Archive for September, 2009


Monday, September 28th, 2009

Shortly after I walked in my friend’s house on Friday night I was able to catch the end of Grey’s Anatomy. Near the end I listened to one of the voices that gives the quotes throughout the episode. Although I’m not sure which actor said it, it stuck with me. The “it” I’m referring to is a quote that went something along the lines of, “Death is not the only thing that brings pain and suffering. Life and change does that too. The thing that keeps us going is that it can all turn on a dime.”

It took a few minutes for all of the words to register, but when they did I gave it some thought. There are a multitude of things that bring pain and suffering and these things affect all of us differently. Some people have the ability to confront them and realize that time will heal the pain. However, some others dwell on the unfortunate incident and let it rule their lives. Instead of seeing the light at the end of the tunnel they let the darkness consume them. When the darkness fills the room there is no escaping from it. Very often a small attitude adjustment might be all that is needed. I usually compare this type of thing to the rain. Although we can sometimes get rain for days on end it will eventually subside. In the process we might have to evacuate our residence or go to higher land for a few days……..but it will stop. The same holds true to the pain that we carry with us.

I’ve seen many people that let their past rule their present. They refuse to move forward because of something that happened to them in the past. They let a former lover or incident have total control over them.  We must always remember that every adventure is different. No two people are the same and we must recognize this to find happiness.

The pain we carry with us can sometimes be paralyzing, but it will never go away if we don’t find peace with the incident that caused it. Every person finds peace in their own way and nobody can tell you how to do it. This is something that comes from within. This is what builds our personality and character. In order to find peace it is essential to forgive. Forgiveness is one of the most powerful tools in the world. Far too many people carry anger and hatred with them because it was never acknowledged, addressed and taken care of in a proper way. This can sometimes lead to the downfall of a relationship. When the anger isn’t addressed it can come out in the worst way at a very bad time. I’ve seen it happen throughout the course of my life with a few people that were close to me.

For a long time I saw nothing but a dark hallway in front of me. Inside I knew that I would come out the other side, but I also knew that I had to take time to heal before I would find whatever it was that might make everything turn on a dime.

The last few days I’ve learned that my life turned around when I began the project of writing this book. My whole life took a different direction then and I became more at one with myself. It allowed me to go back to a place I hadn’t been in a long time. It also allowed me to find many peaceful times where my mind was completely rested. As I climbed the steps of the book building project I became stronger. Somehow I created a new meaning in my life.  Although it sounds simple it was somewhat complicated.

A few days from now will be the first of October. Fall is here which is my favorite time of year. I expect that this fall will be one of the greatest ones that I’ve ever experienced, solely because of where my mind is right now. I won’t have to trudge across mountains with a backpack full of heartache or confusion. Instead, I’ll just go slowly and take the scenery in. If I feel like stopping to get a better view that will be ok.

Life and the changes in my life have kept me going. These changes have brought me to a wonderful place which I’m happy to be in. Wherever life brings us we have to remember that we are like the water in a river. We all start in the same place and we all have to float along and let the river take us where it wants to. The river will take all of us to different places. No matter where it brings us we have to find peace with that and know that the things we do and the way we act are the only things that can improve our position.

If a person falls from a raft in whitewater he is told to keep his feet in front of himself and go with the water. He shouldn’t fight it and waste useful energy. Life is very much the same. As you move forward remember what to do if you’re thrown from the raft. At that point you are the only who can help yourself.

Like What You Do and Do What You Like

Saturday, September 19th, 2009

It has been a hectic week. I’ve had strange phone calls, chance meetings, disturbing arguments and a variety of other things that jumped at me out of nowhere. However, everything that happened had a recurring theme. Our choices, no matter whether they’re good or bad, determine the progression of our lives.

A few nights ago I spoke with a friend who I had lost touch with, but recently found again. This person seems too afraid of making a choice that could lead to a better life because she fears failure. Instead of taking a chance and enjoying herself, she hides behind a mask and believes that all of the demons will just pick up and move on. I tried explaining to her that we have to find peace in our past before the bad parts can subside and find a permanent hiding place. We can’t avoid good things because we’re afraid of something that happened in the past will happen again. If we take the proper precautions and slowly put one foot in front of the other, things will work out as they’re supposed to. Nobody has a crystal ball, but we can control the way we treat people, which in turn will help us. We can’t control what they do in return, but we must be smart enough to notice a problem quickly and avoid any pitfalls that might present larger problems over time.

I walked on hot coals for a long time. I was never sure what to say or how to act. It became almost robotic. I constantly thought about how I should respond to certain questions or how I should act in different situations. I felt as if I couldn’t do anything right.  Now, instead of being afraid I’ve learned that I have to just be myself and hope that’s enough. If what we have to offer another person isn’t enough, then we must learn that it’s ok. We come across many people in our lives that play a variety of roles. Each and every person that we are in contact with helps us to grow. If we refuse to grow, then we lose a small part of what we have inside. Once the rut starts it becomes extremely hard to break away from. One day leads to the next and before you know it years have passed.

As the conversation came to a close I encouraged my friend to stop living in the past. She has so much negativity encompassing her daily thoughts that it almost paralyzes any hope that might accidentally show up in her life. I feel bad for her, but I know it’s a battle that she must face on her own. I’m far from perfect and I have many of my own issues to deal with, so I can’t give anything other than my support and encouragement just as I would want in return.

I experienced and emotional punch in the gut last night. This time it was with a family member. I’m sure that you can all relate when someone in your family needs you and you feel like you can’t do a thing. You want to reach out and pull them in, but they put up an emotional barricade that is almost impassable. I did my best to listen and give advice without being judgmental. This person knows he isn’t making good decisions and it’s affecting his life in all areas. He feels as if he’s losing his mind, but he’s holding on with all his might. I’ve been there. I can relate to the pain and adversity that he’s fighting on a daily basis. I couldn’t offer anything other than the fact that I’m living proof, that if you keep your nose to the ground, you can and will come out the other side. I tried explaining that it’s ok to make bad choices. However, last night he could make a good choice and change everything around. It only takes one good choice to start a streak. Once the streak starts it can go a long way before an indecisive moment might lead to, at that time, a bad choice for once.

No matter how many negatives I come across I always try to find a bit of good somewhere. After all, we only need a few apples to make an apple pie or two dogs to make a happy family of 8. We have to accept the bad things that we bump into. We can’t get consumed by them by accepting them. Rather, we move forward on our journey through life and hit the flies with the fly-swatter and slap the mosquitos off from our face as they drill for blood. We all go down different paths, but when we decide where we’re going to go it is ultimately our own choice that leads us to where we’ll end up.

The sun always comes out after the rain. It might rain for days on end, but the sun will return. That’s the beauty of life.  Our enjoyment always follows our pain and our pain disappears through our pleasure. Decide what you like and pursue that because in the end that will be all that matters. That’s the best choice you’ll ever make. Like what you do and do what you like.

Fall is Coming

Monday, September 7th, 2009

It’s that time of year where we’re losing daylight every day. I’ve felt the chill in the air the last few weeks and know that fall is coming. As I try to take a step back and take it all in, I do it with mixed emotions. Fall has been the season when many of my most cherished memories were created. I’ve witnessed things in the wild that are simply unexplainable to most. I’ve laid on my cot in our tent, miles from nowhere and listened to the coyotes howl all night. As I’ve trudged through the woods in the dark to reach my destination I’ve listened to the loons in the background, reminding me that daylight was fast approaching.

I’ve watched deer cautiously pick their way through the timber in search of food and safety. I’ve sat and listened to the deafening silence only to have it broken by a distant gunshot. I’ve witnessed more than one person can possibly fathom, but I continue to go back every year in search of something that is only attainable to me.

When I’m in the woods I’m totally alone. Thoughts of today, yesterday and many years ago dash through my mind. I don’t get in the way as the thoughts run rampant. I don’t try to interfere when disturbing things creep in. Instead, I acknowledge all thoughts and let them go as they came.

Fall was also the time of year when the world around me came crumbling down. The exact day was November 15. Unfortunately it will be a day that will stick with me for the rest of my life. We all have lucky days and up until 2006 the day November 13 always greeted me with a feeling of suspense. I knew that the 13th had always treated me well. Many memories had been created on that day that I will cherish for as long as I live. I’ll never forget the long battle I won with a deer that I had pursued for two solid years. I was going on fumes, but I pushed forward. I wanted to go the extra mile that so many others wouldn’t. I wanted to prove that I could achieve a goal that I had set, even if I was the only one that knew about it. When I finally reached the goal it was a miserable fall day. The snow was so thick it made walking all but impossible. The trees were overloaded with the weight of the snow and visibility was cut down to a few feet. I was enclosed by the trees of the forest. I was in my own world, if only for a few hours.

Three years ago I had the same thing happen. I found myself in a place that I had never imagined. I knew that I would have to set new goals. I would have to journey down a road with hopes of finding myself along the way. I would need to find the parts that I lost touch with. In the immediate aftermath I wasn’t sure what to do. Within a few months I decided that I would start writing again and see where it would take me. I was fortunate enough to write a few pieces for a local publication and the ball began to roll from there. Shortly after that I began writing an outdoor column for a monthly magazine. When everything was going well I decided to take on the daunting task of putting a book together. From the outside it might seem easy to many. I thought the same thing. Many people might not believe it, but the actual writing part was fairly simple. Putting the rest of the pieces of the puzzle together have been a very trying experience. Without the help of my friends and family I would never have been able to accomplish the task.

The last couple weeks have made me look back on that miserable day in 2006 when the skies were gray and I saw no light in the darkest tunnel I had ever traveled through. Every day came and went without a hint of happiness in the near future. I never gave up. I used the gentle guidance from my friends and family to start over with the things that I enjoyed the most. I began writing again because it was therapeutic for me. As one thing led to the next, the pages of my book began to roll out from under my fingers. Without the horrible fall a few years ago I’m pretty sure I would still be stuck in the same rut. Although I was enjoying life and I was perfectly content, something was missing. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I’ve finally begun to figure all of that out.

I was losing touch with myself. I was making concessions all in hopes of pleasing someone else. I was becoming someone who I really wasn’t. I had cut back on doing the things that brought happiness and satisfaction to my life. In all reality I would have done anything that I could have. Looking at it now, I realize that no matter what I did, it never would have been good enough. I gave up a home that I absolutely adored. I had wonderful neighbors with a cozy little place to find comfort every night. I was really happy. I stopped shooting archery for a while because I thought it was the right thing to do. I continued shooting in the yard, but I stopped traveling. I did it because I thought I was doing the right thing.

Now, three years later I’m doing things that I always dreamed about. A few months from now I’ll be able to look back on it and thank my lucky stars for everything that has happened on my journey up to this point. We might not always like what is dealt to us, but we must find a way to accept it, deal with it and find a new and different way on the other side of the new doors that we must walk through. I’ve learned that nobody has a perfect life. We all have our ups and downs that we must deal with. I do this on a daily basis. However, I now try to do the things that will help me toward another goal.

I haven’t written in a long time and I feel like this is a jumbled mess so I’m going to hang it up for the night. If you happen to be up in the early mornings the next few weeks take a deep breath when you step outside and welcome the chill that embraces you. It’s the ending of one thing and the beginning of another. Remember that not all endings are bad. Rather, the end of one thing is the beginning of something else. This fall will be the beginning of yet another step in my miraculous journey through life.  I’m like a goose that flies over every fall.  I know where I”m going on my journey, but each and every step to get there is different from the last.