I have been climbing this mountain for a while now. The path is uncertain and jagged rocks claw at my boots causing countless falls.
I am covered in dirt.
I am tired.
Yet, I keep going, keep pushing. I am bound to break through to the light.
Hard work means success.
Hard work means success?
Why do I not see the progression?
Where is the top? Is it buried in the clouds? Will it never lend itself to me?
I have to keep going.
Think positive. Be brave. Keep moving towards the light.
My legs ache with exertion, my back caves into the pressure. I am not sure how much further I can go.
In my tired confusion my eyes skim an upturned root a second too late. I crash face first into the mud-covered path. Pain sears through my skull as it connects to the ground beneath me.
I am jolted to a dead-stop.
Fear immediately washes over me. No one has ever given me permission to quit. All the heroes’ journeys are about motion. Movement. Doing. Slaying. Fighting for your Life.
What about a journey that stops right in the middle?
Did I fail?
Am I a failure?
I give up completely.
The pain is too great to continue.
I have nothing more to give as this path has robbed me of my hope.
I flip myself over and sit squarely upon the very root that upended me.
My head tilts forwards as the tears begin to catch at my feet, mingling with the puddles and earth below me.
Out of the corner of a tear-stained eye, I notice movement. A cardinal flutters nearby. The bright red punctures the landscape with truth.
Once my eyes affix to it, she gently floats away so my gaze aligns with the path behind us.
All I see is beauty.
All I am is beauty.
The light filters in through the towering pines that flank the pathway. This light dapples and dances across the greenery before us.
As I soak in the majesty around me, I understand that the only fear I was running from was my own. This fear masked a deep, guarded pain that I keep hidden by always moving.
I have to stop running.
It is time to be still.
The only thing running gets you is tired.
Beauty is already here.