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Why are you doing the Camino?

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by Khal, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. fraluchi

    fraluchi 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015

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    When I started the first time I didn't have the faintest idea of what to expect. It happened to be a nice hike and incited for further initiative.:p All following ones turned out to be "interesting hikes", culminating in Santiago where the atmosphere is second to none.:)
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2015
  2. stevelm1

    stevelm1 The Happy Peregrino Donating Member

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    For some reason I was pulled to this thread today (it was several likes by yaka). It's an old thread that was active right before I went to Spain. I have been home over a year now and thought I would follow through on some discussion from above concerning why I/we walk the Camino.

    It turned out to be a deeply spiritual experience for me. As I approached Cruz de Ferro I was filming how I was feeling and talked about how the rock I was about to toss on the pile did not have that much meaning for me. By the time I got to the top of the hill I was quite unexpectedly emotional. I tried to capture some of what I was feeling there but was crying too much to talk. I went to the top of the hill and added my rock then walked away from there and really thought about what had just happened. I got to a point where I thought I could talk without crying and started filming. It was in that moment that I finally understood why I was on the Camino. It was both a revelation and a transformation like none I had ever had. All from the significance that I put into that pile of rocks.

    I have made a movie of my walk and this experience is captured in Chapter 8 if you want to see this emotional realization unfold.

    Cruz de Ferro was a very strong spiritual moment for me. Oddly I felt almost nothing walking into the square at Santiago.

    Many of my friends and family thought that this walk would draw me back to religion. It turns out that I have always had a fascination with the Catholic Church as my Father and both siblings are Catholic. I am not because my Mother decided I should be raised Lutheran. So I studied up on the Catholic Church before I went. I even called a couple of Priests to see if it was cool for me to take communion. (It was not). To get to the point, after my walk across Spain I am more convinced than ever that religion does not call me. I started as an atheist and walked into Santiago an atheist.

    One of the major lessons I learned on the Camino was tolerance. I would at times mock religion and the religious before the Camino. I have much more respect for both now. Just one of the many ways the trail changed me, and oh so many others.
     
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  3. mjfisher02

    mjfisher02 New Member

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    I am a lapse Catholic. Severely. Even though when I was younger, all I wanted to be was the Pope. lol I know. I think losing faith was peer pressure driven. After all , I was like 12. But I never stopped believing, just practicing. Then one sad January day I was informed by my parents that my cousin...practically brother...was killed halfway around the world by accident. It was a dark time in my life. Suicidal even. Then one day I was at the bookstore. Just so happen to be walking down an aisle and a book binder caught my eye. It was 'Off The Road' by Jack Hitt. So, I bought it and feel in love. Little did I know they was a movie adaptation. Love it too. I could relate it a lot of things that happened in it...what I could see through my tears.
    Lots of things have happened in my life that has led me to this moment in time. Even if this post has an infinite character limit, it still wouldn't be enough.
    I guess to sum up the reason why is simple to say but not so simple to explain. It maybe more suitable for another forum also. But I am doing this because something or someone has told me to without even saying a single word to me.
    And if he is reading this from up there, thank you and I love you.
     
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  4. JTD

    JTD Member

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    This is an interesting thread - thank you to all of you who have shared.

    I first walked the Camino from StJPP in July 2012. There were several things happening in my life at that time, but the reason for me choosing to walk the Camino was perhaps an unusual one. I suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and anxiety. I am afraid of going outside and am afraid of people, particularly men. I wanted to expose myself to what I was most afraid with no way of escape in order to take control of my life - people, and being outside.

    The first couple of weeks were very difficult for me, but by the time I walked into Santiago I felt amazing. Really, like I had never felt before. My intention was to go home, earn some cash, and then continue with my new found love of travel and meeting people.

    That didn't happen though. Around 6 months after returning home I was diagnosed with Cancer. I underwent surgery which had some complications, and chemotherapy. Long story short - I lost my job, have been unable to work, and have locked myself away once again. I live in a town where I don't know anybody and I have no contact with my family. So, for the last 3+ years I have been pretty much housebound, only going out to see my two daughters.
    .
    This has to change - I can't carry on existing like this. My strength is improving and I am going to walk the Camino again this summer. Maybe June, maybe July, I don't yet know. I am waiting to hear back from a friend in Germany who may walk with me but if not I will go alone. I'm terrified, but I just keep reminding myself how much I enjoyed it and how good I felt by the time I reached Santiago.
     
  5. hindsfeet

    hindsfeet Donating Member Donating Member

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    JTD, life can be indeed SO difficult. With PTSD/anxiety and then cancer it can feel absolutely overwhelming. And then the myriad of emotions that all of that entails. But reading your post JTD, all I can see is your strength! I have so much respect for you as a man...the trials that you are going through would cause many to end it right there. HOPE is there and extremely evident! Your DESIRE to make a change for your health and to enjoy life again is
    the recipe! Hoping you have a support group to help you with some of the difficult times that
    you encounter. We were created to be with others! I am excited to hear that you will be on
    the Camino again soon! When I am going thru a trial, I train myself to look at the GRAND
    SCHEME OF THINGS. I know that I am on this earth for but a breath. I want to LIVE with
    no regrets, think and live outside the box. Cherishing every moment, keeping a grateful heart,
    never hold grudges, forgive always , and be thankful for every new morning! You were put
    on this earth for a reason.....excited to see what happens next! Buen Camino JTD!
     
  6. JTD

    JTD Member

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    What can I say? Thank you for such a kind reply to my post. Things have been difficult, that's for sure. But I'm very aware of the fact that many people are in far more difficult situations than I.
    I'm lucky that I have recovered almost fully physically, and now I have to take a leap and work on recovering mentally. Only I can do that bit unfortunately! It would be so nice if someone could wave a wand and take away my fear!

    There really is something special about the Camino and although nervous, I'm looking forward to actually taking those steps toward getting better again.

    Thanks again for such a lovely reply.

    Jimmy.
     
  7. Terry Wilson

    Terry Wilson Active Member

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    Hi Jimmy.
    Terry here from New Zealand I have depression and anxiety attacks I have thing to resolve like the death of a grand daughter to CF. I am also trying to find something else I feel for your situation people who dont have depression or anxiety just dont understand. Read some of my other posts. I am 68 I have a wife and four daughters I am meeting my wife at Sarria to walk the last 100ks with me at about 10ks per day .
    You did an amazing thing the first time then you have been knocked down.
    I think your the sort of person that if you came out for round two you might just win.
    Why am I telling you all this well I am leaving SJPD on the 13th Aug, this year to walk the Camino. I am no expert on walking but I have been training I will get there.
    We have something in common and we dont know each other from Adam . So what!
    If you would like. Walk with me:)
    Bon Camino
    God bless.
     
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  8. ajahnchah

    ajahnchah New Member

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  9. ajahnchah

    ajahnchah New Member

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    Well done for having another go and you know now that your fears are only thoughts that you don't need to follow or believe (try looking at the work of Byron Katie - this will help enormously get you to the root of all your fears - see www.thework.com and you tube videos...) ...
    I think I did all my caminos on my own - the first many years back, when at the last moment my travel companion was unable to come as his mother had had a stroke ....initially difficult as I didn't know how then to look at my stressful thoughts but like you was amazing to arrive at Santiago ....since then it has been wonderful to go alone and I think you get the best of both worlds ....easy to meet people and great to wonder alone and be with yourself ......
    finally re your cancer treatment, you may want to look at shaking meditation with www.ratubagus.org - amazing, a little strange but 100% cure rates for people who do it....

    wishing you all the very best ....never give up and don't believe those stressful thoughts - and there is a way ....
    enjoy the journey
    Blessings Sheila
     
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  10. JTD

    JTD Member

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    Hello Terry,
    Sorry to hear that you suffer from depression and anxiety. I think you are right that unless somebody has first hand experience, it is difficult for them to understand. I've been struggling for many years and I still don't understand. But I know that it's real, and that is what some fail to grasp. All of that said though, there are kind, compassionate people who try to understand and who offer support regardless of whether or not they do.

    Thank you for the kind offer of walking together. I'm hoping to be on the Camino in June if I can though, July perhaps at the latest. I've been waiting 5 years to be strong enough to go back and start again and now that I'm there, I'm getting rather impatient! This is not at all personal and if things change and I end up leaving later than I'd like, I will be in touch!

    Thanks again, I hope that you have a fantastic time!
    Buen Camino,
    Jimmy.





    Hello Sheila,

    Thank you for the king message and links. I will look at those in a moment.
    When I walked the Camino in 2012 I had my cousin to "hold my hand" at the beginning and we ended up forming a group of around 8 of us who walked together most of the time. I'm not sure I would make friends so easily without my cousin to initiate conversations for me, but if I do end up going alone I'll have a good try! Once I've broken the ice I'm usually fine (at least on the outside!). My biggest worry at the moment is not the Camino itself, but travelling there alone. I don't speak French or Spanish (apart from a few words) and last time just let my cousin do most of the talking. I'm pretty sure that once I'm back in St Jean Pied de Port I'll relax into it, it's just getting there in the first place!

    Thanks again,
    Jimmy.
     
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  11. Terry Wilson

    Terry Wilson Active Member

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