You are not Shackleton

Endurance in Shackleton's ship

While having a vague awareness of who Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton was, I’d never learned much about him. Today he appeared before me through two completely disparate sources in the space of a few minutes. I figured this meant I ought to pay attention.

As I thought about his deep longing to fulfill a dream and the dangers he endured chasing it, I realized there was a part of me that feared I was going to encounter the same in the pursuit of my passions and healing.

I wondered if sometimes you do, too.

Sacrifice and Safety

When the expedition requires we journey into ourselves, and start telling the truth, there are many unknowns. There is no way to see how the journey will go, what perils you’ll find along the way, and if you’ll have the strength of will or resources to face them.

There’s no way to know what you’ll be required to let go to make it to the other side.

There is a story that Shackleton and his crew were forced to sacrifice the dogs that had aided and accompanied them on their journey. What will you have to release that has been with you, perhaps for your whole life, in order to move forward?

Here’s the thing, you do not have to figure it out all by yourself. Just like Shackleton, most of us have support at hand if we’d only ask. However, it’s often difficult to ask because you worry about looking weak or crazy. Usually what you find when you reach out for help and share your story, is that you’re not the only one, and there are valuable ideas to be found when you enlist the help you need.

Unlike Shackleton

The difference between your journey and Shackleton’s is that yours only seems equally daunting at the outset. He set out on his expeditions fed, funded and fully staffed. Most people set foot on a deep life change because they are desperate, tired of the current situation and depleted. While Shackleton’s situation became increasingly dire as the journey wore on, you will find the opposite is true.

Indeed times may get rather dark, and there may be tough choices along the way. However, what you find as you gently move forward, releasing fears and gaining strength to live the life you’re wishing for, is that you do not become depleted. As you release old patterns, and replace them with new behaviors that fit who you are, you becoming increasingly refreshed. You are no longer tired and hungry all the time, constantly seeking respite. Navigating challenges becomes easier as you move along.

So how about this: consider embarking on this journey before you’re depleted? I don’t have all the answers. Maybe it is sometimes necessary for the situation to get to a “breaking point” before we can fully commit to making lasting change. Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out what happens when you approach the journey with hope and excitement, rather than desperation?

7 Replies to “You are not Shackleton”

  1. So beautifully and thoughtfully said! It is so amazing how we do not see the things that hold us fast. We try and we try on our own strength to figure out the WHAT and WHY we do what we do. You have skillfully shown me that the struggle is in the release, to boldly look at our fears from all angles, and set them free. Thank you for your insights, I continue to learn.

  2. This. This is beautiful, CJ. Change and moving forward with anything is scary, and personal change can be scarier than anything else. It’s always a nice reminder (and one that I sorely needed today) that help is there, and things aren’t generally as bad and terrifying as they seem.

    Big hugs,

    1. Hi Kay. Glad these words were what you needed today. Spirit is always supporting us in this way: finding what we need in a timely manner. BTW, I like the top banner art on your site!

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