LIFE LESSON # 13 - FORGIVE and LET GO ASAP!
"Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me". --Anonymous
Treking on a Mountain like Kilimanjaro brings with it the opportunity to express one's best and worst qualities.This was a FIRST TIME Kilimanajaro climb for everyone in our group with the exception of Werner Berger and our guides and porters. So it was only natural that nerves and energy levels varied, depending on the what aspect of the climb we were experiencing.
Tempers can run short for anyone when stress levels are pushed and physical and mental boundries are pressed.
On this adventure Werner Berger and our Master Guide Michael Kamilli led our group up Kilimanjaro.We truly had the best of two worlds from a GUIDE standpoint.
Werner Berger has successfully climbed the 7 Summits of the World including Mt. Everst. Michael Kamilli has climbed Kilimanjaro over 150 times! In my eyes both are ELITE athletes.
These are the kind of guys you want on your TEAM! I was with TWO MASTERS of the mountain! How cool is that???
By Day 2 it was no secret that I was going to be in the slow group and that was really fine by me. My goal was to finish, not WIN. Finishing for me was WINNING!.
I noticed if I went a hair too fast on our trek I would get out of breath. Normally I'd depend on my heart monitor to measure my heart rate and adjust my tempo, however, I lost my monitor during a fall I had on the first day of the climb. When I'd get out of breath my guide Micheal would say "Pole-Pole Mr. Robby." So I would just slow down and take it at a slower pace so I could go without breathing hard.(Pole is pronounced Polay)
Then other times, while treking, if Werner Berger was near me he would say "Robby do the POWER Breathing", which was a fast set of deep breaths. Then when Werner would walk away Micheal would say, "Don't breath like that. Breath Pole pole, slow and easy."
It was just a matter of time before a conflict would ERUPT...
We were going thru a particular steep passage and I was starting to breath too hard and Werner yelled to me, "Robby I don't hear you breathing". I yelled back, Michael
said not to breath fast and hard but slow and easy". Then Werner yelled back, has he climbed all the 7 Summits of the World?" I replied no but he has climbed Kilimanjaro over 150 times!"
And the STRESS was on!
It felt like I was between a Republican and Democrat debate or a soon to be divored husband and wife arguing over who gets the kids this weekeend! I was extremely torn and confused. Here are two MASTER CLIMBERS giving me TWO VERY DIFFERENT sets of guidence and instructions.They were both givng me the BEST they had to offer.
Werner called up to me one more time, "Robby I'm going to suggest you do the deep fast breathing any way". I responded, " It makes me dizzy to breath fast and hard the way you want."
Neither of them raised their voices to each other but I could feel the TENSION in the air. It was not a yelling type of argument. The reason Werner was yelling was because he was behind us on the trail calling up to me.
The STRESS Increased....As we were climbing up this rocky steep passage Werner noticed I was struggling and he said, " Robby you are not trying hard enough". And I said in a loud voice,"FREAK YOU!"
OUCH! The TENSION Was THICK...
About 10 minutes later we got to the top of this steep rocky passage and I was already over it. Werner comes right over to me and says,"Robby I mispoke. I am so sorry. I realize you are working your BUTT off. I just got a bit frustrated with you not taking my advice. I now know, you have to decide what's
best for you and I'll assist you however you need me." This may not be word for word, but this is close to what I recall.
I looked Werner in the eye and said "I LOVE you man and we are totally cool." Forgiveness was INSTANT! We were only on Day 2 and still had 6 days to go...
In reality, the exchange of words with Werner was not a big deal. We shared a HUMAN moment. Yes,when stress levels are pushed and physical and mental boundaries are pressed HUMAN moments can occur. I would expect nothing less on such a challenging adventure. Having a bit of tough skin doesn't hurt while experiencing such a challenging journey.
This experience made me relfect about my own ability or lack thereof to FORGIVE and LET GO quickly for things past that has wounded my heart and spirit. This has no doubt been one of my personal lessons to overcome. It's one of the reasons I became obese.Food had been my drug of choice and have used it
to numb or medicate painfull feelings.
Thinking further about my interactions with Werner after I got home from the climb, I dug deep to try to discover why I was able to FORGIVE and Let Go so FAST on the mountain.
In regards to Werner I knew for sure that he genuinly CARED about me and my SAFETY. I knew his intention was to help me and not hurt me. There was no question about it. It was undeniable. He really wanted what he felt was best for me and EVERYONE in the group. And we felt the same about him.
It was a HUMAN moment in EXTRA-Ordinarty Conditions...
He LOVES me and I LOVE him. All is forgiven...
The experience with Werner created an even stronger bond between us. I am in AWE of this man. He saved my life a few times on this trip. No joke!
I still struggle at times at forgiving those that have wronged me in one way or another, specifically those that DO NOT care about me.
To Quote Voltaire...
"We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies"
At times this is ALOT easier said than done!
Keep Being Brilliant,