Insights About Compassion for Apparent Others
Neels Gap to Chattahoochee Gap: Woke up feeling like I slept in the arctic cold last night. Shivering, I opened up my vestibule to find a yellow rose that the boys left for me. Felt so loved.
Pink pulled out the massage gun and upon hearing the noise, Cole, now known as Beans, thought I was masturbating with a vibrator last night. I was actually sleeping while Pink was the one using it. Pink joked, “You were getting off thinking it was Freyja using a vibrator but all the while it was me using it on my feet!”
I decided to push on without my tramily. I felt called to do more miles as I knew I would soon be getting the itch to hike a different trail on the side. It often felt a bit hard parting ways with friends, but at the same time, I loved my solitude. I cherished the days where I would hear nothing but the sound of my own footsteps.
Spring was just around the corner. The grasses were turning green on the edges of the trail. Bushes were beginning to sprout their leaves and the air was starting to feel warmer.
As I switchbacked down the mountain toward Hog Pen Gap, I saw a pop up tent beside the road. Could it be?! Yes! It was TRAIL MAGIC!! I ran into three of my friends as we were crossing the road, and since we were the first ones there, we helped the folks get everything ready!
Today was the day I learned about the term “southern hospitality.” Misty and Barry had been setting up there every weekend, rain or shine, since 2015! There were homemade brownies, soups, a plethora of candy, charging stations, hiker boxes—you name it.
Misty sat next to me and told me the story of how her husband started doing trail magic after apparently getting a physical ailment in his life. God spoke to him and told him to cater to the hikers and so he followed the calling.
Misty and I talked about how symbolic it was that we were trekking, because Jesus himself would walk everywhere. I had felt that very same nomad connection that Jesus expressed.
They prayed before we ate our food and they prayed for us before we left, in the name of Jesus. Misty would say, “The burden they carry is a visible metaphor of the weight they carry on their backs. Help them when they are weary and tired. Help them when there are hard days ahead and help them rely on Your Strength.”
Before I left, I pulled Misty aside and thanked her. I felt spoiled with trail magic and it was only the beginning of the journey. It felt like such a gift after hiking my ass off the past few years. In a way, it felt as though God was saying to me, “Now, relax and rejoice!”
I held my palms to my heart and started crying. I told her my heart was melting with gratitude. Her eyes welled up with tears as she said, “Just yesterday, I prayed for hearts to melt.” She reminded me how powerful it was to simply feel the emotion of gratitude. She gave me a copy of the New Testament, hugged me and with tears still in her eyes said, “I love you Freyja.” “I love you, too Misty.”
As I started hiking again, I thought about how people often assumed that fear would keep them safe. Being surrounded by the comfort of their material things, in the apparent protection between four walls. It was a facade. Love and joy for life was the only thing that would keep one safe and bring about more joy. And Love required Faith. It required taking a leap. Taking a leap outside of the things we found comfortable.
Met a woman near the end of the day who was experiencing some gnarly blisters on her feet. I gave her some turmeric since I knew how shitty blisters felt. I remember getting my first blister on the PCT in Southern Cali. I broke down crying, completely afraid and convinced I would need to amputate my foot. And then my friend Orange Man popped it for me and I was fine.
I planned to camp on a ridge line after a long mileage day. I noticed a tent was already set up and there was a man inside, so I walked over and said, “Aloha!” He perked up as soon as he saw me and got out of his tent so quickly that I was convinced he wasn’t a real hiker.
The first thing he said was, “Wow, you’re really pretty!” Followed by, “I don’t see too many girls like you on trail.” We only talked for a couple of minutes, but he kept directing the conversation towards how unfortunate it was that he wouldn’t have my company for the night. I really just wanted to have a quiet spot to camp so I could work on my writing, so I said, “Well, I’m gonna get going and walk a couple more miles!” and he responded with, “Bye, baby!” I just laughed and shrugged it off.
I normally didn’t get upset when guys talked to me like that. Instead, I saw them as children masquerading as adults. And when I remembered that they were coming out of my own mind, asking to be loved, it made it a lot easier for me to have compassion for them.
Contrary to popular belief—people who expressed like that needed compassion and love, not angry women telling them that they were pigs and deserved to die. When moments like that were handled lightly and with laughter, it helped the person see through what they were apparently wanting. In that case, the guy thought he wanted a sexual interaction.
And listen, I am a super horny person, too. I get it. It often seemed as if I just wanted to use men for their dick. However, at the same time, I knew that anytime I went into fantasy mode, it was always a distraction from the Truth. The underlying thing I wanted was a heart to heart connection, for I knew that our only true mission here was to guide one another Home. You gained nothing from idolizing bodies and things of the world.
But the thing is, you have to allow yourself to play out your patterns while observing yourself through gentle eyes. Hold the image of yourself with awareness, a sense of lightness, and willingness to see it differently, otherwise it’s just going to project more guilt/shame.
When you take away the emphasis around sex, you see it is actually nothing. It is totally meaningless. It is not a way to truly connect. And once guilt becomes removed around the concept, it loses its draw and you begin to feel lighthearted with yourself and those around you (by those around you, I mean fragments of your own mind since everything comes from you). That’s when you’ll start to feel excited and grateful for the perceptions you receive. You’ll start viewing those types of situations as opportunities instead of upsets.
So, all in all, be gentle with those you claim to hate for they are only coming out of your own mind. The burden you put on them is weighing on your own heart, not theirs. Let go of the need to control people and have them behave a certain way, because you don’t really want them to be different as they are. You actually need them to be exactly as they are in order to see that you’re making them that way, all for the purpose of healing. If you see them as anything less than holy innocent, you’re having a misperception. And, you can celebrate, because you’re making it all up!
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