We must remember to not get so caught up in making a life, dealing with life or just floating through life that we actually forget to live life. Stop chasing happiness, stop chasing that pot of gold and stop chasing those better tomorrows. Those better tomorrows are right now, because right now is all we have.
I remember sitting on the cold steel disk with my back up against the cylinder at its center, holding on to the posts and watching as the trees, buildings and people, all began to blur together. Faster and faster I would spin in circles. At first keeping my eyes wide open, watching everything blend together, then after a moment, I would close them and imagine that I was spinning through time and when I stopped, I would have been magically transported to another world. As I felt the disk start to slow I would gather all my strength to greet my new beginning and every time would be sadden to realize I was still in the same place, the local playground on the merry-go-round, surrounded by shrieking and laughing kids. No new world, no magical forests with unicorns and fairies, just my existing life. Always convincing myself that maybe I hadn't believed enough or wasn't spinning fast enough - that next time it would work. I think I was eight years old.
As I grow older I find myself thinking back to those merry-go-rounds, realizing that in a way, they really are a symbol of life and time. So fast do the days blur together, weeks seem to disappear in a heartbeat and before we know what happened, years have come and gone.
Yet, we continue to spin on to some future time when things will be better, we will be happier; we will be ready to live.
Sometimes, like on the merry-go-round, life appears to be spinning out of our control, so we hang on as tight as we can, fear of letting go and crashing down weighting us to one spot. We close our eyes against the blur of time rushing past and hope against hope when we open them again everything will have changed for the better. Or we sit there with our backs up against the center, as the world spins around us, uncertainty filling our souls. Do we risk letting go? Do we risk the uncertainty of where we will land if we take the chance of throwing up our arms and leaping? Safe landings are never guaranteed - what happens if we take the chance and get hurt? Will we get back up and if we do, will we have the courage to try again?
I also think back to the times when I was on the merry-go-round and the trust I had to place in the person that was controlling the speed. Knowing that it was completely out of my control and always thinking that I needed to speak up for myself, needed to tell them I wasn't ok with what they were doing, that I was frightened and scared of getting hurt. I remember feeling trapped between the posts, my back up against the center and feeling that whatever happened next was not something I could do anything about. I just had to hold on and hope for the best. Reminds me of a good portion of my life. Where the needs of others always came first and I was left with my back against the wall wondering when it would be my turn to control my life.
I remember once spinning so fast that I thought for sure it was going to fly off its post - the world became a single blurred image and I became scared. I felt my hands suddenly let go of the posts and the next thing I remember is lying on the ground wondering what had happened. I was stunned, I was terrified and I couldn’t take a breath. I remember thinking that I would never be able to get back up on my feet. Reminds me of those times in life when the world seemed to crashing all around me. When it had knocked me to my knees and took the breath out of me. Times when it took every ounce of courage I had to get back up again. How easy it would have been to just sit there and play it safe. Just like those moments in your life when something broke your spirit, your heart and shattered your soul. We must always find the courage to pick ourselves up, catch our breath and begin again. Life is too precious to waste and giving up should never been an option.
Life is always going to spin. At times it may start to feel like that merry-go-round at the playground, faster and faster and out of your control. There will be blurred times, dark times, light filled times and stretches of crazy out-of-control times. And while we can't control the passage of time, we can control how we spend it. In fact it is something we must do. We must consciously be aware of the moments we have, the fears that hold us back and that sometimes we just have to let go and allow ourselves the freedom to fly.
We must remember to not get so caught up in making a life, dealing with life or just floating through life that we actually forget to live life. Stop chasing happiness, stop chasing that pot of gold and stop chasing those better tomorrows. Those better tomorrows are right now, because right now is all we have. Cherish it.
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