The Judith Life

Hope for the Climb: It’s Okay to Let Go

I love Rock Climbing. I love what’s required in the process: strategy, patience, and stamina. An extra inch upwards is a victory. The thrill of reaching the top and the struggle in the middle are equally important.

There are two things that are absolutely necessary: the belayer and the rope.

On any climb I’ve been on, there is a moment where I need to let go. I need to hang there and see my wall for what it is. I’ve used all of my resources. I have tried this edge, this inch, this foothold and lean. I’m at my end. “I need a minute!” and the lovely soul beneath me says, “I’ve got you!” We pause. No shame. We talk. I tell them what I’m thinking, they offer what I could try, or we discuss if I need to come down. The person below supports me. The rope connecting us allows for the ability to work it out.

Life is a lot like rock climbing.

For about six months now, I’ve felt like toast – disconnected, numb, lonely, and anxious. A stone sits in the center of my chest. Some days, I can look beyond it. Most days, I am numb enough not to feel it. On Tuesday, it became impossible to ignore. I grabbed a notebook, a pen, and took my heart to Starbucks. Don’t let anyone tell you that Jesus only shows up in a church. He holds church at Starbucks too. Venti in hand.

Sipping my mocha latte, I put pen to paper and wrote down anything that came up. It poured out pretty quickly. Within minutes, I was able to bring clarity to what had splashed onto the page.

What do I want to do? That list was long. Geez.

What are my expectations for where I find myself?Truthfully. Are they realistic?

Where do I need to be? Hard to define but important to know.

What can I let go of? Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally.

What do I need? Coffee? More sleep? An office visit to a doctor?

Who am I after “all of this”? The past year has been hard. Who am I now? What ideas about myself do I need to let go of?

Things to Remember:
1. I am not alone.
2. I can ask for help.

On a Tuesday in Starbucks, I threw myself a rope. I called time out. I chose to hang. Even when no one is physically present, climbing taught me that it’s okay to stall and work out what to do next.

Today, how are you doing?

I don’t know where you are right now. I don’t know if you are at the top, screaming at the top of your lungs or if you are in the middle struggle. Wherever you are, this is what I want you to know.

I’ve got you. Let yourself hang. Face your wall. Let the rope hold you. It’s okay not knowing what to do. Let your arms rest. I give you permission. Let your brain rest. Close your eyes. Hang for a minute. Or, walk away for a little while. Climb something else. Smalls wins are fantastic confidence boosters. They give you the energy to go back and slay the hard.

Either way, there is no shame here. You are in it. You’re a climber. The struggle is part of the process – not the definition of who you are.

I’ve got you.

Let the rope hold you.

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