“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle” – Lewis Carroll
A Roman general known for his valour insisted a slave follow him everywhere holding a sign that read,”momento mori” which translated means, “remember that you have to die”.
I invite you to consider the extent of your life be measured by the significant moments instead of missed opportunities. Knowing life is short, we must seize the day to discover our path.
Events play out in our favour, despite the worries and frustrations which open us to a greater experience of ourselves. Yet without warning, your existence may be cast into despair as you come to terms with changing circumstances.
Have you experienced losing your direction? Remember how you felt at the time – connect with the moment by recalling those times of uncertainty. Now cast your mind back to the present moment. Note the insignificance of the experience from this vantage point.
A loss in direction is precipitated by losing sight of one’s core purpose. A feeling of emptiness is accompanied by worry and confusion as you come to terms with your position. I can attest to this having experienced it when I transitioned from an earlier career over a decade ago. The disconcerted and listless state of mind was too much to bear. My vulnerability clouded my incapacity to make sense of my state. I sought to establish my foothold in what appeared to be a bottomless pit.
Let me set your mind at rest – you can never be lost in this purposeful universe. Contained within every experience of uncertainty is the knowledge you have taken a side-step; a holding point to reconnect with your intuitive compass.
We are prone to lose our way during moments in our life since we are not born with an internal GPS routing our passage through life. Whilst we are endowed with inner guidance by way of emotions, depending on our level of awareness and consciousness, we are less likely to heed the signs. We are so caught up attending to the cascade of emotions which being lost invokes.
Allow me to propose a thought experiment – indulge me if you will. What if being lost turned out to be your greatest gift? Consider the following scenario. You set out in search of a dream to find you have become lost. Right when you are likely to concede defeat, you find your way and while the road is unfamiliar, it allows you to create a new path toward your destination.
If you used a GPS device and took a wrong turn, as long as the right co-ordinates are stored, the unit seeks an alternative route to deliver you to the destination; regardless of which road you take. Life functions in the same respect. You are the vehicle while your intuition and emotional guidance serves as the GPS. If you are lost, reconnect with your purposeful self to get back on course with your journey.
“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” – Rumi
The primary aim when you are lost is to concede to your current state. Second, navigate your way ahead from your current position and trust you will reach your destination. Equally, retreat into silence. When the mind is caught up in excessive thought, one cannot navigate the path forward owing to the cloud of distorted thinking. Stay still and silent until a stirring within your soul summons you to take proper action. You will know when you are ready to take the next step.
A music device may cease to omit a radio frequency due to interruptions to its signal, yet it remains a music device. Life is recurring which means honouring the rhythms which rise and fall – sometimes we may be lost while other times our path is obvious. There is a purpose to everything, which only becomes clear to you further down the road.
When you sense you are lost, you should get in touch with your inner nature. What materialises often reflects what is held within the psyche. Could being lost highlight the same concealed feelings beneath the surface? It was Carl Jung who said, “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes”. He was referring to awakening our potential.
In the same way, despite popular opinion espousing the happiness movement, seeking happiness while lost is expecting the sun to shine through a raging storm. One must continue to advance through the storm so the sun finds its way through an unblemished sky.
Share your pain with others who can support you to navigate your way back. What may appear as being stuck holds your greatest gift towards victory, yet seldom does it appear that way. It was Dan Millman who said, “When we feel stuck, going nowhere – even starting to slip backward – we may actually be backing up to get a running start”.
In Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist, Santiago the young shepherd boy traverses the globe in search of his personal legend, to find it was present at home all along. Had he not embarked upon the journey, he may not have gained the valuable wisdom and insights along the way. He may have overlooked the connections made and the lessons which shaped his life.
Your mental frame of reference is paramount when you have lost your way. Not every person’s character is shaped by success, yet failure musters personal growth in every person. The person we become at our lowest point flames our inner spirit. Andrew Matthews, author of How Life Works, reminds us, “When we think everything is going wrong, it usually isn’t. We just can’t see the whole picture”.
Knowing our time is limited beckons us to stop clutching for answers that do not exist. It is acceptable to be lost at moments of our life, given that man spends a lifetime cultivating his way on earth. Nothing good can arise out of fearing for the worst or expecting a future to arrive as expected.
Remain resolute that the breadth of your life is measured by the memorable moments, instead of one’s lost direction. For contained within each period of uncertainty lies the opportunity to unearth your hidden potential.
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