I’ve heard the expression over and over again “wake up!”
I’ve even said it myself, especially when someone is cruel to me.
I say, “When is he/she going to wake up?”
Or, “I’ve heard it so much, sometimes I don’t give a flying crap about what it means—it feels like “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
I have found some folks equate ‘waking up’ to a religious experience of waking up and connecting to God, others equate it to one day realizing that they have been acting like a selfish ass, with only their life that matters to them, and not really caring about anyone else.
Some folks have professed over and over that they have changed. They are no longer the same ignorant people they were in the past, but, sadly, they are still only under the illusion they have changed.
And others have truly woken up. Meaning they have come to realize that their own special being is not the most important thing in the world. It’s a day to day process that does not happen overnight.
Am I sitting in judgement?
Some may say yes, but I have been on this path to wake up for a long, long time.
Here are some of the steps that I have found will help one wake up, at least they have helped me. We are all a work in progress.
l. Have the courage to want to change.
I’ve had to face what I call the “head of the dragon’s mouth” when waking up. This choice has often made me see and hear many things that have terrified me.
2. Be honest.
My lies can be so subtle. I realized when I lived at a Buddhist Retreat Center that lying was a normal part of life. Saying “yes” when I really wanted to say “no.”
3. Take care of my body, mind and soul.
There’s no way I can take care of anyone else if I haven’t learned to take care of myself.
4. Don’t settle.
This means letting go of bad relationships, jobs and bad friendships. The worst was letting go of someone I was totally in love with because I knew he would be trouble for me.
5. Allowing myself to feel.
If I am always coming from a place in my head, I will never know about love and passion and what I truly want. My heart teaches me about love, passion and compassion.
6. Don’t be self-involved.
My life is not the only thing that matters. It’s important for me to be there for others without an agenda.
7. Don’t have an agenda.
If I want to do something, I do it because I want to without expecting anything in return.
8. If I make a mistake, I own it.
Change requires me to take responsibility for my mistakes without constantly blaming others.
9. Appreciate where I have come from.
I have come from a very dark place with a biological family that was screwed up, but I have found a sense of peace within it.
l0. Respect and love my family.
Long ago, I could not do this with my biological family, but I have learned to do this through my own family. My children teach me a lot.
11. Don’t expect my children to turnout like me.
I have found that in my own life, the big surprise is that my life and my children have not turned out the way I expected.
12. Have no expectations.
This is a big one. I laugh when I write this. How is it possible? Somehow it is, but I have to work at it daily.
l3. Love with all of my being.
I never know what tomorrow brings. I always want to show the people I love that I do ‘love them with all my heart.’
14. Love who I am.
I love myself so it is possible for me to love others.
15. I’m not afraid to be a fool.
I have found that the fool can be the wisest person of all, not the one who always claims to be an “expert.”
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Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Catherine Monkman