The sun sets at Lauribinayek, bringing the day to a close.
The next morning, despite the smoke-filled cabin where some felt sick, the team was ready and at full strength. All 19 of us were up before our alarms, excited for the beginning of the day.
In the concluding chapters of Henry Cloud’s book, he notes that there are a few different ways to wake up.
- You can wake up after you’ve received enough sleep.
- You wake up when someone else wakes you up because they want you to go somewhere with them.
- You wake up because there is an emergency, such as a fire in your home, so you jump out of bed immediately.
- You wake up because your child is crying, so you go to help.
On this day, we are waking up because there is a destiny to fulfill.
The urge might be there to linger in bed, but we must embrace the need to wake up. There must be a goal to achieve. “I don’t want this pain any more.” Or “I want something better than this.” Or even “I do not want to hurt or be hurt any more.”
At this point, we have walked for 5 days. We have carried the excess of our lives: both the necessary and the unnecessary. Today will be the place where we take the weight off of our shoulders. The things you’ll leave behind, “You leave it at the lake,” according to Hindu beliefs, and you will be washed clean.
There have been physical and mental challenges on this journey. External factors, like the cold, or the food, or even the new environment have challenged the status quo. We have been encouraged to step outside of our comfort zone. It has built our inner being, creating more resiliency… and for me, helping me be more reliant on the One who created me.
A Pilgrim’s Song
“Shoulders” by for KING & COUNTRY
I look up to the mountains.
Does my strength come from the mountains? No.
My strength comes from God, who made heaven and earth…
And the mountains.
I will feel no fear. I find my comfort here. Because I know that you are near.
You are so much more. Whether you look on the inside or the outside, your heart, mind, soul, and strength – that is the core “you.” Your outer shell is only that – a shell. It protects who you are. Judging this shell is like telling a mountain that it should be a valley instead.
It’s an action that makes no sense.
So basing your own self-worth based on the outer you, the reflection in the mirror each morning, is also an action that makes no sense.
We are who we are.
Nothing changes this unless we allow it to change.
Our life is never on the outside.
It is always in the inside.
The invisible life always produces the visible life.
Life works “inside out.
We saw some fantastic views across Langtang Valley to Langtang Lirung, Ganesh Himal, and Manaslu to the west. Now we descend from the ridge to the lakes; first Saraswati Kund, then Bhairab Kund, and then finally Gosaikunda Lake.
A symbolic washing. Leaving things behind on the Lake. Resolute to never be the same, ever again.
A sunset marks the end of a day, but it can also be something even greater. It can also mark a new beginning. Sometimes we must have the faith to say to a mountain, “Jump,” and expect it to jump. But even if that should happen, without love, that faith in action is nothing.
Our lives are proof of one ultimate fact: our love. Our love for our faith, for ourselves, for our family – and for the stranger we meet on the trail. We can do great things. We can conquer mountains. We can donate all of our money to the poor. Yet without love, it is nothing but a clanging, meaningless cymbal.
I fear that this is why confusion is often our companion. Why we allow despair to hold us for ransom. Yet in my Pilgrim’s Song, I will not fear. I know where my help comes from. I know where to find my shelter, whether the sun rises on a new day or it sets to provide a fitting conclusion to what has been accomplished.
Love. This is where we find our comfort and strength. Through love, we can have differences and still find friendship. Through love, we can dig deep within ourselves to climb summits never dreamed of before.
So never again… will I clang a meaningless cymbal. I will instead lift my eyes to the sky.
Reflections from this post, “The Things You’ll Leave Behind on the Gosaikunda Lake Trek” is inspired by the book entitled “Never Go Back,” which is written by psychologist and preacher Dr. Henry Cloud. To find out more about this book, please click the image below.
Nepal Unlimited The Himalayan Panoramas – Gosainkund Lake Trek, Langtang National Park on YouTube
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