One Million Little Pieces
As I lay in bed my last day I Spain, I begin to reflect on the last month’s adventure. My mind quickly moves past September and slides (to my surprise) to the 2 months before I leave. I feel the need to look very candidly into my internal mirror. To really see myself through the exact same lens that I viewed myself while on the Camino.
To my shock and horror I saw just a faint outline of what used to be me. Not a shadow self, but an outline of myself. I was no longer recognizable. I had (to borrow the term) shattered into a million little pieces and all that was left was the outline of what used to be me. I am not sure when, how or even why I shattered but really that didn’t matter. As time moved through September, I realized that I had begun to pick up the pieces of me and place them into a leather pouch around my waistband.
I realized that life’s events before I left for Spain had actually shattered me and the first part of my anti-camino just finished the job. In that moment I felt some relief and compassion. Relief for the understanding and compassion for me and what I was trying to do. For in that moment I could see how hard I had pushed and shoved and how deeply I had wanted things to be so very different and I simply shattered into those dreadful pieces. I came back to the hotel room and I knew that I was no longer in a million little pieces. That along the way of my anti-camino I had managed to take some of the pieces of me out of the pouch and place them back into me.
Slowly the outline began to fade and the many colors and hues of the real me had begun to take shape. I looked closely and in many ways I looked the same and other so very different. I placed my hand into my leather pouch and felt a few more pieces that were no longer me. Pieces of me that needed to stay in Spain. My mind drifted back to the beach in Fisterre and I buried those pieces there (the same place I burned the intentions) to symbolize that the old me had come to an end. I know I have hardly even begun this process and that my return home is just the beginning. However I feel fresh, strong, capable and willing. The Camino gave me that, I gave me that. The end and the beginning indeed.
Bonnie was inducted into the Order of the Sword & Shield National Honor Society at St. John’s University, New York City for her work in Business Resilience.
Bonnie is Past Chair of the Association of Contingency Planners where she served for 6 years.
She is a proud native of New Orleans and has experienced what she calls, “The Katrina, Rita, Ike, Gustav, and BP Oil Spill” disasters first hand. She has had to learn how being resilience leaders and businesses to increased performance, achieve stronger relationships, and build mental toughness that we all need in today’s ever increasing busy world.
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