The greatest pilgrimage one can make in their lifetime is in moving one’s soul. We can constantly move from one place to the next in life without having much changed. New job, new relationships, new country, and so on and so forth. Somehow, we’ll still find ourselves with the same problems, playing in a loop despite the change of environment.
A predicament I’m all too familiar with. Every time I look for a fresh start, I always tend to think of it as only an external act rather than an internal one as well. The same problems plague my life even after a change of environment. Nothing’s changed, simply because I haven’t. Therefore I keep repeating the same act, expecting for something new.
One cannot expect to catch a new view if they keep looking through the same window over the years.
The prison escape scene from the Dark Knight Rises was one of my favorite scenes that depict the change that happens internally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjffIi2Pl7M
From the scene above you can see Bruce Wayne training hard to escape the prison. Doing things the way it had always worked for him. Pushing harder and taking control of his fears.
But, he kept failing, with all his best efforts. It did not occur to him yet that it was doing things the way he’s so used to is what brought him to the prison in the first place.
It was the prison doctor who pointed out to him that his lack of fear was what made him weak. Bruce had always thrived on the fact he did not fear death. After having his back broken for approaching his battles this way, he now needs to unlearn what he thinks he knows.
The climb was successful once he made it without the rope. Fear found him again. It was at this moment he realized he needs to move forward with his fears.
Even Batman had to acknowledge that one needs to make a change within to move forward. A man with vast worldly wealth, experiences, and skill-set. All his past achievements did not blind him from acknowledging that even he has to continue changing internally to move forward.
So, today I am reminding myself that at times the greatest pilgrimage one can take is learning to sit still. To look within sincerely and examine the self. I’ve moved from place to place myself. Jobs, people, culture, landscapes, flags, and relationships.
But, all this will mean nothing unless I have the courage to move my soul. The very essence of my being lies within it. Our condition will not be changed unless we change what is within ourselves.