When the road looks hard, look up!

Have you ever noticed how even in the midst of what feels like turmoil and strife, there is always beauty?

I have been focused on navigating a challenging situation that requires compassion, finesse and a deep understanding of how to respond to unhealthy comments meant to cause pain and suffering. Yesterday, the situation escalated and by the end of the day, my entire body felt drained. I was done.

When I got home from work, I took Beaumont for a walk and then curled up in the settee by the window that overlooks the river to read. I’m reading, Stones for Schools, a self-reporting book about one man’s journey to change the world one school at a time.

But it isn’t the book, or Greg Mortenson’s story of his travels throughout Pakistan and Afghanistan as he negotiated the building of schools that captivated me. It is the controversy around his retelling of the story and some of his actions subsequent to the books publishing that make me smile in wonderment of the ways of the universe.

See, back in 2011 or so, there were a lot of allegations suggesting Greg Mortenson mishandled the finances of his charity which was building the schools, as well as fabricating events and naming people in his photos inappropriately. 60 Minutes did an expose on him and his charity. It was damaging and reading some of the articles, sad. That such a powerful idea could be tarnished through such mis-management is tragic. Yet, for all his transgressions, the schools still stand, young girls in places where young girls were not educated, are being schooled.

I do not know the truth of Greg Mortenson’s actions, but I do know the truth of what is happening in my world.

I think about the situation I am dealing with and everything falls into perspective. I feel the stress and sadness lift. I find myself looking up to the sky, remembering the power of asking the Divine, the Universe, God, Allah, Yaweh, a power greater than me, to carry the burden so that I can do the work, here on the ground, to deal with what is in front of me.

It is something I learned 14 years ago when I was released from a relationship that was killing me. My life was in shambles. I was broke and broken. Everyday I would walk with my trustee Golden Retriever, Ellie the Wonder Pooch, in the woods beyond my sister and brother-in-law’s home where I was living. I wasn’t in search of answers as much as I was in search of distraction, and being amidst nature is a surefire way to distract me.

Amidst the towering pines and firs of the forest at the edge of the ocean I would lift my eyes to the blue sky high above and ask God to carry the burden of the shame, sorrow, sadness, grief, fear I was carrying. With the burden lifted by an unseen hand or hands, I felt strong and determined enough to do the next right thing and take each step towards well-being, day by day.

It is so easy to fall into the trap of believing that ‘now is forever’. That whatever turmoil and strife we are facing will never end.

Fact is, it does and, even in the midst of the turmoil, we do not have to carry or feel like we own, its weight. We can release the burden and work through the fracas to do what we know is right and best, light of heart and step, by looking up and remembering ‘Now is not forever. This too shall pass.’ And in its moving through, when we hold onto our values, our integrity, our truth, we free ourselves to do the right things for the right reasons in the right way.

Lightened of the burden, with our values guiding us, and our hearts wide open to Love, even the fiercest tempests cannot blow out our light.



11 thoughts on “When the road looks hard, look up!

  1. As always, thanks for your wisdom … and the reminder of the work of Greg Mortenson. Like millions of others, I fell in love with his work and was stunned by the controversy. I’ve often wondered about him and where he went afterwards. Wikipedia says: “Mortenson repaid $1 million to the CAI after an inquiry by the Montana Attorney General, though no criminality was found.” and “As of 2014, CAI reports it has established or significantly supported over 300 projects, including 191 schools,[27] in rural and often volatile regions of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan.”

    And, “Journalists Jennifer Jordan and Jeff Rhoads began investigating the claims against Mortenson and made a 2016 documentary 3000 Cups of Tea. In the film and interviews Jordan claims that the accusations against Mortenson put forward by 60 Minutes and Jon Krakauer are largely not true. Jordan said in 2014: “We are still investigating this story. So far, our findings are indicating that the majority of the allegations are grossly misrepresented to make him appear in the worst possible light, or are outright false. Yes, Greg is a bad manager and accountant, and he is the first to admit that, but he is also a tireless humanitarian with a crucially important mission.”

    Forgive me for using your post to explore a question that has stayed with me for many years. I choose to believe that Mortenson’s work is important, that his heart is good even if he lacks the ability or willingness to color within the lines of standard accounting practices. The bottomline is still … if we built schools instead of bombs, the world would be a better place.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sending warm wishes of love and compassion to you dear Louise 💜 There must be something in the air…i just went through a similar kind of thing that had me scratching my head and wondering how someone could be so mean ☹
    I need to catch up…but u hope you are settled and life is good in spite of troubles 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Your words reflect my thoughts and feelings over the last week. For the first time in 7 days I feel peace. Your words are medicine. Thank you Louise


Real conversations begin with your comments. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.