The Way Back

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I just enjoyed a wonderful windy walk along the beach here in Sheringham. The wind was behind me and at times was so strong that it was easier to run rather than try to resist its strength. Going with the flow is ok if we are happy to be swept along the particular path we find ourselves on but what about our destination? Sometimes we can be on a road leading away from the place we want to reach. In order to reach the steps up the cliff for my journey home I had to “tack” across the wind. The angle I took was the one of least resistance against the wind but also the one that could achieve my desired outcome.

I’m reminded of an inspiring and thought-provoking film I saw recently titled The Way Back. It depicts the four thousand mile journey of a small group who escaped from a Siberian gulag in 1940, trekking across the Himalayas to reach India and eventual freedom. The film is a tremendous visual and emotional feast and a testament to the endurance of the human spirit. In one sense the journey it describes could hardly be described as a path of least resistance but there is no doubt that there was acceptance of the adversities because they were willing to endure anything in the pursuit of freedom.

The philosopher Rumi says “Pain exists only in resistance – joy only in acceptance”. The film showed me that the most difficult of circumstances can be accepted in the moment where the goal is great enough. What would we not do to attain peace, joy and love?

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