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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

This Could Be The Day That Changes Everything

This Could Be The Day That Changes Everything

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 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 that you are not perfect and that 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.) 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 & 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 & contentment is born of forgiveness.
You realize that much of the way you view yourself and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. You begin to sift through all the junk you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh, what you should wear and where you should shop and what you should drive, how and where you should live and what you should do for a living, who you should marry and 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.
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 by gone 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.
Then you 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. You learn not to project your needs or your feelings 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 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 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. You look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 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 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 touch and in the process, you internalize the meaning of self-respect.
And you learn that your body really is your temple. 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. 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 prophecy.
You learn 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, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it all alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.
You learn that 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 that 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 that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions, you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers; it's just life happening.
You learn to deal with evil in its most primal state; the ego. You learn that 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 build 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 you 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 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.
The Awakening
by Sonny Carroll

Monday, May 22, 2017

"I Hope That We Can Be Together Soon"

Tuesday May 16, 2017
My phone rang this morning and jolted me out of my place of zen and meditation (halfway between sleep & fully awake) “wha-----“? A bit shaken, I grab for the phone (that I thought was turned off) to see who was calling me at that hour in the morning. I tried to silence the phone quickly to avoid disturbing other family members. I put on my house robe & slippers and headed downstairs for coffee…settling into my chair on the back porch I check the message left by the early morning caller. It’s marked “urgent” (really?) Listening I realize it’s not something that required me to drop everything and act; but rather it was “urgent” to the caller.
“We are all wondering where are you? Ain’t nobody seen or heard from you. Are you ok? When you get this message call me and let me know what’s going on with you??”
I sipped my coffee and smiled…”wow”. My buddies at the local food pantry I used to frequent missed seeing me there. Things were not “business as usual.” My absence was out of the ordinary.
Isn’t that a blessing? “Somewhere out there, someone’s thinking of me.”
For as long as I can remember, every Tuesday, rain, shine, cold or hot weather, I’ve made the two block trek up the street to the church for the weekly food pantry. Seeing the same faces weekly sprinkled here & there with some new comers but mostly the “usual crowd. I’d been going to that pantry for quite awhile up until a couple months ago. Greeting, smiling & chatting with this crowd which had become “familiar”. It wasn’t until like a year or so ago I finally learned the names of those I spoke with most often. They became kind of a small community family. We had formed a relationship with people we recognized, and you kinda know (but really don’t know) meeting and standing on common ground, our mission— to gather food for our families. And, in the meantime while you wait and there is always a wait we talk about news, weather, odd topics pop up from time to time crack jokes and the occasional “whatever happened to so & so?” After all we’ve seen our share of regulars come & go for whatever reasons…. Today, I was the “so & so” that was missing.
I immediately and graciously returned the call. On the other end of the phone was a friend acting as spokesperson for the group asking “How are you”??
Friends, you know what? For once, I was coming from a place of true authenticity and not a cliched auto-response, I answered “I am fine!” I assured them all was well “nothing missing nothing broken.” And, for the first time in a long while I could honestly say, I didn’t NEED to be there. I had more than enough! – Hallelujah (what a blessing to be able to confess, you have MORE than enough!!)
As the tears well up in my eyes as I’m writing this, God allowed me to welcome this day with gratitude & thanksgiving. I don’t take little things like this for granted.
As the conversation went on, briefly catching up, tidbits of small talk, do you know that one by one, my pantry buddies took the phone to say (personally) “Hi” to me and to tell me they missed me and asked “when are you coming back”?
THIS is what it’s all about. Living your life in such a way that others miss you and notice when you’re not there---and say “I hope that we can be together soon…… can ya make it real soon. ~SHE
Does someone miss you??