On Saturday, August 12th our climbing team gathered for the pre-climb dinner at Wild Berry Restaurant in Ashford, Washington at the base of Mount Rainier. The next morning this jubilant group would start the final climb of the year, up 14,411 feet of Mount Rainier, one of the highest peaks in the continental US.
To say they were excited would be a gross understatement. To say that they were amazed at the 10 months of progress they had made would be much more truthful. As a group, the program and volunteer climbers were in a state of awe. Even though the actual climb was a day away, this was the culminating event; the place where each person was recognized for how far they had come and for the truly wondrous person they were becoming.
The relationships that form on this journey of healing to wholeness are the most satisfying and predictable part of the transformation each person has undergone. I chose this headliner quote from Matthew Kelly because it sums up the essence of our whole approach to partnering in the treatment and therapy that each person needs to find during their recovery process toward the life they were meant to live. Truly “when we reveal our faults and failings, … people do begin to love us” and at a much deeper level. Perhaps even for the first time in our lives.
“When we reveal our faults and failings, … people do begin to love us” – Matthew Kelly
Maybe in a way that we are now more prepared to accept; in our brokenness we begin to understand why we need each other. The love expressed was deeply humbling and beautifully expressed. Sometimes it’s in the little things that happened during preparatory events or it was in the deep bond that had formed from personal needs being meant on both sides of the relationship. Other times it was in the deep and trusting bond that helped someone realize the potential for good they had inside.
The value of each life and the contribution one can make, no matter when you start. The realization was a huge part of the transformative process the Climbing Out program tries to offer.
The mere fact that ‘strangers’ bonded so completely and that the transformations we witness are so astounding, is a blessing. A blessing for all who are part of this program and who are able to view the changes, the challenges and glorious successes our climbers spoke about Saturday night.
Life is very hard for someone who ends up on the streets homeless after experiencing the tragic impact of drug or alcohol abuse. This outcome is not what they planned or even what they wanted; but the ability to climb out of that situation takes the same drive, guts and effort that is does to climb a 14,000 foot mountain.
As a society, we do not make it any easier for them either. As a society, we are to blame oftentimes for the series of blows that causes someone to fall this far; and we are also responsible for providing the solutions to help this pattern be reversed; to even prevent it from happening to others to begin with.
Recovery Beyond’s mission is “To develop, fund, and deliver programs, services, or items that complement the efforts of established recovery/homelessness programs in unconventional ways.”
We ask you to join our Community of Compassion by becoming involved, by helping us continue to expand and offer programs that actually are getting results to help even more people and offered through more missions. Please visit our donate page to see who you can be responsible for delivering winning solutions.
More about the climb’s outcome in our upcoming newsletter and later blogs. Sign up to receive our newsletter below.
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Photo credit: Art Wolf