How To Find Yourself, When You’ve Lost Yourself.

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How to Release Your Inner Wonder Woman.

Sometimes We Need to Get Lost to Be Found.

Live the Life of Your Dreams. 

I had everything—a home, a loving husband, two gorgeous daughters, financial security. I wanted for nothing. For years, this life was welcomed.

I felt safe. But over time, safe stopped serving me. Safe became confinement, imprisonment—I was actually miserable. I was empty.

I was lost…completely lost, with no clue how to get home.

“Where was home?,”  I began to ask. I might as well have been sitting in the middle of the Sahara, not my beige Pottery Barn sectional.

My life was uncomfortably predictable—I knew what was going to happen next, in every moment of every day.

The stagnancy of my life was destroying my spirit. I was no longer myself, and I knew the journey from where I was back to my home was going to be a scary, uncertain one; but at some point I had no choice. I couldn’t live separate from myself anymore, so I started walking without any idea where I was going.

That was three and a half years ago.

Today, I’m writing this from home, from the same beige couch.

The difference? Me, and the thousand of miles I’ve traveled since. The thousands of experiences I’ve collected to bring me right back here, home—found.

There were many frightening moments, many moments I didn’t think I would make it. I made mistake after mistake, which catapulted me in the exact direction I was meant to go. I don’t regret any of it, because all of the wrong choices led me to the right place, every step of the way.

If there’s one piece of advice I would give every person, it would be to get lost.

Finding yourself is not a comfortable process, nor should it be. It is petrifying.

This period of confusion is the catalyst for questioning everything, for evaluating your life and your place in it. When you start asking the questions, you will find the answers. Just be prepared—your answers may not be the answers you want, but they are always the answers you need.

If you already feel lost, listen closely. Your spirit is screaming, “Help! I’m bored and confused. This present circumstance is no longer fulfilling me. Start looking again. Search every corner. Try new things. Fail miserably and then try something else until you find me. Keep going until you laugh again, until you discover understanding, acceptance, happiness, joy, and most importantly, purpose.”

When you feel lost, you’ve lost your purpose.

I remember being consumed with guilt for feeling unappreciative of my blessed life. Over the past few years, I’ve learned that my external circumstance (no matter how perfect it may appear) is insignificant if my internal circumstance is broken, lost and void of aspirations. If I have no purpose, my surroundings will feel purposeless too.

How do you find purpose?

Do something, anything. Do anything that is the opposite of what you are doing right now.

Get uneasy, get scared, become a beginner again. If you think you know it all, find something you know nothing about, and learn it well.

Observe how you respond and react. You will learn something new about yourself; not only about your character, but what turns on your light. Once you’ve found something that turns on your light, you’ve found purpose.

When you place yourself in foreign situations, you arrive in your most concentrated form. You will always bump into yourself in the unfamiliar.

The most difficult part of this process is the aloneness. You can’t rely on anyone else to guide you in the right direction. This is a solo mission. Doing it alone, is the whole point of the journey.

Listen to yourself regardless of what others may say. All that matters is your encouragement, not others’ discouragement.

What got me through was trust. I trusted I was always where I was supposed to be, and I would end up where I was meant to be.

This is your one life. It would be a tragedy to never discover yourself.

You can’t discover yourself unless you look for yourself, so get lost.

Bonus: How to fall in love with yourself:


By Rebecca Lammersen


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Ed: Bryonie Wise

Photo courtesy of the author.


Interesting, vaguely relephant:

lost in life success



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monicawembly Feb 20, 2019 7:10pm

I was heartbroken and needed help to get my boyfriend back and (robinson.buckler “@” yahoo. com) was my helper, he was able to bring my boyfriend back ???????

anonymous Apr 11, 2016 1:44pm

I understand this sentiment, but what I’m confused about is…are you on the same beige couch, still married? Did you feel the need to shed your marriage? Or were you able to find yourself while still your husband waited in the wings?

I ask because I am the love of someone who feels as this article describes, and he feels like he can’t be around me if he is to actually discover who he is, again. So I’m just wondering if you were able to make it work with your husband.

anonymous Mar 10, 2016 11:41am

i just want to know who am i

i haven’t anything to lose except my feeling my thoughts i have many purpose as i m a student i wanna to be a successful person

but whenever i think about me i found me lost i did not understand me i afraid of becoming a bad guy always. i think that i m not that guy who i am actually at my past i am afraid to be changed

anonymous Feb 24, 2016 2:19am

How do you find yourself when you know where you belong, and with whom, but everyone tells you it's time for you to spread your wings and fly away from there. But there's nowhere else to go, and they won't let you go back.

anonymous Dec 23, 2015 9:29am

Thank you, I came across this article at the right time in my life. I’m in transition and just need to trust that I’m where I need to be.

anonymous Dec 12, 2015 10:39pm

My friend send me this article after going through hell, finding her way and most recently finding herself sitting in an almost beige pottery barn couch. I on the other hand, are in the mist of a divorce, losing what I thought was the love
Of my life these last seventeen years and attempting to “find myself.” It’s a hard journey-and I’m just in the beginning. But I could no longer fake being someone so that other person could
Love me and like me. I ended the cycle of leaving a life subconsciously. I chose uncertainty in the hopes of truly finding myself….

anonymous Nov 29, 2015 2:33am

Thanks mate for this wonderfull passage. All good God Bless

anonymous Nov 9, 2015 9:34pm

I am soo lost.somewhere inside me theres an awareness ,she is screaming to be found.. i cant open the door to her its not that simple…going thru the motions of life is so aimless each day its wat i do .my next step is counsling .maybe im there in the words i share with someone ?the drugs cant find me ..alcohol cant reach her .im in there i can hear myself screaming to open this door !!!

anonymous Nov 8, 2015 9:45pm

Thank you!!!!

anonymous Sep 10, 2015 2:21pm

Did you betray the love of your family?

This "advice" should be taken with a grain of salt.

anonymous Aug 30, 2015 6:31am

That is the second time this morning I have read an article to "get lost", in a good way, of course.
I guess it's finally time…

anonymous Aug 13, 2015 9:44pm

Merci. Your article helped me alot.

anonymous Jul 27, 2015 12:39am

My advice to you is that you should never try to be artificial or fake be original always be yourself no matter how hard the world comes onto you but you must not tremble.

anonymous Jul 8, 2015 10:25am

Badly need this now. I never knew i was lost until i got sick and lost my job. I worked hard for it, i promised myself id standout and i did! But my body gave up and i lost everything. Dont know what to do now. Feeling so empty. Staying at home for a week can make me go crazy and now it has to be a month. Please help me understand. Thanks a lot.

anonymous Jun 23, 2015 8:31am

that article touched me deeply. it kind of say my story but in a different way.
I too had the perfect life ( or so i though ) i had the perfect fiance' and I go to medical school which has always been my dream, my family is well and everything's good.
but suddenly out of nowhere i got lost. i lost interest in EVERYTHING in my life. I'm questioning everything even medical school which was always my dream and which i was dying to enter and when i finally did i felt like my dream has finally come true.
i can't even study or hold a book and I'm in the middle of my exams i messed up so bad in my exams. and still more are coming up and every time i say (I:m going to study now Im going to make it now ) i end up doing /NOTHING and failing myself again,.
the thing is I've always believed that every person has a message to deliver at life. and all my life I was in a position to be "better" than most people , whether at school or social events. I was literally proud of myself every single day even if i fail which i do of-course i always end up standing on my own two feet again without anybody's help.
but now it's like Im living at the past. what i know about myself is what i once achieved and i became trapped in the past remembering al my success that I;ve achieved in life before and now I"m drown in failure.
I love my fiance' so much and we used to be inseparable. now he has to work and he's a really good engineer and Im happy for him but my life now is based on him and only him. i wait for him to come home and if he's late i sleep or watch t.v or anything else that gets time to fly until he's home. and the thing is i started to get mad at him for leaving me and have to work all the time even though it's not his fault.i just get mad.
maybe because i know even though he always puts me first and tries to do anything to be with me and for me not to get mad , but i know that someday he's going to have other stuff to do and i will eventually be left alone. doing nothing.
maybe most girls would be okay with that but the problem is that i was never one of those girls who stay at home waiting. i was something more. something much much more and every one of my teachers and professors and my parents gets told every time ( your daughter is a genius and she's gonna be something big) even my fiance' fell in love with me because of that. i was never dependent i was always independent. and now..i fell like I'm lost. I'm trapped and I don't know the way out and i became constantly depressed and constantly sad that i began to think i had depression.
i don't know what's wrong with me i just know I'm not me anymore , I'm lost and i have no idea how to get back home.

you were right you cannot depend on anyone to get you out of this. this process has to come from within people around me are tired of trying to pick me up but i fall again. all i want to do is to be better not only for myself. but for them too.

    anonymous Sep 17, 2015 12:24pm

    I know exactly how you feel, I too thought I had a sense of direction and that things were falling into place I had a good job, it was time consuming but paid well I knew it wasn't something that I'd wanted to do forever but couldn't figure out which direction to go career wise, I started dating my current boyfriend in that time and he made me feel alive again he's the most wonderful person god could give me and he's made me so happy I recently lost my job however and we were able to spend the summer together it was great a few of my friends were off of work too so I was always busy now my boyfriend has gone back to work 50 hours a week and I barely see him I too find myself waiting by the phone and missing him when I've never been that girl maybe I put too much of my happiness on him, but my happiness is not soley his responsibility he makes me happy but it's not his job to completely do that, happiness comes from within I'm just having a hard time finding what makes me happy other than him. I'm so lost that we need a new word for lost, I'm also afraid that in finding myself I might lose him, he's so supportive and caring that he understands that I'm lost but in order to find ones self I think it requires you to be selfish and that's never okay when you love someone so much. It's gotten to the point that my anxiety and depression have consumed me because of all the "what ifs" that pop into my head I cry all the time I just don't know what to do.

anonymous Jun 15, 2015 11:17pm

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!

anonymous May 31, 2015 1:22am

Hard to do while raising kids with financial difficulties, an abusive marriage and chronic pain and fatigue… my choices come down to which day I struggle through the laundry and whether to have another nap or not.

anonymous May 20, 2015 5:46pm

Totally love this article. Make so much sense. But I wonder did she leave her husband and kids for awhile or what???? I want to find myself..but don’t want to leave my boyfriend for it. Maybe that means I don’t want to find myself in the end..or am scared to be alone instead

anonymous May 20, 2015 5:33pm

Losing my only child 6 years ago to cystic fibrosis resulted in me losing myself for a time. To find myself again, I needed a challenge, a reason to keep going. I graduate with my doctorate tomorrow night. I am working on a job search, and finding ways to redefine myself, reframe my experiences, and move forward, back into myself. Scary as hell, exhilhirating, and everything in between. Buckle up world…I. Am. Back.

anonymous Apr 21, 2015 9:19pm

I loved this read. A very poetic blog saying step into the unknown, because if you really knew yourself you wouldn't be bored. The unknown is the mystery, the part of you that you have forgotten or have yet to remember or plain just don't know. What you know now eventually can become simply a habit of living, zombie like, on replay. So another way of putting it is "Play in the Unknown". This forces you to be present and spontaneous. Thanks for writing this, valuable.

anonymous Apr 17, 2015 10:45am

Exactly the description of one’s life I can relate to. Thank you.

anonymous Apr 12, 2015 6:27pm

Hi Rebecca,

I am going through a similar situation, but with “nothing” left.
Starting from zero. I feel lost and your article is exactly what I am starting to go through, so it’s very calming and encourages me to feel like “everything is going to be alright”.
Thank you very much for your honesty and opening about it.
Big hugs.

anonymous Apr 7, 2015 12:59pm

My "lost" also came with a divorce after 27 years of marriage. He went on his happy way through three more marriages????? I have remained single for 25 years. Six years ago went into a twelve step program. "FOUND"! Healthy and happy!!!!

anonymous Mar 29, 2015 6:58pm

Thanks so much. It was exactly what I needed to read. I’ve hit the same point in life and looking for home also. Your words are powerful. God bless.

anonymous Mar 29, 2015 9:55am

I kept saying, "Yes, I get this" as I read. I've been going through a transitional period in my life and I have felt lost. I know to grow, I must listen to myself and not focus on the nay sayers. Thanks for the affirmation.

anonymous Mar 24, 2015 7:56pm


anonymous Mar 23, 2015 12:14pm

I'm torn about this. I understand needing to 'find' oneself, but I'm also mindful that when we're adults, we have responsibilities to others as well. I think it's possible to change one's life to something more fulfilling without leaving devastation and heartbreak in one's wake. I just left my boyfriend because he he wanted a life of screwing anyone he wanted, and never mind the relationship we were supposedly building. He will be alone when he gets older and needs a partner to help care for him, because he chose to be 'free' instead of committed. He's certainly not bored or stagnant. But he's also not building anything that will sustain him in his older years, and he's about to turn 50.

I'd rather have a little stagnation or a little boredom than to be the way I am: lonely and without the person I thought I was building a life with. When we're adults, we need to be less selfish. That's why 'finding myself' is typically something that 20-somethings do. I understand that 'settling down' is not for everyone. But I think there can be a balance or commitment, responsibility, and excitement. I want to find that balance.

anonymous Feb 27, 2015 7:58pm

Hmmm….i beg to differ. Id love to hand over a time stretch in my shoes…..ive been searching for myself since the age of 5!! i am & always will be lost. I have screamed….. Did u hear? I have wept…. Did u care??…. i TRY but its always in vain. I live the tormented repercussions of tragic events made through the neglect of others. Its hell its a big long massive day to day battle…… Id love to find myself…… Anything is better than than this self. This world is severely lacking in love & compassion . I bear the weight….its me against the world . Final thoughts??? Mankind?? Ha thats a joke……. I have seen no evidence of kindness!!. We can seek BUT in the meantime im just guna have to be myself & deal with that…..
Should any one find ' me ' on my travels….there is an abundance of gratitude in your favour should you be so kind & light my path of way!!!!! PEACE TO ALL & goodluck to those seeking their souls xx

    anonymous Apr 7, 2015 6:25pm

    atypical: While my heart aches for what you say, I can’t help but love the way you said it. You are a poet. Your words are lovely and sad and bigger than this little life. I don’t know what you have been through, but something has made you soulful and artistic. And that is something. Maybe it’s everything.

    anonymous Feb 25, 2016 6:17pm

    Maybe your purpose is to be who you're looking for, and to do what is missing in the world.

anonymous Feb 6, 2015 7:51am

I thought i had a purpose, but when you are in the heart of a poverty vicinity and nothing is going well it becomes hard to find yourself. How can anyone find a set of keys in the dark? Finding myself is like looking for a nickle in the ocean; it just seems impossible at the moment.

anonymous Jan 22, 2015 7:19pm

Wow! I am reading this and this is exactly what I am going through in life right now. My life has done a complete 360 over the past 7 years with the loss of my mum and I have found it very tough to get back to where I was. Since then I have felt all I should be doing is taking care of my family and everyone around me. In the meantime, I have lost direction of my life and what I want. I will return to this article and read it again regularly, as I am aiming to take the step over to London and work overseas. I need to put all my fears aside and just do it!

anonymous Jan 19, 2015 11:43am

i gotta find myself, sure i will. Indeed, the best advice ever, “get lost and find yourself”.
A big thanks Rebecca.

anonymous Jan 16, 2015 5:58am

"Do anything that is the opposite of what you are doing right now."

Ditto! This article is worth bookmarking, I actually saved this to my compuer so I can go back and read it again every time I feel confused and stuck in a rut. I'm only 23 and on my way to graduating from the university, but I am surprised that one can feel lost at such a young age. I currently study art (interdisciplinary studies)–something extremely new to me because I have little background on it in my high school years–but three years of it has made me feel burned out, bored, and unexcited, and I constantly ask myself why. I am lucky that I am self-aware enough to know that something's missing about my life, and my answer is that despite learning something new, I have taken for granted what I have always enjoyed doing before–dancing, music, writing, and volunteer work. I have focused so much on getting good grades that I have forgotten about nourishing my other passions that I only tend to constantly fantasize about dancing in front of many people or being an active member of a charity or environmental organization, which is sad because I want to realize them so bad. I am slowly in the process of admitting and acknowledging the fact that these endeavors have always been calling me ever since I was a wide-eyed teenager, and I am trying my best to motivate myself to follow those REAL passions, the ones that make me feel excited and fulfilled.

Again, thank you, Rebecca, for writing this article.

anonymous Jan 15, 2015 1:07pm

It’s my birthday tmrw and this article is a gift. Thank you for the lovely time 🙂

anonymous Jan 11, 2015 4:09pm

Rebecca I rally understand you, I have been through it, and I am still in the process. I started 7 years ago, I had everything I needed, I was safe financially, I had a beautiful family and the house, etc, and than suddenly everything changed, I got divorced, sold my house, started to go around the world. I learned many different lessons, I started to know who really am I, I became emotionally much more stronger and I am now ready to give my new discovered talents back to the world. Sometimes has been extremely hard, I felt lost many times, I felt homeless, I felt guilty, I felt like I was destroy my life, I felt like I was making wrong choices, but now I feel much more powerful and I am much more ready to really help people. I feel now much more awake than 7 years ago when all started. Thank you for sharing.

anonymous Nov 17, 2014 3:15pm

I know perfectly what you are talking about, I have been through it, now it is 7 years I lost myself, found it and lost again! Everything has changed in my life, and it is keeping changing, I don't know when it gonna ending. Until 7 years ago I had a "normal" life, a beautiful family, a very well paid job, I own a house, etc, but then my soul start to wake me up, and suddenly I have lost everything, ending to sleep in the floor in a sort of ashram. I think I am still in what they called "the dark night of the soul" where you really feel completely lost, and if you don't lose the faith on yourself, you will exit and rebuild life in a completely new way. I am still waiting. Thank you for sharing.

anonymous Oct 14, 2014 10:40am

Hi Rebecca,

I want to say thank you for sharing your story. I just knew about this website and stumbled on your post was the best thing I have done today.

I’m just a uni student who is lost, confused and being trapped in my daily routine. Just like you, I have a loving family who supports me emotionally and financially. From the outside, I seem to have it all, but I know deep inside that I’m a lost person.

I like what you said about questioning yourself and preparing to expect the answers that you need but not what you want. It’s an intimidating idea but it’s also tempting at the same time. What if the answer is not what people would expect from me? What if…? What if…? There are so many “what if”. But like you said, we only have one life to live and I want to make it a good one.

Recently, I just start blogging, which is not what I would normally do, but maybe trying something unfamiliar is what I need now. I don’t know where it will get me, but I hope it can help me to explore myself.

It’s great to know that I’m not the only one. Thank you, again!

anonymous Oct 3, 2014 12:12pm

I see me in so many ways as i read this…thanks for posting it give me hope..

anonymous Sep 19, 2014 1:49am

I recently have began thinking about taking my own journey. All of my plan have collapsed on themselves and I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve had the idea of leaving home for a few month and just travel but I don’t really have the money for it. Is there any advice you can give me? Does it really cost that much to go on a journey like this?

anonymous Aug 21, 2014 4:09pm

i have lost myself and it was after years of grief through losing loves ones, I have never felt the same since part of me left as well It was if someone had turned a light out
I am now finding myself again its been hard and slow but to be in a place so unfamiliar was alien to me as a happy go lucky person. I read articles like this to ground me and let me know I am not alone
Thank you Patricia

anonymous Aug 20, 2014 12:02pm

Rebecca..this article was absolutely what I needed to read. I've been feeling lost, not sure who I am anymore. Worked through a lot of past trauma with an amazing counsellor and have created in myself a whole new me. But I don't know who that is yet, and doubting myself. I logged into FB and this popped up first in my newsfeed. I read it and had tears in my eyes by the end of was exactly how I felt and the encouragement I needed. I printed it out and carry it around in my wallet now, and I've also given copies to close friends who are going through the same struggle. You write so eloquently. Thank you <3

anonymous Aug 19, 2014 11:51am

I needed this. On the verge of making changes and reading your story is inspiring! Thank you.

anonymous Aug 7, 2014 10:38pm

Ding, ding, ding. Been there, done that. Lost myself for awhile. Found myself recently. Love it!

anonymous Jul 27, 2014 8:29am

I have been reading elephant journal for a while now. I've recognized your picture at the bottom of many articles that I have found to hit home. I personal train a woman that is working on taking back control of her life after spending much of the last decade sedentary and rarely leaving her home. One thing I say to her after every session is, "Do something different today. Don't just go home. Get lost a bit". Now, I am guilty of not taking my own advice often so this article was a great reminder

Now subscribing 🙂

anonymous Jul 26, 2014 4:31pm

Lisa is 100% right. My daughter and I had this selfish, self centered crap served on us without warning and we were brutally and violently kicked to the curb penniless, stripped of every safety net we'd ever known. You can wrap this story up in any whiny, I don't know who I am/I need to find myself etc., BS you want but you're behavior is unacceptable and your family should have refused to open the door when you returned.

anonymous Jun 3, 2014 10:46am

I am 44 years old with four (children) well they are 26, 21, 20, and 17. My youngest just graduated two weeks ago. I recently quit my job and even before that I have been feeling like I just need a change. I want to travel. I want to find myself. I have been a mother since I was 17 and I do not know who I am besides being a mother or wife or now girlfriend. I am currently living with a boyfriend that I thought was my soul mate and now that we are living together I hate the idea. He has two younger children (11 and 14). I have no desire to be a step mother or even participate in their activities. I feel like I have been there done that and I deserve my own time to do what I want. Am I selfish am I a horrible person? Please someone help me. I'm so lost and feel so empty inside.

anonymous May 12, 2014 12:54am

Simply amazing. Especially for me who wants something out of life yet got this feeling that I am not making any progress towards it.

anonymous May 6, 2014 8:26am

I googled “finding yourself again,” and stumbled upon this article. It, and all the comments and input from others that followed, was exactly what I needed to see.

I am 21 years old, living on my own, surviving off minimum wage to pay for this apartment and get by, with no help from others. My mother, at 41, is living in a hotel after losing her home. She hasn’t held a job in years. My father is bordering another state with his wife and five other kids–since marrying her he’s all but forgotten about me. I don’t know the last time I even heard from him.

I don’t have other family that live nearby, and over the years everyone has dropped contact. After I turned 18 they just stopped sending me birthday cards or inviting me to holidays. I’ve spent the last few at home, alone.

And I’ve become lost again. I have been able to pay rent and bills if I combine both paychecks I receive a month, but I can’t take days off work because I barely make enough as it is. I want to go to a technical college, but I live in a small town and don’t have a car; and the TC I’m looking at (the closest one) is almost an hour away. I don’t even have my license yet, because my mother could never afford to put me through drivers ed.

I used to be so ambitious. As a youth I’d spend hours daydreaming, drawing, writing, creatively expressing myself…that’s always what I’ve been best at in life. Praised by my art and English teachers throughout school..told I had so much talent, that I would be successful one day. I had a teacher in middle school (a substitute, no less) tell me: “Don’t ever become a waitress. Just keep drawing.”

It carried me through some of the hardest challenges of my childhood and adolescence, but I don’t even have the energy or motivation to pick up a pencil, now. I want to..but my mind is empty. I have no inspiration. And I question if I even can.

I don’t know anyone in town. My closest friend is 3 hours away. I’m too shy to meet people, and I’m too stuck in this rut to want to try. I need help and I don’t know anyone who can help me.

I know I’m better than this…but I’m trapped and I don’t know how to escape.


I googled “finding yourself again,” and stumbled upon this article. It, and all the comments and input from others that followed, was exactly what I needed to see.

I am 21 years old, living on my own, surviving off minimum wage to pay for this apartment and get by, with no help from others. My mother, at 41, is living in a hotel after losing her home. She hasn’t held a job in years. My father is bordering another state with his wife and five other kids–since marrying her he’s all but forgotten about me. I don’t know the last time I even heard from him.

And I’ve become lost again. I have been able to pay rent and bills if I combine both paychecks I receive a month, but I can’t take days off work megastar I barely

anonymous Apr 13, 2014 3:03pm

You have shared an inspiring experience for so many, my wife of ten years has recently decided (six weeks ago) that she needs to be separate from our family. What began the whirlwind was two situations at her day job, she works in the Health Services industry so she tends to a lot of sick people and is witness to death. Two patients that she assisted with in their care passed away one in her fifties(co-worker) and the other just plain old, however, this had such an impact on my wife that it sent her mind into a fit of fast fry, she spoke to a grief councillor not long after that and this professional individual said simply follow what you see yourself doing, in this case anthropology, so she set this in motion and has my full support with it. In December she dropped the bomb on me that she was not sure of our future and where she would be in say two years or even five years, she had lost herself, not sure if she wanted to be in a relationship, the list goes on but you understand the recipe. We still love and respect each other, she is rooming at her friends house so she has her space to breath and she says this really helps. Communication has never been an issue with us until she started having all these thoughts and feelings and then nothing until she decided to fill me in back in December. Since that time life for the rest of us has been an absolute nightmare, I took five weeks off work for my own stress and that's when she decided she needed to leave the situation stating that she couldn't handle what this was doing to me. In my mind my stress leave became all about her at that point, I have been supportive through out all of this being her friend meanwhile crying myself to sleep, being physically ill, not up to parenting which has basically been left to me, saying good bye to any future plans we had, life is upside down, she is my love and my twin flame but I am doing everything I can to support what she needs to do, in her frame of mind she has no interest at present to move back into the family unit and obviously has no idea when (limbo). Is this "Finding yourself" journey selfish, some would say yes, is it selfish of a Husband and the rest of the family to want her to remain with them and work through the struggle together, maybe somewhat but less so. Is it entirely unfair to the family yes, but it is also unfair to her to be completely unidentified as a person. After reading many different columns and reading valuable input from so many, the one thing that all of the freedom seekers that were going through this could not be true to was, responsibility, if people are making choices to bring other human beings into this world then stand up and be counted for it. Being on the cleanup crew is definitely the most negative thing anyone can go through.

anonymous Apr 8, 2014 6:02am

(Soryy abt my english, its my second language) I too love this article! As am writing this tears are all over my cheeks! I cant take this anymore! All my life i hve been feeling like shit! unwanted. My daddy abondened me when i was 2 and never met him until he died. I was raised by my mom and my step dad. I dont know why, but I never felt being loved by my mom and my step dad and mostly by anyone. I always thought they only cared about my two half baby brothers. I was alone eversince, and this killed my soul slowly. I did well in school, went to college so that i could make my mom proud of me. One year after graduating i got into relationship with some guy and got pregy, but as i was destined he abondened me just like my daddy did. I gave birth to my daughter, she is 5 years now. For five six years i hve been looking for a job just to support my baby and myself but i never got any lucky! I tried doing business but all are failing. OMG! was i being born to fail? to be abondened? am i unwanted? Then why cant he just take me? kill me? Am so tired, i cant take it anymore. I have these ugly acne on my face eversince my puberty age and am going to 30 now! Iam lonely, iam shit am nothing am DOOMED!! Sometimes i think that may be i sinned much and then i died and now am in hell. Iam a suicidal but even death cant take me in.

anonymous Mar 17, 2014 11:33am

Thank you for this, it’s exactly what I needed to read. Going through the most painful feelings at the moment, I need to embrace them. The start of my journey begins.

anonymous Feb 1, 2014 8:32am

Thank you so much for posting this. It was disturbing for someone to peg meg me so accurately as "one who does not know oneself". The worst part was I thought I knew exactly who I was, until she pointed out some very obvious traits about me that I was ignoring about myself. Funny how quick we are to pat ourselves on the back, but how slow we are to acknowledge our own faults. Thanks again, and I look forward to the journey

anonymous Dec 10, 2013 7:34pm

I have read this post several times. I even read the comments. All are wonderful. They really provide me with some kind of calm in facing my life now. I am also faced with the reality that there is an emptiness in my life. I may have known this for ages. But I never thought I could do anything about it since I have a family to take care of and I am the only one providing income. But then I look at my friends who are leading a life that they have chosen doing things they like for a living and such and such and still are able to provide income for their families. And I wonder why is it not possible for me. It's not easy. I am now faced with a very tough decision, and yet I know what I have to do. I know that negative energy will spread to my family member and if I don't do it, one day I will blame them for never trying. I have taken measures to speak about this with my family. We basically decided that it is best to give it a go. Maybe, like the author, 3.5 years from now I will look back and find myself leading a fulfilled life.

anonymous Dec 7, 2013 4:38pm

Elephant journal is very interesting n always show or send to my timeline

anonymous Dec 7, 2013 4:31pm

Gosh Rebecca you are amazing, every single thing you post has beautiful meaning and is so relatable! I appreciate the opportunity to regularly read your work and feel enlightened everytime! I have been lost and through my journey that still continues now I have learnt more than I could have ever imagined! Keep up the great work, know i’m watching and reading from “down-under” in South Australia! Would love to connect with you in future x

    anonymous Dec 8, 2013 12:38pm

    Melissa, this is so touching. Thank you. Your words are felt. 🙂 Rebecca

anonymous Nov 30, 2013 6:23pm

Thank you for all of the comments. If you are interested in reading my story please visit my column here on ej and read away. Thank you for all of the support. ~Rebecca

anonymous Nov 30, 2013 11:39am

This post really hit home. I am in the process of shaking things up and becoming a beginner again. Up until now, I was frustrated with stagnation and the lack of challenges. I won't be doing much physical travel – not only because of the expense, but also because of the distraction from the time to explore within. It's taken years to admit to what I really want to do. It feels like now or never, even with all the risk. Isn't risk simply a challenge?

Thank you for sharing this. Your timing is (unintentionally) perfect.

anonymous Nov 30, 2013 3:07am

I love this article. I think it's one of the most fascinating things in the world to find that you've let yourself become suffocated.

anonymous Nov 29, 2013 9:13pm

I agree with Lisa 100%. Face your problems, don't run away from them.

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 11:07am

    Very well put Lisa! I was thinking the exact same thing while reading this article. How much damage did she do to her husband and daughters??? There is a fine line between ego and soul.

anonymous Nov 29, 2013 6:41pm

As a mother of 3 I had the same feelings as Lisa about this article – although I do understand the guilt of being lonely and lost while realizing all one has to be so grateful for..

I have zero time for myself, have gained 30 lbs and have been struggling post-partum depression. Instead of being productive while the kids are napping, I spend my time lurking on facebook. So lame. I am really good at "faking it" but want to have a truly authentic engaged life. My goal now is to try and figure out how to navigate out of this pathetic state (without deserting my family).

    anonymous Jan 29, 2014 10:47pm

    I had post partum depression too..make sure to get it treated and do your best to be kind to yourself..for a start you could stop calling yourself lame. Post partum can be a very hard time..Hang in there..enjoy any small moments you can…and know you are doing your very best. Hugs.

anonymous Nov 29, 2013 11:32am

I do not like this article at all. In fact, it makes me feel a little sick. Not because of what it says (I agree with many of its points), but because of what it does not say. What happened to your family on your search to find yourself? Where were your loving husband and two gorgeous daughters during your 3-year journey? That missing piece is what bothers me.

I, too, had a charmed life. One that was perfect in every way – love, security, some financial strain – but it was ok, because we were building a life and future together to take care of our loved ones in need. Everything was going beautifully…. until one day an accidental text revealed that my "lost" husband finally "found" himself in the arms of a married co-worker! I had no warning. I was pushed off the edge of his cliff as he ran like a coward off in the other direction to fulfill his selfish and fleeting desire to find himself. Now I, my son, and my mother with Alzheimer's are trying to find our way in a world, when the one person we loved and trusted the most abandoned us on his journey to find himself.

I understand the gist of your article and the point you are trying to make, but I do not find honor in running unless you deal with your current situation in an honest, loving and open way. Maybe you did do that. Your article does not mention how your search affected your family. If my husband had been honest, open and upfront with his feelings and emotions, I would have done anything I could to help him on his journey – including giving him the freedom (separation and divorce included) to help him find his way and his happiness again. If this had been done, we could have worked it out or split amicably.

Unfortunately, I was not granted that courtesy or that opportunity. Twenty years of love and devotion were carelessly treated and discarded. Fortunately almost three years later, I am alive and love myself and my life again. It has not been an easy or welcome journey, but I am GRATEFUL for what I have learned.

"Grant that I may be given the appropriate difficulties and sufferings on this journey so that my heart may be fully awakened and that my practice of liberation and universal compassion may be truly fulfilled." ~ Tibetan Prayer

    anonymous Nov 29, 2013 9:04pm

    Lisa you rock !!!all those poor souls that get lost and bored…..when new exiting life shits on them…. why do they come back to boring…..and think they should be accepted

    anonymous Jan 17, 2015 6:16pm

    Bless you Lisa,

    In somewhat the same spot. After 25 years Married find out my Wife is lost and finding herself with Old Married Man with kids. She says she felt this way before that, so instead of just separating or divorcing as friends or working through this she has blamed me and the kids for her lack of being herself. The pain is immense and looking at myself and my kids and will rise as The Pheonix..

anonymous Nov 29, 2013 7:54am

My wife seems to be going through what you described. She felt we needed to separate in order for her to find herself and her purpose. I want to give her the freedom but at the same time it is really hard not knowing what our future will hold. It seems to me this sort of self-discovery has been glamorized for women in recent years. I call it the Eat, Pray, Love fantasy. When a man goes through a “mid-life” crisis it is not looked upon in such a positive light. He is deemed to be an immature pig. I am a big believer in stability, accountability and balance in life. We can’t just run from our responsibilities and obligations in life for some fantasy because other people tend to get hurt that way. The healthier approach would be to help people find their purpose but within the confines of your current life if at all possible not to encourage them to get lost. Nonetheless I sent my wife this article and told her about your yoga studio as we live in Phoenix.

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 11:02am

    Thank you Scott!!! I was thinking the same thing exactly. Why is the answer always to run and leave everything behind? I and my children are victims of a man's mid-life crisis. There are so many better options than running away. That may help at the moment and provide some instant gratification, but the shame, guilt, and results of the pain and damage caused to be so selfish, will catch up. It is called Karma. He has now lost the best friend he ever had in this life, the respect of and relationship with his children, the respect of his community, and his friends. I understand why he did what he did, but it was just so unnecessary for him to go to such extremes and cause so much damage. You are right Scott. It does not matter if it is the woman or the man that chooses to walk away from their families to persue this journey. There is a right way and a wrong way!

      anonymous Feb 10, 2014 6:53pm

      To Scott and Megan,
      I totally agree with your perspectives. I have seen the, "Eat, Pray, Love" fantasy of a near 2 hour movie that glamorized running away in order to "find one's self". Also, my two children and I have experienced the sting of my husband's "mid-life crisis" where he chose to leave and live with another woman and her family "to feel successful" after I had worked to put him through college. It left a wound on my heart that never fully healed. Both of these actions described by Scott and Megan are totally selfish, self-fulfilling acts that leave heavy collateral damage for years to come. You see, I have never had the luxury of feeling "lost"…I had to be "found" to myself in order to survive and maintain a roof over our heads because of financial struggle, day in and day out. I didn't have the time to "get bored". I am nearly 70 yrs old and am alone, but I am not lonely…big difference here. I continue to work, because I must and I also serve dinners to the homeless men in Boston. My advice for women who, "need to find out who they are"…step out of your comfort zone…learn what struggling is all about by seeing others in a helpless, hopeless environment…empathize by putting yourself in their shoes knowing you are blessed and have a place to lay your head every night, and a warm dinner and choices of food to eat. If you cannot do that, then you will never find yourself no matter what you do or where you go to "escape" to find the nose on your face.

        anonymous Dec 1, 2015 9:22am

        Unfortunately, I have a feeling that the society we live in still doesn't understand how suffering comes in many forms. It can be obvious like in the examples of homeless men or abandoned children or seriously sick individuals, where their suffering is very well understood by the majority of the people today, but suffering can also come in not so obvious forms, invisible from the outside, silently, internally and psychologically, but it's still suffering. People who never experienced internal suffering in otherwise seemingly perfect environment can't understand it. If the person is willing to run away and leave everything and everyone behind to clear his head it means he's in a really bad condition and suffering. To me it is as serious as the condition of a homeless men, abandoned children or seriously sick individuals. It's very hard objectively make a judgement who is suffering more or less. We experience pain subjectively and only a person experiencing it can know how intense the pain is.

anonymous Nov 29, 2013 6:36am

Exactly what I am doing right now, I've gotten lost first in Ireland, England then Spain and I'm just packing my suitcase to go back home after 3 years. What I learned is that you cannot see the beauty outside if you do not carry it inside, so it actually doesn't matter in which place you are but only the mental state you are in matters

anonymous Nov 26, 2013 3:03am

Thank you for reflecting my life to me. wonderful piece of writing i have read in ages.

anonymous Nov 26, 2013 2:25am

I am 20, and I was crying like a baby while reading this article.
Completely resonates with my state of existence since the last one year.
I've been lost in my blessed life. I've become a seeker.

anonymous Nov 25, 2013 3:17pm

Thank you for put into words what I am feeling since a couple of years. Additionally, my father past away last January after a painful illness, and my mother had two episodes of brain bleeding, so I had absolutely no time to think about my needs. But when the water begins to be more calm, the feeling of emptyness appears again, and I know I have to do something about it. Thank you for share!!!

anonymous Nov 25, 2013 2:29pm

I am not alone:-) What am I doing on your beige Pottery Barn sofa? I have a path of unknowns to travel. Thank You Rebecca

anonymous Nov 25, 2013 11:35am

Going through this right now. Thank you for the encouragement!

anonymous Nov 24, 2013 5:46pm

What a beautiful article, thank you.

anonymous Nov 24, 2013 5:45pm

I love your words you wrote, & your advice. I do believe it is when we feel the most lost, the most disconnected from who we know ourselves to be, that is when we see our truth. Many times we don't want to see what our truth is showing us because it may be a huge departure from our comforts. I feel for Julie, & so appreciate her candor & honesty. She is faced with a hard decision, but not one to be looked at in such a negative, selfish way. How many times do we hear stories of men who quit their 9-5 to pursue their dreams? What we usually hear in the next paragraph is how they couldn't have done it without the support of their amazing wife who believed in them. Well, I hope that Julie can be so lucky to find that kind of support to trust her heart. I believe that is the voice screaming out to her to be heard, not the voice of a crazy person. Hopefully her partner cares enough to not want her to live with a numb soul, as a martyr, & can at least help find a compromise. "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Good luck to you Julie!

anonymous Nov 24, 2013 5:11pm

Thank you for writing that! I am going through that exact process right now. I feel completely lost in my own mind. Like I have no purpose or whatever. I started blogging my journey to find myself again. Everything I have been reading has beeen saying the same thing you said. Lose yourself, get out of your comfort zone and refind your light. Your post is inspriring!

anonymous Nov 24, 2013 4:53pm

Great inspiring article made from an authentic and vulnerable voice, thanks!
One piece I would add is that, though our journeys are made alone, coaches can help you find your answers and accelerate your process by asking you the questions you might not want to ask yourself.

anonymous Nov 24, 2013 4:16pm

One of the best things I have ever read. In my life. Seriously, amazing.

anonymous Nov 24, 2013 4:10pm

I LOVE this. The safe I so longed for through my teens and early twenties was found and by my late thirties and now early forties, has felt like confinement more times than I care to admit. Thank you for reminding me that to feel lost is okay. As my mom would tell me…"bear the discomfort." Finding myself; the peeled back version of who I am is tough! It's rewarding as well and this piece has reminded me of just that. <3

anonymous Nov 22, 2013 1:41pm

my situation is much more desperate, this made me cry because I knew I was not alone in these thoughts. Monotony is bad for me – is killing me. I have always been fearless to go into the unfamiliar, and I'm scared I'm losing that because I'm trapped at home with small children. Our home/life depends on my income so I can't leave, but am living in another world where I DO leave. I fantasize about it all the time. Yes, ultimately my family is what matters most, but I'm afraid if I don't break this groundhog day life I'm living somehow, I will go crazy… is there any way you can tell me what to do? Everyone is dependent on me, and I don't have the conscience to make them move or lessen their standard of living or rearrange everyone else's life I set up for them just for my own selfish reasons or because I have no problem changing everything.

    anonymous Nov 24, 2013 11:14am

    Dear Julie,
    I would recommend speaking with someone (a professional) who can help you sort out your feelings. I would also recommend writing down exactly what you wish to change. Seeing your thoughts and feelings on paper is important. It will help you sift through the confusion and find the answers you need. Your family will only be as happy as you are. ~Rebecca

    anonymous Nov 25, 2013 7:14am

    Hi Julie, I can empathise and just want to reassure you that this time and these feelings will pass. This particular stage when the kids are little and there is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders will pass before you know it and you'll soon be in a new phase of your, and their life, with new challenges and rewards. Get the support of friends and family where you can and look after yourself. You can do this, this isn't forever .

    anonymous Nov 26, 2013 9:28am

    Leave for three hours a day, three times a week (babysitter).
    Get up before any one else and have time for journal ing, yoga, staring out the window
    Also…almost forgot…going to sleep, surprised to find sleep gave me a happier outlook..
    Let your mind fantasize and doodle or etch.
    These helped me when I was in the space you've descr
    Ibed…now I'm 72 and, looking back…these are the things which I'm glad I did.

    anonymous Feb 10, 2014 8:43am

    Wow! I woke up this morning feeling the exact same way! Ground hog day! I am pretty sure that I can not spend the rest of my life doing this!!! I often feel like I could run away but would never do that to my son and husband. I have nothing in my head. No dreams, no ambition just bitterness…and no drug is going to help with that.

    anonymous Aug 7, 2015 1:38pm

    Julie — I'm sorry to hear you feel this way. In your comment, I kept coming back to this statement: "I don't have the conscience to make them move or lessen their standard of living or rearrange everyone else's life I set up for them just for my own selfish reasons." I think it's vital to remind yourself that if you aren't taking care of *you* — if you sacrifice your own mental/emotional happiness day in and day out, begin to grow distant from your sense of self, etc. — the resulting depression and detachment will negatively impact your family. So, in a VERY real way, making some life changes to ensure your own happiness is the opposite of selfish: you'll be doing your children a favor by taking care of yourself. Say, for example, you rearrange the budget in order to hire a babysitter at least once a week for a few hours. You might have to make a financial cut that will affect your kids — maybe you say no to the new video game, or replace takeout pizza nights with a big, inexpensive batch of homemade chili. Your first instinct may be guilt. You may think, "I'm abandoning/neglecting my family!" But you won't be. It sounds dorky, but look into classes, meet-ups, and volunteer groups in your community. What did you care about when you were younger, before kids? Were you an animal lover? If so, use those newly freed-up hours to volunteer at the animal shelter, walking the dogs, playing with the cats, or transporting the animals to local adoption events. Did you used to dally in art? Even if you didn't, there are some fun classes nowadays where a group gets together and is led through creating a painting…while sipping on wine! Very therapeutic: a time to let loose and just play with colors on a canvas. Another dorky suggestion, community sports leagues. Do an internet search for a kickball, volleyball, or softball league, and don't worry about being "bad" at sports. Most leagues have a "just for fun" bracket, and you won't be competing against hardcore athletes to say the least. If you find something that clicks with you, the effect will be a sense of rejuvenation: you'll get to be you as just plain *you* for a few hours a week, rather than mother or spouse or employee. And again, this does NOT make you a bad mom! To toss out a random (inaccurate) number, imagine you spend 40 hours per week with your kids; making time for yourself might cut this down to, hmm, 36 hours. Technically less time, true. But by reserving those four hours for yourself, you'll immediately up the quality of the 36 hours you still spend with your kids: you'll be happier, feel more like yourself, and start to experience the bonding as true bonding. Thus, it's a GREAT thing for your kids! Always remember, too, that kids need a happy parent more than they need material "extras." My brother and I didn't have many extras as kids; think the upper side of lower class. Not impoverished, but no fancy vacations, full-price clothes, or stacks of video games. I loved my childhood, though! I always appreciated that my parents had interests all their own — my dad had a biweekly bowling league and sometimes went on solo hikes (we went with him about one in three times), my stepmom took culinary classes once a week, and my mom was a writer who'd close her bedroom door a couple times a week to say, "Entertain yourselves, I'm writing and thinking!" I never felt unloved when they left or "isolated" themselves to pursue those interests. Even as a kid, I could pick up on the fact that their moods were lighter and more playful once they carved out that "me" time. I don't imagine you want your kids to grow up thinking that parenthood is only about sacrifice, and that becoming a parent means shoving aside the activities and interests you hold dear; you want them to embrace the benefits of leading a full, varied life. Just some thoughts!

anonymous Nov 21, 2013 8:21pm

Very helpful. Thank you for sharing this.

anonymous Nov 19, 2013 5:23pm


anonymous Nov 19, 2013 11:57am

I needed this read today. I've been too comfortable lately and it's starting to wear on me for exactly the reasons you've stated. Part of my discomfiture has to do with my newfound laziness – a late in life discovery. Before now, I didn't have time to be lazy, but now that I have the time, I find myself doing nothing, more and more. I also wallow in it and enjoy the fact that I don't have any place to go, no things to do, no people to see. It's time for a change though. I'm feeling a little lost. I'm going to start with re-reading this post and then going to pick up Pema's book, mentioned above. I've heard too many good things about it to keep ignoring the recommendation.

anonymous Nov 19, 2013 9:38am

When you look for fulfillment in other things and people (family, job, husband, etc) one will always eventually end up bored and need new stimuli because real fulfillment can never be found in anything other than within. Thats why she had to travel the world. Yes, a change of scenery is a positive thing to do. I do it a lot. So is facing your fears and being a beginner. But now that shes home, she'll get bored again until she finds her way to the present moment, as it is. When you do, theres nothing boring about any of it. Yes she was lost. Lost in the mind like most people are every day of their life. Then they go out looking for another thrill or another journey to fulfill them. I love embarking on new things knowing that it will be interesting and rich experience, but it wont fulfill me.

anonymous Nov 18, 2013 7:06pm

I love this article! Personally I agree that finding yourself anew is the best solution for any of us who find that life has just gotten too predictable and boring. Getting back our sense of awe is worth the journey, no matter what it takes. I might also suggest checking out Pema Chodron's "When Things Fall Apart" to start the journey to becoming unstuck (giving up on the expectation of security) in the most positive way!!

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