So…Claus and I are walking the Camino together again. He sent me a text message that read, “In two days, I will be in Logrono. I will wait for you there. Let’s walk together and connect with God again from a heart level.”
Oh, there was such a big part of me that so wanted to walk with him again but another part that was so very afraid of getting hurt. He goes home to Denmark in ten days and it was painful to imagine opening up and experiencing the kinds of conversations we have been sharing and then him walking out of my life again. I was just getting used to not being with him, why would I open myself up to inevitable loss and pain?
I told him that I would take the two days to pray and think about it. And, of course, I sent a text message to Haven, Clancy, my mother and best friend asking for advise. That didn’t help at all. I got four different opinions. I realized this was a critical Camino test. I had to listen to my own heart. After two days of internal struggle, I responded…
“If you want to wait for me, I will arrive in Logrono tomorrow. I just walked into a cafe to buy my morning coffee and finish writing the blog I will post today. “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley was playing on the radio – again.
My primary intention for this Camino is to recognize my inner guiding voice. I have been listening to the voices of “shoulds” and “best” and “right” and “reasonable” and “obedient” and “The Bible” and “wise” and “God.” I have submitted and suppressed the voices of “child” and “heart” and “fun” and “unfiltered” and “crazy.” I know there is a balance. Both/And. But I need to exercise my heart guidance more and connect it to my well-developed mind voices.
My heart wants to walk with you some more. My mind has presented all kinds of arguments why this is not the way I should go but if I am to trust the Camino then it has presented walking with you as The Way, at least for tomorrow. And we can take it one step at a time from there.”
So, we met up and spent a wonderful day in Logrono. Tapas Bars are my favorite and we did a little “bar” hopping. (Which is not a sentence I’ve ever been able to write before. :) )We enjoyed enlightening, God-breathed conversations but it also became apparent very quickly that this Camino wanted to do some deep work in each of us but we needed each other to do the work. Unfortunately, that meant, in addition to the hippy dippy, happy clappy, ain’t God amazing conversations, it also meant we would trigger each other’s deepest buttons and, if we were brave, we could help each other heal. I guess the Camino knew we didn’t have time to waste. It went right for the jugular, our fear of rejection. Man, this road is long and hard and ancient and powerful.
By the end of the day, we were able to walk it out in silence and tears and conversation. Breakthrough feels so freeing. As we were walking into the town where we planned to spend the night we saw another giant stack of hay bales. Claus asked me if I wanted to try again. I knew I was ready this time – with his help. This is another huge part of my lesson. I need help and that is okay. So, he climbed up a few hay bales, lent me his hand and helped me up until I reached the top. I made it! But, I needed help. And that was okay.
When it was time to climb back down, he said that he wanted to descend first so he could take a picture of my triumph from the bottom. The only problem with that scenario was that meant I had to climb down by myself, which was scarier than climbing up in some ways. But, I really did want the picture to show off to you! He slid down the bales, took a picture of me and then it was time for me to find a way down safely by myself.
At this very moment, a tractor pulled around stacked with four bales of hay. He spoke something in Spanish and motioned to the end of the stack. We both laughed out loud, understanding that he was offering to raise the hay bales up to the top, let me sit on top of them, and lower me down safely and gently. What a sweet confirmation from the Lord for me. Sometimes, our lesson is to climb alone, to believe we can do it. And, sometimes, our lesson is to allow someone to help us up and down. And to receive the help with gladness, thanksgiving and without shame.
So…I’m walking the Camino with Claus again. I need help. And, that’s okay. I may get hurt. And, that’s okay, too. Because I’m listening to my heart, climbing haystacks, sharing tapas and facing fear. And, that’s really okay.