Not being a fan of TV in general and especially not a fan of reality TV, I kind of was sucked into the TV show, “Naked and Afraid.” Not because of the two strangers who are randomly selected to be a team and dropped off in some remote area with two items and must survive on their own for 21 days. Oh…and I did mention that they are naked, right? One man and one woman who have some survival skills and hopefully enough to see them through this til the end. I was not intrigued because of them being naked or because they were in a jungle or swamp. I was intrigued because they were pushing themselves to the limit. Because of the challenge in it. Recently, I saw an episode that when the man had to quit due to health reasons, the woman held strong til the end. For 21 days. By herself. In a jungle. Oh…and yes, she was naked. It was the first time ANYONE finished the 21 days without a partner. (I do love that it was a woman who did it.) A great accomplishment by anyone, regardless of gender.
Now in the TV show, there are camera men and women who have access to a radio to get medical attention for a participant who really can’t go on. The show is about seeing how much the human body could take in these extreme circumstances, with possible dangerous animals lurking nearby, no modern conveniences, like clothing, and no instructions. And they chose to do this. They were not forced to take part either. But they had some questions, and they wanted to get the answers.
Let’s assume you couldn’t do it for 21 days…could you do it for 15? Or even 5? Most people could do a day or two — with clothes! And these people go for 3 weeks. IN THE BUFF.
But that got me thinking…
Would I have the courage, the will power and ingenuity to do something like that?
Maybe if I didn’t have a choice, right? Because if I was forced to survive, I would fight for my life. I would use every skill I had and would be searching for answers anywhere I could find them. But I wouldn’t give up. If I don’t fight, I die. We know what the alternative is if I don’t. I think we all would.
But that got me thinking more…
If we would fight for our life when it is clearly in jeopardy, why don’t we fight for it when it isn’t? It’s value hasn’t changed. We are given no extra guarantees because we fight more for a life than for one that does not need such strain and struggle. And yet when a life hangs in the balance, everything else stops. We begin to take notice. Being blunt, shit just got real.
Personally, I know a family who has a very young son who had been sick and once they did some blood work, they determined that their precious baby has leukemia. To see the pictures on Facebook and receive notifications via CaringBridge break my heart. I cannot imagine taking a child of mine to the doctor for what was thought to be a cold only to be admitted to the hospital to begin chemo treatments immediately. In that instant, I would probably be able to do the 21 day challenge if it meant my son would be better. You bet I would. Naked and all.
So, let me pose a question to you…
If we would only fight for our life when it is in jeopardy of being lost, would we ever fight for our soul for the same reason?
In addition to us each having a living body, we each have a soul within that body. That soul is made up of characteristics like our conscious, our heart, our personality, and our spirit.
So I ask you…
How many souls are lost every day?
Why do we take our souls for granted?
Souls that are never fought for…souls that are never given a second glance…souls that are quickly dismissed as insignificant?
It’s downright shameful. The lack of appreciation so wonderful as a soul and yet we don’t fight for them. We all have done it at one time in our lives. Maybe we still do it. I know I gave up on myself for a long time. I wasn’t captivated by anything in life and believed that my agenda included just getting through one day so that I could move onto the next. And, one day in January 2010, my soul was awakened. And as much as I have tried, I have not been able to silence her yet. For months, I had hoped she would crawl back into her cave and let me be. But she wouldn’t have it. She was bound to fight for her essence and regardless of the questions and doubt i carry still to this day, she will not allow me to retreat.
No, instead she is standing firm. Making me put all of my fears aside and test my own words and what I believe. I just hate it when my own words come back to haunt me, don’t you? A few weeks ago, I made a new friend who was at the same doorstep I am at now and could remember them so clearly, I nearly choked on them as they ran through my mind…
“If you can go the rest of your life without ever knowing, then do nothing. But if you can’t…”
I have worked on a few new things and where that work will take me. I have reached out to a few people and shared those ideas with them, hoping that we could work together on some of these projects. And after one specific meeting I had today, I had realized I had come to the ledge. You know which ledge I am talking about..the one called “The Point of No Return.” And as I shared my concern, doubt, and my questions with a friend, she came paralyzed with fear and she reassuring shared that I was much braver than she. But I don’t feel brave. And as I sit here and try to relax, and let a heavy sigh escape my lungs, I know what I must do. Questions come at me as quickly as a tennis serve made by Venus Williams — “Have you come this far just to quit?” “What would happen if I didn’t follow through?” “Where’s my faith?” “Could I live with the regret of never knowing?” “Do you know how many people are following your lead?” And since I don’t believe in double standards and distance myself from those people who practice them, I accept that I cannot be encouraging people like yourself to make changes in your life if I am unwilling to do the same.
And then there were just two words, staring at me from my desk as if my soul had requested its presence. But, alas, it sits there most days, but the words it speaks to me are so applicable at this very moment. Two simple words that emphasize its story and the belief I have in those two words. Two words that need a leap of faith and mere promise of all that I could ever become…all that I was destined to do.
And so what does your soul say to you? What craving is not yet satisfied? When was the last time (if ever) you fought for it? When you stood up — even if you stood alone? When you believed in your whole heart that you could not be idle? Not any more?
There are a few things worth fighting for, don’t you think? We have already accepted that we would fight for our life when it is in danger of being lost, but freely accept that our souls can be lost, paying no regard to the ramifications that would befall us because of a destiny never fulfilled….a challenge never beaten…a potential never reached. Instead, we wash our hands of any real responsibility, claiming an excuse prevented us from taking one more step. Just one.
And even though I am absolutely terrified and excited all the same, I refuse to stand still. I cannot live with the regret of never knowing forever. So, I will take that next step. My eyes may be closed and I may even turn my head. But I will take it. I feel like I am on that TV show, “Naked and Afraid” because I have nothing to hide, no where to run, and only myself to see how far I can go. You see, my soul is worth fighting for. And that fight will never be anything I could ever regret. Let’s be honest again…what is your soul worth to you?
Now it’s your turn…fight for what you believe. Fight with your heart. Fight with your moxie. Fight for your essence.
Michelle A. Homme 2014 ©