And there’s a special kind of resilience that comes from the level of scrutiny that happens in the wilderness. I know those experiences left me with a truer belief in myself and a much stronger sense of when I’m not being true to what I think is right.*
We will always need to be humble enough to accept that our heart knows why we’re here.**
Well, it looks like the wilderness.
It’s not high-profile, there’s no advertising budget and there’s no prepackaged dreamwhispering course in glossy packaging. I can be hard to find, but you’ll find me in the wilderness; it’s where I found hope and where I seek hope with others.
Part of this wilderness experience is two people listening deeply to one another in a simple conversation that lies on the far side of complexity without distraction, before the return to civilisation and all the busyness and noise they’ll find there.
Hope is far more than optimism, connecting with what we know and feel deep down inside about why we’re here. It is not easy, as Maria Popova writes so powerfully here, but it is possible for all to find it:
To be human is to be a miracle of evolution conscious of its own miraculousness — a consciousness beautiful and bittersweet, for we have paid for it with a parallel awareness not only of our fundamental improbability but of our staggering fragility, of how physiologically precarious our survival is and how psychologically vulnerable our sanity. To make that awareness bearable, we have evolved a singular faculty that might just be the crowning miracle of our consciousness: hope.^
If you want to find hope around these two questions, find me in the wilderness:^^
Who is my Self?
What is my contribution?
(*Pete Carroll, quoted in Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness.)
(**From Paulo Coelho’s Aleph.)
(^From Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: An Antidote to Helplessness and Disorientation.)
(^^This is probably the closest I get to a hard sell.)