The final episode in Season 3 of The History Channel’s Alone gave me a huge AHA. For those of you who may not know, it’s a solo survival contest. This season, the last one standing made it 87 days surviving by themselves in the wilderness of Patagonia.
87 days. No support, no partner.
On the surface, it’s about bushcraft skills. On a deeper level, it’s about individual soul journey and the relationship to…relationship.
In this episode I was really hearing the remaining contestants’ reflections. Overwhelming appreciation for the experience. Tremendously missing loved ones. Immense gratitude for finally getting to go on this grand lifetime adventure that had been constantly read about since childhood.
For all, it was deep. Profound. Life-changing. They wouldn’t change a thing. Except…
Universally, each person supremely desired for their loved ones to share in their grand adventure.
And then it occurred to me:
My life, just as it is, is this grand adventure. And so is yours.
What if the adventure is life, just as it is?
Yes, exactly as it is:
The empty nesting. The parents in the nursing home. The friend in ICU for two weeks and counting. The dog needing to go out at 2 a.m. The car breakdown. Learning the new software. Shoveling the snow, still. Belated birthdays. Doing the grocery shopping. Folding the laundry. Surprise company, and no snacks in the house.
Sometimes getting away from our daily lives and being alone sounds like a vacation. Because being in relationship–with family, friends, people on the road, online groups–that’s what’s challenging. But it’s also what’s adventurous. And we can choose to look upon it all as grand.
You doubt this? I dare you: bring to mind right now someone in your life. Go with your first response. Now, think about why that particular person popped in your head. Here are just a few examples:
- Your heart swells with love when you think of them
- You go out of your way to avoid this person
- This is who you call just to say hi
- This is who owes you money
- They asked you for advice the other day and you’re wondering what they did with it
- You asked them for advice the other day and you are aghast at their response
Notice something? Each one of these examples, both positive and challenging, have to do with relationship. Right now, that person came to mind because of one of two things:
- You are extra happy with them.
- You are pissed off with them.
When I was in my 20’s I lived in an apartment by myself for six months. I loved it, and it didn’t last forever. It was one of the best times of my life, and I was really living.
When I was in my 30’s I lived through a divorce focused over six months. I hated it, and it didn’t last forever. It was one of the worst times of my life, and I was really living.
I love my 40’s. Positioned to look both backward and forward, I’m beginning to vastly appreciate the grand adventure of Life.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
Now it’s your turn. Have you ever yearned for a life of grand adventure? Or even a vacation of one? In what ways are your relatiuonships contributing to your life’s grand adventure?