I love mountains! And because of where we live we took advantage of the location and went to see the biggest one. Everest! Now, I am a romantic and when I read the brochures put out by touring companies I believe them. In this particular one there was a tent and behind it was the majestic Mount Everest against a clear blue sky. Beautiful! I thought once we were in Tibet, surely we would be able to see this same sight. Well, that wasn’t the case. After landing there we drove for 2 days before we were able to see it, and it was cloudy at that! The plan was that on the third day we would go to Base Camp and have an even grander view. And…that didn’t happen either. We had come so far and such a long way! But the clouds covered most of Everest and it did not look like the brochure! We waited a while and some clouds moved off, but we still had a difficult time seeing the summit.
So, what is this travel log doing in my article? I learned a few things from this experience. First, my idea of how something will be and what really happens is frequently different. Second, just because I can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Third, letting some time pass can provide clarity and give me a better perspective.
Recovery is certainly the largest mountain I have had to climb. It is not something that is easy or can be conquered in a short period of time. I also need to rely on others that have made this climb before and have a better perspective than I do. I am a ways off the summit (no, we did not go to the summit of Everest, we stopped at Base Camp) but every step up the mountain gets me closer, even if it can’t be seen behind the clouds. I don’t have to see it clearly to know I am making progress.
Discouragement, fear and anger are big blocks along the trail up the mountain. Step 7 of the Spouse and Family Support Guide is “In Everything Give Thanks.” The first time I read that I thought, “Really? How? I’m not seeing it!” Thankfully there are wise people that are further on this journey and can see where I am. These are their wise words from this step, “Life doesn’t always turn out the way we hope or expect. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by discouragement, fear and anger. Satan uses such feelings as an opportunity to attack us and lead us to self-criticism and finding fault in others. The more we focus on negative emotions, the stronger they become, until they begin to dominate our thoughts, diminishing our ability to feel the Spirit and find happiness.”
In the beginning I could not see at all a way to give thanks in this situation. As I have attended support groups frequently I would hear, “I am not happy for how this happened, but I am grateful for what I am learning through it.” Those have been my feelings too. I am very grateful for the relationship that I have with my Savior, for humbling experiences that allow me to see what I could not have otherwise. Standing at the summit of a climb, I give thanks for the journey because that is what made the view possible.