Istvan Szabo - People carrying bags
Recently I walked a more than 300 km chunk of the famous pilgrim-way, the “el camino de Santiago” in Spain. They say that the camino is an analogy of the life itself that I found in many ways very adequate during my travel. One of my specific experiences, which made me wonder about the human nature, was the fact that most people carried extremely have bags, around 10-15 kgs. It is bearable to carry this for a few meters, but to drag it throughout a typical “etape”, that is 20-30 km, it is an extreme burden. When I asked people, what do they have in the bags, most of the time they did not even know exactly. This weight did not only hinder them in setting up a good walking tempo, but it also made impossible to enjoy the beauty of nature and it contributed to several health and ergo issues like hurting legs, backs and blisters.
While I was thinking about this, during my lonely walks with my 4 kgs. backpack, I realized that people also carry a bag in their lives. This bag does not contain t-shirts, sweaters and other objects, but expectations, emotional scars, certain beliefs, customs, addictions and many other things like that. Those also pull them back to earth with their immense weight, and they do not let them enjoy the beautiful journey that they walk in their lives.
During the camino, the most important thing is to progress and to reach the next albergue (accommodation) safely. Then at those places there is usually a dinner, a shower, a bed, other friendly pilgrims and a washing machine to wash the dirty clothes. As most of the day is spent by walking, it is very important to enjoy the ride, so we can be more attentive about the whole experience. A 15 kgs. backpack is a perfect tool to destroy this experience.
My suggestion therefore is to only wear the necessary weights what we require. There are some customs which makes our life much easier, and of course they are necessary. We can not start everything as if we did for the first time. Expectations are, though, those typical extra weights which are not needed, and they only make our imaginary bag heavier. We get what we get from life, it is a result of our past actions, karma, the destiny or the sheer chance. If something does not exactly happen according to our plan, there is no reason to worry about it. We only need to move forward because at the next destination they are already waiting for us.
It is the same on the camino. The most important thing is to move forward with the greatest ease and rapidity. Whatever happens, whether it is raining, is cold or warm, you are travelling with somebody or alone, just move forward, because there is nothing worse than not to reach the destination at all. Do not carry on the way heavy emotional burdens which pull you back into the past, and expectations which may blur your focus and you will not see the signs navigating you to the right direction. Take a deep breath, be in the present, dump the unnecessary weight and move forward.
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