Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well. This week we consider going:
From Mountain Top to Valley Below
Returning from great heights in our lives, be it literally from a mountaintop or just coming down from any emotional high, is what is also known as being humbled, or being grounded after a flight.
Why is this experience illuminating?
Both mountains and valleys serve us. The higher the mountain, the deeper the valley?!
Some experience elation up high and everything else is waiting, but how might we bring what we experience and see from the heights into the valley- to live more awakened and share the journey with others, to keep alive the experience even when we are no longer at a higher vantage point?
Why remain aware of the sun on a cloudy day?
Why stay awake to see that hardship is only perceived as such in contrast to a life of luxury?
Because when we realize not only that we get, but that we also have, what we need, we become more of what others need.
How true is the saying that once enjoyed, luxuries become necessities?
Just last night I was reminding my daughter of the difference between “need” and “want”. The distinction between these two words has been a focus my wife Rebecca, and I have used for many years in our parenting. Notice how much of the marketing we see and hear today says that we deserve this or that, or get what you need here, etc. I was sharing with Gabrielle an even deeper insight into having what we need.
We have always had and will always have exactly what we need.
I know that is a bold statement, but if you think about it, it’s true. If you truly need something, whatever it may be, you would have it. The fact that you don’t have it is evidence that you don’t need it. We always have what we need, everything else is a want. While there is nothing wrong with wanting, losing the distinction between “want” and “need” can lead to untold suffering. Many approach a “want” with an attitude of life or death. And we can become very upset with those we perceive as keeping us from what we want. Citing Brene Brown: “The opposite of scarcity is not abundance, it’s simply- Enough. Fear and scarcity immediately trigger comparison.”
I think it helps immensely to remind ourselves that “wants” are not “needs” and if you look over the course of your life, you have always had what you needed when you needed it.
This is a cause to pause...
and I could see my daughter relax into that awareness.
As I planned for the journey to Tanzania to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, I had a very long equipment list. A great deal of planning went into the expedition. We received our list months in advance, and no matter how much you plan, there is going to be more or less of something, or that which is missed altogether. And the more we feel alone on a journey, the more we feel completely dependent upon ourselves, we can feel more anxious about whether we have brought all that we need.
During our climb to the Summit, another great memory for me was the generosity of my fellow climbers. We truly felt this energy that it was all for one and one for all. I have heard this experience is why many in the military sign up for multiple tours of duty. It is a wonderful feeling to know that others have your back and that you have theirs. And it’s a feeling we are best served to have every day of our lives. Who’s back do you have? And how rewarding to step in and be of support when another needs it; to be used to provide what another might need.
Just last week after giving a speech, I heard again the words that mean so very much to me: “Thank you, I needed to hear your message today!” You can be at the top of the mountain even when you live in a valley.
To be an encouragement to others, to show up with a message, with a smile, when others most need it, even though you may be climbing a steep mountain, is a reward beyond what money could ever provide. I will never forget the words of encouragement on our climb and the freely given offers of food and support. I was at times concerned I had not packed carefully enough for the journey, but soon found that I had all I needed - I had friends.
Life has provided me friends on the journey that have brought me more than I could have ever imagined.
Rich is he or she who has friends.
Reflecting on how you really have what you need, can move you more into gratitude and away from want.
Consider how you actually have more than what you need and how your blessings of more can become more of a blessing to others.
Make it a great week,