One of the fears I’ve been struggling with regarding this trip is “pairing down”. For example, whenever Emily has mentioned trading in my beloved truck for a more efficient or alternative means of transportation, I get defensive and upset about letting go of “it” (same things goes for my bikes). I say “it” even though I know that “it” is more of a “he”. This has to do with a tendency to attach personal feelings to material things, things I “own”. They are not merely bikes, cars, or even threadbare clothing that I cling to, they seem to be the other half of relationships that exist in my world. Oddly enough, at the moment I boast few close personal relationships, and in those I have the tendency to avoid too close a connection. Emily made the point that this attachment to material things may be another example of a protection pattern I may have developed in my adolescence to avoid the risk of being abandoned or criticized. In other words, there is safety in a relationship with something that can’t walk out, can’t criticize me, or that won’t give rise to confrontation.
The idea of this came about just today and is likely due to a slight altitude adjustment in my level of consciousness from regular meditation, often which seems to shake loose ideas that may have been locked up somewhere under piles of bad patterns and heavy fog. I am beginning to feel like the act of letting go of THE most important things to me may be one of the most difficult yet most beneficial pieces of this experience. It brought to mind some of what we are learning in our SRF lessons about how letting go of attachment to material things is the path to God. And, from my youth Bible study experience of the idea of “worshiping false idols” also came to mind. Though I may not officially call it worshiping my bikes or my truck, it sure has a sense of covetousness.
As this all relates to our impending “pairing down” for travel, I have a comforting feeling of the idea of letting go of much of this dead material weight including my bikes and my truck, if for nothing else than to find out what they really mean to me on the grand scale. My minimal experience in backpacking and bike packing has given me enough of a taste of how it feels to really minimize what I NEED to carry and to trust in God or the universe to provide the resourcefulness and whatever bounty is necessary to not only survive whatever comes my way, but to flourish and grow.