The Awakening

The Awakening  

by Sonny Carroll


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 (nor are you Superman and she is Lois Lane) 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.)  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.


  And you begin to sift through all the crap 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 sleep with, 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 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



  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outdated ideals of a by gone era but the mortar that holds together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



  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.


  And, 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 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 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 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



  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 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 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. And 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 building 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 to make yourself a promise

to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your

heart’s desire.


  And 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.

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