Sometimes life really sucks! The daily routine of going to work, raising the family and all its inherent issues, driving in the worst traffic in the world and so on. You know what I mean!
Living life on a day to day basis can become very tiring. How many times do we hear people say, ”I need a vacation!”
And they do need one. We all need a vacation!
So off we go to our favourite beach or golf resort or what have you for two glorious weeks of absolute pleasure…. Only to return to the same old world we tried to escape from.
For a few weeks everything is rosy again. We can deal with the traffic, the sick kids, the bills….
In reality, nothing has changed. Nothing has changed because we did not change.
The world we live in is an illusion!
The world we live in is an illusion expressed through what we believe about life. As we become older, we become more entrenched in the process of living in our illusion. Our beliefs become so real that we actually believe them. We believe in them to the point where we lose our connection to the beauty and possibilities of life.
We may not even be aware that this has happened. Life moves so quickly that we take no notice of the fact that we have not shared time with our best friend for a long time or shared a special evening with our special partner or laughed with our children or gone for a walk in nature. All we remember is the drudgery of our jobs, the awful traffic, the illness we currently are wrestling with.
Life has become a stale boring place.
Is it time for another vacation?
Yes, but this time it needs to be a real vacation! It needs to be a vacation that forces you to step out of your old life. It needs to be a vacation that is long enough and different enough that the beliefs that “run” your day to day life cannot go with you.
A month of golf won’t do it. Six months on a beach won’t do it.
It has to be a vacation that forces your beliefs to be tried over and over again. It has to be a vacation where your reserves on all levels are pushed to the breaking point. It has to be a place where you expose yourself to other human beings sharing the same experience.
Until we place ourselves in a difficult situation with other like-minded souls for a long period of time, we can never truly drop the facades that define the life we called our own. It requires allowing ourselves to meet new people on an ongoing basis, kindling new friendships with people who come from outside our bubble. It requires allowing ourselves to be reliant on others for support in every way,,,, from a kindly smile to a band aid, to emergency help.
When we become integrated into such a process, we eventually begin to see that life is not about politics or having the best home in the neighbourhood. It is not about being a member of the right church or having the best children or the best car.
As we get older, we become jaded about life. The frustrations and failures of life often become the ruling energy. We lose the belief about life as it was really intended to be.
And this is why God created the Camino!
By walking the Camino (Road or Way in Spanish) we take the opportunity to step out of our life as it has been. The only familiar aspect of the old life you have left is yourself.
One foot in front of the other… again and again…. Mile after mile walking in some of the most beautiful scenery the world has available. Walking mile after mile…. With the most beautiful person you know…. Yourself.
Eventually, the world of the past dissolves away. The focus is left foot, right foot, left foot right foot. Nothing else is important.
Before long, your life becomes the Camino. The people, the sights, the towns, the local people, the food, sleep or lack of, the open spaces with no traffic.
As you really let go and get into the rhythm of your days, miracles begin to happen. You notice a pretty flower, a tasty bunch of grapes placed on a bench by a local for you to enjoy, a perfect stranger comes to your rescue or even better, you get to help someone else out. You get to enjoy the beauty of new friends from other lands who may not even speak your language.
Soon you begin to find that the old jaded self has eroded and dissolved into its own illusion. You begin to feel the light of the spirit that always was within you waiting to reappear. The joy of being alive and sharing with others.
Life is now unfolding as a shining star that sees the good in young and old alike. The important aspects of life express themselves as beautiful music. Even the discordant sounds of the old way become more beautiful as the old curtains of illusion become tattered and disappear into the truth that we are all connected and we are all a part of this great universe where the light within each of us shines as brightly as it ever could… only now we can see it!