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Letter 002 - Wilderness to Woods


Read letters from an antihero

Letter 002 - Wilderness to Woods

Christopher Bartley

Dear Antero,

I hope you don't mind me shortening your name. It'll sound more personable as we get to know each other. I'm not a sage or guru. I’m the person you'll find in the abandoned wooden shack nestled in the deep woods, who is looking for answers—just like you are. And it's in the woods that we're going to leverage our wilderness experience.

Finding the woods is about leaving your wilderness of humiliation behind. It's turning your fearful escape into a courageous search. But you need the wilderness to get to the woods. It's a dangerous mental space of guilt, fear and shame, but the wilderness will get you moving closer to the answers you seek. Don't think of the wilderness as "bad". Consider it a necessary alternative to help realign you with your true purpose. It's a shocking reminder, not an eternal judgment or death sentence.

We antiheroes learn the hard way. And we had to run because of it. Many of the greats you look up to ran at one time or another. When you start running from your past, you manage to escape deep into the wilderness, but only to face those same demons of guilt, fear and shame. Yet at the same time, something else is happening...

You are also beginning to remove yourself from cultural traditions, the opinions others, and your own perception of who you think you are. And when you begin searching for your true identity instead of running from the old one, you have entered into the woods. This is where you adopt a new mindset to start living a new life.

The woods isn't permanent. But it's pivotal. And it's what will help you to begin living the life of an antihero. Let's find the woods.