As I became obsessed with Pilgrimages, I realized that what I loved as much as the travel, was the state of being that comes with going on pilgrimage. I began to explore the different aspects of pilgrimage and how to achieve this state even when not on the trail.
Surrender has been one of the biggest lessons of Pilgrim living. The act of surrender was something that I understood only in my rational mind until last year. It was not a state my heart lived in, but backed into a corner with nowhere to turn, I tried something new-the act of surrender.
Now surrendering may seem like a no brainer to you in these situations, but I have fought my way out of that corner for more than 30 years. Surrendering is not my natural choice. It was hard to lay down my armor and stop fighting. I was so used to struggling, fighting, and going it alone, that I didn't understand the beauty and peace that would envelop me when I stopped. When I finally threw up my hands and fell to my knees. When I finally said I can't go on like this.
I would love to wrap my surrender story up with 'and then I was miraculously healed and my life became a magical fairytale of wonder and glitter.' Uhm, well-no.
I began a healing journey that continues to this day. I surrender daily to the Divine, laying down the external and false reality all around me. I have to continually remind myself to put the armor down and stop struggling against myself. I have to remember to choose ease and flow over struggle and strife. But I surrender. I surrender. I surrender.
Last summer, I was searching for Gobnait's well in the middle of a large expansive field on the coast of the Dingle Peninsula. I was determined to find it. After looking and looking I realized that I had to accept that I wasn't going to find it. I asked myself, what are you really looking for? What experience do you need that you think this well will give you?
I wanted to feel divine power moving through me by connecting to the scared energy in a sacred place. So, I just stopped moving for a few moments. I begin to pray silently to FEEL. To know I was loved and to surrender to what I needed to hear in that moment. As I continued through the field towards the cliff to stare at the glorious sea, I FELT-peace, love, and divine acceptance. As I turned and began walking back out I found the small well. I laughed at how in my struggle to find it, I must have walked right past it. It wasn't until I let go of my need to have my outcome and really tapped into the truth of what I was seeking that my desire was met. So many lessons from the Pilgrim’s Path. How can you surrender more fully to allow grace to guide and lift you up? Where can you let go of being tied to the external and to rigid outcomes? Can you stop struggling with yourself and let flow come in?