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Life …  We are born. We are given this life whether we want it or not; a life for which we did not ask. Is it going to be an easy life? Is it going to be a hard life? Is it going to be a short life? Is it going to be a long life?  Is it a life to live . . . or could it possibly be a life-long prison sentence?  Is life really what you make of it . . . or it based upon other’s determination?

Life pulls you in lots of directions.  Pulling you nowhere. Pulling you back. Pulling you down. Pulling you places you might not want to go. Pulling you into temptation. Pulling you into debt. Pulling you into your past, and then jolting you back into the present.

Life does not pull you up. Life does not pull you forward; except in the aging process. You are told throughout your life that you must pull yourself up. . . Life does not do that for you. You must do that for yourself. That is within you. It’s not something that life provides. Once you pull yourself up, you can move forward. Life is reality. The reality of life is a struggle. Those who tell you life is easy, don’t really understand life at all. Those who say, ‘’life’s easy’’ would have to be oblivious to the heartache and sorrow you will experience at times throughout your life. They are out of touch with reality. We’d all love to have an easy life . . . but as I previously stated, ‘’Life is reality’’. . . It just doesn’t work that way.  The sorrow, the hardship, the heartache, the time to cry . . . is what provides the balance that everyone must have.   . . . To look through the honest eyes of sorrow and pain is what makes us appreciate the happiness and joys of life that much more.  It gives us the true perspective of how to really know what a good life can be. It gives us the humbleness it  takes to appreciate the good things. . .  and even the simplest things that life has to offer.

Sometimes, it is the simple things that can make our lives better. Simple things that we alone can control.  +Pet your dog. . . .  if you don’t have a dog, adopt one. Instantaneous love and affection that enriches two lives. You actually can create and provide a wonderful life for a pet.  +Call Grandma.  +Put on some music.  +Dance  +Eat at the dinner table with your family or friends.  +Take yourself to the movies.  +Play a board game. +Make popcorn the old-fashioned way.  +The next sunny day . . . maybe on your lunch break, lie on your back in a soft patch of grass and stare into the clouds. . . Look at the shapes. What do you see?  +Pick some wildflowers. Give them to someone special. +Stop and feel the warm sunshine on your face. +Go on a picnic.  +Look up at the stars and the Moon on a clear Fall night.  +Play hooky from work for a day. Do whatever makes you happy that day. (Whether you call it a personal day or a mental health day, we all need them.)  +Be courteous in traffic . . let a few cars merge in front of you with a friendly wave.  +Take a friend to lunch.  +Choose kindness. +Compliment a stranger.  +Feed a homeless person. +Play music or read stories at an ‘Old Folks’ Home.  +Give blood.  +Hold the door for a lady . . . Chivalry does not have to die. It might surprise you how much better you will feel about yourself, your life and a possible discovery into some of the true meaning of life and how giving of yourself will actually enrich it.

No matter how long we live, life is always too short. We never seem to make time for the really important things. Maybe if you keep your eye on the simple things in life that make you happy, that make you strong . . . that give you inspiration and passion to do something really good with your life. . . you might make a positive difference in someone else’s life. . . . and just maybe the more difficult things in life might just pass a little bit easier.

The only end to any life, good or bad, is death . . . but don’t despair.  Death is a peaceful place. Life’s constant tug of war with you is now over. If you manage to live a long, happy, prosperous life through all this pulling and tugging, you won the struggle. If you are continuing on with the struggle, as am I, don’t give up. Don’t cash in early. If you give in to life’s tug of war, then your struggle is over, your life is over . . .  and long before you’re ready. We each have our own lives to live. I guess how we live our own lives is really up to us. Everyone has to deal with their own life, no matter how others influence it.

. . . but for some of us . . . There is one influence  that is unavoidable, drastically changes a life, and can be an innocent man’s life sentence. I’m sure that many of you reading this might have this same ugly mutual acquaintance . . . It goes by the name of ‘Depression’. Depression is like an unwanted guest that arrives at the most inopportune times, overstays it’s welcome and lasts for a lifetime like a good set of old luggage . . exception being; Depression is worthless. Depression taunts you with unmitigated sadness and despair.  Depression is humbling. Depression is crippling. Depression is invisible to those around us. It’s the hardest part of life that I have to deal with. This is just another day for me; dealing with life. Some days, the prison walls are apparent. Those are the times that I feel as though life is a prison sentence. I feel as though I am just putting another hash mark on the wall to count another day gone by. I’m looking out at the sunshine through the bars on the windows. Prison bars that only I can see . . . but they are real. All too real. The Prison Walls of Depression keep me inside, They are Maximum Insecurity.  I can’t seem to venture out and even participate in life, much less, enjoy it. It’s just another day that I did not live my life. Life is short enough without missing days; wrongly imprisoned for just trying to live it.

My advice?  Live your life to the fullest . . . and as it makes you, and others around you,  HAPPY.  Dance, Sing, Paint. Laugh. Breathe.  Focus on the maybe not so little things that we talked about.    . . . I think I’m going to pick up my guitar, sing a little bit, pull myself up and win this tug of war today.  Okay,  my Friends . . . That’s it for me. I can’t keep writin’ this stuff and play my guitar too. Until next month . . .  Keep the rubber side down and stay groovy. Peace. -the Random Prophet.

My brother. Depression got him. One year ago.

Don’t let it happen to you or someone that you love.

Shawn William Kilpatrick- Age 44

Born: Saturday, February 19, 1972   Died: Friday, October 14, 2016

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call 1-800-273-8255 Available 24 Hours Everyday | Thoughts?

– HashtagWV #94. October 2017

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HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks.