it wasn't me
Updated: Mar 16
Pause to reflect.
Photo: from istock
Some people think walking is boring, they are wrong. I had been lost, bitten by ants, scared by a snake, attacked by dogs, bullied by belligerent cows, and dangled on a barbed-wire fence. I have gone hungry, and thirsty, slept in a half built house, and a forest abandoned woodshed and got lost, horribly horribly lost? Walking can be great a great adventure, unfortunately, I was on a trip to hell.
What had gone wrong? This can get a bit deep but persevere, please.
In the the Bible, God creates an awesome garden, makes the first humans, Adam and Eve and creates one rule, "don’t eat the fruit form that tree". Just one rule.
They had one rule, one rule ...
God asked. “Did you eat the fruit that I told you not to eat?”
The man answered, “The woman you put here with me gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”
The Lord God asked the woman, “Why did you do this?”
She replied, “The snake tricked me into eating it.”
Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the snake. This is what we do, we look for someone to blame so we avoid take responsibility for our actions.
One of the ways we (we all have this tendency) is to change the language we use. Using me as an example, I changed want to have (you can play the same game with want and need). “I want to go on a pilgrimage” … changed to “I have to walk twenty kilometres today”. The word want implies, I, as an independent human being, am making my own free will decision. It’s an expression of my choice, my hopes, my dreams, my behaviour, my desire. The word have implies I am somehow not in control, I am being coerced by an outside agent into doing something I don’t want to do. I am no longer exercising my free will, I am being compelled or forced.
I was insanely angry at me, for making me do the very thing I said I wanted to do.
This is unhinged.
If you are still reading, don’t laugh. I am not the only one doing this. I have had many many many conversations with people who tell me they have to go on a diet, go to the gym, give up smoking / alcohol / drugs, porn, staying up late, working too hard, love their wife or husband etc etc etc.
The answer is … “no you don’t”. Take dieting as an example. You don’t have to go on a diet, you can carry on eating too much of all the wrong stuff, you will get more fat, turn into Jabba the Hutt and probably die an early death due to some obesity comorbidity. You don’t have to go on a diet, no one is “forcing” you. By saying “I have to go on a diet” what you are in fact saying is “I don’t want to go on a diet”. How successful do you think you will be? My guess is a month, then back to where you started. Except now you will be just as fat and have to deal with guilt and failure. Great strategy Einstein.
If I can convince myself that I have to do something then I feel less of a failure when it all goes horribly wrong because it wasn’t my fault. I can’t resist chocolate, the devil tempted me. I am too tired for the gym , my boss made me work late. My wife made me angry so I went down the pub and got smashed. Yada yada yada. Excuses, all excuses to avoid the brutal harsh reality, we don’t want to take responsibility for the consequences of our own actions (failure to act is also an action).
I wanted the “idea” of a pilgrimage, the same way people want to lose weight or get fit. I wanted the accomplishment, the accolades, the victory celebrations, I just didn't want the mundane, boring, unpleasant hard work of achieving it. It’s why diet pills are so eagerly anticipated. We want the gain without the pain or in this case we want the loss without the gross.
I wanted the blessing of a peaceful journey and the joy of a spiritually enlightening experience, instead, I got blisters, sunburn and despair.
Photo: my approximate journey on Google maps. It's all a guess.