honor of my mother and all the amazing women who are out there, I declare to you this day….”You Are Heeled!”
Joseph Washington is the author of the best-selling book, Breaking the Spirit of Average. Joseph is also the founder of a new movement for women, which he started in honor of his mother called “Running on a Broken Heel.” He is the President and CEO of Average Breaker LLC, in Atlanta, Georgia.
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This article was published in the Sept/Oct 2015 issue of Courageous Woman Magazine. Click the link to read the full issue.