CO State of Mind

I love rock climbing.

If you didn’t know, I went to school out West, and enjoyed rock climbing a few times. Both in climbing gyms and in the outdoors. It’s practically a religion out there.


But rock climbing is really a great sport. Not only is it a great workout physically, but also mentally – and dare I say it — spiritually?

If you’ve ever been rock climbing – even if only once – you know, that you will eventually come to the moment. It is the moment where you’ve gone as far as you can go, comfortably. In other words, you’re stuck.

You’ve got your handholds and your footholds and you’re feeling really good right where you are. The only problem is that the next handhold is just a bit too far out of reach. So you freeze. You stop progressing and stay stagnant in your “safe spot,” knowing that in order to get to the next handhold, things are going to get dicey.

I don’t think I’ve ever had a climb where I haven’t had a moment like that. It’s a challenge. It’s what makes climbing thrilling and exciting.

There are so many parallels between life and climbing.

We all have moments where we’re comfortable. We feel as though we’ve gone as far as possible without enacting fear or danger. Maybe in a job, or at school. Or a habit that we’ve grown accustomed to. We’re comfortable, and unwilling to let go.

Especially in recovery. You’re progressing, but have gotten to the point of stagnation. Or a rut. And you’re far enough “off the ground” that you feel like you don’t need to go any further. Because in order to get to the next level, in order to continue on, you have to let go of your place of security, and actually reach for that next grip.

You have to leave where you’re comfortable in order to progress.

And that’s a scary thing. Because you’re climbing on a wall, or are on the side of a mountain. The danger is real. There is a very real chance that you could slip or fall or not make it to the next handhold.

But here’s the thing.

You’re connected to a rope. You’re in a harness and have carabineers and a bilé system that is going to catch you if, by chance, you do miss the grip, or your foot slips.

No one in their right mind would ever go rock climbing without setting up the proper safety system.

So it is in life. We’re connected to a rope. A bilé that’s going give us the courage to reach for that next grip and will catch us if we fall.

And I bet you can guess where I’m going with this: but that safety rope we’re connected to is Jesus.

I’m not going to get preachy, I promise. So I’ll leave you with this.

Leaving a spot of comfort is hard. You’re suspended in the air, literally clinging to the side of a cliff for dear life. It takes some serious balls to let go of that grip to reach for the next one. But we’ve got to, if we want to make it to the top.

For my recovery, the last things I had to “let go of” were a) truly giving up excessive exercise, and 2) learning to love the young woman staring back at me in the mirror.

Maybe that next grip for you is standing up for yourself in a toxic relationship. Or enrolling in the college credits you still have left. Maybe it’s leaving a negative friend group, or applying to that dream school or dream job. Maybe it’s going to that AA meeting. Or simply, taking a good, hard look in the mirror at why you’re unhappy or hurting, and facing the truth.

Whatever it is, believe me, I know how comfortable your “safe spot” can be. But the freedom and the view from the top of the mountain is worth stretching out that arm, facing the possibility of falling, and letting go — because He will never let us fall. He loves us so much that He’ll always be there to catch us.

Freedom is waiting to be had. It’s up to you.



279 responses to “CO State of Mind”

      • I agree with this blog post so much! It is vitally important to constantly push yourself out of your comfort zone and you are right it is beyond your comfort zone that freedom lies. I had severe OCD. I could not leave the house overnight at all for over 5 years, could not therefore ever go on holiday, or to stay with anyone or abroad and had to do crazy OCD checking rituals 10 hours a day. My comfort zone was a prison. I had to push through my terrible fear of leaving the house overnight, of leaving London overnight, and of going abroad even of driving on a freeway. I have made such progress with pushing outside my comfort zone with the OCD that I am experiencing genuine freedom now. I love it!

      • Hi Caroline! Thank you for this reflection. I’m so glad that you have found that freedom! That makes my heart so happy that you are able to do those things now. Thanks for taking the time to read. Sending big big hugs and lots of love xoxo

  1. AMEN! I fell in love with Rock Climbing because it helped me to conquer my fear of heights… Mostly. Your insight is how I see it too, but also as a place where I can let go of my fears and trust in Him to take care of them for me. Awesome Post! (And I’m in Colorado too.)

    • Thank you so much for this beautiful reflection. So true. He will always take care of His children:) thanks for stopping by! And sadly I don’t live in CO anymore. Just for college. I’m in NYC now! Hugs and love! Xox

  2. Can I just say that picture of the cat made me laugh out loud! Oh that was funny! On the real side, though, another beautiful post. Thanks so much.

  3. You can have that rock climbing, I climb up a steep papa rock hillside on walks in the bush, the only way I could come down was lever myself down on my behind, was so scared, would never try again.
    So glad you enjoy it though, not my cup of tea.
    Love the look on that cats face.

    • Thanks so much Ana! Yeah, rock climbing isn’t for everyone. It definitely took a lot of encouragement (aka light coercion) from my friends the first time I went! And haha I thought that cat was pretty funny too! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love to you xox

  4. Well, I recently got a notice of your newest post. It spoke volumes to me. So much so that I want to hanging up on my fridge for encouragement. This blog post of letting go of the hardness of life sometimes and reaching for that next hand hold is exactly what my life has been about the last few weeks. Allow me a few moments of your time. I’ve tried to delay moving for as long as I can, the reason is because I’m comfortable where I am right now. Although it’s comfortable where I am now I do have to move to the next step in my life. Sometimes that may mean moving out on your own and cooking meals for yourself the first time in years. I I asked that very question by the new landlord. She asked me flat out are you nervous or excited? I simply said that I’m a bit of both. I’m nervous because it’ll be the first time ever that I’m all on my own. I’m excited because of the independence that I can come into. What makes me more nervous more than anything else is that I will lose connection with the current family I live with. Scares me half to death now that I am going to be on my own I feel as though I’m a lone wolf in the fight against the enemy. Like any man and a new adventure I have some doubts. However your blog spoke to me in volumes and I completely agree if you stay comfortably in your safety zone now will you ever know how beautiful the top of the mountain view truly is. Thanks for the encouragement you write your blogs like a true poet. I can see in your blogs do you have a deep love for Jesus. We can also agree on that no matter where I go I pray that I never lose connection with you or your words. Instead let us encourage one another in the faith of God. Blessings to you my friend…

  5. Yet another awesome post from BBB! Climbing is so completely scary for us especially if its out of our comfort zone. But those who believe should walk in faith that our harness to keep us from fall is the Lord our God:-)

  6. Never would have figured you for the rock-climbing type, JD. Just serves to remind me of what it means to ‘assume’ something about someone. 😉

    Well done, as always. Whenever I start reading, I always have some idea of where we are going, but you make the journey a thing of pure beauty.

    It’s getting kind of tough to get my 2 cents in here, there are always so many comments. 6774? Seems like just last week you wrote about hitting 5,000! You may be small in stature, but you’re a giant in my eyes, kiddo! 🙂

    • Haha oh my gosh, thank you Tony:) such kindness in your words. ❤️ I always look forward to your 2 cents. So full of encouragement and support. And yeah! I’m not a diehard climber but I have gone several times. And let’s be clear: I do NOT like the whole-camping in the wilderness thing. Haha Bugs are NOT my forte! 😂😂 but I do like climbing! Rappelling is a bit scarier. But the climbing is fun! Hope you have a great rest of your night! Hugs to you, friend! Xx

  7. Today I made the next steps to possibly finish my undergrad. I don’t think I am any less of a person for not doing that, but I figured I would keep the option on the table. It is a big step for me, because I am comfortable and content in my life, but I always wonder if there is more 🙂 Great post <3 <3

    • Hey Ellie! Oh my gosh that’s so awesome! Congrats! Stepping out of our comfort zones definitely takes a lot of courage. So you go girl! 🙌 sending a big hug through the computer! Xoxox

  8. Great post! My youngest daughter and I started indoor rock climbing a few years ago. We love it, and I have always marveled at the life lessons in the moment of being stuck, or encouraging someone on the wall that can’t quite see how easy the next step is. Same with running. Thanks for your insight and sharing your healing.

    • Thank you so much Rebecca! You’re right- there are so many “growth opportunities” in rock climbing. And running too! Endurance, dedication, strength, patience, focus—so much to learn! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love to you! Xox

    • Thank you so much Constance. Wow what kind words! You’re right- love others as we love ourselves. That’s the part that I so often overlook, but is vitally important. Thanks for stopping by and for this beautiful reflection. Have a lovely evening! Hugs! Xox

  9. Your words truly spoke to me. It ia so hard to let go before reaching for that next step. As I read further my eyes began to water and it was then I knew overwhelming this is my story. I am paralyzed by my comfort.

    • Thank you so much Kandace for this beautiful reflection. You’re right, it’s so hard to let go of something that makes us feel safe and comfortable. So glad this resonated with you:) sending you a big hug through the computer! Thanks for reading xoxox

  10. i have an extreme fear of heights! but the first time we went on a climbing trip we went to the highest peak here in the philippines, i had to say it feels like dying everytime i look down every slope but to be able to climb to the peak was satisfying and addictive! and my fear of heights was , well lessened! i could totally relate to your post! you just have to do
    your best first before giving up 🙂

    • Thanks for this awesome reflection! You’re right-you’ve gotta give it your all before throwing in the towel:) what an awesome way to face your fear. You go girl! Thanks for reading! Xoxo hugs!

  11. I love this – thanks so much for sharing it! =]

    That’s probably the most perfect way of describing where I’ve been for the last year or so – kind of just floating in the in-between of a job and a town and a life too busy to be able to listen to where my heart’s actually tugging me; “Further up, and further in,” as C.S. Lewis put it. Now I’m shifting my balance for that little leap up to the next hold and trying to remember that it’s right where Jesus assured me was the next place for me to be.

    Best wishes for your continued journey =]

    • Thank you so much Carson! That’s so awesome that you’re “shifting your balance” for the next leap! I’m so happy for you:) you’re absolutely right: Jesus is going to lead you right where He wants you. I’ll definitely send up a prayer for you! Thanks for reading! Have a great night xox

      • –what I’m finding out is it really does get stagnant to stay in one place longer than I’m meant to; when the glory lifts it’s time to pack up camp and get ready to go, but I find myself lagging behind so often.

        Thank-you very much=]

      • Very wise, Carson. Yeah, trusting God’s timing is always a scary thing. I continually have to “check myself” to make sure I’m trusting Him and not staying comfortable too long. And it’s definitely a long sigh when I find that I am. Then it’s time to take that scary leap. I just have to have faith that it will lead to unimaginable freedom. I think you’re doing awesome:) just even being aware is such a huge thing! So rock on 👍

  12. I like the way you paralleled this message to rock climbing. But there ain’t no one, no where, no how gonna git me to climb a big ol’ chunk of rock!!!

    • Hahah 😂😂 thanks Lizzy. Yeah, rock climbing is definitely a “love it or leave it” kind of sport! I don’t blame you! ❤️ thanks for stopping by, my friend! Have a beautiful night!

  13. Wonderful post 🙂 Aside from being beautiful in a rather subtle way, their was also something thought-provoking about it as well. Climbing a rope is a comparable metaphor for gaining courage and in your case, it was your courage in more than successfully recovering from anorexia. Whenever anybody has an obstacle that they need to overcome, people should also remember that courage comes at the beginning and success or recovery comes at the end. You have met both of those requirements 🙂 Make no mistake, it never means that we treat that lightly, all of us have to fight past vices or be prepared for any new obstacles that comes in our way, but their is nothing wrong in feeling happy that one succeeded in achieving something significant for themselves. Your Jesus analogy here (albeit brief) still feels as powerful as usual too 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • Thank you so much John:) I appreciate your thoughtful and wonderful reflection. I love that visual of the rope. You’re so right-it takes an astronomical amount of courage to grab onto that rope and decide to climb. Thank goodness that we have a Savior who is there to catch us, no matter what. I find such comfort in that. Thanks, as always for your kind and affirming words! Have a great rest of your evening! Hugs!

  14. You are one strong, beautiful, courageous, inspiring young woman! I love your story and the faith you put into Jesus, through him all things are possible. Love and hugs, thank you for this beautiful post!

  15. Hey, BBB – all I can offer is that it seems like the cocoon has opened and the butterfly wings are spreading. I may not be commenting here as much but for some reason these words from my t-shirt seem important: “Love’s infinite possibilities are beyond our control, but only let it pass through us to the people and places we love, and it returns to us multiplied EVERY SINGLE DAY.” It has something to do with not trying to carry other people’s burdens, but simply acting as a conduit. I wish you all the best and am so grateful to you for the inspiration and light you shine into the world.

    Blessings, and may the Spirit of Love be with you in all things!

    • Hi Brian, wow. What kind and affirming words. Thank you. Truly. I absolutely love that quote. I think it’s absolutely right: we never know the power of love, and in fact, when we do love, not only do we give others something beautiful, but we also receive a blessing in return. Thanks for this awesome perspective. It’s really made me think this morning. Thanks again for stopping by and for your continued readership. You rock:) xx

      • Thanks for the compliment, but I have to defer to john 14:10.

        “The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.”

        There can be great sorrow as well in that place. I remember when you wrote about finding Jesus. I could feel your heart poised to break in that moment, and my heart was breaking with you, and then came the great joy of your release.

        It is not an easy journey that we have chosen. “Holy moments bind the past a future through a conduit of love.” It is only in reaching ahead to make the connection from the past to the longed-for future of love described in Revelation that I find the strength to support the broken hearts that I am given to tend.

  16. How strange when our safe places become our sepulchers. Avoiding pain necessitates a sealing off of the heart, of courage, of forward movement. Safe and comfortable, we suffocate within the walls we built to preserve our lives, laying ourselves down in coffins made by our own hands.

    Suffering is a hard subject regardless of context, especially for those of us who hail from Western cultures. Christianity is tolerated, if not accepted and at the head, in our society, and suffering for our faith, whether for the part of our own path God leads us on or for the sake of others, is terribly shunned, and certainly unknown. Jesus said that we would suffer, yet we avoid suffering even when it may set us free.

    One of my favorite lyrics says that ‘letting go gives a better grip’. It is a matter of what we hold onto. Jesus could just as easily have said, “One cannot serve both God and comfort.” Will we hold onto God or comfort?

    Failure should never be more fearsome than inaction. What if Jesus was scared to fail in the great task set before Him? What if He was afraid of the cross and stayed home in Bethlehem instead of going to Gethsemane? Our fear of stepping out does not affect us alone, but those around us as well. Be brave; others need you.

    Lovely writing as always. Glad you share your bravery with others. The comments show clearly enough the difference it makes in people’s lives.

    • Hi Friend. Thank you for this reflection. You really offer a lot of wisdom here. I absolutely love that song lyric: letting go gives a better grip–wow how powerful! It’s one of the scary things about faith, but one that leads to so much freedom. Thanks for stopping by and for your great insight! Hugs xox

  17. You are a brave woman and a wonderful writer. This was such a beautifully written and inspiring post, full of hope and positivity. Thank you.

  18. Love this! There is no growth if we are staying where we’ve always been. Therefore, if we desire to be drawn closer to Christ, we can, and should, expect some stretching! With the ultimate goal of understanding our comfort can truly only be found in Him. Thank you for sharing!

  19. I always had vertigo when I climbed walls in the gym at school. My life looks a bit like this feeling of lacking safety quite often. I could never reach the top. Hope now my life climbing gonna feel easier and less scary.

    • Hi Lulu! Oh gosh that sound scary! I’ve never experienced vertigo but I can imagine the fear it brings! Thanks for sharing this. Yes, I hope that that feeling dissipates for you as well:) thanks so much for stopping by, Lulu! Have a wonderful weekend! Hugs and love xox

  20. I once dated a girl who was extremely into climbing. But, she was also extremely into heroin and crack. I had my own problems at the time as well… After the experience, and after growing up a bit, I just thought: rock climbers are junkies in disguise– the adrenaline, dopamine, endorphins– it’s just hitting the same neural pathways from different angles. But! After reading this, I have a new perspective. I love how you have reframed this activity for me 🙂

    • Hi Nguyen! Oh gosh! 😬 yeah I’m glad too! Thanks for sharing this. Yeah, I guess I always approached rock climbing as a super intimate and challenging connection with god’s creation. But then, I’m no diehard–I can count my climbs on only two hands😂 thanks for stopping by! Hope you have a great weekend. Hugs xox

  21. love this post. i am just recently working on a Lent reflection about my inner struggles. and how a huge part of getting past my struggle is to let go. 🙂

  22. Great post! I think the more we follow each other’s blogs the more we have similar themes placed in our hearts. I appreciate you sharing your story and perspective. MC

  23. Preach it, mami chula, the good news because we are commissioned in Christ to do that very thing — preach the Good News!

    Glory be to God 🙂

    Great post, beloved…got me fired up and praising Jesus! Wooooo!!!

  24. I love this post. Although I have never rock climbed, I understand that he real challenge of stepping outside of your comfort zone. I’m sharing this doll.💋


    • Thank you so much Debra! I really appreciate the encouragement ☺️ yes, stepping outside our comfort zones is definitely scary, but so worth it in the end! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs! and thanks for the share! Xox

  25. Loved this post! Makes me want to go climb a mountain! Next time I’m out in New Mexico or Colorado, I’m climbing. Might start with a mesa though to get my feet wet! 🙂

  26. That was courageous in a couple of ways! It’s exciting to step out of yourself and reach for God, and to reach for that grip. This was an intriguing read all the way through… I really picked up on that uneasy feeling too! Excellent effect!

  27. Thank you for sharing those words. One thing I have learned through rock climbing is that you are forced to “be” in the moment. You can’t dream about the past or ponder about the future when you are holding on by your fingernails 100ft from the ground.

  28. This is beautiful. And it’s how I feel about expressing myself sometimes. Sometimes I know something is on my heart for a reason, but it’s not always easy to put it out there, ya know? But God’s always got our back… whom shall we fear?? 🙂

    • Thank you so much:) you’re absolutely right-God DOESalways have our backs. So we have nothing at all to fear! What a comforting truth! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  29. Love your analogy and relating it to life! Yes, God will never leave us nor forsake us – we just cling to our own limitations as we forget that God is our lifeline with a firm grip on us already! Great blog!!

  30. I love your sharing of this experience and your imagery you use about it. You will keep ascending to great heights and that beautiful person will triumph over the things you wish to fall by the wayside with each stone you reach. You are amazing and beautiful inside and out!!

  31. I used to live near a Wildlife refuge that had a “mountain.” Technically, it wasn’t tall enough to be classified as a mountain; yet, the name stuck. It had huge boulders and rocks that I loved to climb. I climbed all the way to the top once, barefooted and bold as the buffalo grazing below. Once I got there though, I sought my spirituality through the use of marijuana and I’d smoke a joint and feel a peaceful serenity come over my soul that I associated with Mother Earth and Nature.

    At the time, I was 22 years old and Jesus was the last name I wanted to hear or believe in. As a child, the Bible was practically shoved down our throats every day as we had a “daily devotion” read by my dad each morning, a holding of hands and a chanting of a prayer over each and every meal (even in public), a monetary reward for memorizing and quoting Scriptures, word for word, and of course Sunday School, Wednesday night bible meetings, and Christian camps for kids…

    Yet, my dad was abusive. He would not only get angry and yell on a daily basis, he also sometimes hit my mom as well as my sister and I. Once, he literally beat me so hard with a wooden spoon that it broke in half…I ran outside and climbed the highest tree and escaped the wrath by finding comfort in nature.

    However, after all the things that happened to me later in life, I have now returned my heart back to Christ. I had a lot of time on my hands in the institution; I wanted the truth. So, I studied several religions for a while and then asked my dad for a good study Bible.

    I thank Jesus that my family has never completely turned their backs on me. It is sad to hear how some people with mental illnesses have been banned by their original family. I always try to share the Light and speak to everyone equally, for to me, we are all in it together.

    Loved the post! – LaVancia

    • Hi LaVancia, wow, thank you so much f or sharing this. I am so sorry that you had to suffer that abuse. That absolutely breaks my heart that someone who was supposed to protect and love you would violate a child like that. Know that you did not deserve that treatment. you are good. and worthy of being loved and cherished. I’m so glad that you’ve found the loving arms of Christ. How incredible to have a Savior who will whisper to us our worth. And you’re absolutely right: we ARE all in this together. Thanks for stopping by. Sending you so many hugs my friend.

      • Thanks for reading…my dad and I get along great now. He was a preacher and now is retired. We have faced many mountains; yet, by God’s grace, my heart never stopped loving my dad and he kept doing his best to change into the wonderful man he is today. Hugs-LaVancia

  32. When I read your title, I got super excited thinking you were writing about thinking like a Coloradian, but when I started reading your post I was even more excited. I love the imagery and parable that you used. It reminded me when Jesus said “Take my yoke upon you…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29 & 30 KJV), Awesome, Thank you!

    • Thank you so much! I’m so glad you liked the post. What a beautiful scripture. Such comfort in knowing that Jesus will always be there for us. Thanks for sharing that:) so glad you stopped by! Hugs and love to you xox

  33. Why did this post make me cry! I honestly feel as if I have been living in a comfort zone with room to make many changes in my life. Thank you for this beautiful post and the encouragement!

  34. I would certainly be trying something that I’m scared of like going to the Middle East. Yes, indeed we are connected to Jesus so point in being scared of going to the Middle East.
    Nice article.
    GOD bless you.

  35. This is beautifully written!!! <3 It can be hard to take that leap of faith, but I think that the fact that you were scared before is what makes you feel that more accomplished in the end.

  36. Beautifully put. Jesus is faithful. He never promised us a bridge over troubled waters, but instead a pathway through them. Keep moving, you’re awesome.

    • Thank you so much Joe. Wow, I love that analogy. I’ve never heard anything like it before, but you’re so right. He will provide us a pathway through the storm. Thanks for stopping by and for sharing this great insight! hugs!

  37. Indeed. I hope I’m sensitive to the sensation of being “too comfortable” in whatever I might be going for. I think people already get suspicious of that sensation, but usually because they think something bad is going to happen because of how easy it seems now. You know: when will the other shoe drop? But it’s best to face that dropping shoe head-on. Don’t let chance lead; let it be a conscious move of faith.

  38. For starters, I am a fervent supporter of rock climbing myself.Its always a thrilling experience and the climb says it all. The highlight of this beautifully written piece is the message that it conveys of perceptions. Letting go is by far the hardest thing to do and takes a lot of courage but it’s just a stepping stone towards freedom of the soul.As far as body image goes, I have often looked at myself in the mirror and hated myself for being affected by the preconceived notions of the society. I am what I am and take pride in the fact that I am drawn to the soul rather than the outwardly afflictions drawn by bodily issues. Kudos to you and your amazing spirit.😊😊😊

    • Hello again! ☺️ thanks again for your beautiful reflection. you’re right- letting go takes so much courage and leads to unimaginable freedom. Amen sister–let’s celebrate soul beauty! ☺️❤️❤️thanks again for taking the time to read my posts! Have a lovely afternoon!

  39. So true…. whether it’s challenging yourself to recover or challenging yourself in new situations it doesn’t matter, both will see you push your boundaries and develop new strengths. Well said.

    • Thank you so Much! Oh yes, pushing the “publish” button for the first time is always a big step out of the comfort zone. But so exciting and the beginning of a great journey! Thanks for reading! Xox

  40. I love this!!!

    I can really relate to the illustration of trust from rock climbing from spending the last 8 years of caving and rock climbing all over the southeast.

    Jesus is my belayer.

  41. Thanks for sharing! I went rock climbing at a gym once – got about twelve feet up, let myself fall, and let the tether cable catch my full weight. It was enjoyable to just dangle there…free. I think I may prefer walking. 🙂

    And thank you for liking my ham on rye post on my blog, – feel free to follow if you’re so inclined. 🙂

    Be well,

  42. I like to be outside my comfort zone. I aspire to be an alpinist. You have captured with this article all my reason to decide it to be. (Except for Jesus 🙂 but I get your point.

    • Hi Leila, Oh wow how awesome! An alpinist! Sounds like you’ve got adrenaline and courage running through your veins 🙂 ☺️☺️ thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  43. Simply beautiful and just amazing! <3 I love reading your posts, they're written with heart and soul. And they speak the complete and total truth! You are so inspirational to me, and many many others. Lots of love, MaryLouise

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