Life is an ever-changing adventure. We are each faced with our own unique set of opportunities and challenges. Sometimes it can be difficult to navigate our journey through the day-to-day turmoil we often face. Competing priorities. Unforeseen events and twists of fate. Moments of adulation. Periods of self-doubt. They can all be potentially found on the life roads on which we travel. Regardless of the paths, all roads do eventually end.
Like a new flower bud we begin life yearning to grow and use the potential with which we were born. These hopes for the future can sometimes become clouded and distant. We can become disconnected from the talents within us. We learn to conform. To temper our dreams. To settle for the mediocrity we see everyday around us.
For some of us, our lives produce the seeds of another generation. Seeds that begin with the same fullness that was in each of us. We have the opportunity to nurture those lives. Encourage creativity and independence in them. Release them from the bondage of conditioned thought, allowing them to ride the winds of human potential.
We can become trapped in our own past and by our fears. Our children can become slaves to our failings as we vicariously live our spent days through them. Pushing our unrealized dreams upon them, and using our children as surrogates for a life ‘do over’. In doing so we steal the future, and their potential, from our children.
We need not fear. Each of us is where we need to be right now. Decisions we made in the past have led us to where we are today. Our tomorrows are being shaped with each choice we made yesterday, today, and those we will make tomorrow. Although we may feel tired and spent at times, we still possess a miraculous power to affect change in our lives. The power to choose.
Life is full of illusions. We may yearn for material success. Chasing more and more things to stuff into a hollowness that we feel inside. But, things are never large enough or plentiful enough to fill the void. All we end up doing is to become a packhorse, carrying our hard-fought, but meaningless possessions, to our graves.
The acceptance and validation we may seek from others are also illusions. Fickle. Fleeting. And, in need of continual replenishment.
There is great solace in being able to sit on a bench alone with oneself. To view one’s follies with a knowing smile. To look back on our silly, ego-based behaviours – and have a hearty laugh or two. To reflect back on all of the opportunities – missed or taken – to learn and grow. And, to promise ourselves that in the days we do have remaining, to keep growing until the end.
Someday, each of us will feel the ebb and flow of our last breaths. If we are lucky we will have the opportunity to ponder our lives before the end here comes…and to ask ourselves one, final question – “Was my life well lived?”
If, at the end…we can say that we found ourselves, and became ourselves, then the answer to the question will be an unequivocal “YES!”.
All images in this article were captured hand-held with Nikon 1 gear as detailed in the EXIF data. All images are presented as 100% captures without any cropping. All photographs were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro 11, CS6, and the Nik Collection.
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