Do you know the feeling like you don’t belong? Well, I do. I know it like an chronic rash that just wouldn’t completely go away…
Of course, it’s not exactly like that, but I’m happy to have found a similarly frustrating analogy… Because this is the life of a Guardian. I once talked with a group of fellow guardians, and we figured out, we’re a pack full of black sheep of our communities and families. And the closest to finding a place where we belong might be in a group of other misfits…
So here is my story.
I’ve been in the world of computers for a really long time, and there is the feeling of home there. It’s known. Or at least I know what I know and what I don’t know, and I feel confident enough in my expertise and experience to openly say what I don’t know and that I’m fine with it. But there’s something missing.
And on my search to find what was missing, I have found the wilderness and my own wild side. The part of me that feels truly alive when jumping into icy cold water, almost burning my hands when roasting my food on the fire, standing my ground when the wind seems to want to sweep me off my feet, or digging in the dirt to build an earth lodge. There I can be fully present, in the moment, connected.
But there always comes a time, where I remember the civilized world. Where I feel the need to go back. To build a bridge between those two worlds that I know so well, but can’t stay in completely. The only thought that keeps me grounded, reminds me, that I am right where I need to be, and that this is my place. The knowing that my role in life is to be a Guardian. A Guardian of the Earth, of the people, of the natural balance of our ecosystem. And to bring those different worlds together in order to bring balance, I need to know all the different players in the game.
I still feel a lot like I don’t belong. At the same time I find comfort in that realization. I will not be a specialist or someone “successful” in either of those worlds. I will probably never be so fully immersed in the wilderness like some of the people I know. And I will just as likely not become super successful in the world of IT. The only place for me is to feel fully present with myself. To be an expert of being a generalist, of being myself. To be a full-fledged Guardian. This also means being comfortable not in finding my place, but creating it. Not to compare myself to others but only to my past self.
To let go of all the ideas. Even the idea of letting go of all ideas. I need to embrace the fact that I will never truly feel comfortable. I can seek comfort and have my muscles become weak. But I won’t really feel comfortable in my skin. And I can seek discomfort, and feel the most alive. And I need to train my muscles for that. I can’t go out with nothing and simply build my own place, my own space. A place where I can find a balance between comfort and comfortable. I need to start slowly to build my muscles. Like with the process of rewilding an animal, I need to slowly get used to it, slowly build my own wildlife habitat, before I can release myself in it.
This is my exploration. This is my mission. What I have set out to do. I started almost 8 years ago, and it might be a lifelong mission. But I know that that’s the only path I can take.
This is of course just one of many stories of Guardians. Every Guardian is different. Not everyone feels to only have the role of the Guardian, or the Voice, or the Nurturer for that matter. And we all interpret it very differently. And that’s the beauty of the Guardian Way.
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