Only after writing my last post on living with uncertainty did I remember the number of times my husband and I have started life over, from scratch. This life reboot always followed a significant event which only appeared to be a setback, but the truth is that once the change was made, we found ourselves transformed. And ready to live a little bit wilder.
The trick was in our definition of Wild.
We’ve been taught that “wild” is a great concept when talking about animals in the natural world. The words, powerful, strong, and unpredictable come to mind when thinking about a wild thing. So why does this not seem as true for us? How can so many of us feel that we don’t already live in a way that’s more powerful or strong? We have. And we do. We haven’t noticed because it happens when we aren’t focused on ourselves.
Take a look. Chances are very good that you’ve acted from those very ideals without skipping a beat, because while you were doing it, the actions came completely naturally.
We are already powerful and strong
Our parents, if we’ve been lucky enough to have a caring family, largely sheltered us from the unknown. The trouble with this approach is that many of us became bored within its confines and began to scratch at the sides of the cage even as we shuddered at the idea of taking big risks. To break loose, we needed to drop of our fixed identities, a move that often meant breaking free of family influence. We did, and continue to do this whenever we find a “larger cause” that makes it easy for us to leave the familiar behind, adopt new behaviors, and do the unexpected. That larger cause most often comes in the form of Love. Wild and Love are, in many respects, synonymous. They pull us out of our ideas of ourselves.
In a talk with a friend this weekend, he mentioned that for years, he hadn’t identified his passion and purpose because he’d always associated it with a career. But, he said, his passion had been in growing and sustaining his relationship with his partner of 19 years. That is where his energy had gone and because it was True Passion, it was so easy that he’d nearly missed that he’d been living it. They’d moved thousands of miles away from family to pour all of themselves into growing a strong relationship. I realized that he was right! I’d also experienced this through each of Scott’s health hardships. Yes, it was difficult, but it was also easy. Simple. Clear. We lived through each supposed “setback” with a wild spirit that had us moving headlong into one unplanned adventure after another. My friends had done the same with blind faith and wild spirits.
Love does this.
Whether we love a career, a partner, our children, or families, the common factor in our feeling purposeful is in seeing our actions as moving toward what we view as a greater Good.
I’ve often thought of words like strong and brave when talking about what looks like unexpected or bold moves. But within the context of moving in line with our idea of a cause larger than our selves, it becomes an action taken from what feels natural, right, and true. In this case I seems that there’s no real effort involved. Maybe you’ve experienced this as a protective mom or dad. As a partner. As an animal or pet lover. As an individual in love with a cause or ideal.
We often live powerfully even when it looks very ordinary. Even when it means doing the laundry or going to the office job you don’t enjoy. When it’s done to support genuine love for our ideal, it’s the very definition of passion because we have understood something greater than Us, than we alone, are.
That’s wild. And powerful. It’s also self less.