This is a short story about a long journey.
This is a story about the spiral climb around the mountain of life.
Have you ever found your way through a bramble of life challenges? Have you ever carried yourself through to the sunny side of addiction or abuse or trauma? Do you know what it’s like to overcome a serious challenge?
Unless you are Sidhartha before he left the palace walls, then the answer is most certainly yes.
And what do we do when we come to the clearing? How do we show that we earned our merit badge from triumph over struggle? We tell people “I used to struggle with…” or “There was a time when…but I’m past that.”
Often these are famous last words.
Boom, there it is again.
We relapse into our addiction.
We find ourselves in another abusive relationship.
We wake up one day and we’re back somewhere we were so sure we were beyond.
This is because life isn’t about one summit, it’s about winding our way round and round until, frankly, we die.
We are each given a set of overlooks (challenges/karmic lessons) as we make our unique climb. When we’re early in the climb and we come to an overlook and get past it, we often, naively, think that it’s behind us. Yet as we circle back around to that side of the mountain there it is again, the same overlook. We kick ourselves for being back at a place we were so sure we’d surmounted.
But, for the most part, we don’t surmount. We move up, we learn more, we get wiser, we come to know our hearts, minds, and bodies just a bit more…but we return.
These are our overlooks for this lifetime.
We always return, in some form.
The key is to a) never say never — know that you’ll most likely be back and b) when you return, realize you’re not in the same place anymore. Yes, it’s the same overlook, but take a minute to notice you’re higher up the mountain and you’ve collected more tools on the way to make this visit to the overlook shorter and better.
Life is a spiral climb.