By Sonny Carroll
There comes a time in your life when you finally get it...
When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop
dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your
head cries out - ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or
struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down
after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside,
you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears
and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look
at the world from a new prospective. This is your awakening.
You realize that it is time to stop hoping and waiting for
something, or someone, to change...or for happiness, safety
and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come
to terms with the fact that there aren't always fairytale endings
(or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of
"happily ever after" must begin with you. So, you begin
making your way through the "reality of today" rather than
holding out for the "promise of tomorrow." You realize
that much of who you are, and the way you navigate through life is,
in great part, a result of all the social conditioning you've
received over the course of a lifetime. And you begin to sift
through all the nonsense you were taught about:
- how you should look and how much you should weigh
what you should wear and where you should shop
where you should live or what type of car your should drive
who you should sleep with and how you should behave
who you should marry and why you should stay
Slowly you begin to open up to new worlds and different points of view.
And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really
believe in. And you begin to discard the doctrines you have outgrown,
or should never have practiced to begin with.
You accept the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone
will love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are...and
that's OK...they are entitled to their own views and opinions.
And, you come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size
5 or a "perfect 10"....Or a perfect human being for that matter...
and you stop trying to compete with the perfect image inside your head
or agonizing over how you "stack up." And, you make peace
with the woman in the mirror and you learn to give her the same
unconditional love and support you give so freely to others.
And, you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer"
hungry for your next fix...a new dress, another pair of shoes...or looks
of approval and admiration from family, friends or even strangers who
pass by. And you discover that..."it is truly in giving that we
receive"...and that the joy and abundance you seek grows out of
the giving. And you recognize the importance of "creating" & "contributing"
rather than "obtaining" & "accumulating."
And you begin to love and to honor yourself.
And you stop engaging in self-destructive behavior
including participating in dysfunctional relationships.
And you begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water
and taking more time to rest and exercise.
Then you learn about love and relationships...how to love,
how much to give in love, when to stop giving...and when to
walk away. And you allow only the hands of a lover who truly
loves and respects you to glorify you with his touch.
You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean
what they say, intentionally or unintentionally and that not
everyone will always come through...and interestingly enough,
it's not always about you. So, you stop lashing out and pointing
fingers or looking to place blame for the things that were done
to you...or weren't done for you. And you learn to acknowledge
and redirect the feelings of anger, jealousy and resentment you
sometimes feel...least they suffocate your spirit and steal your soul.
You learn how to say I was wrong and to forgive people for their
own human frailties and to build bridges instead of walls...and
you learn about the healing power of love as it is expressed
through a kind word, a warm smile or a friendly gesture...At the
same time, you eliminate ANY relationships that are hurtful or fail
to uplift and edify you. And you stop working so hard at smoothing
things over and setting your needs aside. You learn that feelings
of entitlement are perfectly OK and that it is your right to want
or expect certain things. And you learn the importance of communicating
your needs. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose
to carry and that eventually martyrs are burned at the stake. Then you
learn to distinguish between guilt, and responsibility and the
importance of setting boundaries and learning to Say NO. You learn
that you don't know all the answers, it's not your job to save
the world and that sometimes you just need to Let Go.
And, you learn to look at people as they really are and not as
you would have them be and you are careful not to project your
neediness or insecurities onto a relationship. You learn that
you will not be, more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable
or important because of the man on your arm or the child that
bears your name. You learn that just as people grow and change
so it is with love and relationships....and that not everyone
can always love you the way you would want them to or live life
just to suit your needs, ease your insecurities or meet "your"
standards and expectations. And, you learn the difference between
wanting and needing and you stop trying to control people, situations
and outcomes. And, you learn that "alone" does not mean
"lonely" and you begin to discover the joy of spending
time "with yourself" and "on yourself."
You avoid Toxic people and conversations. And you stop wasting time
and energy rehashing your situation with family and friends because
you've learned that talking about things doesn't change them. You
learn that wishing for something is different from working to make
it happen. And you begin to invest your time and energy to affect
positive change. You take a personal inventory of the areas you need to
improve in order to move ahead, you set your goals and map out a
plan of action to see things through.
You learn that life isn't always fair and you don't always get what
you think you deserve. You stop personalizing every loss or disappointment.
You learn to accept that sometimes bad things happen to good people and
that these things are not an act of God...but merely a random act of fate.
And you stop looking for guarantees because you've learned that the
only thing you can really count on is the unexpected...and that
whatever happens, you'll learn to handle it. And you learn that the
only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time
FEAR itself. So you learn to step right into and through your fears
because to give into fear is to give away the right to live life on your
terms. You learn that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophesy
and you learn to go after what you want and not to squander your life
living under a cloud of indecision or feelings of impending doom.
Then, YOU LEARN ABOUT MONEY...the personal power and
independence it brings and the options it creates. And
you recognize the necessity, to create your own personal
wealth. Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself
by yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray
yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart's
desire. And you live with honor and integrity...because you
know that these principles are not the outdated ideals of a
by-gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation
upon which you must build your life. And you make it a point
to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every
wonderful opportunity and exciting possibility. Then you hang
a wind chime outside your window to remind yourself what
beauty there is in Simplicity.
Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you
take a stand, you TAKE a deep breath and you begin to design the
life you want to live as best as you can.
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