I am directionally challenged. I’ve been lost more times than I care to admit. Those who seem to have been born with an internal compass have often told me I just need to be more aware of my surroundings and, “Note the landmarks.”
Finding Our Way Back
Though I’ve lost my way while hiking or driving with a map on my lap, losing our way can also mean losing ourselves. Maybe we imagined a particular pathway for ourselves; being a college graduate, having a successful professional career, being married, or a parent.
Then, our lives are blindsided. We don’t make it to college, our career taxes our mental and physical wellness, divorce happens, or we discover we are infertile. Suddenly we are somewhere we never thought we’d be; unable to fulfill what we once thought we could be.
When the unexpected, the unforeseen and the unimaginable take place, we may feel a sense of desperation and aloneness.
I remember the first and most heart-rending time of personal lostness; my dad’s suicide. The news of someone’s death is difficult, but knowing they died on purpose is profoundly more troublesome, especially to a kid.
Without the love and presence of a father who I could trust to point out the right course, or correct me when I got off course, I got lost. I turned into someone other than who I really was. I turned into someone I did not even like.
Losing everything you thought you ever were is scary. The confidence I’d once possessed because of a loving father, dissipated and anger, resentment and fear took its place. To cover my fear, I pretended I was independent, self-reliant and self-sufficient.
But, keeping up this false front took its toll on me. I noted that landmarks of joy, contentment and a sense of security were now gone and impatience, false sense of self, and loneliness surrounded me.
Finding my way back to who I started out as, that happy and confident individual, meant admitting I needed help. Thankfully, there were enough people in my life; my husband, close friends and a sibling or two, whom I could trust. With their help, I am back on the right track with being me.
Why bother noticing when you are lost? It is worth noting that when we admit to our lostness, then we begin to think about how to get back to who we truly are.