Why Do You Feel So Lost &
What Do You Do About It?

 

Life Path 0 - Still SEarching, Lost, Clueles,, Undecided

 

The Wise woman looked at me over the top of her glasses and smiled. "I used to ask that question too," she replied gently to my questions.

I watched her working and she could tell I was stuck on the question. "Was I really so foolish as to think there was an answer that would make sense of how i felt?" I asked myself.

Maybe she could sense the growing depth of despair I was feeling, for she put aside her work and took up my questions.

First," she said, " know that you are not alone. You are not the first nor will you be the last to utter those words .. although they usually are spoken in the middle of the night or when life really knocks the stuffing out of us ... and we feel we are no longer a Golden Goose but a plucked spring chicken with little to show for ourselves."

I nodded my head, wondering how she was able to pick up on my feeling so lost, helpless and out of touch with how to make a living and a life. At this point I was willing to settle for any life, not just my life.

She nodded as if she had heard my thoughts and went on. "What you are feeling is perfectly natural, although it may be uncomfortable. If these feelings are persistent," I nodded my head in reply, "they are the classic and unmistakable signs that you are traveling on Life Path One."

"Life Path One?" I asked. "What is that?"

"Life Path Zero is the life path you are on if you are still searching or undecided about life. Or when Life and reality changes and you are uncertain about who you are, what your life is really about, and where you belong in the world.

"The way you can tell you are on it ..." she hesitated for a moment to find the right words, "is that you feel clueless, lost, or like you are going around in circles in life. From mildly uncomfortable, to frustrating and downright annoying -- this path in life truly feels like you are lost in the woods of life with no idea of where to turn or which way to go that will put you back on the beaten path -- any beaten path."

I nodded and said, "exactly!"

"Over time, you can feel so beaten down and weary the you get to a point where any path will do .. even if it is not the right one ... just so you do not feel so lost. And the comfort that comes from knowing that someone has walked this path before can seduce you into taking a wrong path feel because it feels better than having no path at all."

I didn't want her to know, but I was getting to that point myself.

"Teetering on the edge, more likely" she responded. Her smile and laughter somehow took away my confusion and embarrassment in a subtle way that made no sense, like fog disappearing when the sun came out. Suddenly I felt better, better than I had in a while.

"Part of it is having a name for what you are going through ... knowing that it is common enough to be well known and have a diagnosis. There is even a poem about it ... let me see, where is David Whyte's book that gives a translation by David Wagoner's of Lost?"

... stand still {and listen ... be}. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you are not lost ...

Wherever you are called is Here ...

The forest knows where you are. You must let it find you ...

 

"Its a beautiful poem," I said, not knowing what else to say.

"It sounds even better when you hear it spoken aloud. It is a translation of a poem of Native AMerican wisdom. So you can see that this life path cuts across ages and cultures. So many people are so lost that a wisdom poem exists to help when you too become lost in the woods of life."

"What does it mean, exactly?" I asked, willing to show that I was truly lost, even to the simple message of the poem.

"Its wisdom speaks truth ... but in a simple way. The physical world around you knows where you are ... it is not lost. You have lost your place in the world, but the world is not lost. You have lost the trace of a path, but if you have a reliable compass and know the direction you need to head, then you can make your way out. You just need to look for and follow the signs." Her words made sense, but there was no way I could follow them.

"What compass? Which direction? And what signs?" The questions passed my lips before I Knew my mouth was open.

"The compass is one that points you to your path in Life. The direction it sends you in allows you to find and follow your bliss. And the signs are laden with love. They are literally all around you, hidden in what inspires you and gives you energy. And if you can spot and follow them, they point you in the right direction ... through the twists and turns of life ... until the path once again becomes clear beneath your feet."

Not sure what to say next, I asked, "So how did I get lost? What happened to me?"

"I tend to think people get lost when they lose sight of what they love and why they exist ... and you end up getting pulled by life and circumstances into a place that you do not love."

"So one place you can start is to get to know the places you love ... and when you find the places you love, you will know where you belong. The clues are all inside of you. Right where you can't lose them ... but also where you can't see them if you are only looking at the outside for answers to who you are and where you belong."

I nodded.

"Think about it .. if you love shopping ... can your truly get lost in Macy's? If you become inspired in art museums or libraries, isn't finding yourself in an unknown wing an unexpected opportunity to explore and discover? Getting lost in places you love is the delight-filled accident of waking up to discover the unknown -- within yourself as well as in the outside world." She looked deep into my eyes to see if I was getting it.

"When you are lost, don't you wish more than any thing that you were back at home? Dorothy did, and her red shoes took here there ... once she knew the true value of home. And that is no small thing, as Danny Deckchair would say."

I remembered the feeling of safety in being at home and nodded again.

 

 

to be continued     

 

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