I am leaving on a trip very soon. I will be hiking a portion of the Camino de Santiago with a dear friend. Much of the trip will be outside of my comfort zone. The uncertainty of how it will all play out is not something I’m accustomed to as I’ve gravitated to more controlled travel/situations the older I’ve gotten. There will be several variables present on this adventure. The biggest ones being: weather and our physical bodies. That being said, there are a couple things that I can control which I’ve been focusing on for the past few weeks. The first of these is the weight of my pack. Since we will be carrying our backpacks with everything we need for an average of 10-15 miles a day, the weight matters. Every. single. ounce. matters. I’ve resorted to weighing my toiletries on my kitchen scale to cut any unnecessary ounces. You know it’s gotten serious when you bust out the kitchen scale. 🙂
Since my focus has been on cutting the weight that I’ll be carrying on the trip, (and if you are curious it’s currently at 15 pounds), it’s made me think about the metaphorical backpack we carry around day to day. The items in it are: our thoughts, our emotions, our habits and actions, our results, our decisions regarding how we spend our time and with whom we spend our time. It really had me question which items in my metaphorical backpack are necessary. Which items will I look back on, if I’m blessed to live until I’m older and fully gray, and be grateful I kept them? Which items will I see as unnecessary? Which items will have added to my life and to the lives of those around me?
I don’t believe we are meant to carry much in these metaphorical packs. And what we choose to carry will ultimately determine how our lives unfold. I would invite you to examine what you are carrying that you would benefit to release? What are you carrying that doesn’t belong to you?
The second thing I can control regarding my trip are the metaphorical glasses I choose to wear before, during and long after my trip has past. What do I want to believe about the trip and the experience ahead of time? What perspective do I want to let go of that doesn’t serve me?
I’m choosing to believe that the trip will be rigged in my favor, just as I consciously choose to believe that life is rigged in my favor day to day. I’m choosing to believe that love is what matters and to ask myself, “what would love do?” before I make my decisions on my trip, just as I aim to everyday at home. I’m choosing to believe that God knows what’s best for my trip and because of that I can surrender to whatever happens being his will.
You see, just like the two things I have control over on my trip, the weight (what I carry) and the glasses that I choose to wear, we each have control of these every day of our lives.
I urge you to ask yourself on the regular, alongside of me: when you look back on your life and all of your experiences, what will truly matter? What would serve you to let go of? What do you want to go to the grave believing to be true?
The answers to these questions are our North Star. Let’s follow our North Star all the way home.