My Awakening…

The time has come in my life when I finally get it…When in the midst of all my fears and insanity I stop dead in my tracks and somewhere the voice inside my head cries out – ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, my sobs begin to subside, I shudder once or twice, I blink back my tears and through a mantle of wet lashes I begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is my awakening. I 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. I come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and I am not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren’t always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of “happily ever after” must begin with me and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.I awaken to the fact that I am not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what I am … and that’s OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) I have learned that people don’t always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for me and that it’s not always about me. And I begin to sift through all the crap I’ve been fed about how I should behave; how I should look and how much I should weigh; what I should wear and where I should shop; and what I should drive; how and where I should live; and what I should do for a living; who I should marry, and what I should expect of a marriage; the importance of having and raising children; or what I owe my parents.

I have learned that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and I stop maneuvering through life merely as a “consumer” looking for my next fix. I have learned that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a by gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which I must build a life. I have learned that I don’t know everything, it’s not my job to save the world and that I can’t teach a pig to sing. I have learned to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. I have learned that the only cross to bear is the one I choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. Then I have learned about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to walk away. I have learned not to project my needs or my feelings onto a relationship.  I have learned that I will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on my arm or the child that bears my name.

I have learned to look at relationships as they really are and not as I would have them be. I must stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. I have learned that just as people grow and change so it is with love…and I have learned that I don’t have the right to demand love on my terms…just to make me happy. And, I have learned that alone does not mean lonely…

And I look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that I will never be a size 2 or a perfect 10 and Iwill  stop trying to compete with the image inside my head and agonizing over how I’ll stack up. I have come to the realization that I deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and I won’t settle for less. I have learned that my body really is my temple. And I begin to care for it and treat it with respect. I begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise.

I have learned that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So I will take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So I take more time to laugh and to play. I have learned that for the most part, in life I get what I believe I deserve … and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have learned that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different from working toward making it happen.

More importantly, I have learned that in order to achieve success I need direction, discipline and perseverance. I also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it’s OK to risk asking for help. I have learned to fight for my life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. I have learned that life isn’t always fair, I don’t always get what I think I deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions I have learned not to personalize things. I have learned that God isn’t punishing me or failing to answer my prayers. It’s just life happening. And I have learned to deal with evil in its most primal state-the ego.

I have learned that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of me and poison the universe that surrounds you. I have learned to admit when I am wrong and to building bridges instead of walls. I have learned 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, I begin to take responsibility for myself by myself and to make myself a promise to never betray myself and to never ever settle for less than my heart’s desire. And I will hang a wind chime outside my window so I can listen to the wind.

I will make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in my heart and with God by my side I take a stand, I take a deep breath and I begin to design the life I want to live as best as I can.

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