Making It to the Other Side
This summer, my wife Cheryl and I had an incredible visit to Denali National Park in Alaska. We stayed at Camp Denali, 90 miles inside the park, 70 miles past the last place automobiles are permitted to travel in and 30 miles from Mt. McKinley. On one of our hiking excursions into the park wilderness, we rounded a corner to see this wolf pup crossing the trail. Before the first photograph was taken, he had seen us, jumped quickly back into the bush, and tentatively started to cross again. He really wanted to get to the other side.
Several times he began to cross, only to look at us, stop, and once again slide slowly backward to the safety of the branches (photo 2). He finally sat down (photo 3), fixed his gaze upon us, and watched, trying to understand what would happen next. We stood quiet and motionless, a part of his world and apart from his world at the same time. We were both held motionless by fears, ours that he would run swiftly from our view, and his that we represented danger and harm.
I felt his feelings, the knot in the stomach, the dry mouth, the shortness of breath, the chill up the back; I’ve been on that path. He couldn’t possibly know that he held all the power, that we represented no danger, and would in fact yield to whatever path he chose. The only real obstacle to being exactly where he wanted to be was his fear. For a fleeting moment I wished I could carry him to the other side, his benevolent protector, with one quick action nullifying his fears. I wanted to be for him what I’d wished had been there for me when I’d come around those corners early in my life.
Truth is, his fears (and mine, and yours) are real. They need to be recognized, seen clearly for what they are, understood if possible, and then they must cease to hold us from where we want to go. When getting to the other side of the trail is the future you want, you must learn to feel the fear and do it anyway.
This pup finally slipped out of our sight without getting where he was headed when we intruded on his plans. I have no doubt that he got across this trail and continued on his path, but had he “done it anyway” he could have been enjoying whatever it was that beckoned him so strongly to the other side.
Are you paralyzed by some trail that you must cross? If you know where you want to go, FEEL THE FEAR AND DO IT ANYWAY!