I don’t remember where I was on the Camino, I just remember coming out of the trees and crossing a river on a wooden bridge. Trees lined the banks of the smooth flowing river, and on either side of the bridge patches of grass and sand invited me to drop my pack and rest a while.
It wasn’t entirely warm enough, but I remember thinking how inviting it would be to go for a swim in the beautiful Spanish river.
But I didn’t. I convinced myself that I needed to keep walking, to cover the kilometers for the day, to press on. I didn’t even take a picture.
That just might be my biggest regret from the Camino.
That choice embodied a scarcity mindset that was driving me. I was telling myself that I didn’t have enough time, that I wasn’t covering enough kilometers, that I could’t afford to stop and enjoy myself right where I was because I had somewhere else I needed to be.
The scarcity mindset is a driven mindset, but it’s driven out of fear instead of love. It’s driven to acquire and achieve, always believing that it never has enough. And it never really feels safe.
As I walked on, my conversations with fellow pilgrims became more scripted.
“How far are you walking today?”
“Where are you from?”
“Why are you walking the Camino?”
“Isn’t that nice?”
I found myself among pace setters I couldn’t keep up with and beginners who did not share my experiences of hiking over the Pyrenees, or forming and losing a Camino family. I grew envious of pilgrims who had no timeline, no plane to catch, and no commitments awaiting them at home. Theirs was the open road of discovery, the Camino I truly longed to walk, but my scarcity mindset told me my Camino wouldn’t be so fulfilling. I began to withdraw, not admitting to myself that I was growing tired.
I wanted so badly to walk to Finisterre, but my scarcity mindset told me that I didn’t have the time nor the means to change that. So I just kept walking, thinking more and more about what I wasn’t going to have at the end of my Camino, so much so that I lost the joy of contentment for where I was at the moment.
I’m so afraid of what I’m not going to have then, that I overlook the joy of what I have now. In the end I lose it all.
I thought I went to Spain without expectations or burdens. I really did feel like I was in a good place spiritually and personally. Not a dogmatic place, or a place of enlightenment, but an open place, a place of searching and giving. But what if I really went with the greatest burden of all – an expectation of results? What if I went with an underlying expectation of what the Camino would ultimately do to me and for me?
I think this is an honest truth. I envisioned Jedidiah’s Journey as a growing travel blog that would start on the Camino and continue on around the world exploring spirituality through travel. The Camino was suppose to be my launching pad. It was supposed to be the catalyst that started my travel writing career, as well as the vision quest that introduced God to me in a whole new way – as my resurrection and life for today.
I got so focused on doing the Camino that I started to lose the rich experience of being on the Camino.
The scarcity mindset is much more concerned with counting produce than it is in experiencing the process of growth. We get so caught up in the business of growing and the expectations of what we’ll produce that we miss the wonder and forget why we’re growing in the first place.
I journey to encounter the Divine and to be changed by that encounter. Why do you journey?
Have you ever lost an experience to your expectations? What did you do to re-engage with that experience? What did you learn?
Share your experiences in the comments below, or sign up for our newsletter to join our Facebook Group, On Journey Together. I look forward to hearing from you.
Buen Camino, my friends.