In writing these columns I have learned so much about the reality of who I am and how I have been living my life, up to this point, as a 12-year-old girl. It's arrested development at its finest.
During my time alone this summer, I have allowed the little girl inside me to have her way. I've seen more movies; eaten more popcorn and ice cream; and played more in the park this summer than I have in decades. It has been an emotional yet very rewarding journey back to my true self.
I have come to recognize the temper tantrums I've had throughout my life. I now understand why I had to experience particular relationships and I've recognized the reward for having gone through them. Recognizing who I am has given me the strength and the courage to stand up for myself in areas that I would have otherwise shied away from.
I recognize that I am not responsible for other people's feelings, especially when looking out for them would mean going against what's right for me. I recognize that when I agree to do something out of my old habits of always saying yes, that it is OK for me to change my mind and not feel guilty about it. I recognize that when two people are in a relationship and it doesn't work, that the ending of the relationship doesn't mean there was something wrong with me or was something that I did, but rather that it could clearly be a case of one or both of us growing in different directions.
I recognize that people are not always going to do what you would like them to do. Just because someone changes his or her mind later does not mean that he or she was not sincere when the promise was initially made; things change, people change—that's just how it is. I recognize that the personality traits that were annoying to one person may be just right for someone else.
I recognize that the only way to get over a previous relationship is to get back out there on the playing field. No one ever discovered true love by staying locked up in a condo. Get back out there—not necessarily to find another mate, but just to network and enjoy the presence of other people. I recognize that there is no prize at the end for falling on the sword in the name of love and becoming a hermit while the other person from your relationship is enjoying life.
I recognize that it is not the fault of your boss, the system or the company if you do not receive a raise or a promotion. I recognize that you are at the helm of your own ship and you can steer your own course according to your specific needs. The only thing that is required is the knowledge that you have the power to do so.
I recognize that no one does something for nothing; everything has a cost and every person has his or her price. I recognize that one should strive to be that which he or she wishes to attract; however, that does not mean that you live in a bubble until you reach that level. I recognize that the effects of traumatic experiences from childhood stay with you as long as you do not identify with them and acknowledge the role that they play in your life.
I recognize that the more I get in touch with the lost child within, the more I am able to identify the behavioral traits in others. I recognize that I have so much more to learn about me and about life. I recognize that it is best to live your life from your truth everyday and in doing so, life becomes so much easier. I recognize that only love is real.
My greatest reward through all of these recognitions is that I have developed a loving and nurturing relationship with myself. I am no longer the adult walking around with the spirit of a wounded child. Little Anita has begun to trust me. She speaks to me when we are approaching familiar situations that are no longer indicative of who we have become. She also takes the time to allow me to feel her loving energy when we are doing something just right. It's hard for me to imagine having lived 40 years without actually getting to know her but now that I have…it was so worth it!
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