we go through life, something happens around us; something happens to us;
but what is more important is what happens within us. There are things
and situations that we can not change but we can certainly change our
attitude towards them.
We can alter our life by altering our attitude and in
that, we will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master us.
Let's learn from the following essay inspired by the writings of Sonny Carroll. It's full of dazzling
A time comes in our lives when we finally get it... When in the midst
of all our fears and insanity we stop dead in our tracks and somewhere,
the voice inside our head cries out - ENOUGH!
Enough fighting and crying, or struggling to hold on. And, like a child
quieting down after a blind tantrum, our sobs begin to subside, we shudder
once or twice, we blink back our tears and through a mantle of wet
lashes, we begin to look at the world through new eyes.
This is our awakening...
We 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. We come to terms with the fact that there is no Prince Charming
nor Cinderella 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 us and in the process, a
sense of serenity is born of acceptance.
We are awaken to the fact that we are not perfect and that not everyone will
always love, appreciate nor approve of who or what we are ... and that's OK.
(They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And we learn the
importance of loving and championing ourselves and in the process, a sense of
new found confidence is born of self-approval.
We stop complaining and blaming other people for the things they did to us
(or didn't do for us) and we learn that the only thing we can really
count on is the unexpected.
We learn that people don't always say what they
mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for
us and that it's not always about us. So, we learn to stand on our own
and to take care of ourselves and in the process, a sense of safety and
security is born of self-reliance.
We stop judging and pointing fingers and we 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.
We realize that much of the way we view ourselves and the world around us,
is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into
We begin to sift (filter) through all the junk we have been fed
about how we should behave, how we should look and how much we should
weigh, what we should wear and where we should shop and what we should
drive, how and where we should live and what we should do for a living,
who we should marry and what we should expect of a marriage, the
importance of having and raising children or what we owe our parents.
learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. We begin
reassessing and redefining who we are and what we really stand for.
learn the difference between wanting and needing and we begin to discard
the doctrines and values we have outgrown, or should never have bought into
to begin with and in the process, we learn to go with our instincts.
learn that it is truly in giving that we receive and that there is power and
glory in creating and contributing and we stop maneuvering through life
merely as a "consumer" looking for our next fix.
We learn 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 we must build a life.
We learn that
we don't know everything; it's not our job to save the
world and that we can't teach a pig to sing. We learn to distinguish
between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries
and learning to say NO. We learn that the only cross to bear is the one we
choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake.
we learn 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. We learn
not to project our needs or our feelings onto a relationship. We learn
that we will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or
important because of someone on our arm or the child that bears our name.
learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as we would have
them be. We stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes.
We learn that just as people grow and change, so it is with love; and
learn that we don't have the right to demand love on our terms, just to
make us happy.
We learn that alone does not mean lonely.
We look in the mirror and come
to terms with the fact that we will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and
we stop trying to compete with the image inside our head and agonizing
over how we "stack up."
We also stop working so hard at putting our feelings aside, smoothing
things over and ignoring our needs. We learn that feelings of entitlement
are perfectly OK and that it is our right, to want things and to ask for
the things that we want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.
We come to the realization that
we deserve to be treated with love,
kindness, sensitivity and respect and we won't settle for less. We allow
only the hands of a lover who cherishes us, to glorify us with his/her touch
and in the process, we internalize the meaning of self-respect.
we learn that our body really is our temple. And we begin to care
for it and treat it with respect. We begin eating a balanced diet, drinking
more water and taking more time to exercise. We learn that fatigue
diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So we take more time
to rest. Just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul; so we take
more time to laugh and to play.
We learn that for the most part in life,
we get what we believe and
deserve and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
We learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that
wishing for something to happen, is different from working toward making it
we learn that in order to achieve success we need
direction, discipline and perseverance. We also learn that no one can do it
all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.
We learn that the only thing
we must truly fear is the great robber baron
of all time; FEAR itself. We learn to step right into and through
our fears, because we know that whatever happens we can handle it and to
give in to fear, is to give away the right to live life on our terms.
We learn to fight for our life and not to squander it living under a cloud
of impending doom. We learn that life isn't always fair, we don't always
get what we think we deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to
unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions, we learn not to personalize
things. We learn that God isn't punishing us or failing to answer our
prayers; it's just life happening.
We learn to deal with evil in its most primal state; the ego.
that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood
and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of us and poison the
universe that surrounds us. We learn to admit when we are wrong and to
build bridges instead of walls.
We 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.
we begin to take responsibility for ourselves, by
ourselves and we make ourselves a promise to never betray ourselves and to
never ever settle for less than our heart's desire. We hang a wind chime
outside our window so we can listen to the wind, and we make it a point
to keep smiling, to keep trusting and to stay open to every wonderful
Finally, with courage in our heart and with God by our side
we take a
stand, we take a deep breath and we begin to design the life we want to
live as best as we can.
Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It
is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. ~William Jennings