When the Needle Disappears

As I write this I’m watching the latest episode of “Out of the Wild,” a Discovery Channel show about nine volunteers who struggle to survive in the wild, hiking from location to location as they struggle. It’s a show of endurance and human spirit, though there is no prize and no “challenges” to win immunity. No, it’s survival at its basic.

The crew follows a lone map as they travel from campsite to campsite but, sometimes they are getting thrown off course or misjudging distances. It’s tough to witness, to be honest. But it happens to the best of us, map, jungle or not. We lose our sense of direction. No one is immune.

Just this week my body has reminded me of this – literally. Several times a year I suffer from periods of extreme dizziness, sometimes accompanied by hearing loss. I was officially diagnosed with an inner ear disease 10 years ago but my chiropractor thinks it may be calcium deposits. Either cause, it attacks without warning and lasts as long as it desires. This week has been such a time, though my hearing has been spared. It’s tough to be dizzy. Without warning, my balance is thrown off and I have no choice but to fall against a wall, desk, or other stable object. It stinks. I seem to completely lose my orientation. Earlier this week I had several episodes in which I literally did not know which way was up. Yikes!

I wish it was easy to stay oriented at all times, whether physically, emotionally or spiritually. But every now and then we look at our internal compass and the needle seems to be gone. I hate it when that happens. Don’t you? Like I wrote before, I wish it was easy to stay oriented.

I also wish I had some easy answers about how to reorient one’s self. Maybe these TV survival students can shed some light on it. They seem to understand that landmarks help guide them as they travel. Just tonight they crossed at least two streams on their map and that led them to their campsite in a large clearing. They couldn’t see the clearing from the jungle. But each landmark guided their way. So maybe there’s something to be learned from that.

Well, they’re fighting wasps right now on a hunt for food so I’d better pay attention. Good night!