Generally when we learn, there is a somewhat typical pattern (called a Learning Curve) that measures the mastery of particular skills over time. For the average person, the curve grows in an upward direction and at some point will level off.
I have discovered that my own learning curve is FAR from typical. Just when I think I’ve learned and mastered that skill or concept that took so very long…something comes along and causes my curve to run steeply and quickly downward. As a matter of fact, my learning curve looks a lot like the Rocky Mountains…up, up, up I go…lots of stumbling and slipping along the way and then something or someone comes along and there I go tumbling back down to the very bottom.
Learning to trust is one of those really big mountain ranges for me. I slowly and carefully begin the climb, making sure that all of my gear is properly in place. I look up, and there’s my person – the one I’m trusting – up at the top holding out their hand ready to help pull me up as I get ever closer to the peak.
But then a funny thing happens – except that it’s really not so funny. That person that I am trusting to be there for me at the top with a helping hand and maybe a “job well done” disappears. Or worse yet, they cut my rope and watch me tumble back down the mountain.
Eventually I begin to climb again. I try again…and again…and again…using my own power, not relying on anyone to help, not trusting that anyone will be waiting for me at the top – climbing up and over people. My focus is singular. I don’t stop or slow down for anything…or anyone. It’s just easier that way. Or is it?
With self-trust and self-reliance, it gets lonely at the top of that mountain, where the air is thin and it’s hard to breathe. Where there’s no one to help you know where to go. Where all you hear is the echo of your own voice….
I find myself in this place often, and it’s in this time that I have learned I have to come back down the mountain some…come to a place where I am not looking down upon things past, nor toward things to come. I must put one foot in front of the other and dig my feet in one slow, precise step at a time, until I reach that place where breath flows freely.
Then I look up…
"I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip-- he who watches over you will not slumber"