I took a walk/jog here at Chestnut Ridge for the first time a few weeks ago. The park is just 13 minutes from my house, but until then was completely unknown to me. Sometimes things are right there waiting for you when you begin to open your eyes and see the beauty of the world. I dream of traveling the world as I follow Instagram travelers to see places I have never been, but hope to go to one day. But I can’t sit around making excuses for what I am not seeing right here around me. This day was a perfect example of the hidden gems that are nestled within my reach.
I can get so caught up in things I can’t do or what I can’t afford right now that it becomes a pattern of self-pity and makes me feel defeated. But when I turn that down a little and see what I do have and what is possible right now, I get excited. I picked up a book of all the metro parks in the area and I looked through. Some parks I have been to thousands of times and I still love them, but there are more to discover, more paths to walk and more trails to explore. So, I decided that I am going to see the world and I am going to begin right here in little, but beautiful Ohio and see what all I can see. I am going to work my way out from the center of my world and see how far I can go. What right have I do be upset about not seeing the other side of the world, when I haven’t seen everything in the place I am so privileged to have been born?
We imprison ourselves with thought patterns at times and feel trapped by circumstance. It’s easy to envy others, feel jealous of what seems like easy freedom and fortune. But once we observe our thoughts and see the pitfalls of that thinking pattern that can bring us down, we can start to avoid those mental traps and quicksand moments that tend to pull us down so quickly. No, I am not a victim and I won’t hang out with that mentality. That sort of thinking is a very tangled web, a labyrinth and a trap. I have to catch myself when I go to that place, turn around and find my way out as quickly as possible. It’s not always easy. I wake up at 5 with a zest for life and end up in the dark dungeon of depression by 2. But I find my way back over and over. I think it gets easier to climb out of that abyss as I learn the way and see the steps, the rope, and the worn down trails I have left from last time. It gets easier.
The map to your inner maze is freely available, the key is in your hand and the walls are ready to come down. So, take a deep breath and begin again. Below is a picture I took that same day. I was so full of gratitude for having found this place and there it was practically in my own backyard all along.