Thoughts for Thursday... Climbing Mountains and Gaining Wisdom

Last week we discussed the curious truth about pain. Pain tells us something. It tells something has happened and something needs to change. Even though we understand pain and even though we know our pain will not last forever, pain is still… painful. Which leads to the bigger question- how do we survive our pain?

I am a super visual person. I constantly think in images. Years ago when I was going through a particularly painful period of life this is the image that played in my mind over and over like a song on repeat.

You are standing at the bottom of a mountain in the pouring rain. The rain is coming down so hard that the mountain has turned into a mountain of mud. Your eyes can barely cut through the sheets of rain and dense fog. You start to climb. You climb a few feet finding a rock for footing here and a branch to grab onto there. Your legs push you; your arms pull you. Then your foot slips, your tired hands loosen their grip, and you slide back to the bottom.

You start climbing again and this time you know which rock can steady your foot and which branch can bear your tug. You climb a little higher this time, grab another branch, reach for another tree root. And then you slide down again. You’re drenched. You’re covered in mud. Your knees are skinned and your hands are blistered.

But you keep getting up and you keep climbing. You crawl through the mud. You grab the branches and rocks that you know will hold you because they have been tested in your previous attempts. You learn your way rock by rock, branch by branch, and slide by slide. Each time you make it a little quicker to the point where you lost it previously because you know what worked and what didn’t.

You crawl and climb, climb and slide, and repeat that cycle as many times as you have to until you reach the mountain top... that safe haven. The slides down the mountain weren’t mistakes or failures or setbacks. They were lessons in knowing where to put your trust and where to place your footing.

Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.  Yes, indeed.  How do we gain the wisdom and heal the pain?  We climb the mountain.  We keep climbing the mountain.   Are you ready to start climbing?