Up and up, keep climbing. Will this mountain ever end? Every time I think I’m about to summit, around the bend there is another seemingly endless incline. Weighted down by my backpack, gravity has slowed me down to a snail’s pace. Chest pumping, legs burning, I fight for each step as I gasp for air. I pause and drop my pack to catch my breath. As I gather my thoughts, I take a drink of water and longingly take in the view. But there is no stopping now, no turning back, for the trail behind me is gone, eroding away with each step that I take. But ahead, there is light. I cinch up the straps on my pack that contains everything I own and drive forward with anxiety and anticipation to a destination over the top of Mount Unknown. Beep, beep, beep…5 am already? I need coffee…

Every trail has a start and a finish. Sometimes it’s out and back, maybe it’s a loop, but in life, it’s a thru-hike. Long or short distance is your choice, or sometimes it’s not. As we start life’s trail, we are filled with thoughts and beliefs, some of which are learned, and some come to us by chance. And as we continue to walk the trail of life, we grow, we develop, and, through our experiences along the way, we forge our own thoughts, visions, and beliefs which become our reality.

I am at the place in my life where summiting Mount Unknown is becoming a clearer vision for me. While I have an idea of what that decent to the valley of life will look like, the journey continues to shift and evolve. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 50 years on this beautiful planet, it is that there is one thing you can count on; change. Yet embracing life changes have been extremely difficult, and frankly downright scary for me.

For most of my life, I hid my emotions and fears from family and friends, giving the world an outward appearance of a strong and successful man. It’s what society has conditioned us, men, to be. I have always put my family and my job first, and never allowed myself the time to explore all of those things that I dared to dream about. Panic attacks, relentless stress, and fear hardened me over time to the point where nothing impressed me, and the beauty of all things in life and love seemed to fade to a world of gray.

I’ve always struggled to put time aside for me, to get to know myself. Maybe I was scared to find out who I am and why I am here. I often wonder what would my life be like if I would have lived for me and not allow fear to control so much of my life.

The universe has divine ways of showing you signs to the path of enlightenment, but often we don’t recognize those signs, especially if you are conditioned, hardened, and not open to receiving them. When I think about it now, there had been signs for me all along life’s path, and even very early on in my life, to change my course before I ended up on the floor in the fetal position, again. I could elaborate, but wait, this is a blog, not a book.

I’ve seen the sign again, and it’s time. Time to receive it, time to act upon it, time to awaken. I will not let my fear control me any longer. I will live in a world of color, I will live to love and honor myself, unconditionally, again. The calling is powerful, and a new beginning is near. For the mountains are calling me and the feeling is so powerful, so strong…I have to go. YES, I’m crying! Be_again…the adventure awaits.

Morgan Monre -6-24-18

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