“Sometimes the only way to find yourself is to get completely lost.” ~ Kellie Elmore
I can’t even recall the times I’ve been lost in life.
Some days it feels as if I’m waking up in a maze and I can’t seem to find a way out. At other times, it feels like I’m lost in a massive jungle and can’t see a clear path in sight, and even though it takes time, I do manage to find my way out somehow.
Maybe that’s because I’ve realised that there is nothing wrong or bad about being lost or clueless. In fact, it’s a part of growing up and evolving as a human being. It’s an endless journey toward becoming who you are, and you never actually reach a final peak. You’re constantly becoming as you go along, and for that to happen, you need to get lost sometimes because that’s the time for a realisation or shift to take place.
However, it doesn’t change the fact that there is nothing pleasant about being lost. You feel anxious, agitated, helpless, and out of control. At times, being lost comes with a lot of chaos and conflict as well, which can be extremely hard to navigate.
Your mind is plagued with questions like, “Where am I?” “What is happening with me?” “What do I do now?” and “Where do I go?”
Sometimes you can’t see any way forward; other times, you see many paths but you don’t know which one to take.
And that’s when you get embroiled in an internal and external conflict. You don’t understand what’s happening with you and within you, nor does the world. There are only questions around you but no answers.
As much as you’d like to be left alone and not have anyone ask you anything, being in silence also haunts you. Your mind doesn’t let you rest and you’re constantly battling your inner demons that you never even knew existed!
However, our journey as human beings requires us to embrace all phases of life to the best of our ability. We need to know that such a long journey is bound to have bumps and we are going to get derailed at some point or the other.
“Getting lost along your path is a part of finding the path you are meant to be on.” ~ Robin Sharma
In essence, we need to learn to be okay with getting lost so that we can begin to find ourselves again. Then, it’s about:
>> Slowing down to see where you are in the current moment
>> Dropping the fight with your thoughts and emotions and actually listening to your inner chatter to make sense of it
>> Seeking advice or suggestions to figure out a course of action
>> Being patient with yourself
>> Taking one step at a time
You don’t find yourself by fighting with yourself or the world around you. You do that by dropping all fights, accepting yourself for who you are in this moment, and allowing your inner wisdom to unfold at its own pace. The fact is that you aren’t lost even when you think you are. You are exactly where you need to be at any given moment in time.
If you find yourself in a maze, find a corner and sit or walk around with curiosity rather than running around like a trapped rat.
If you feel as if you’re lost in a big jungle, find a spot to sit down and savour the sights and sounds. When you feel ready, start walking again with the intention to see where you’re going with ease and curiosity. Who knows, you might find a cute, little cabin somewhere!
“We will be lost and found a thousand times along this cobbled road ahead of us.” ~ Atticus
And while you’re waiting for that moment of enlightenment to strike, here are some more things that you can do:
1. Pick up something that you used to enjoy before or want to pursue for the simple purpose of enjoying and reconnecting with yourself.
2. Pay attention to things, people, activities, and situations that make you feel both good and uncomfortable so that you can understand your own preferences.
3. Allow yourself to be in your comfort zone for some time and use this time to reflect more on your own thoughts, emotions, and actions. You’ll start to realise the patterns that you need to let go of and why.
4. Be mindful of the choices and decisions you’re taking. Ask yourself, “Do I really want to do this?” or so that your actions are driven more out of choice than compulsion or pressure.
5. Explore your values in every area of your life.
6. Try something new.
7. Express your feelings instead of bottling them up.
8. Be open to ideas and suggestions.
9. Re-evaluate your habits and routine.
10. Take yourself out on solo dates or plan a solo trip.
No matter how hard you try, you are bound to get lost or offtrack at some point or the other, and those are the times when you will knowingly or unknowingly shed some old layers so that newer ones can emerge.
At the end of the day we grow, evolve, and become better not by fighting or resisting these phases, but by embracing them with a sense of surrender.
We affirm that sooner or later whatever is meant for our highest good will show up at the right time. Our job till then is to slow down, reflect, and flow.
“No matter how much light I carry within me, there will always be times of feeling lost, being confused, seeking direction. It’s the way of the human heart.” ~ Joyce Rupp