This photo was taken during a key turning-point in my life. I was battling PTSD, depression and LIFE, itself. Even though I had all the support in the world, I felt alone. Like no one understood me. Can anyone relate? So instead of the healthy way of expressing my emotions, I did exactly what we're all told not to do. I bottled it up and held it inside. One for the unselfish reason, I didn’t want anyone else to have to fight my battle. It was like I rebelled against myself!
I went against all doctors orders and would do the things that would trigger my PTSD. I challenged myself by going camping alone, and doing everything solo, way out of cell service and stayed far away from people. I guess I needed to "find myself?" And if I didn’t come back, well than, I didn’t. Was that somewhat suicidal? In hindsight, maybe. And not too many know this story, not even my own family. (Sorry fam) but atleast I made it, right!?
Sometimes these “quests” would involve me hiking through thunderstorms at night, occasionally running into rattlesnakes, scaling cliffs hundreds of feet away from ground, and even running into a random guy in the middle of nowhere who closely resembled the man who held me hostage at gun point that one day. I was hiking through a desert, what can you expect?
After all that, one quest brought me somewhere. A place that is unmarked with no real direction how to get there. This place was The False Kiva Trail. One of the hidden gems of Utah. I almost died 3 times getting there, not going to sugar-coat it. Legit died. First, I stepped over a rattlesnake without knowing, then jumped over another one as it rattled below me. Second near-death experience was when I slipped down a loose rock on the side of a canyon...hundreds of feet up from the ground and LUCKILY caught a tree inches from my death. My strike three was when I ran out of water 3 hours in. It lead me to beg some random stranger, after I got lost and found a campsite nearby. Thus far , you can say I was really lucky or really dumb. Hmm, prob a bit of both.
Honestly, I just had one mission and this was to find this place to prove something to myself. That was, no matter what emotions were going through my head or what signs were being set in front of me as a warning to proceed, I did. I fought it on my own. And to prove that I was strong enough to overcome any obstacle in front of me. No time for fear, and time to quiet the mind.
So here it is. This sacred cave in the middle of this majestic AF canyon. It was the craziest shit ever. The energy there was absurd. It’s hard to explain, but just imagine being present in a small cave pitched on the side of a cliff, in the middle of nowhere. This cave was used by the Pueblo Indians for Sacred Ceremony’s for years years. So surreal. History before my eyes, energy running thru my body, as if spirits had taken me over.
When it was time to go, I left feeling pretty emotional, yet "reconnected.” As of nature took its course and realigned my path. What I learned (besides bringing more water next time) was that I had control over my future. I'm accountable for that. No one else. And that if I believe I can do something, it's gonna get done. Another humbling lesson, ask for help when in need. If I didn't ask for water, our life source, I would've died. Another lesson...serve others. Like that stranger did and helped me with my mission. What goes around comes around. All life-lessons I and now you, can apply to our daily struggles. You may not be battling rattlesnakes, but sometimes life can make u feel that way. Ultimately, we all can do anything and overcome adversity, if we truly believe.
So I'd like to end this story with a quote from the author of my favorite book, “Who you are is defined by what you’re willing to struggle for.” - Mark Manson.
And this book changed my life. Give it a try. It could change yours as well.
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