Mountains are very interesting geographical features. And maybe because they have such a huge impact on the lives of the people who live near them, mountains have become part and parcel of everyday conversations.
Mountains affect the weather patterns of the people who live on either side of them. They help create floods by channeling the rainwater runoff down into certain locations. They guard the edges of long ago dried up ocean beds. Mountains change cloud patterns so that the evening sun when it goes down can change into a symphony of colors to be enjoyed and savored as the evening draws to a close.
And maybe because mountains are indeed so big and often appear to be so foreboding, they are often assigned roles in the everyday conversations of life. How often have you heard phrases like, “They are living with a mountain of debt” or "That disaster was so unexpected it was as if a mountain had fallen out of the sky onto their heads” or “That person is always trying to make a mountain out of a molehill”
Maybe not those exact words, but phrases similar to those are common enough that they are easy to understand without needing to think too hard about them.
The Truth About Mountains
But here’s the things with talking about mountains in that way, the mountains are not made out of debt, they are made out of stone, mountains cannot fall out of the sky because as anyone who has seen a mountain can tell you, they are pretty firmly anchored to the ground, and truthfully, you would have to spend a few dozen lifetimes shoveling enough dirt on top of a molehill to make it any near as tall as a mountain.
Mountains are actually doing exactly what their job is – being mountains. They don’t want anything else in life, they don’t really aspire to move to New York City to break into acting or take a watercolor class on Tuesday afternoons in the summer. They are simply being mountains.
And all those other things we were saying about mountains before are simply things we were saying to try to make a point about how we view the world.
Now that is a pretty important idea contained in that last sentence, - it is our view of the world. And because it is our viewpoint and not that of anyone else, we are free to change it as we wish. And we do not have to do anything to change the mountain.
That’s important enough to say it again, but with fancy writing this time:
"We are free to change our viewpoint as we wish, and we do not have to change the mountain"
How much easier it is to change our thoughts rather than to think we have to go out and find a way to change a 10,000 foot tall granite peak that has been sitting in the same spot for the last 2 million years.
All we need to do to change is how we are thinking, it is absolutely unnecessary to do any changing of the mountain whatsoever.
Hmm, all of a sudden that doesn’t sound like such a difficult thing to do.
Our thoughts are completely under our control. It might not seem that way sometimes when we run into someone who always makes us furious just by opening their mouth. Or when somebody cuts us off in traffic when we are late or when we get another unexpected bill in the mail. But in fact, you are totally free to change what you think at any time.
Now occasionally you might need a little help in calming down or cheering up in order to allow another type of thought to enter your mind. But that is usually all you will need is a little help, maybe a little space to stand in while you gather your thoughts, or simply a few minutes of peace and quiet.
Or maybe a cool little story about mountains that helps get those thought wheels started again, when maybe they seemed so flat and out of air that they would never get turning again. But whatever it is that helps you change the way you think, it surely is away easier thing to do than renting a bulldozer to begin the process of tearing down the mountain.
And a whole lot cheaper in the long run. You don’t need any fancy equipment, semi trucks to haul the bulldozer to the base of the mountain on, and certainly no expensive classes from night school to learn to be a dozer operator in your spare time.
You just need to change your thought. And when you do that, when you can look at a mountain and see it for what it truly is, separate from what you “thought” it was, your entire world will change in that instant.
And will stay changed. Give it a try today, deliberately explore a new thought about something that has seemed as a large as a mountain in your life. And then enjoy the feeling of power, safety and security that comes from knowing that . . .
And the mountain is not.