Oct 18, 2010
My fiance and I decided on the spur of the moment to take a hike to the top of Looking Glass Rock in the mountains of WNC. We were in the midst of detoxing but knew the exercise would do us good as we ventured out on this 6 mile hike. It was challenging because we both felt horrible and we quickly began to wonder why we would take on such a lengthy hike feeling the way we did. The mountain is fairly steep so the trail consists of a series of switchbacks winding back and forth up the side of the mountain, which is why it is a 3 mile hike to the top. There are steeper and more difficult trails that cut between the switchbacks that some people use as shortcuts, even though it is requested that you stay on the path/trail as it is located in the Pisgah National Forest.
We hiked the 3 miles that zig-zaged up the side of the mountain to the top of the rock where we sat and meditated on healing energy before making the trip back down. Perhaps I was expecting that healing energy to be instantaneous (lol) but we were feeling rough on the trip down and getting anxious to reach our destination and head home. We began jumping down the shortcuts (which seemed to help for awhile) until we were getting closer to the bottom and we took a shortcut that was bigger than the others. As we continued down the trail we began to notice that we had strayed farther from the path than with the previous shortcuts and we considered hiking back up but we continued...hoping to reach the trail. The shortcut became steeper, more narrow and thick with briars - we realized that by trying to take this shortcut, we had set ourselves back quite a bit. We had to climb and pull ourselves from the depths of the briar patch all the way back up to where we had started. It was so difficult and we were feelling like giving up but we finally made it back. It appeared to be the easy way and we jumped off without putting a lot of thought into it because we had taken so many other shortcuts and it had worked out fine.
It was easy to analyze this situation and relate it to our addiction: It is important that we stay on the path because taking shortcuts can lead us to a place that we do not want to be, that is often difficult to get back from. Our life would have been easier if only we would have followed the right path without trying to take shortcuts. When we jump off the right path we spend a lot of time and energy clawing our way back to the top.