Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

I pulled this picture in, originally, because it reminds me of my daughter’s cat, Arthur, aka “Little Shit”.  He loves trying to steal food from her plate (as does his older brother, Scooby, my daughter’s cat who lives with me). 

But I also pulled it because of the caption. 

There was a time when I would look back on my life with regrets…“I wish I’d done this.”  or “I wish I hadn’t done that.”  

But the truth is, I regret nothing.  All of the choices I made, whether they turned out as I planned or not, led me to where I am today, the person I’ve fallen madly in love with, ME!  I didn’t make mistakes, I learned lessons.  I didn’t give up and crawl into a hole, although there were certainly times when that was extremely appealing!  (Raising twin girls by yourself while holding down a high pressure job can do that to you!)  But overall, everything has turned out as it was supposed to, my daughters grew up relatively unscarred and have gone on to make their own lives.  I continue learning lessons and expanding my life, listening to suggestions from friends and even *Gasp!* asking for help when I can’t quite figure something out for myself.

I’m learning to forgive, not only those who’ve caused me pain, but myself for allowing them to.  I’m learning to accept other peoples’ choices as theirs and theirs alone.  I’m also learning that the only one I am responsible for or have any control over is myself, and to respect everyone else’s right to be responsible for themselves. 

I have set myself goals and achieved some, while I am reworking others so that I can achieve those as well.  I set the bar just out of reach so I’ll keep moving forward, and when I get close, I set it just a little further out. 

I’m also learning to fall back in like with my day job, and actually found myself smiling for no apparent reason on the way to work today. 

It’s been a long haul, but I finally realize that I truly am someone worth loving and am allowing people past my hard exterior more regularly now.  In fact, the hard exterior is no longer quite so hard. 

Above all, I’ve let go of my combative, angry behaviour, and am learning to avoid being sucked in by someone else’s. 

The result, I’m happy to say, is a calmer, more peaceful me.  Which isn’t to say that I’ve lost my passionate nature.  It just means that I’ve redirected it into more productive directions.

So, like the cat says, I have no regrets, and will continue to live my life, believing that everything I’m doing, thinking, choosing and saying is for a reason, and things like regrets and arguments are simply not invited to my party!

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I have learned to love myself, inside and out.
2. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve learned and the lessons still to come.
3. I am grateful for all of the good habits I’ve formed in the last nine months, and look forward to many more!
4. I am grateful for new connections and new lessons.
5. I am grateful for the opportunity to write a little something every day and, occasionally touch another life with something to which they can relate.

Love and light.

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