How to climb a mountain
The following brief account is by a woman which had been dumped and how she found healing:
"Alone again. Until yesterday I had dreamed of a life as a couple, I had made plans and now this. The end was short and crisp: 'Only one woman, and for a life-time, a family and faithful, no, I just can't commit to that.' I was alone again. What is wrong with me? Why does this happen to me all the time? What about my dream of family and children? I just want to leave and be alone, I want to retreat into some cave. But where? Where can I not be found by anyone? Where will nobody tell me that all will be well again? - My old friend. He will leave me in peace. 'Yes, I am at home, but I expect a guest, a friend - if you don't like that I will disinvite her.' 'No, no, not that.' 'O.k., come then.' I holed up there a few days. They let me. Nobody asked, nobody pushed me.
One day I started to talk. He listened and she asked - in a different way than anyone ever before in my life. What did I really want? Where did I really want to go? Which of the mountains of hurt I wanted to scale? She talked in images, and I moved in those images. In front of my eyes I could see an inner landscape, mountains of anger and fear, hills of grief, peaks of humiliation and damage. A mountain range, wide and tall, as far as you could see. I couldn't even see the horizon behind it. I felt, that I wanted this to be behind me. 'So just go.' No: 'Perhaps.' Not even 'If you like.' Only just: 'You can just go!' She opened a door. A while I continued to sit on the threshold, but then I started to walk. And I found my dream." (Sabine Schaefer-Kehnert. Der Andere Advent. 2015/16)
"Mountains of hurt" - wow, what an image, what an observation. Powerful to acknowledge the amount of work needed and to see then how to deal with it. Climbing instead of ignoring. Some time ago a difficult situation facing a friend was entering my world, and I remembered this expression right away: "mountains of hurt". I started to think of the many skills one needs for mountain climbing - and of the many skills for mental mountain climbing. I really yearned for a meaningful and healing answer. There is a familiar Bible verse from Isaiah on which Mary Baker Eddy builds here:
"Every valley of sin must be exalted, and every mountain of selfishness be brought low, that the highway of our God may be prepared in Science." (Science and Health: p. 61)
I found it empowering to deal with the challenge as a mountain, instead of underestimating the amount of commitment needed to move forward. Mountains CAN be overcome, they can. And must be overcome. For Love to be All-in-all. That is the goal of it all. And you know why "mountains of hurt" can be overcome? Because of two facts which stood crystal clear before me as the alps on a spring morning.
All the inner mountains intimidating us are mental mountains piled up as memories, a story we tell ourselves about ourselves over and over again; mental landscapes of tales, decisions by or about us, past events, of fate and chance and relationships and hurts and joys and victories, now and then. But these inner mountains are only scary from a distance. Confronted with something bigger than a mountain they pale and shrink and melt before the presence of our true biography, our life with and in God. The power of spiritual development is so much more alive than all the history of damage can ever be. The past is a much less powerful place to look for our identity than our present life in God. I found a Bible verse which reveals much comfort:
"Before the mountains were settled in place, I was born. Before there were any hills, I was born." (Proverbs 8: 25. NIRV)
Man is more than a carbon-based life form. Man is a spiritual idea in divine Mind. We all are as old as God is. I loved to read the Bible verse inserting "mountains of hurt" and "hills of grief" and now had a powerful tool for mental mountain climbing.
The second fact which helps us to go over the mountains and makes the "the mountains of hurt" manageable is that we have a mighty mountain guide, the Christ. If you are not a Christian reading this you might think about the Christ as the way God is communicating with humanity and moving forward solutions, healings, and answers. The Bible uses the term "Shepherd" as one of many for the Christ. In a poem by Mary Baker Eddy the first verse reads:
"Shepherd, show me how to go
O'er the hillside steep,
How to gather, how to sow, --
How to feed Thy sheep;
I will listen for Thy voice,
Lest my footsteps stray;
I will follow and rejoice
All the rugged way."
I listened and found a clarity how to support my friend struggling with "the mountains of hurt", and I could affirm with confidence: "Before the mountains (of hurt) were settled in place, (he) was born." (Proverbs 8: 25 with changes by me).
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In my work as Christian Science practitioner and writer I draw on listening to God and listening to people.
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