the stairway to heaven, is it worth the hike?
No, not the illegal one here on Oahu.. that I climbed last year.. legally.. lol anyway… yes that was fun and I saturated my clothes in sweat during the first five minutes, lost the ability to breathe and control of my legs, had the thrill of the $1k fine if we got caught, but it was worth it. It’s in my top five all time favourite climbs, but the maunga and tracks we have back home including Hikurangi, the Routeburn track down south and Tarawera claim the top spots. But that’s not the hike I’m talking about…
walk with me (figuratively, ha you already know).
For the context of this blog post, let’s equate heaven with achieving something and we’ll equate the stairway as the process of getting there. It’s a given, but just so we’re on the same page with our definitions, k? Cool. So, to paraphrase our title, is the process of achieving something worth pursuing? Is the cost of making dreams a reality, worth it? Then once you decide on your answer, how do you know?! This platform and the book are the most obvious examples I can give for this context: I’ve learned so much about myself I never would have, otherwise, during this process. One lesson in particular is,
a taste of the price that must be paid,
the toll it takes when climbing the stairway to heaven. There’s the usual neglected health (physical, psychological, spiritual), but there’s also the dynamics with relationships which were a lot harder to comprehend in reality, than in theory. Who would’ve thought…
You learn that not everyone wants to climb with you, or even climb their own stairway to their own heaven and you find ways to process and understand how that’s actually totally ok. You learn that some people want to appear like they’re climbing with you but after they’ve taken their photos with you as ‘proof’, that was probably all they wanted. Again, totally ok - that’s their buzz. You learn that people want you to climb, but only so far… any higher and it makes them uncomfortable, so you’d better get comfortable where they’re comfortable with you being. You learn that you sometimes can’t give as much of yourself as you’d like to to other people or kaupapa (causes/projects) because your dream is taking up all the space in your life.
You learn a different degree of loneliness as you climb and even though I’ve always enjoyed my own company, I’ve learned how crucial this is to the climb: to have my mind and thoughts in my corner, on my team, deafening my ears and mind to the kōrero iti (negative talk).
Just when you thought it was all doom and gloom, you also attract people into your life, new and old, who are climbing up to their heaven and offer you; advice, wisdom, moral support, validation, snacks, inspiration, a safe space, affirmation that your pursuits will be worth it and remind you of how
you’d be performing a disservice to the world if you don’t realise your potential…
Some relationships in my life have been weakened by the climb, some haven’t survived this far into the journey, some have been reaffirmed and are stronger than before and some are new and refreshing. Having that blind trust in the universe and believing what’s meant for me will never miss me and who’s meant to be in my life will be there and whoever’s life I’m meant to be in, I will be is turning out to be one of my favourite attributes because that’s how I decide my climb so far has been worth it and why I continue to climb.
I mean, I don’t actually know, because I can’t see the bigger picture yet and how all the different components unfold, but trusting in the universe, by whakapapa (origins) means I trust my tupuna and their knowledge systems and philosophies, means I trust myself.
Because what’s the alternative?