Just the other day, I was watching a video by a yogi who spoke about us being the “managers” of our own life. In that moment I felt overwhelmed by the fact that I had not managed my own life well, that is why I had faced the challenges I had. After some contemplation, anger and guilt, I realized his talk couldn’t have been directed at every member of his audience. He couldn’t possibly identify with the journey of a single mother who was in an abusive relationship. Yes, he was no doubt learned in the holy-scriptures but that did not qualify him as an authority on the management of our lives.
Today being women’s day I received many messages of strength and encouragement from people who have an idea of the journey I have been through. My journey has been nothing less than a drive on Chapman’s peak with its 114 twists and turns as I navigate this road we call life. From being in an abusive relationship, to walking out with two small children and trying to make ends meet, I have managed it all. Life has thrown some rotten lemons at me, the kind that you can’t even make lemonade with, yet in all of those moments I managed to smile and carry on. Trust me this is not a new story, but it is a true story for thousands of women like myself, who go through life everyday, with nothing but faith that it will get better. Life is a mixture of good and bad, storms always pass and sunshine will appear again.
Through “management” of my life, I have had many stops and starts, relocating to a new city, various jobs, trying to complete my degree and running a business, all this in an attempt to realise my dreams of a better life. Every person dreams of being more and doing more for his/her family, community and the world, it is a natural trait of being human. When someone tells us we did not manage our lives well that is why we have not achieved our desired results, naturally it will make us angry. Each one of us does our best with what we have at any given time. A mother will give her child her last R10.00 to buy lunch and she will go hungry if she has to, but never will she do less than she can.
Through my experiences in life, I questioned everything, the most frequently asked question to myself, was “Why me?”. I remember when I presented a paper on “The Harmony between Science and Religion” the convenor asked me where I had got my PHD from, I smiled and said “life”. Going to University does not make you the best, understanding the human spirit, each person’s uniqueness and ability to rise above adversity, that’s the only thing that qualifies anyone to help others manage their own life. A strong woman is not only she who is a University graduate, but also the one who wakes up early to catch a train to her job as a domestic worker. All women are strong.