Multiple Pathways: The Riverbank Community Spiritual Walk

“There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but the view is always the same”
-Chinese Proverb

If you have ever taken a long hike up a mountain, you are no stranger to the many twists and turns you may encounter on the way to the top. If we liken climbing a mountain to this spiritual journey we call life, we can draw many parallels. On the way up, there may be many factors that influence the path you take – many trail options, trail markers offering different paths with no warning of what each holds, huge puddles of mud, seemingly insurmountable aggregates of sharp rocks, exhaustion, your internal voice whispering “you can’t make this, you’re too tired” – but the 360 degree view from the top always seems to make the extra effort worth it. As we traverse the twists and turns life throws at us, we often find that the outcome is in many ways different than we could have ever imagined, yet much more rewarding and fulfilling.

Here in the Riverbank House Community, we embark upon our journey with many choices to consider and decisions to make. Should I try yoga? Will I be able to last 20 minutes in a silent meditation? Is it possible to overcome the discomfort I feel within? Without an open mind to explore the many paths to recovery, we find it difficult to envision the view from the top provided by overcoming the unknowns we may face on the way to our destination. With the encouragement and support from the men around us, we find that slowly, but surely, we gain confidence to navigate the uphill climb by following the roadmap provided and walking on the many trails ahead. With new experiences we gain new perspectives, and with new perspectives come new possibilities. We dig our heels in to find the internal voice which tells us “Keep pushing – you’re on the way”. As we conquer our first metaphorical climb, it becomes possible to see the peaks of the surrounding mountains, some smaller and some larger. We walk together and accept the new challenges with our newly-found confidence –at each summit taking a moment for a deep breath and enjoy the view.

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