For a long time I loved this concept. Strong, independent, fearless, the pinnacle of self-reliance . Except, that isn’t the point of a lone wolf at all. In fact, the whole point is to reconnect. A lone wolf enters into solitude with hopes of a greater future.
Like the lone wolf, we are all born into a pack. It may vary greatly in size and quality, but there is a pack regardless. Our pack sets the rules and tone of our world and we do our best to assimilate. It isn’t until later that we begin to develop and become invested in our individualized viewpoints. Often, even when we are inclined to be rebellious we still stay in the same social groups when possible. The human need for community is strong. Just as it is with the wolf.
Many times, necessity is required to make a wolf leave it’s pack. It isn’t as much an option as a matter of survival. It is a matter of resources. No mates, in-fighting, food scarcity. Those are the reasons they leave. And the goal is never permanency. We admire the lone wolf, and we should. It is on a hard path, and if it survives to find a new future, that future was the result of effort and struggle. In fact, a wolf, in some ways loses it’s apex status when it is running alone. Larger predators that would never challenge a pack have the power and ability to overwhelm a solitary wolf. Food is harder to come by when a wolf has to hunt alone without the learned coordination it grew up understanding. It must adapt to survive, learn new ways to do things. The beauty of this path, however, can only be seen when they reconnect, that point when they have roamed and ranged and found a mate, or integrated into a new pack. It is the integration of shared knowledge and experience that truly becomes their future. The new pack becomes strong because of the integration, and the lone wolf, gains a new community.
If life has taught you mistrust in your relationships, being alone and learning how to be independent sounds like the best choice. And for many of us, there is a period of time where it is the wise decision. Perhaps we are in with the wrong group. Maybe we feel stifled by our current view and experience of the world as it is. Perhaps we to must leave due to scarcity. We all benefit from breaking out and discovering ourselves. It is easy to adjust to the lone wolf lifestyle for it’s sense of control. It might not sound like it to some reading this, but if you have been hurt by the ones close to you, you know how appealing the sense of control and safety that comes with depending on no one, is. At some point it just becomes “who we are”. But the truth is, it is simply how we adapted to function and survive. Even when you meet people and find a group that feels right or is right, it is easy to keep walls up and maintain distance. After all, connection, new experiences, they are all a potential threat or chance of failure right? But, you are a human being. And human beings were not meant to be alone. Even if in your search you find yourself rejected, it just means it was the wrong fit. Not that you aren’t mean to fit somewhere.
The end goal is not to stand alone. It should be to stand with the people who stand by you. That is how you, and all of us truly become our strongest, greatest selves.
A lone wolf never stops searching. Neither should you.