There are times in our lives when things just seem ugly. Where we just can’t seem to find something positive to help us along. We create a kind of drudgery that’s hard to get rid of. A kind of sadness that has no real origen.
Often when we quit, this seems to happen. We lose our happiness and we’re just not sure where it went. This happened to me once, actually before my quit. I just couldn’t get out of this crazy funk. Like it was a living thing harassing me. As always, I’d try to fight it off. I never believed that depression can be a part of my life, but for some unknown reason, at this time it really was.
I chose to go for a hike in order to change my thought patterns. I remember it was Torreys peak, A fourteen thousand foot mountain that wasn’t real far from my house. I’d already climbed Greys peak, a twin mountain that had just enough of a dip between the two mountains that it was classified as a different mountain.
I got all of my gear ready, (which was a lot since I hiked alone) and headed to the mountain, still unable to shake my sad feelings. I got to the trailhead and started up. I remember a group of hikers passing me and laughing because of all the gear I was carrying. I smiled beck and continued up the mountain.
About the time that I broke treeline, a large thunderstorm came rolling in. I picked a spot between two rocks and pulled out my rain gear, deciding that I’d wait out the storm since I was so close to the top. Of course as I sat there, I couldn’t shake that depressing feeling.
As I watched, the lightning started hitting the peak of the mountain and I could just make out a few people who were on the top. After another huge crash of lightning, I watched them jump into a slight ravine filled with snow. They slid down almost to where I was and to safety. I remember as they passed that I asked, “Were the rocks buzzing up there?”
They replied that they were, eyes wide as could be. They headed down the mountain. Many other hikers came by and eventually, when it looked safe, I continued my climb. I remember there was a stand of trees all by themselves and dwarfed by the altitude. I walked up to them curiously and then I peered into the center of them. There I found a large group of Columbine flowers, nestled in a place where they never should have been. Right then, the sun popped out, making them glow brightly.
This put a smile on my face. Suddenly, my depression was gone! My mind had chosen to focus on the amazing beauty that was before me and this dissolved my mood! To make a long story short, (a little late for that, I know) I finished that hike and you know what? I finished it with a spring in my step. I felt light as air as I reached the summit. And I was completely alone on that mountain. For the first time ever since I’d begun climbing these mountains, there was no wind on the summit and everything was clear as a bell! I stayed up there and watched the most beautiful sunset that I’d ever seen. And to think I’d started this journey carrying the baggage of depression!
I learned much from this journey. I learned that since I was prepared, I was able to find wonderful things that never would have been found had I not chosen to walk this path on this particular day. I learned that something as small as a single group of flowers could completely change my day, and I learned that so long as I believed in myself, I could make it to the summit.
So many things in life are just like that. Depression can become a thing of wonder if we can find the right stimulus. Our goals can actually be accomplished if we prepare and use what we learned in the past to achieve a new goal.
But most importantly, I learned that the smallest thing can change our current perception of things and also change the entire day.
When we choose to quit smoking, we choose to go on a journey that can change things forever. We decide that above all odds, we can achieve the goal of life and freedom. And as we travel along, at times we find that flower shimmering in the sun to bring that completely unexpected smile to our faces.
All I can say is never be afraid to better yourself. Never be afraid to try something different, even if it might be hard at first. Take that magical journey to freedom. You won’t regret it. In fact in the end you’ll find that life is as beautiful as a group of flowers high on the slopes of Mt. Torreys, shimmering in the sun where they really shouldn’t be!
Go for it! Your life of freedom awaits you. All you have to do is take that first step!
ONWARD TO FREEDOM!!!