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 the voice inside your head cries out . . . ENOUGH! Enough fighting, crying, blaming, and struggling to merely hold on and survive the day. Then, like a child quieting down after a temper-tantrum, blinking back your tears, you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is the beginning of the transformation of your life.
You realize it's time to stop hoping and waiting for others to change, or for happiness, safety, and security to magically appear. You realize that in life there aren't always fairy tale answers, and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you . . . and in the process a sense of serenity is born through unconditional love and acceptance.
Your heart transforms as you accept the fact that the world is not always perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate, or approve of who or what you are . . . and within your heart that is OK. They are entitled to their own opinions and their own experience. You choose unconditional love of self and others. In this process a sense of newfound confidence is born.
You stop complaining and/or blaming other people for the things they did to you—or didn't do for you—and you know that the only thing that is eternal is your ability to unconditionally love and the power of choice. You know that people don't always do what they say or mean what they say—that not everyone will always be there for you and that everything isn't always about you. So, you choose to stand for your truth—creating your dreams and visions. In this process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.
You stop judging and pointing fingers—you begin to accept people as they are, overlooking their shortcomings and human frailties. In this process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiving others and especially yourself.
You choose to open up to others and their 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—you begin to let go the doctrines, beliefs, and values that have never worked in your life. You acknowledge that these beliefs should have never been brought into your life in the first place. You know that there is power and glory in creating and contributing—you stop manipulating others and no longer look at life merely as a "consumer," looking for your next fix.
You know principles such as honesty and integrity are what work in life and are the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you are building your life. You realize that you don't know everything and it's not your job to save the world. You know that you can choose the crosses you bear and that martyrs always die and you want to live!
Then you have in your heart unconditional love for the young, the old, others whose skin many be different than yours, for those that may be considered sinners, those whose beliefs are not only different that yours—but completely opposite.
You choose to look at your relationships as they really are—not as you would have them be.
You are okay being alone with yourself and peace comes from internal honesty. You stop trying to control or manipulate people, situations, and outcomes.
You choose to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and choosing to say "NO"to yourself and others.
You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over, and ignoring your truth.
You know that your body really is your temple and begin to care for it and treat it with respect.
You begin to eat a balanced diet with more fruits and vegetables—drinking more water—setting aside time at least 3 days a week to exercise. You put aside caffeine, alcohol, and drugs (prescriptions that numb pain or change your reality).
You know that being tired fuels doubt, fear, and uncertainty, and so you take time to rest (early to bed and early to rise with at least 8 hours of sleep).
Just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our soul. So you take more time to laugh—to play.
You know that for the most part, you create in life what you believe you deserve, and the meanings you attach to life's experiences become real.
You know that working to create your dreams produces results, and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen.
You know that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline, and perseverance. You also know that no one can do it all alone—that it is okay to risk asking for help.
You know the only thing you must truly fear is fear itself. You choose 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 own terms.
You choose to fight for your life—not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom.
You know 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—you choose to not take it personally.
You know that nobody's punishing you—everything isn't always about you and isn't always somebody's fault. It is just life happening. You choose to admit when you are wrong and choose to build bridges instead of walls.
You know 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 environment that you live in.
You choose to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things in life 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.
You take responsibility for yourself. You make a promise to never betray yourself—to never, ever settle for less than your heart's desire.
You make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting—to live in each moment staying open to every wonderful possibility.
Finally, with courage in your heart, you take a stand, you take a deep breath, and you begin to design the life you want to live doing the best you can.