A time comes 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 through new eyes.
This is your awakening.
You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or
for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon.
You come to terms with the fact that he or she is not Prince or Princess
Charming and you are not Cinderella or Cinderella and in the real world
there aren't always fairy tale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and
that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you and in the
process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
You awaken to the fact you are not perfect and not everyone will always
love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are...and that's OK. (They
are entitled to their own views and opinions.) You learn the importance of
loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of newfound
confidence is born of self-approval.
You stop criticizing and blaming other people for the things they did to you
(or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really
count on is the unexpected. You learn people don't always say what they mean
or mean what they say and not everyone will always be there for you and that
it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take
care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety and security is born
You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they
are, and to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties, and in the
process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize
that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is as a
result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your
psyche. You begin to sift through all the beliefs you've been fed about how
you should behave, how you should look, how much you should weigh, what you
should wear, where you should shop, what you should drive, how and where you
should live, what you should do for a living, who you should sleep with, who
you should marry, what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of
having and raising children or what you owe your parents.
You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. You begin
reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You
learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard
the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into
to begin with, and in the process you learn to trust your own knowing.
You learn it is truly in giving that we receive, that there is power and
glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life
merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix. You learn principles such
as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a by gone era but
the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a
life. You learn you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the
world and you can't teach a pig to sing. You learn to distinguish between
guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and
learning to say NO. You learn the only cross to bear is the one you choose
to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then, you learn about
love, romantic love and familial love. You learn how to love, how much to
give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. You learn not to
project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn you will
not be, more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because
of the man or woman on your arm or the child that bears your name.
You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would
have them be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.
You learn just as people grow and change so it is with love...and you learn
you don't have the right to demand love on your terms...just to make you
happy. You learn that alone does not mean lonely ... and you look in the
mirror and come to terms with the fact you will never be a size 3 or a
perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head
and agonizing over how you "stack up."
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing
things over and ignoring your needs. You learn feelings of entitlement are
perfectly OK...and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the
things that you want...and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.
You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love,
kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less. You allow
only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his or her
touch...and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.
You learn your body really is your temple. You begin to care for it and
treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water
and taking more time to exercise. You learn fatigue diminishes the spirit
and can create doubt and fear so you take more time to rest. And, just as
food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul, so you take more time to laugh
and to play. You learn that, for the most part in life, you get what you
believe you deserve...and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling
You learn anything worth achieving is worth working for and wishing for
something to happen is different from working toward making it happen. More
importantly, you learn in order to achieve success you need direction,
discipline and perseverance. You also learn no one can do it all alone and
that it's OK to risk asking for help.
You learn the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of
all time, FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears
because you know whatever happens - you can handle it and to give in to fear
is to give away the right to live life on your terms. You learn to fight for
your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You
learn life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you
deserve and sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On
these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn no one is
punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It is just life happening.
You learn to deal with evil in its most primal state -- the ego. You learn
negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and
redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the
universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to
building bridges instead of walls. You learn to be thankful and to take
comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that
millions of people upon the earth can only dream about: a full refrigerator,
clean running water, a soft warm bed, a long hot shower.
Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself - by yourself - and to
make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never, ever settle
for less than your heart's desire. You hang a wind chime outside your window
so you can listen to the wind and you make it a point to keep smiling, to
keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility.
Finally, with courage in your heart and with faith by your side you take a
stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to