I read somewhere that sometimes life involves two mountains. The first mountain is the one you start off in life climbing. You ascend it, thinking that this is what life is about — your career, money, stability, achievement, making your parents proud, worthiness, etc. You climb and you make plans and you build fortresses and you look down from the mountain and all you have built and you feel a sense of security. On this climb, you encounter others and journey with them on you way to the top. This is your sense of life and it is complete.
Until of course, it shatters. When you lose someone you love, you suffer immensely. It feels like the world is pulled out from under you. You wonder why you climbed the mountain in the first place. What if you had gone up another path or stayed by the shore? If only you had known. Was it all a dream? What was the purpose of climbing — what was the meaning of it all? Is there any meaning to life and suffering?
This is the thing I want you to know above all else: there is a second mountain. This is the mountain you begin to ascend when the veil is torn and you realize that life was never about any of the things in the first mountain. It was never about any of the external things of this world — not about the promotion, or about getting that house, or what that person thought of you when you shared how you truly felt, or any of the things that distracted you from truly being present for life and for the person you loved for every second they were there next to you. It was never about any of the daily anxieties so many of us suffer from, the things that keep us from truly connecting with the miracle it is to be alive, to be on this journey, to love the people we do.
To arrive at your second mountain, open yourself up to the grief. Let it come and go and it will bring you to places you never knew existed within you. Places of love and compassion. Strength. Hope. Wisdom. To ascend this second mountain, surrender to life and something higher and realize you were never meant to be in control — never meant to build fortresses or to define the nature of things. No, you are meant for so much more. There is infinite energy and power inside of you. Keep walking, hoping, struggling. Because up ahead, you will make contact with it — you at your most essential and true. A place of beauty and joy amidst all the sorrow.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also find my book, Grieving the Loss of a Love: How to Embrace Grief to Find True Hope and Healing After a Divorce, Breakup, or Death helpful.