Challenges on the Camino

Posted by Laura Paulisich on


Learning to accept has been one of my greatest learning experiences and accomplishments. Growing up the daughter of two alcoholic parents (both of whom have been in sober recovery for 40+ years!), some very early formative years were quite chaotic. Although both of my parents are beautiful, loving, highly educated, intelligent and successful people, because of their disease they were unable to always provide healthy nurturance and protection during early childhood. I adore both of my parents! They are light-hearted, loving, smart and fun, and yet I couldn’t understand their behaviors. After many years of learning, I now understand that a disease like alcoholism does not allow for healthy intimate personal relationships. It is just simply one of the effects and nothing I did “wrong.” Learning to not question the actions of loved ones and to not take anything personally has been one of the greatest challenges and accomplishments (when I can do it!) of my life. It has allowed me a personal freedom so great that I literally feel elevated!

On the Camino, I also overcame many obstacles and achieved something I wasn’t sure I could accomplish. I lived every day not knowing where exactly I was going, what would happen, who I would meet along the way, and if I could make it to the next town. The arrows and physical demands required staying focused and not letting fear control my thoughts. Facing seemingly endless, empty trails, not having replacement shoes, not being able to see any sign of a town in any direction when I was ready to be there, I had to keep my chin up and continue even though at times I felt like giving up and quitting. The Camino gave me a lifetime gift of accomplishment, acceptance and perseverance that will always be a part of me. MIRACLE!

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