The term spirituality is perceived differently by different people in the society. Some think of it in a religious perspective while others look at it in a more personal way. In a religious perspective, spirituality growth is all about seeking the spiritual guide through prayers and meditations. In a personal perspective, spirituality growth is beyond seeking spiritual growth through meditations and payers. Basically, it is the process of finding oneself by undergoing through various experiences which gives one the true self of a person (Kurtz & Katherine, 1992). This paper will examine the aspects of spiritual growth based on the story in the book is "wild" by Cheryl strayed. There are various reasons as to why Cheryl decided to embark on the long hiking journey in the desert.
First, Cheryl went through a lot trying to cope with life after she lost one most thing she ever had, her mother. After her mother died out of cancer infection and left her at the very moment she needed her, she thought that she had lost everything and therefor, she got herself into drugs and prostitution. Bobby was everything to Cheryls life. After the mother had separated from her uncaring and abusive husband when Cheryl was only five years, she was the one taking care of her (chapter one). Therefore, her mothy was the only inspiration she could see around. After she died, she thought all her hopes were gone with her mothers death. Her mother died when she was only joining her university. With all the traumatization, she lost control of herself and never thought of what she was doing.
Another reason for Cheryl going to the long journey was that she couldnt stand the guilt she had for Paul, her divorced husband. She left her caring and loving husband and gets carried away with drug addicts. She says the little bruise on my ankle that Id gotten from shooting heroin in Portland, (part I, chapter one). Cheryl regrets that she left her husband for a life that only made her life more miserable.
Another reason for going for the hike is because she wanted to reform herself and find her true self. After losing her mother and her husband, Cheryl thought that the best way to redeem her life is to find a new place and start a new life. Going through the journey has taught Cheryl a lot in terms of determining ones true self. The journey through the wilderness has taught her important values and she has developed a different perception of life than the way she earlier saw it. The suffering through the desert taught her patience. In the wilderness she kept telling herself that she could quit anytime if she wanted to. But she kept going on because she wanted to make a change in her life since she has been quitting many things in the past. The desire to continue with the journey made her change the rest of her life upon reaching her destination, the Bridge of the Gods. She says it was enoughto trust what Id done was true (Part V, chapter 19). The journey heals all her wounds and takes away her sorrow and pain. On her way in the wilderness, she meets with people who show her kindness and this makes her learn that everyone deserves another chance even if they had made terrible mistakes in the past. Cheryl finds her true self and decides to give herself another chance by marrying the man he found at the Bridge of Gods and living a normal life with two kids.
In conclusion, this paper has analyzed the hiking journey of Cheryl Strayed through the wilderness in attempt to redeem her soul. With the obstacles she finds on her way, her body feels that she should quit but her spirit keeps telling her that she has to continue. She learns that patience, hard work and perseverance pay in the end when she finds a home and a husband.
Kurtz, Ernest, and Katherine Ketcham. The spirituality of imperfection. New York, NY: Bantam, 1992.
Strayed, Cheryl. Wild: From lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Vintage, 2013.
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