Just as I used the metaphor of varied terrains to illustrate the journey, I’ve taken the metaphor of preparing for a hike further to illustrate the tools you need to prepare for the journey. There are seven tools, “The Picture,” “Binoculars,” “The Map,” “Guidebook,” “Compass,” “Backpack,” and “Hiking Boots.”
Going back to my last post, I shared an image that I created. I had you imagine that you took that picture while standing in quicksand. Just as a picture captures an instant in time, the purpose of the Picture is for you to look at your life as it in this moment. Unless a picture is altered with image editing software, it is an accurate representation of the moment. You need to take an unedited look at your life. There may be much in your life that you’re unhappy about, and would rather not face. However, the more honest you are with yourself, and the more determined you are to have a better life, the more effective you will be on your journey towards healing.
If you were to zoom in on The Picture, you would see greater detail. For example, on the other side of the bridge, there is roof of a small building on the edge of a field. With binoculars, you can see ahead
clearly, so you know something about your destination before you reach it. On the Wounded Child’s Journey, it is important to use your imagination as a set of binoculars to see the future that you want. All our lives, we’ve focused on where we’ve been, so our steps forward have been about avoiding what we do not want. Instead, you must look ahead and see the life of your dreams, and write it down.
If your dream life is a destination that you’re traveling to, then the map is the plan you need to get there. Given enough time and patience
with yourself and circumstances, you can have the life you envisioned if you follow a plan. What most of us do instead is go through our lives without written goals or a plan. This is because we believe that we are in the clutches of our circumstances instead of in control of them.
While you’re on your journey to healing, you’ll have to make many choices. If you’re clear ahead of time on which values you will not compromise, no matter what, then when the time comes when you have to make one of these choices,
you are prepared. We often have many conflicting values. For example, you might have a value that says, “Honor your parents,” and another value of integrity. You might be faced with a choice where your parent asks you to do something dishonest for them. Your guidebook will help you reconcile these conflicting values and make the right choice for you.
We all have an internal guide that lets us know whether or not we are headed in the right direction in
More often then not, we go through life reacting to how we feel. We make our feelings our goal, rather than our guide. So, if you do something that gives you a good feeling, you’re likely to do it again when that feeling wears off. This is what’s behind all addictions. This is what I mean by making your feelings your goal.
It is important to understand that when we feel ‘off’ about something, it is in our best interests to find out what is out of balance in our lives, what we are doing that is taking us from our major life purpose and our goals. When you use the feeling of unease to let you know that something has to be corrected, rather than masking the feeling with something to make you feel good, then you’re using your feelings as a guide, rather than a goal.
You must decide what you want and do not want in your ideal life. It is important that your most basic needs are met, as well as your need for love and belongingness, self-esteem as for reaching your
highest potential. This requires that you evaluate your relationships and habits—how do they serve you? Do you want them as a part of your ideal life? If so, pack them. If not, leave them behind.
Finally, we have the hiking boots, the most important thing that we wear when we’re hiking. Until we put them on, we’re not ready to embark. Just like only one person can wear a pair of hiking boots, only you can