I have a new profound realization for the ongoing obscurity of why our goals always seem unattainable, why resolutions for example – since it’s still new year’s spree – hardly ever actualize.
It’s probably not a new theory, but it recently emerged to me through a personal experience that I’d like to share.
Who wouldn’t want to read an inspirational story anyway? It’s like the new age erotica.
First of January 2019, I took a hiking trip to the top of Mount Batur Volcano in Bali to celebrate the new year observing the first sunrise.
I have been wanting to do that trekking since I moved to Bali a year and a half ago, but never made it. My logic for choosing New year’s day was that
– I really hardly ever party, so what’s the point of going for an all nighter?
– I lead a healthy active lifestyle.
– I love sunrises; there’s something about the sunrise that is magical and mesmerizing.
So, I couldn’t think of a better way to start my year.
Rumor had it that it was a nice trek, doable, some people even referred to it “easy”, and not so subtly, insinuating that someone at “my activity level”, isn’t really supposed to question the difficulty level… NO PRESSURE.
Narrator: It was NOT easy.
Physically taxing, which, obviously going on 1,700 m elevation! And it was equally mentally challenging.
Less than half way through, my brain was telling me I should quit, that I don’t really have to go all the way up to see sunrise, “it’s right there, you’re on a mountain, nothing is going to block the sunrise you know”.
I desperately wanted to find something to say back, to justify why I shouldn’t quit. Looked straight up the incline, the entire way as far as my eyes could see is an endless rocky and slippery sand elevation road, the top of the mountain is not even visible, and I doubted I could make it to the top.
“DO YOU REALLY WANT TO BE THAT PERSON?”
I stopped, had to catch my breath, and have a honest conversation with myself.
And it went like this.. “I know it’s still a long way to go. And if I really want to quit, I will not judge my self, I will never shame myself into doing it”… “Now here’s what I suggest, I’ll rest for a little and then go on, then stop and check, if I really want to quit, I’m gonna do that, if I thought I can go for a bit further, I go on”.
I repeated that dialogue in my head for about 20 minutes and 3 stops, until there was no need to have that conversation, it was a common understanding that I am going all the way up..
This experience emerged as a great analogy for me to make sense of why we quit something we have our hearts set on.
1- It’s fucking hard
2- I am slipping, maybe falling, and hurting throughout the way
3- I can’t see the tip of the mountain
4- My brain calls the shots, too many doubts, too much pain for ungranted or who knows how long delayed gratification.
I have been adapting in my life in general being understanding and loving instead of judgemental and resentful towards myself.
We sometimes only want to be heard and loved.. We seldom go through life with no mountains to climb, and it’s okay to complain.
My body wanted to go on a tantrum, I heard it, and gave it the space to do so. I reminded myself of what I stood for in this stage of my life (the one I call redefined), if I stopped now I am not going to undermine myself, not making it to the top does not mean failing, it is simply one attempt and I will do it again..
Through affirmation, generosity and permission to be what I need to be in that moment, I was open to be sought for something in return, that I keep going until it’s absolutely physically impossible to.
Nugget of wisdom:
Even if your head is saying you can’t go further, the heart never lies.. Ask the heart.
Why it worked?
I think when we are faced with difficulties we usually consider two options:
1- Power through, coerce the obvious choice of going on at any expense even if that means shame yourself into doing it, be a winner, and to the victor belongs the spoils.
2- Quit, surrender to the desire of letting go, persuade yourself that it was only rational, but in your head call yourself a loser, and in your heart feel ashamed and inadequate.
How about another alternative; choosing love either way.
I did not resist the objection, by just taking a minute and being, allowed me to be more open to discussing the possibility of enduring.
Don’t underestimate what you or anyone can do when they feel loved.
Tip of the day:
What you resist, persist.
How it worked
I made it to the top, and it was worth it, not that I didn’t know it would be and I took selfies!
But the joy I felt was beyond the serenity of the scene, the hypnotizing feeling, the goose pumps (which partially were because it was freakin’ cold), or the grace of the sun making a majestic appearance behind the mountain.
Behind my jig of joy was 1) I did something special for the day, 2) I was able to do it, 3) I showed up for myself when I needed, 4) I overcame my mountain and I made it to the top.
When in doubt, show up! that would be my two cents worth.
But if you’re not inspired, here’s one of my favorite quotes:
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”, Samuel Beckett.