In wildness, we follow the growth of love, and in the sound of its silence, we discover the cry and birth of mankind. When I think back and recall the liveliest people I have ever known, they have been the wildest; the ones with a streak of adventure that would never be satisfied until the wanting of travel had waned and the bones of old age had beckoned. I believe that it is only through the finding, the harnessing and expression of one's unbridled wildness that the mind is susceptible to the openness of endless possibility and self is at last found.
When I was a teenager eager to do all there was to do and to see the world, my mother used to tell me that she could sense a wildness in me that would never be tamed. It was as though she was forewarning me of a rawness to my nature that would refuse to be trapped by convention or molded in the ways of modernity and mediocrity. She said that I possessed a burning desire to live life to the full; a feeling that would never be stemmed until the day I died. Over the years, I have given vent to both my gentleness and wildness; I have been able to access and express within my emotional make-up, my feelings of maleness and femininity, presenting a balance of what I was, blended with what I am and what I would become.
During my travels in Canada, I was blessed to be able to see wildlife on the plain and walk through tall forests with trees that were higher than the eye can see. Unfortunately, I witnessed the hewing of these magnificent specimens which have graced the earth with their splendour for a thousand years, being felled like dead bodies on a battlefield. I have always seen trees as sentries of the soul, providing us with the breath of life and the oxygen of salvation.They possess a spiritual redemption which adds to nature's revelation, and each one that is felled for profit sees a root-part of civilisation forever lost.
I recall seeing my first wolf in its natural habitat of the wild whilst I lived in Canada a few years during the early 1960's. Canada supports the second largest gray/grey wolf population in the world, after Russia. The gray wolf, also known as the 'timber wolf' is a native to the Canadian wilderness. In the wolf, I have always seen the beauty and grandeur that is wildness incarnate. On those few occasions when I was in the Canadian wild, away from the hustle and noise of everyday life, nature reminded me of my humanity and reinforced what we are connected to, rather than separated from. When we can stand still and open our ears and hearts to all life around us, be we high up in the mountains or way down in the woods and streams; it is there we find the fountain of life. We can never have enough of nature and the beauty of real freedom, which I believe is to be found in wildness and rarely in civilisation.
During the 1970's, I was the founder of 'Anger Management', a process which I freely gave to the world and which mushroomed across the English-speaking world within the space of two years. During those years of behavioural research, I learned that in all of our lives, there is an awakening of wildness, a season for settledness and a time for becoming our true selves.
Essentially, the people who were the hardest to help and who presented the greatest resistance to change were not the aggressive types, but the non-assertive person who never expressed their anger and avoided all manner of confrontation; the ones who were too fearful to ever show the wilder side of their nature. And yet, though they seemed to be devoid of anger, it was always present within; never openly expressed to others, but instead directed inwardly at oneself. Whereas the aggressive person would be prone to emotionally explode, the non-assertive person would implode and self-harm.
Subsequently, I grew to accept that it was unwise to consider wildness distant from any person, be they openly aggressive or acutely reserved. I began to see wildness as being emotionally trapped within the traumatic experiences of a person's problematic response; something not always expressed, but always close by. Through many years of behavioural research, I discovered that the emotions of expressed fear and expressed anger are inversely proportionate within the aggressive and the non-assertive person. I learned that violent people display too much aggression and not enough fear and that timid people display too much fear and not enough aggression. By placing both problem response types alongside each other in group programmes, and teaching the aggressive person to express more fear and the timid person to express more anger, both types were able to learn from each other how to respond to problematic situations more appropriately.
My advice to all people is that when wildness calls, you should go; whenever you feel angry, you should express such feelings openly and appropriately. People with entrenched patterns of avoidance behaviour, who never face stressful situations head-on, are advised to first understand themselves before they try to bring about positive change. I have always found that the best way of discovering the true understanding of one's self is similar to that of better understanding the wild nature of the woods; it involves going through it and never travelling around its perimeter.
So the next time you see the image of a wolf, look more closely and see both natures of yourself running side by side." William Forde: October 27th, 2016.