October 07, 2008

Published in Recovery Today

Juggling Balance
by Paula Heller-Garland

Who am I? A mother, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a helping professional, a volunteer, or a sex goddess? Are these visions of who I am or only thoughts of who I should be and the dreams of what I can become? It all seems like a little too much sometimes. Today I look into who I want to be: My own person. This must be the one thing in life that is still not regulated by the federal government and the one that has no surgeon general warning. I can be the person I want. My life is limited only by my imagination of what I can be.

I want my life to be fun. I want to be the kind of person that others are drawn to because my energy is high and positive. I want to be happy. I want to be joyful from the inside out. I want to be a go-getter who gets to positive stuff.

So, how do I go about becoming that person? First it is important to inventory exactly what I am looking for. I am in pursuit of my “life vision”. I have to develop a sketch of exactly how I would want my life to appear were it able to be anything I wanted.

Second, it is important that I look seriously at the obstacles that I imagine standing in between what I am and who I want to become. Those obstacles are often only imagined. I look to all the things that I use as excuses that keep me from reaching the goal. I have to ask myself what I let get in the way of who I want to become.

Once I identify the obstacles I must decide how they are to be removed. Some may be removed with ease. Possibly a goal is to complete a course. The act of enrolling and attending the course is all that I must do. Then there are the other obstacles, the ones that I cannot touch, but can definitely feel. The obstacle of fear is great. When I feel fear I must search to identify where it comes from and what the pay offs for allowing it to keep me stuck are. It is hard to admit there are payoffs for staying stuck, but there is great truth in that thought.

Sometimes I believe that I have spent so much of my life doing the wrong thing that I am not sure how long I need to do the right thing before I am accepted again. I have to question who I believe I need to be accepted by. When I get down to the truth the only person I need to be accepted by is myself. The reason for that is because I am only affective when I am authentic. Only when I accept myself and forgive myself for the past can I be of any service to anyone else in my life. I must overcome the shame of the past in order to march forward into the future.

What are you allowing to keep you stuck? Brainstorm just a moment and work toward your life vision. What would you become, if you could be anything? What do you have a passion about? I believe that is what you are put on earth for. I have had a passion for what I do all of my life. I have just had to move through a long and difficult process to get to this place. But I don’t believe there is any possibility of my doing something else because what I do is more about who I am than anything else. What is stopping you from fulfilling your dream?

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