Heart Lessons from the Camino de Santiago: Embrace the Ambiguity!
I remember first being read the book Oh! The Places You Will Go! It was the end of elementary school when I was in 4th grade and my teacher, Mr. Hull read us this famous book by Dr. Seuss. For some reason, that moment has stuck in my mind for as long as I can remember. I’m not quite sure why, but sometimes I refer back to that line Oh, the places you will go!
It wasn’t until recently that I found that book in a friend’s flat in India and decided to read it again. As 23-year-old me read this book, I realized how incredibly profound Dr. Seuss’s words are. I remember those words sounding so much different to my 10-year-old ears. All I was thinking at that time was what my journey to the middle school was going to be, not my entire life!
Maybe Dr. Suess actually wrote those words for us adults rather than children. We may just be the ones who need it the most. Eventually there is an event or some sort of calling that pulls us towards our true selves. It slowly bubbles up, pulling us towards the truth that has always been within us. There are usually two things that happen: we spend our days playing a game and trying to escape it or we embrace it and let it take us into a world that feels right, but a little scary at the same time.
Instead of continuing to write, let me let Dr. Suess share his wisdom through some of my favorite lines of this glorious book:
And then things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.
OH! THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!
You'll be on your way up!
You'll be seeing great sights!
You'll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.
You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don't.
Because, sometimes, you won't.
I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
can happen to you.
You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.
You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.
And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
is not easily done.
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.
You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles cross weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place...
...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or the waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for the wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
NO! That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.
With banner flip-flapping,
once more you'll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you're that kind of a guy!
Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.
Except when they don't
Because, sometimes they won't.
I'm afraid that some times
you'll play lonely games too.
Games you can't win
'cause you'll play against you.
…and I’ll leave it at that. Feel free to read the rest here.