(**Not a movie review, but there are a few spoilers.**)
The movie 127 Hours is based upon the true story of Aron Ralston, who found himself trapped while canyoneering (am I the only person who didn’t realize this was a word?). When he slips and falls in a slot canyon, a boulder falls as well, pinning his arm. Trapped and alone, having informed no one of his whereabouts, he must find a way to rescue himself. In the end, he amputates his own arm to escape. Ralston lives to write a memoir, which is turned into a movie, which leads me to this particular moment in writing…the circle of life…
But I digress…
The point of mentioning 127 Hours is this: On our journey through life, many of us find ourselves trapped; and not in the physical sense. We are ensnared by our own emotions, our own minds. Something has happened―failure to succeed in work or school; a failed relationship; the death of someone we loved. Perhaps it is a combination of all these things, or maybe we can’t even pinpoint the cause. All we know is everything inside us feels wrong, and there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel. We are alone in the dark, the weight of the world pressing in around us. We are trapped in our own heads.
That feeling of helplessness is so real. The idea of escape seems impossible. Our inner demons are obliged to continually remind us the situation is hopeless. After a while, cutting something off to be free doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. Maybe cutting off life would be even better.
What do we do when we reach rock bottom? How do we climb back up? Where is the promised light at the end of this miserable tunnel?
The answer is going to be different for each of us. For some, perhaps things miraculously turn around on their own when we least expect it. Life was awful, but now it’s steadily getting better. Or perhaps a friend comes along at just the right time and holds out their hand, helping us get back up on our feet. Others of us may have to sweat, bleed, and curse a bit (or maybe a lot!). We have to claw and dig our way through the filth that’s been holding us down.
The important thing is to not give up or give in to feelings of hopelessness. As long as we are breathing―one breath in, one breath out, and repeat―there is hope. Maybe we can’t see it, but it’s there. We must consistently remind ourselves things will not always feel this bad. There will be a reprieve. We simply must hold on until the awful ride comes to an end. And there will be an end. Some rides are just longer than others.