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 that 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 is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairy tales 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 that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are and that's O.K. They are entitled to their own views and opinions. And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.
You stop complaining 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 that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that 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 of self-reliance.
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 “stuff” you’ve been fed about how to behave, how you should look, how much you should weight and what you should wear and where you should shop and what you should drive, how and where you should live and what you should be doing for a living.
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 go with your instincts.
You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And 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 that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a bygone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life.
You learn that you don’t know everything, it’s not your job to save the world and that 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 that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.
You learn not to project your needs or your feelings onto a relationship. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as you would have them to be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change so it is with love...and you learn that 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 that you will never be a size five 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 that feelings of entitlement are perfectly O.K.... 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. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his touch...and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.
And you learn that your body really is your home, and 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 that 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 play.
To be continued …