By Johnny Mack
Have you ever been questioned about your passion or obsession with hunting? How about being told that all you focus on or talk about is hunting and chasing animals. My wife hounds me nonstop about how it is always on my mind and preoccupies my thoughts. She says it is the best worst thing to happen to me and our family. It might be sad to say, but I can’t help it. Fulfilling my innermost primordial call to hunt and be wild is at the core of my existence, and hunting answers that call.
When people talk about being healthy and feeling fulfilled in what they do, they describe it as having passion. What they do not realize, is that what they are actually experiencing is spiritual health. Spiritual health is the ability to discover one’s basic purpose in life. To be able to experience love, joy, peace, forgiveness, connection and a reverence for living. Spiritual health can be fulfilled through faith in a higher power and prayer, however there is something that hunting provides that connects us even more to the creator of our existence.
One of the three things that we as humans require and need in life is to be free. When we are at peace in our own lives, it allows us the freedom and opportunity to live life to the fullest. We were not meant to just live our lives, we were meant to live more abundantly. For most people, their work or job is not something that is truly satisfying to their soul and that alone can lead to spiritual unhealthiness. There is a reason why the mountains call to our souls. It is a way to reflect upon our lives and our creator. The peace that comes from the silence and serenity of the outdoors is something special to be had. It allows us to be alone with our thoughts and to have to opportunity to prioritize our life, and come to a clarity of love, peace, forgiveness, connection and a reverence for living. Whether it is a love for all things in nature, or a deeper love and admiration for God’s creation, being outdoors is a game changer. It gets us up off of the couch and helps us become active, which in turn builds upon other areas of health in our lives.
If you are struggling with whether or not you should pick up a new hobby or continue an old one, let this be the kick in the pants that you need to make it happen. The more you can get out, the healthier you will be. If it is hunting, or just going on nature walks, allow that to be a time for you to look within yourself and really learn what makes you tick. Inward reflection leads towards outward correction. This is something that is most often forgotten in today’s society. The constant buzz of media is a static that is causing us all to become deaf to ourselves. How often do you pause and listen to your own thoughts? Do you even have your own thoughts anymore? Or are you under the constant barrage of what the Kardashians are doing and whether or not you got enough likes on your last social media post?
It is within the silence and the stillness of nature that one can truly find themselves. Hunting requires a stillness that is hard to find in any other area of life. This is what makes it special. It is in the stillness that allows our minds to take a break from the constant bombardment of the grind. It allows us to have what I like to call “Me Time.” “Me Time” is when you schedule something in your day in which you rest your mind from all that is constantly fighting for your attention. It can be as short as 10-15 minutes or longer, but what it cannot interfere with is other aspects of health or responsibilities. I can hear you now saying, “How am I supposed to rest my mind when I am supposed to be focusing on the task of hunting?” Great question! It is through the quiet and stillness of nature that allows you to be at peace and to continue working on your spiritual health.
Whether you hunt solo or you prefer to have company, in the end, when you are working on your craft and trying to be successful, you will find yourself with a silence that is unmatched. To be successful at hunting, it requires you to put all of your senses to use. While using all of your senses may seem like a lot of work, my question to you is, when was the last time you were able to do so? Maybe now you might look at hunting a bit differently and be a little more spiritually healthy.
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