Awakening The Wild Within

Discomfort awakens the wonder within us. When we explore beyond the outer limits of our comfort zone, we are able to once again see life with fresh eyes. Our senses absorb the differences around us, requiring us to pay attention and be present. Adventure grips hold of our spirit, shaking the long-dormant part of our authentic selves that was forced into hibernation through the monotony of our daily lives. The Wild within us stretches and opens its eyes. It calls out, having been silenced for so long.

The routine that we’ve created has provided us with safety and certainty, but in the process of pursuing a comfortable life, we’ve unintentionally pinched out the flame of the light within us. We need to take back that feral part of our soul that we’ve attempted to domesticate. It may behave so well that we’ve convinced ourselves that it has been tamed. That it prefers to be within the safety of our secure walls and convenient lifestyle. We may even be naive enough to think that it prefers this life to the former. But beware–don’t mistake compliant for complacent. Wild is fooling you. If given the chance, it will bare its fangs and howl in delight.

By stepping into the unknown, we can release its chains and open the gates. At first, Wild may be timid. It’s grown accustomed to the plush life of domestication. It’s forgotten. It sees the unknown as something to be feared. Who can blame it? It’s had it easy. Easy is nice. We think that comfort keeps us protected from potential pain. But that’s a farce. The pain is not sharp, so we don’t notice it until it is too late. As our agreeable life nears its end, we begin to see that a steady, dull pain was always there.

The more comfortable we got, the more it grew. It spread gradually, though—so slowly that we didn’t even realize. We mistook that muted pain as happiness without ever really knowing the genuine joy that comes from Wild unbroken.

Cautiously, Wild edges closer to the open gate. One step forward until it is just beyond the perimeter that has kept it contained for so long. Things feel different. A blend of nervousness and excitement takes over, teeter-tottering between fear and aliveness. It hesitates, considers turning around and going back. Life certainly wasn’t bad. It was actually quite good!

But what if there is more?

What if “good” was just a self-imposed limit?

At the gate, Curiosity appears, Wild’s longtime, often-ignored friend. For years, Curiosity tapped Wild’s shoulder, trying to point just beyond the fence, but Wild would impart its reluctance. Foolish Curiosity, it just doesn’t know how good we have it and how scary it is out there. Curiosity is persistent, though. The unknown seems slightly less intimidating when Curiosity is along for the ride.

Together, Wild and Curiosity continue onward. Everything looks so different, the colors more vibrant, the sounds and smells more vivid. All that was old appears new. Wild looks around with awe. The fenced-in life of domestic bliss looks so small compared to the incredulous world beyond the gates.

Breathing deep, it begins to feel something deep within come alive. A low, steady growl, increasing in intensity with each step forward. More than just a growl, it’s a piece of itself that Wild thought did not exist. An odd feeling of novelty blended with nostalgia. Wild recognizes it even though it doesn’t recall ever experiencing it before. It feels… right. True. Authentic.

Wild approaches a forest line, dense with trees. Foreign sounds echo throughout. It can’t see much beyond the initial barrier of wide, moss-covered trunks, but it feels something calling within to keep going. Curiosity nods in agreement. The growl reaches Wild’s lips and erupts into a howl. There’s no turning back now. Adventure awaits and untamed authenticity has proven to be more comfortable than the limits of safety.

One last look back at the fenced-in life of comfort, all its ever known. Already, Wild feels like that life no longer fits. In that short walk, it’s been outgrown. And so Wild turns back to the unknown and begins to run. Unbridled joy—Wild is free at last and finally living.

About the author
Writer. Traveler. Entrepreneur. Pizza Lover. Follow Kat on Instagram or read more articles from Kat on Thought Catalog.

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