The Wilderness

dscn0039What is it about the wilderness that makes it a background for introspection? As human beings, do we have to get away from a city in order to have the space and time to look within ourselves? Did humankind build cities to escape our own thoughts? Cities provide a space for us to give in to distraction and live our day to day lives without necessarily having to check in, “Am I ok?” Yet in the wilderness checking in is crucial. Am I drinking enough water? Do I have enough food to provide me with the energy I need to get from point A to point B? Do I have enough layers to protect me from the cold, and enough shade to protect me from the sun? If we don’t check in with ourselves in the wilderness, we may die. The wilderness also calls for mental strength. Are you strong enough not only physically, but mentally to carry a pack, to climb a rock, or hike a trail? This trip into the wilderness asked even more from me. I have been venturing out into nature for years, from hot desserts to snowy mountains, but never with the intention to dig deeper or learn from strangers. Going into the wilderness a few hours outside of Cape Town, I discovered just how difficult introspection is for me. I have a very high opinion of myself, and generally believed that I knew myself. I have high command of my emotions most of the time so I thought I was good. Why dig deeper? There were signs of course that I avoid introspection, unfinished journals galore, and meditation practices planned but never completed. Who am I? This trip with Educo gave me the opportunity to listen, and understand that there are people far more in tuned with themselves, and able to dig deeper into their thoughts than I am. Introspection is not only hard for me, but a resist it. I will go to great lengths to complain about introspection assignments. I find it interesting that I, someone interested in helping others search inside themselves for healing, have my own journey of self-discovery to embark on. I guess everyone does. I do not expect an end to the journey, how would I recognize the point where I know everything?dscn0066 I don’t think it exists. Earlier I presented the question, do we have to go into the wilderness in order to look into ourselves? I don’t believe we do. However, taking time, removing distractions, and finding a peaceful place within the city is harder, but not impossible. This will not be easy, but I plan to continue efforts sparked in the wilderness to see what I can discover about myself.


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