The Other Side of the Mountain

photography of man in black hooded jacket and red backpack facing snow covered mountain
Photo by Avinash Patel on

I’m not a mountain climber in the usual sense, yet I’ve climbed many mountains in my day.

You set out to scale the mountain and there’s a lot of excitement and anticipation and maybe even a little nervousness, because most mountain climbing is a daunting job.
As you scale the mountain you encounter rougher terrain than expected, maybe some jagged rocks bruise and cut you. The oxygen is lighter up there and you get out of breadth more easily. You look up and there’s still some hard trekking ahead and you begin to wonder: it is worth it? Is this what you signed up for? Can you make it? Maybe you’re not cut out for this after all!?

You look down and think about the ease of going down, the restfulness you will experience and begin to think about giving up. Isn’t the other side of the mountain going to just give you more of the same? You start second guessing your decision to go up the mountain in the first place. Your doubt becomes a voice in your head telling you giving up isn’t really giving up. You’ve come this far, gained the experience and can use that experience in other venues—all of which is true.

Enough is enough, and you head back down, never to get to the mountain top, let alone the other side.

But that begs the question: what was on the other side? What did you miss?
Well, it depends on the mountain.

Maybe your mountain is your job. You’re in that stage of the climb where you’ve getting bruised, and you’re exhausted and just don’t know you can keep going. It’s brutal. But, the on the other side, what you don’t see, is accomplishment. Confidence that comes with experience, good and bad. A sense of strength and assurance that comes because you’ve gained skill and expertise that only comes with experience. And you begin to really enjoy what you do in a way you never could before.

Maybe your mountain is a relationship. You’re at a stage where you see your differences more profoundly than you did before. Things are too quiet between you, or maybe too loud, there’s a lot of arguing. You feel like giving up. This isn’t worth it. But, on the other side of the mountain, what you don’t see and what was never evident before is the joy of committed love that you can only get after you’ve been through stuff together and stayed the course. It brings a different, fuller, more complete form of love.

What is your mountain? Imagine getting to the other side. Anticipate an unexpected blessing. It could very well be that on the other side of the mountain is a more complete, more fulfilled, my accomplished, and more joyful you.

And the climb was worth it!

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