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The way I see it, you only have so much energy each day. You might be able to squeeze a little more out with some Cuban coffee or a Mountain Dew, but eventually that will lead to crash and burn.

Doing this job, which was meant for two, by yourself, is hard work. It’s a marathon and you need to set a pace that is sustainable.

Recently, I was reminded of one of the biggest energy drainers for a single parent. Talking bad about your ex.

I was counseled early on, not to say bad things about my ex to the children. I abided this advice, often biting my tongue, choking in the things I wish I could say, and commanding my facial expressions into obedience. I am so grateful I did, because kids are smart, they figure out truth all on their own.

But when my kids weren’t around, I could say what I wanted. Right?

Not so much. I learned what an energy zapper that kind of talk was. It never made the situation better, and actually, wallowing in it over and over just made me depressed and angry.

I am not minimizing how you or I got to where we are when I say, “Just. Stop. It.” And, I’m not saying not to talk with a counselor or good friend to work through issues. If it is something that can’t be resolved amenably with your ex or through a lawyer, talking bad isn’t going to change it.

What I’m saying is, at this point, does it matter? Is talking bad keeping you from moving forward and living life.

Yes, I was abused

Yes, I didn’t fair well with an equitable settlement and child support.

Yes, Visitation was a nightmare.

But, I only had so much energy. I needed to be there for my kids and have a little left over for me every so often.

I made the conscious decision to forgive. And I made the on-going decision to forgive. Sometimes, to keep my head right, I forgave many times a day. But I was committed to “Just. Stop. It.” I was committed to not being a victim and getting on with life. Even when others would try and give me permission to be a victim.

If I did anything other than that, he was winning and I was allowing him to control my life.

Listen to yourself this week. How much time are you spending talking bad? Do you have better things to spend your energy on?

If it applies, “Just. Stop. It.” So you can start living.

I am praying for each of you this week.