Getting Honest About My Motives Helps Me With My Hiking
Getting honest about my motives helps me with hiking and peace of mind. And it can help you with yours, too. However, getting honest about my motives didn’t help me in life until after I got sober. These days, getting honest about my motives keep me in check and gives me peace of mind. I used to float through life causing trainwrecks and dumpster fires because I thought that was what life was about – chaos, mayhem, and sadness. When I started getting honest about my motives, my life changed dramatically. I used to do things from an ego-centered place, and now I do them from a mindful-centered place and that leads to peace of mind.
Darlene, what the heck are you talking about? Well, without getting preachy, I want to share some valuable words with you. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. This shares the same treehouse as hike your own hike, but not in a ‘mind your own business’ kind of way. It’s more like a ‘why am I really doing this’ kind of way.
Getting honest about my motives.
You know, that little inner dude or dudette that points out all the goal smashing accomplishments of other dudes and dudettes?
Oh, look at her go. She’s doing thirty-mile days! I must keep up. Meanwhile, your feet are screaming a different song and you’re hearing it loud and clear. But you are also ignoring it. Or maybe, Wow, look at all that ultralight gear! Man, I bet I could hike faster without all this weight. Well, you probably could, however, what about the rest of your life? The lighter the gear the heavier the price most times. Not everyone can afford ultra-light and sometimes ultra-light isn’t practical anyway. I have to be the best!
Newsflash: your ego is not your amigo. The ego is the part of you that reacts to outside forces that hurt your pride. Ego really gets in the way of being practical. It makes stupid decisions based on false motives. The ego is what gets us to say dumb stuff, buy stuff we can’t afford, or hike way beyond our capabilities. How do I know this?
Once upon a time.
A lot of my life decisions have been ego-based which lead to regret later. But this decision to thru-hike the AT by myself (meaning, without my husband) is not an ego-based motive, and I am proud of myself for that. I really got honest with myself when I decided to do this and made a list of pros and cons. I calculated the cost (roughly) and the impact of me being gone for 4 – 6 months. I then did an honest inventory of my life and all the other stuff I have done in the last two years and realized I have made decisions based on my ego and they didn’t turn out so well (feel free to ask me about it on the trail). Some points are buying a bass guitar and becoming an internet DJ – both of which I love – but I digress.
It feels better when I honor my truth.
While I love hiking and being outdoors, there are times when I want no parts of the culture. Sometimes, I just want to sit alone by a stream or drive aimlessly on a road to nowhere. I have this little thing that I talk about a lot and did on one of my YouTube videos but may have cut it out of the final draft. And my big thing is self-honesty. Honoring my own truth. Back when I was first in outpatient, my counselor asked me if I could use drugs without consequences, would I? I said, “HECK NO.” He reminded me that ‘there were no consequences.’ I told him straight up, “But there are consequences. And they are severe.”
I can’t play games with my own mind, man. Honesty with the self is always paramount. This goes for anything, including a whopper of a hike coming in somewhere around 2,220 miles. My who, what, where, when, and mostly my why are paramount in my planning. It’s why I’ll hike my own hike and also blue blaze if necessary. I am hiking the Appalachian Trail for internal bliss, not external validation.
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