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Not saintly enough yet

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#2
Imho...why in heaven's name ,and I mean this in the best way possible , would people expect you to be not more changed?
A Camino can be transformative or it can be not so...
Please follow your own heart and feelings.
It is indeed a faulty expectation...
Might some people not have overly enthusiastic expectations from viewing the movie " the Way "? Or reading certain Camino books?

More important : are you " dissapointed " with not having changed more? If not : why worry?!

And even more important: Ultreia and Suseia!
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Sept. - Oct. 2012
#3
While I enjoy reading the posts on this forum, I haven't felt any great compulsion to respond personally about the various subjects that are discussed.

For some reason, this one has resonated with me.

By way of background, I have done 7 Caminos. I think the one that may be of greatest interest to you readers was the St.Olav's Way from Oslo to Trondheim. Definitely not for the faint of heart.

However that aside, it has been my experience that the real impact of doing a Camino is not felt until 2 to 4 months after the fact. I believe that there are a number of reasons for this but I think common sense should allow you to figure it out.

While there is a great deal of discussion on the transformative aspects of doing a Camino, I can't help but wonder what people are trying to escape and or change in their lives.

In one sense, devoting 30 plus days to hiking across Spain is a very selfish and self indulgent activity. Great numbers of people across the world do not have the resources nor the opportunity to "find themselves" in this manner.

But that's okay. If you are kinder, more thoughtful and more interesting to those around you, then the Camino has made a difference.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#4
I think friends and family are disappointed that I have not become more "changed" by my camino. Does anyone else experience this (faulty) expectation on the part of people who stayed behind in the US?
What led them to this expectation? Why do they want you to be different? I like to think my family and friends don't want me to be to be drastically changed after a long walk with new friends.

More important : are you " disappointed " with not having changed more?
That is, indeed, the more significant question. Perhaps you have communicated some disappointment to them.

Ordinary people go on the camino, and ordinary people come home. I like to think that I come home a little stronger physically and maybe even spiritually (whatever that means), well balanced in my priorities, with happy memories and a readiness to continue with my life. I don't do drama.

Transformation, even if desired, is not that easy!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#6
friends and family are disappointed that I have not become more "changed" by my camino
@truthseeker
I think that I am the one who is disappointed that I have not become more changed by my camino. For me, it is a spiritual retreat which I walk when I can afford to. I do not consider this, as @Kevin Whitten apparently does, to be "a very selfish and self indulgent activity." My intention is to grow spiritually and become a better person. The unfortunate fact is that, first, I go each time with little or no idea of what it might mean in practice for me to become a better person, or second, why I expect to accomplish this by walking a camino. I justify this to myself in that I have felt a call to walk camino routes in pursuit of this goal. Like @Kanga, I feel that I still have a long way to go, so I keep on walking.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#8
@Albertagirl Maybe before you do your next walk it would be worth considering what kind of transformation you are seeking.
It may even turn out that doing a Camino will not be the path to change - but it may continue to be an activity you enjoy and perhaps grow through.
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#9
Maybe before you do your next walk it would be worth considering what kind of transformation you are seeking.
It may even turn out that doing a Camino will not be the path to change - but it may continue to be an activity you enjoy and perhaps grow through.
It's not that OP wants/needs/seeks change (at least she didn't mention that) but her friends and family were kind of disappointed that she didn't "changed" (enough???) for whatever that means...
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
#10
It's not that OP wants/needs/seeks change (at least she didn't mention that) but her friends and family were kind of disappointed that she didn't "changed" (enough???) for whatever that means...
Thanks - my reply was intended for the previous post so I have inserted her name to clarify.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#11
Not me, but I am fortunate to have friends who understand the rigors of transformation and expect no miracles.

If people expected you to come home a saint...
Well, maybe it's happened. But I'm not holding my breath. Nor should they.
But are you happier with the you that you are?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015); Ch. d'Arles: Oloron Ste Marie to Aragones; Frances (2016); V.d.l.P.; Sanabres (2017)
#13
I am not looking for a halo. I am hoping to become a better human being through going on pilgrimage, to become closer to God and more sensitive to the needs of other people. But as to how this happens, if it happens, I have experienced it as pure gift. I respond as best I can to the invitation, "Open your mouth wide and I will fill it." (Ps. 81:10) I don't know how I would respond to the apparent disappointment of friends and family that the OP was not more changed by her pilgrimage. I can't measure such progress. I just keep on walking in faith.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, (fall, 2018)
#14
Imho...why in heaven's name ,and I mean this in the best way possible , would people expect you to be not more changed?
A Camino can be transformative or it can be not so...
Please follow your own heart and feelings.
It is indeed a faulty expectation...
Might some people not have overly enthusiastic expectations from viewing the movie " the Way "? Or reading certain Camino books?

More important : are you " dissapointed " with not having changed more? If not : why worry?!

And even more important: Ultreia and Suseia!
I am not disappointed. The changes are there, and I have yet to fully understand them. My time post Camino has been one of becoming more aware of them and their subtlety. Some cn be communicated to others as lessons of the Way, but others cannot to be explained to others.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, (fall, 2018)
#16
What led them to this expectation? Why do they want you to be different? I like to think my family and friends don't want me to be to be drastically changed after a long walk with new friends.


That is, indeed, the more significant question. Perhaps you have communicated some disappointment to them.

Ordinary people go on the camino, and ordinary people come home. I like to think that I come home a little stronger physically and maybe even spiritually (whatever that means), well balanced in my priorities, with happy memories and a readiness to continue with my life. I don't do drama.

Transformation, even if desired, is not that easy!
The biggest change is the realisation that I am definitely not saintly enough and therefore I have to keep going back and doing it again.
Kanga, I agree with your observation. I have become increasingly aware of not always exercising the kindness and compassion that I experienced on the Camino. But I do think SabineP's comment is also a possibility -- that many people in the US have formed faulty expectations having seen that movie, or having read or heard about the pilgrimage. Personally, I did not expect any dramatic transformation either during or after my Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, (fall, 2018)
#17
Not me, but I am fortunate to have friends who understand the rigors of transformation and expect no miracles.

If people expected you to come home a saint...
Well, maybe it's happened. But I'm not holding my breath. Nor should they.
But are you happier with the you that you are?
I was supremely happy at times on my walk, and at times very upset, but the sum of everything has been that I was very glad to have done it, and that in fact, it has changed my outlook on my life. (The details of that change are still making themselves known.)
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#18
As Pilgrim observes "there is a way to hell, even from the Gates of Heaven". Poor Ignorance, lacking his "certificates" found that way easily. And Pilgrim, as he stood before the Heavenly City, he was not that one that "fled across the plain", but changed 'beyond all recognition".

I tease. But along with a bit of Bunyan I'll cite John Heywood and his "none so blind as those who will will not see". I'll also tease out of Mazlett that "to see the change in others requires change in your self".

In fact none of us change much at all: I'm still the angry young man I was in my twenties, the devoted father I was in my thirties and the pedantic grouch I have nurtured since my fifties - all at the same time. Which you'll see when you see me rather depends on how you are looking at me at the time. Tell your friends and family that they really, really, need to walk a camino. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, (fall, 2018)
#19
Thanks, Tincatinker, your posts are always interesting and valuable. I have been reading the forum for quite a long time now. A year ago, when I started planning my trip, it was one of my first and best resources.
 
#21
In one sense, devoting 30 plus days to hiking across Spain is a very selfish and self indulgent activity. Great numbers of people across the world do not have the resources nor the opportunity to "find themselves" in this manner.
I beg to differ on two counts:

1) It is a "very selfish and self indulgent activity" to walk across Spain. Why is that?

Becoming stronger and more resilient (both physically and mentally/spiritually) benefits not only yourself - which is already a great gift - but also those around you. I firmly believe that the experience enables us to better deal with stress and the ups and downs that we experience in our daily lives. Maybe it can also help to cultivate kindness and compassion, which we take home with us. On the Camino we are not only receivers but also givers.

2) Although I agree that many of us are very fortunate to have the resources to do so, not all of us walk the Camino to "find ourselves".

There are as many reasons to walk the Camino as there are pilgrims. That diversity makes for interesting conversation and encounters which, in the end, helps us to better understand the world around us and hopefully also ourselves.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#22
I can only echo what @LTfit has said so well.
One of the abiding lessons of the Camino is a deeply experiential understanding of common humanity, and the universal experience of pain. Along the way, we meet each other as equals, regardless of social status or nationality - just as fellow peregrinos and peregrinas. And everyone is dealing with something that hurts. When that sinks in, growing kindness and compassion naturally follow.

When we see how others, like us, have pain and want to be free of it, our little self-absorbed ego bubbles can pop. And when that happens, the world around us is automatically a better place.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sept. - Oct. 2012
#23
I don't mean any disrespect but it's difficult to recognize that the Camino is a "deeply experiential understanding of common humanity and the universal understanding of pain".

It may be an unique experience for some to establish connections at a level that may be new to them but let's keep some type of perspective.

If you feel alienated in your life and with those around you, then a change is necessary. This should entail a look at yourself, your lifestyle or how and why you got to where you find yourself.

Yes, do something but not everyone is in pain. Not everyone is dissatisfied or unhappy.

And while I have the greatest sympathy for those that are in distress, in many cases, the Camino can be an expression of freedom and without being trite - it's like dancing in the rain or more precisely, an expression of happiness, hope and love of life.

Hopefully I didn't upset too many people.

That said, I would like to wish everyone a safe, happy and healthy holiday season.
 
#24
Said by many in different words, ask this question of yourself first, "Who did I walk this Camino for?" That is the person, and no one else, who can have expectations, no one else. The walker, (Pilgrim), is the first and most invested individual to the results.

Perhaps those who seek change in you are maybe seeking change themselves and their perceived disappointment in you is really disappointment in their own lives?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#25
it's like dancing in the rain or more precisely, an expression of happiness, hope and love of life.
Undeniably, it's that too.
And IMHO the wider perspective is that life is both happiness and pain.
not everyone is in pain. Not everyone is dissatisfied or unhappy.
And not everyone is happy all the time, just as not everyone is in pain all the time. Not me and I bet not even you.;);)
If you feel alienated in your life and with those around you, then a change is necessary. This should entail a look at yourself, your lifestyle or how and why you got to where you find yourself.
Heavens, who said any of this?
I was thinking blisters and shin splints and plantar fascitis - and the many mishaps of the road that all of us have to deal with at some point or another, no matter where we're from, or how 'important' we are.
Facing that opens us to the miraculous fragility of life, and a natural empathetic response to that - and we help, or are helped, in turn.

It may be an unique experience for some to establish connections at a level that may be new to them
Even saints deepen seek to their compassion. And I bet none of us are that. So it's all good.
I hope you have some new experiences, too, @Kevin Whitten .:)
 

Aurigny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, 2016; Português Central, 2017; Port. Interior, 2017; Primitivo, 2018; Port. Coastal, 2018.
#26
St James spent three years on pilgrimage with Jesus Christ, watching the dead being raised, the hungry being fed with a few scraps, the storms being stilled, and the blind and deaf being made whole. It transformed him to the point that when the mob with clubs and swords showed up at Gethsemane, he disappeared over the horizon with his ten surviving friends and spent the next three days hunkered down behind locked doors.

We're all a work in progress.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#27
It transformed him to the point that when the mob with clubs and swords showed up at Gethsemane, he disappeared over the horizon with his ten surviving friends and spent the next three days hunkered down behind locked doors.

We're all a work in progress.
I totally appreciate the way you tell this story @Aurigny , because it really hones in on the challenges we all face...and how even those guys had to deal with being works in progress. And if they chickened out when things got a bit tough...welll...I guess we don't have to be perfect.
 

Biff

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues - Tui to Santiago (2014, I think)
French - St Jean to Santiago to Finester (2018)
#28
Some people go looking for God ...

I didn't even know He was lost!
 

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