Pilgrimpace's Blog

change and response
June 17, 2011, 5:01 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

“Every significant journey changes us in some way.  We are hardly ever aware of this while we are in the midst of it.  We may have hints and glimpses of these changes but it is only later, in looking back that we gasp in amazement at what was being formed and shaped in our lives.  Only then do we recognize how a new attitude, a stronger dedication, and a fuller passion stretched us into the fullness of life.  Then we are able to identify the journey’s ability to propel us into unexpected growth.

“Unfortunately, our significant journeys can also alter us in negative ways we do not want.  Sometimes we end up with greater disillusionment, deeper dissatisfaction, unending restlessness, frustrating confusion, or brittle patterns of disturbing anger and hostility.  So much of what we learn from our noteworthy journeys depends on what we experience and how we go about responding.”

– Joyce Rupp Walk in a Relaxed Manner


7 Comments so far
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I am sure it won’t surprise you to know I have filched part of this for Camino-spirations!

Comment by Margaret

Excellent! Thanks Margaret.

Comment by pilgrimpace

Interesting, and much food for thought here. I definitely recognise that all-important retrospective take on pilgrimage: how we appreciate only fully afterwards its true significance and the changes wrought on us.

I think it’s essential too not to hide, indeed to confront any negative feelings we may have resulting from our momentous experience. So many accounts make out that pilgrimages and other significant journeys are all good, positive, life-changing etc. Yes, they can be, but they can also be frustrating, confusing, disillusioning, difficult – exactly as Rupp says. I certainly had my share of challenging days on the Via de la Plata, as I know you did on your route. Perhaps out of this very ‘dark night of the soul’ aspect, the synthesis of positive and negative, day and night, good days and bad days, the easy and the testing, comes the enlightenment? I think so. The rose has its thorns, and that’s what makes it a rose.

Comment by solitary walker

Robert, this is interesting and is sparking off some thoughts. I’ll post properly in reply in the next few days,


Comment by pilgrimpace

What Rupp says about the importance of our response to the experience resonates with something I’ve been thinking about a lot since I got home from the Via de la Plata.

My walk challenged me in so many ways. It battered me down and made me confront a lot of my fears. And it brought me the most amazing experiences and encounters.

I’m still too close to it now to have much perspective, but in a lot of ways I feel like whether or not it changes me in positive ways is up to me. I can slip back into “normal life” and forget the difficult lessons I learned on the Camino, or I can make a conscious effort to assimilate them into my life. The difference it makes in my life will depend on my response.

Comment by Anna-Marie

[…] it is making connections with the quotation from Joyce Rupp that I posted a few days ago and the thoughtful responses from Robert and Anna-Marie, reflecting on their experiences of […]

Pingback by pilgrimage to the recesses of the heart « Pilgrimpace's Blog

Thanks everyone for your comments. They’ve inspired some further thoughts which are here:


Comment by pilgrimpace

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