Posted by Ronan Scully in Features.

The following are some of the thoughts that came to me while reflecting in the darkness of a metal 10×20ft container recently, where I had 24 hours to think about life and some of the lessons that it has taught me so far.

Inside the Container of My Head

Life can be so unfair and heartbreaking at times. The reasons behind my presence in a dark container, as part of the Infinity Project by Giddy Biddy Collective and Galway 2020, and what we were trying to highlight—the migrant crisis—made me realise that.

But life can be good too. I have a loving and caring family and also some great and genuine friends who are helping me on my life’s journey. I wish you who are reading this, a good family and friends too, because they really are a life blessing. Friends all the same do come and go, but the real ones stay around or are part of your life when you really need them. Nurture the good ones. Being kind, caring and loving really matters in life. Buy them a drink or a meal now and then and tell them how you really feel and their honesty will help you be you.

When in doubt or afraid, just take one day at a time and try to live and for the present moment, one step at a time. Life can be very short. Love and care as much as you can, for the time allotted to you is never known.

It’s OK to be different and to have different views and beliefs once you respect others. Not everyone will agree with you but the people who care about you will still care about you even if they don’t agree with what you say or do. Sometimes tomorrow never comes. Don’t become settled, always try to strive for better. You are always good enough if you put your mind to it and believe in yourself and your goodness. It’s okay not to feel okay but it is always okay to ask for help or support (Jigsaw, Pieta House, Console, Samaritans, Cancer Care West, Croí, Galway Hospice, St Vincent de Paul, Alcoholics Anonymous and many more).

Don’t be afraid to cry or shed a tear or to let a loved one, especially your spouse and children, see you cry. It can make a difference to them and can bring healing to you and your loved ones. You can be right and you can be wrong. Not everyone will agree with you even if you are right or wrong. Keep a diary of all the good memories. Print off your photos from your phone, digital camera and computer, don’t lose them! Tell the truth, it really does set you free. I know, I have experienced it.

Don’t be a walkover or too easy going. Be as strong as you can be in everything you do or want to do. Richard Donovan, Terry Fox, Pope Francis, Donal Walsh and Maria Walsh!. You don’t have to win every argument or discussion or football or hurling match. It’s okay to give off to God, whoever you believe God to be. Thank God for your blessings and ask for strength for the journey. Say thank you often. Don’t go to bed or let the sun go down on your anger. Don’t be jealous of others, always try to be thankful for the blessings you have in your life and cherish them for you have no idea what it’s like to walk in another’s shoes. Whatever you do, don’t take part in secret relationships, they will destroy your soul forever.

Go after your dreams at all times when you can, especially if it involves genuine love and care. Try to do and be what you love.

Be aware and work on your problems. If you have them and always look for a good and speedy resolution for them. Always keep trying and moving forward. Always consider the power of your words carefully as they can hurt for real. Always pray for others intentions and if you’re like me, always light a candle for someone.

Live for today and the present moment as it is special and real, for tomorrow might never come. Make every one of your days here on earth count for the good of yourself and for others. Choose life and love for something can be lost and gained in living life every day. Go to your doctor for checkups and look after your health, no one else will. Help your friends and your work colleagues always or as much as you can for they are central to your life.

Don’t worry about what people think of you. Love you and then you will be able to love others. If you want something, ask for it because if you don’t, the answer will always be no. Don’t judge others or compare yourself to others, work hard at been you. Reflect on your life.

Wake up, get up, clean up and show up in everything in life and make the most of it as much as you can. Never give up or give in and always give it, especially in life, your best shot.

Don’t put pressure on yourself. It’s okay to say no. Dwell, pray, breathe and listen to music. Enjoy nature and the fresh air as much as you can. Walk or run or do both. Be active physically and mentally if you can.

As the Christy Moore song goes, or what myself and my brother did recently, climb a mountain or jump in a lake. Support West Brom, Man Utd or Offaly—they won’t give you a heart attack with the way they play at the moment although it’s important to always have hope in life! Seamus Darby, Michael Duignan, Cyril Regis and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer!

Life can surprise you. Meditate and keep the Serenity prayer always close by so that you can have the courage and the wisdom to be the person you want and can be. Always, as much as possible, express your thanks and gratitude to people who have helped you along life’s way. To forgive or not to forgive is one of our life choices. I think from my experience in life it is always more freeing to forgive.

Don’t give part time people in your life a full time position in your head. Don’t spend time hating or been envious. Try to always look on the good and bright side of life. Take chances in a good sense. Always remember that no matter what you do in life that there is no greater thing that you can do than to love someone or care for someone or be there for someone. Be that someone, for that is what life is really all about at the end of the day! Real genuine love is and will always be the answer to this life.

Thought for the Week

As your thought for the week, look at your life’s experiences and see what you are doing about them and go after your dreams, for happy are those that dream dreams but even happier are those who try to achieve them. Go achieve them. Life is short!