We are used to the notion of “finding yourself after losing yourself”—not losing yourself after finding yourself, right?
Most of us—especially those walking a spiritual path—subconsciously believe that we only lose ourselves once at the beginning, only to find it and never lose it again.
The truth is, we are prone to fall after having stood up. Again, and again.
And that’s okay.
Typically, as we add credential to our bio, we are less and less inclined to admit our human failings—because to trip on a path we have spent years on is embarrassing to our ego.
We all trip. The bumps along the way will be many.
Losing one’s self after gaining it is portrayed in the following signs:
1. We fail to love ourselves.
This is the first and major sign of losing ourselves. To love ourselves means to take care of ourselves.
Taking care of ourselves is basically learning to keep love flowing in our being.
To prevent this love from flowing however, is mainly letting sadness, anger, hate and jealousy penetrate our system.
Once inside, we practically lose ourselves again. The peace we spent years on accumulating suddenly vanishes into the unknown. And the happiness we unconditionally worked for is gone with the wind.
2. Obtaining inner nourishment from pain.
Just like sports are for the well-being of our bodies, happiness and peace are for the well-being of our souls. Our inner space needs constant nourishment and only we can decide how to nurture it.
The unhealthiest form of nourishment is pain. And unfortunately, pain acts on us like a drug.
Once experienced, we will keep on seeking it without realizing it because it provides our ego with attention and a victimized sense of self.
We will profoundly believe that pain is the source of our happiness. We will completely consider ourselves empty without its presence.
Here are some things that can happen when we lose ourselves:
We try to control others.
When we lose ourselves, we subconsciously try to find it again through controlling others.
Controlling is one of the ego’s best qualities. It supplies us with a sense of power and belonging. This power, in return, gives us a false sense of self.
This self wants to control other people’s life, their mind, their behaviors and their actions. Once this is accomplished, we feel complete and found once more.
But it doesn’t take long before we feel the emptiness striking again like lightning. Thus, we go on looking for someone to control so we feel safe and good.
When we find ourselves, we would never act out of lack of confidence. All will be crystal clear for us.
On the other hand, once we lose ourselves, self-doubt occurs alongside insecurity. We will be affected by the slightest conditions around us.
The reason is because we indirectly try to find our lost self again. Hence, we dig deep in every situation, condition or conversation to collect the missing pieces of our puzzle.
Our lost self will question negative feedback and won’t accept any criticism. We might also apologize when there is no need to and burst out in tears when it’s not necessary.
An overly strong attachment to people.
A mother who lost her child will find consolation in every child she meets.
The same goes for us when we lose ourselves. We will click with other people when it feels like they are offering that part of us that we’ve lost.
As a result, we get attached to the person.
Attachment is a part of suffering. And just like pain, it works like a drug. As long as we haven’t found ourselves again, our attachment to people will be hard to break.
Staying alone without someone around will be a like being lost in an island without any means of going back home.
The first thing to bear in mind when we lose ourselves after finding ourselves is that it’s completely normal and okay. We shouldn’t give ourselves a hard time for losing the path or forgetting the steps we took to reach happiness and inner-peace.
We are human beings who were blessed with the power of choice. Hence, every single day, as we wake up, we have the choice to find ourselves.
Below are eight steps we can take to get us back on the right path to ourselves:
1. Practice loving yourself again.
At first, our ego won’t allow it. We will get every bad thought that whispers to us “it’s impossible, you will fail.” But trust me, it’s easy. Know your worth as a first step and all will fall into place later.
2. Don’t allow negative energy to alter your mood.
In order to do this, remember that happiness is the only way to create a better world; inside out. With pain, we can never evolve; it’s a dead end.
3. Be good to people.
Practicing being good will remind us of our purpose on earth. Moreover, it will provide us with positive energy that will slowly eliminate the negativity we may be (unconsciously) accumulating.
4. Take vows.
Taking vows enables us to cultivate a habit of self-discipline. We can start by taking simple ones such as not allowing any external factors annoy us.
5. Practice meditation.
Meditating for only five minutes a day can be helpful. Meditation is a way to investigate our minds. We will know what is going on inside our heads and learn how to control it.
6. Don’t judge yourself.
The first thing we tend to do when we lose ourselves is give a mental label to our situation. We judge ourselves and act as our own enemy. Befriend yourself again and treat them as a baby. A baby will fall many times before he is capable of finally walking.
7. Do the things that helped you find yourself before.
We all know what helped us to build the right path. These might be meditation, reading, activities or spiritual exercises. Whatever they are, do them once more.
8. Let go of attachments.
To find ourselves again, we must step away from the attachments that act as a comfort zone to us. Once we do this, we will be walking towards the light that will lead us to our lost self.
For more: read the elephant classic, How To Find Yourself, When You’ve Lost Yourself by Rebecca Lammersen.
Author: Elyane Youssef
Editor: Renée Picard