“The only way out is up.”
– Tigress, Kung Fu Panda 2
At this exact moment in the movie, Tigress is referring to how she and her friends are being barraged from all sides by numbers and weapons far too great and formidable for them to match. To survive, they must escape, and to escape, they have to climb up the outside of a collapsing tower they just descended the interior of. It gets them close enough to the walls to jump over, while their enemies scatter out of the falling tower’s path.
I really like the moment for how Tigress clearly sees what they need to do, and leads her friends in doing it. She does so somewhat bodily, because there’s no time to explain, but they trust her and follow. And it bears mentioning, they are going up what they just went down, now in clear view of the enemy and under heavy fire. It seems crazy at first, but it’s the only way.
The only way out was to go straight through the danger, and straight through the madness.
The only way out is through.
It takes a lot of nerve, and a lot of trust, and a lot of effort to do that. Whether it be going straight through a physical danger, or pushing through one’s emotional pain, or working out one’s mental and spiritual issues, getting through anything takes a lot. But what choice is there? To try to dodge, evade, hide? People have tried to use alcohol, drugs, and lies, and even violent behavior, to do exactly that, but it doesn’t work out so well, does it?
Without getting through what besets it, anything else we can do will still leave us trapped by it.
Sooner or later, we must go through.
And we must go up.
We must go towards something better, especially within ourselves, no matter what we must go through in order to get there.