Good to be alive

Perhaps it’s the cold morning air, or the way the wind rushes past my partially frozen face that makes me feel so alive. Or it could be the fact my heart is racing due to the pedal power involved in heading up the very first hill before i hit the dirt trail, where the track levels out and i can cruise along for a few hours at a reasonable pace without the interruptions of passing cars, trucks and busses.

It really doesn’t matter what it is that’s making me feel so alive. It’s the mere fact I am alive, and am still able to get on the bike and head out to destinations unknown. And if not a destination unknown, a very familiar track, like an old friend, waiting with open arms to take me back. No questions asked.

And that’s what we all need in our lives, that friend that will welcome us back with a tight hug and a warm smile. No matter how many miles have passed, No questions asked, as no answer is needed. Just knowing that all is good in the world, at least for that moment in time when sharing a coffee, and a laugh.

I would hate to try and live life without someone close to share a laugh, or to unload my thoughts, fears and even my tears with. Oh, and for me, life without coffee would make the world a much harder place to live, but not impossible. There is always a cuppa tea.

Every breath is a gift

From the very first breath we take to fill our lungs so we can let out a scream all mothers long to hear, until the last breath we take when we leave this earth. Each and every breath we take in between is a gift many of us take for granted.

No one knows how many times we will take a breath in our lives, but one thing we know for certain, one day we will take a final breath and leave this world. Forever.

In saying that, the gift of life is something we need to cherish, every moment, every single day. No matter how bad we think our day is going to be. We are alive and kicking.

Even though we may moan and groan through our normal morning rituals, we are living and breathing. The other option has absolutely no appeal to me whatsoever. None. Zip. Nada.

But what about the times when things are tough and we feel as if we are carrying the entire world on our shoulders. Do we buckle under the weight or do we find the strength to forge forward?

Personally, I keep pushing forward, no matter how tough it gets. It’s not easy. Every single day is a hard fought struggle. And the struggle is real. It’s not something that I have made up. There are so many people out there who know and understand the struggle. The struggle to keep the black dog at bay.

When we think the dog is safely back in his kennel, we turn around and realise the bastard is nipping at our heels. Snapping away and trying to drag us back into the darkness that can shroud our every waking moment.

The black dog closes in with every step we take. But with the support of our family and friends, we can ensure he stays in his kennel.

Never be afraid to speak up. Others around us may not see how we are truly feeling. And that is the time we are the most vulnerable to the jaws of the black dog.

Life is a journey, not a destination

From the time we expel our first ear shattering cry a few moments after we are born, until the day we take our last breath, our life is one long and very complicated journey. There is no doubt about it, our destination is already set in stone, as we will all end up in a pine box, six feet beneath the surface of the earth.

Our journey through life will have many twists and turns, as well as a few detours. It will take us to such dizzying heights that are so breathtaking we can only look down and wonder how we will plant our feet back on terra firma.

Then there are the lows in our life travels, the ones that leave us gasping for breath and make us think we are drowning in a world of lies, deceit, hate and misery. We sometimes think we can’t sink any lower, but we are so far from the truth. The lows in our lives go deeper than we can fully understand, or even believe.

In the middle of all of the twists and turns throughout our journey, we come across enough forks in the road to fill an oversized cutlery drawer. These forks offer us the opportunity to take a different path from the one we are traveling. They make us think about what we truly want, need and desire for the next part of life’s journey.

There are no right and wrong directions we take once we hit a fork in life, they are just that. A different direction. A direction that will continue until we are presented with another fork, and another decision to make.

My own journey in life has had twists, turns and a few detours thrown in. It has also included a number of speed humps and some potholes which were deeper than they looked.

The speed humps have certainly rattled my body and given me a decent shakeup. In reality they should have slowed me down and made me proceed with extreme caution. But alas, they jarred my back and sent pain throughout my body. But the slowing down part hasn’t lasted forever.

The most important lesson I learnt from the speed humps was to ensure my suspension should be always be up to scratch. And not let something as small as a hump in my travels stop me from doing what I want in life. Because if i did stop, it would be downhill for the rest of my life’s journey.

As for the potholes I have fallen into, they have done more than buckle a wheel or two, they have sent me into dark places where very little light shone through. And when light managed to circumnavigate the depths of the pothole, it was of very little use.

And with every pothole I hit, I realised how much more time and effort it required to crawl out from. Each one sapping more energy, and seemingly bigger and deeper than the one before.

In the end, it would have been easier to accept the dark depths of the pothole as the last part of the journey and all allow it to be the only presence in my life.

But then, that’s not how I operate and my internal programming is not set to self destruct. I haven’t given up yet and I can’t see that happening during my journey. Each twist, turn, detour, speed hump or pothole gives me another reason to plough through and continue, onwards and upwards.

Is honesty the best policy?

From a very young age, I have always been told to be honest and tell the truth. Honesty is the best policy I was told. Time and time again. And it has been something that has been ingrained into my mind.

So as I have grown older and supposedly wiser, I sometimes have doubts about the entire truth is the best policy motto. I’m not saying we should always lie, but at times a small white lie may be the best way to ensure everyone is happy and no major wars begin.

So when people ask how I’m.feeling, it’s easier to smile and say that everything’s just fine. Sometimes going into detail would only bring the mood down, and if there is no real benefit in others feeling bad about things that can’t be easily changed. Why tell the truth


And there are so many thing in life that can’t be changed, so we just put up with them. Don’t we?

So after a while we begin to lie to ourselves, until we believe the very same white lies we tell the ones around us. And in the end, the lies becomes part of our very being. Melding into our lives and eventually, we are unable to distinguish the truth among the lies.

Even after all is said and done, deep down I know that honesty still is the best policy. But it may come at a price.

Darkness

When the sun finally sets in the horizon, we are eventually shrouded in darkness, but there are times in our lives we can also be in the dark when the sun shines and it’s the middle of the day. There is no need for the moon to be out for us to feel as if we are in the dark, or in a dark place.

There will always be a time when we feel as if the walls around us are closing in and the light that’s shining bright is quickly fading, turning into darkness. It is in this situation, we feel as if there is nothing we can do, or no one we can turn to. But thats so very untrue.

There is always a friend close at hand who will drop what they have and stop by for a chat. Even a quick call to a mate is better than sitting in a room as the walls close in and darkness fills every crevice of your mind.

Even though we think we are in full control of our minds most of the time, we all do have a momentary lapse of reason. This may be for an hour, a day, or even a week. But this doesn’t mean we will never be back in control of how we feel and how we see ourselves.

Whilst we are in that dark space, our outlook on life is somewhat skewed and things tend to seem worse than they really are. But once we rise up and see the day of light, our perception changes in an instant.

The hardest part of falling into the darkness is not knowing how long the dark shroud will cloak us, and our minds. Time and friendship is what will help us see the light, and both are freely available to all of us, we just need to look around to see we are truly wanted and loved.

Never give up hope when darkness clouds you.

Brave Face

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There is the face we show the world. And another we keep hidden and only see when we look in the mirror to see it staring back at us.

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We tend not to show the world and the people around us how we feel. On the outside we are bright and bubbly, always quick with a joke and ready for a laugh.  But beneath the facade of happiness lies a another part of us we keep hidden.  A part of our lives we dread to show the world.

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We keep our inner selves so well hidden at times, that even we truly have no idea of what lies beneath.  We are so afraid to let our feelings show, we keep pushing them into the furthest crevices of  our minds until we think they can never rise back and bother us.

But in time they will rise to the surface, and it will happen when we least want them back.  But they are there. Waiting for the right moment to make a reappearance into our lives and bring us crashing back down to terra firma.

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Keeping our emotions buried deep will only make it harder to accept the real facts when they eventually surface. We need to drag them out form the darkness before they really do ruin our lives completely.

We can’t continue to dodge a bullet. And that’s exactly what our inner feelings are. A bullet with our name on it. So before the bullet is shot, we need to release it from the gun barrel and let it drop, before it takes us down.

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As much as we think we can beat our inner demons alone, there is a much better chance of succeeding if we share the burden.  And that in itself is the harder layer, acknowledging we have a real problem.

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Don’t do it alone, a problem shared is a problem halved.

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