In times of deep reflection...
Richard E. Lewis Jr.

It is in times of deep reflection when I sit and contemplate all the things I could have done in my life and did not because I was afraid. Afraid to take a risk. Afraid of what people might think. Afraid of what might happen should I fail.

I know now that these fears are unfounded. To achieve anything in life and get the most from the experience, one must take risks, chances, roll the dice, play the cards. You may win or lose. You may lose big, you may win big. You never know. The important part of taking these risks is what you learn from the experience. Win or lose, you learn. And what you do with this new found knowledge is what is important. This learning experience is part of life. It makes you grow. It nourishes your soul. Your failures and accomplishments, the pain and joy are what make you the person you are today. You have full control over your life in all respects. You are the one making the decisions. Even when things seem as they could get no worse or no better, something else comes along to change all that.

I lived for many years never taking risks. Aside from the everyday risks like driving down the freeway or crossing the street, I remained in a self created shell of supposed security. But this shell was doomed to fail eventually. I however ignored that this was a possibility. I tossed the thought aside as one would an old rag. But it continued to come back. It haunted me for many years. Then one day I noticed the first crack in my security shell. It was very small at first and I tried to patch it up with little regard for the strength of the opposing force from outside. I continued to noticed small cracks appearing all over my little self made security.

Then one day it shattered. In one large crash, my shell came down in pieces. New sights I never before saw, came streaming into my life as a tsunami over my heart and soul. I knew now I must take my first big chance. I had reached a point in life where I could no longer deny myself the opportunities which thrust themselves before me.

But the cost was enormous. To myself as well as those I loved. I became scared and tried to rebuild my little shell, but it was to no avail. The shell no longer retained it's strength. Pieces of my life continued to fall and reform all around me.

My life was now on a new course and I felt lost, but only for a moment. For when I realized, when my eyes were opened, I saw the possibilities which lay before me.

I reached out to them and they reached back. I felt new sensations, like none I have never before felt. I felt a new kind of love. A love for self and for others.

I knew now my purpose in life. For the first time I was shown my true destiny. My mind was opened wider than it ever had been. My vision was cleared and I looked back to witness the haze which lay behind me. The haze was where my shell was. It was there I viewed life from clouded visions of reality.

No longer would I see things from that perspective. No longer will I try and build a shell around myself.

I am free to follow my heart to new frontiers. To live life and experience all I can and to share my lessons with others. To show them how to free themselves from their shells. To wipe away to clouded vision with revelations from within themselves.

I am to teach others how to love themselves. Because that is where we all must start. Each and everyone of us must learn to love themselves before our eyes are opened. We must accept our selves for the souls we are. We must introspect at every turn of the card.

Look into your soul, your heart. Look into the mirror and see the real you. Do not let others dictate how you feel. Do not allow them to rule your words. For your words are how you think. If your words are guided, controlled. If the way you speak is controlled by others, they also have a hold over your thoughts, your mind.

Follow your heart. Take a risk. Roll the dice and accept the outcome. Once you are able to do this, you have complete control over your own life.

It is then you will grow in knowledge and wisdom, but also in spirit. For spiritual growth is what is most important in life. To achieve a peace within yourself, and to become one with your inner spirit.

Let yourself be you. Love yourself and then you will allow yourself to grow. then enjoy life to it's fullest, each and everyday.

Take time to enjoy the little things. Like a flower in bloom, a sunny warm day, a rainbow, a child's laughter, an old mans smile. These things can bring joy and happiness to you if you allow it to happen. Only you can control your life. Remember that.

And above all else. Remember that love is paramount and universal. It knows no boundaries. It has no conditions. Love asks for nothing in return, it only gives and forgives. Love is all encompassing. It is in everything. It is the ultimate energy, the purest force in all reality and beyond.

Embrace love, and you capture the universe within your soul.

Richard E. Lewis Jr.

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