Into The Ditch

The Thought.

The first thing that may come to your mind, that is an interesting thought “into the ditch.”

It was an incident that happened on my Camino walk, it has a frightening and funny side to it and for me a valuable insight. I will give you the whole story later in this post, but first there are a few things to deal with, that impacts on the story.

Earlier in this blog, the post “My Camino Companions” I mentioned my companions that challenged, directed or encouraged me during my journey.

In the post “Reflections 2” I mentioned some of the books and what they meant to me in my journey of life. I did mention there was more than those books and people. My late wife, seven children and my present wife have had an amazing impact on my life’s journey.

My experiences with my family have given me an amazing amount of information about myself and has been a tremendous eye opener in what I was lacking as a father and a husband. There has been challenges and encouragements.

Another Companion.

On my Camino walk, the guide-book I used was John Brierley’s account of the French Way Camino, which he had walked many times. I guess you would say that was my main companion.

The book didn’t mean much to me, until I got on the Camino, then it became relevant. There was much that was not of interest to me, but there was important and relevant information for me as well.

The book was a great help, but what is important to understand “I had to walk the Camino” I had to experience it. No amount of reading John Brierley’s  book could take the place of the experience, it wasn’t meant to take away the experience, it was meant to enhance the experience.

My other companion on my life’s journey has been and is “The Bible.” Don’t shut me down or think that we are on the same page because I mention the Bible. The Bible creates a closed concept within a person’s mind. Some will have a great conviction for it and others will argue against it. It is the same with the word God, it has been so misused, it has become empty of meaning.

God is a Spirit and a Spirit is an energy force. That is the Super Ego that I mentioned in my last post.

The Bible is like John Brierley’s book. The difference, John Brierley’s book is giving direction for a physical journey. The Bible is giving direction for a spiritual journey. Both give things to look out for on your journey, but neither are relevant unless you are experiencing the journey. No amount of study or reading can take the place of the experience.

Stay With Me.

In my posts I will seldom mention the Bible or God, both are names and do an injustice to the direction and power that emanates from this source.

I could have read and learned everything about the Camino from John Brierley’s book, but the experience of walking the way, made it real. The same with the Bible I can learn everything in it but nothing can take the place of  walking the spiritual walk, that makes it real.

I will use it sparingly, because it is so much misused and misunderstood. I misused it myself, with great conviction as if I knew what the journey was about and really I had no idea. Oh yes, I was sincere, but I have found it is so easy to be sincerely wrong, if we don’t know ourselves.

I don’t read the Bible, I haven’t for the past fifteen years. I did study it, but have come to realize, it wasn’t that I didn’t know enough about the Bible, I knew too much, that in some ways was why it has taken me so long on this journey.

I had more faith in the book than the experience.

I could talk the walk but I couldn’t walk the walk.

It’s a whole new world when you walk the walk, and it’s exciting, the book takes on a whole new dimension. The understanding comes through revelation rather than interpretation. This method respects the individuality of each person.


If you haven’t opted out and are still with me.

In the previous post I mentioned “lateral thinking.” That is solving problems using an indirect and creative approach via reasoning that is not immediately obvious. It involves ideas that may not be obtainable using only traditional step by step logic.

That my friend is how you are going to get to really know who you are. I have found that out the hard way, it doesn’t have to be the hard way. It is a choice we make. For me I ran into a brick wall, that is what it took for me to make a choice, that put me on the right path.

I would like to think that possibly through some of my posts, you may see where you could also make a choice without hitting a brick wall. Hitting a brick wall is painful, believe me.

When you are asking your inner self a question, the answer may come in the most unexpected way or from the most unexpected person.

If you want to build a better mousetrap, how would you go about it? Your not going to look at the trap and copy it, you have to pull it apart, look for what is valuable to the trap as it is, then consider what you can add to it to make it a better mouse trap. You are reasoning through the process.

The same goes with everything and everyone around us, don’t have a closed mind. There may be people who know more than you, there may be people that are better than you.

But it is not about them it is about YOU. 

When you are looking at others, it’s possible to short change yourself or to put others down by you feeling superior.

Now, “Into The Ditch”

It was about two weeks into my Camino walk, the weather had been beautiful, apart from the second day crossing the Pyrenees.

This particular day there was thunder and lighting and a heavy downpour of rain, it rained for most of the day. It was the first day that I walked in the rain. I put on my rain gear and put a cape over myself and my backpack. I actually enjoyed walking in the rain and my rain gear did an amazing job, because I was as dry at the end of the day as at the beginning.

I had been walking with a friend for several days, we had parted company and I had journeyed on. That evening I got a message on “What’s App” from this friend. Several of us kept in touch with one another on what’s app. The message seemed as if the person was in distress.

She started out early in the morning before daylight in heavy rain. When the thunder and lightning started, the lightening was frightening for her and made her very uncomfortable to say the least. She was afraid of getting struck by lightening, so she got down in a ditch, and was so frightened that she was crying when another pilgrim came along and helped her up and accompanied her to the Auberge.

I called on what’s app, to see what the problem was. She told me how frightening it was for her, and it was I’m sure. When she told me about getting down in the ditch in the water, I found it sort of funny, I could picture her in this wet ditch. I didn’t let on, that I found it funny because I know it wasn’t funny for her, it may have been a wise thing to do at the time, since she was on the Meseta, which is mostly open ground.

Several days later, I met up with her, she told me as she was walking, to try to overcome the fear, she was singing hymns and reciting Bible verses.

That got me thinking and helped me realize how much I had depended on the Bible myself, not fully realizing the power of a spiritual walk. The talk and walk are so different. No amount of knowledge could give me the comfort I needed in difficult times. I did ask if I could use this story in a post and my intention was to title it “into the ditch,” she gave me the OK, I thank her for that.

Seeking Direction.

My daughter Kim, said to me awhile ago, almost every self-help book you read either directly or indirectly draws from the Bible. That is so true, sometimes it is veiled, other times it is not.

I respect the fact that some people don’t want to hear about God or the Bible. There are other people who run their life by it, I respect that as well. Both are right because it is the choice that has been made, all be it, different choices.

Knowing that choice brings consequence, and having weighed the pros and cons of their choice, both are happy I’m sure.

This blog is about my experiences on my Camino (journey of life), each person has different experiences. All of our experiences are meant to guide us to a fulfilled, happy and peaceful life.

On numerous occasions I’ve said “I don’t have the answer” that also being the title of the blog and my subtitle “but you do” is meant to encourage or challenge you, not from any direction you may feel I am giving.

I have no intention of giving direction, just relating some of my experiences and what impact it has had on my life. You may relate to something I experienced.

In my blog I have posts that compliment and in some instances may duplicate some of my thoughts on this site. What I am going to start doing after the next post in “The You Process” is explain what I have come to realize on this journey and how the process unfolded.

I will continue to expand on, how I see things now, in respect to love, family, peace, happiness, father. Much of it is different then I thought.

I have also come to realize how difficult change is. It is not something I embraced, but change did take place.

If you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Next post: Natural and Supernatural.

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This blog is journalistic in nature, it is a picture of the experiences that have shaped me over the course of my lifetime. It is a transparent look at myself and how it has been dealt with and what the outcome has been. My hope is that it may help you, because in the end it is strictly about YOU.

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