Finding a Way….

Ahsan Mir
7 min readApr 10, 2022

There is one certainty in life — uncertainty. As long as you know what you want you will find a way… Knowing what you want is important as it will be your guide when you are upside down.

I am sitting here in this room, I mostly stay here, I have a view, there is the hum of the traffic, there are flowers, still blossoming in front of me, I will keep them that way and I have coffee.

I bought a guitar, yes another one. It helps with thinking, and at times not thinking. I started learning, Moonlight Sonata — Ist Movement Op 27 No 2 — Beethoven. I wait for the neighbors to show up with pitchforks and axes to stop this atrocity…

Here is a link

There are words we say to ourselves and others, we give everything to those words written and spoken, Witness the despair and struggles, things are never easy. They never were and never are. There are times we fall, not because we didn't try hard enough, rather all this is extremely hard — we need a reminder “hey, it is really hard and painful, you are doing the best you can, we will get through this too” — Emily Dickinson’s Poem — Hope is a “thing” with feathers. Hope defies gravity, defies odds, it floats through the hardships to get to its destination.

A story here — I was on an Alpine climb, 9800ft — steep, covered with snow that had turned to slush in the late afternoon sun — harder and steeper this far into the climb. Climbing up was excruciating — every step meant that I had to dig myself out of almost waist-deep snow. It was painful, I was tired, really tired. The sun was going down fast, I kept shouting at it to slow down, it wouldn't, and like come on give me a break. It had a mind of its own. It will be dark soon, the darkness will consume whatever little warmth was there, I knew that — it will get perilous. I was warm in my own sweat, modern baselayers were doing the work, I was somewhat fit, it was nice, comfortable if I stayed here. Just stay here for a little while, just dont do anything, it felt comfortable — it was so tempting to give in and stay here, I was tired, stay here in the warmth, but I knew from the warmth it will get cold as my body will stop generating heat, the warmth will disappear. I will become cold and numb, death there is painless, but to truly live means to endure a little more pain — at that altitude in those conditions, I will not survive for long. An interesting observation at that altitude the snow can turn into rock-solid ice in a matter of minutes, cold and hard, unforgiving. I was angry at my climbing partner — I felt it was his fault that we were here, in this mess, we should have gotten to our camping site already, but we had made some decisions together and we were stuck here, in pain, very cold, hopeless. I knew it was irrational to be angry with him but that didn't help, I was still angry, we were both in it, and it affected us both, we were both in the same situation. He might be stronger, he might not show as much but he was in pain too, he was tired and cold too — it was the same journey, the same path we had traveled. We had done this before, we trusted each other but that was not the thought at that time. I trusted each other with our lives and it mattered. I had to get him back to his family, it was my pact, I had to do my part to keep him safe and make this successful. It was important to rest, take a moment, be silent, eat something, nourish yourself, and of course, your climbing partner and you both remind each other that we have to keep moving. Take encouragement by looking back at how far we have come, we can do the rest. Rest, at this point, was crucial, we couldn't move any further without rest. We had to stop, breathe, sit in silence, look at each other, be aware that the other was fully committed, and move up together. It is hard, there is a lot of work still ahead, we can do this, we are almost there, it is not done, but we are getting through this part of what is really hard.

Things that are hard are worth everything in life — they liberate us in ways that nothing else will. They open up everything else that is on the other side, witness the beauty of the rising sun, give us confidence, give us strength, and we can do this since we have come this far. You know you have to pick yourself up, and it is hard, really hard, but you keep going and remember you are not alone, you remember why you wanted to do this in the first place, to see the glory of the sun, to feel the first light on the mountain top. There is nothing more surreal, nothing more beautiful than that. Witness the beauty on the other side of all this hardship, it is gorgeous. That's why we do the hard things.

You will do this for yourself and the people who love you — another little interesting snippet we get through the hard parts of life because we know we are loved and valued, we matter. Knowing this makes us kinder towards ourselves and others — the reminder we are loved.

At times, we need the reminder that these pacts are as much about others as they are for us. There are two sides and both are in that pact and persistence and commitment to the pact. I apply this to everything I do. Words matter, and so does kindness, compassion, and love. In truth, those are the only thing that matter. Those are what make life beautiful.

I learned a lot from my grandmother, she had a hard life, I won't get into the details, but she was the kindest and most caring person I know. She would always put others first, and we as the grandkids had to watch for that. Things are never what they appear, we can judge them as they appear or take a step back off and observe. Think about the person, what they have experienced in life, how caring, giving, kind, persistent, thoughtful, and intelligent. Then look at what is being done, you might look at the obvious and miss the whole thing. Especially with a person like my grandmother and anyone who is like her. I have learned to look at the person and not the actions, the actions are misleading, take a step back, and be patient. Observe in silence. You are not going anywhere, remember the pact. We love the person even if we do not approve of the actions. Those actions are perhaps representative of the immense pain that is suffered, understanding that pain is the key. Just like my climbing partner — I had to think about him, he was with me on this journey. He had his strengths and I had mine. I trusted him to do his part, do the things he had to do and I had to do mine. We make all sorts of decisions, we take the action that appears the best choice at that time, if we knew differently we will make different decisions. they do not define us, it is the present and the future that matters. We were both in it and it was our climb, we were in it together. So we rested and then we moved on and made it to safety. It was the best climb ever, It give me so much. It was the hardest and most painful but it was the most rewarding. The lessons learned are part of my value systems and how I navigate challenges. Things will get better no matter what they look like at the moment. They will get better, and we made them better together.