On Feeling Lost
When I opened up the Weekly Word as a column, of sorts, your words came in droves. Thank you for sending them to me, and keep them coming! As I looked at my google doc, this one word jumped out at me: Lost.
There is so much in the world right now. So much hurt, so much pain, so many injustices. Truthfully, that alone can make us all feel a little lost, outside of our personal situations and chaos that is our own lives.
Which Way is Up?
I am sitting at my desk, in the same chair with the same view I have looked at for the last year. The studio itself feels purpose-filled. There are stacks of art books, and creative business books, art supplies, my favorite candles, and even a spot on my desk for my favorite glasses and current reads. The studio feels like it knows what it’s doing. Everything has a place, and my mind often feels more clear here than anywhere in my home.
But inside me, on this day, I look around and I just feel lost. I described it in my journal writing this morning as this: “I feel as though I’m fluid and separating. I pour myself over an ice cube tray, bits of me separating into each square. Some freeze cracked and fragile, and some are filled to the brim, unbroken. I look at the tray, and I see the pieces of me, and the whole of me feels gone.”
I look out the French doors leading into my office and there’s Oliver, my huge Chocolate Labradoodle/Wire Haired Pointing Griffin. He lays easily beside the doors, comfortable right where he is, with no worry of where to go next. Oh, to be a dog.
The thought comes to me: maybe it is easier to feel like you know where you are going when you aren’t distracted with so many options. Maybe the reason our dogs aren’t anxious about life in general is their purpose is so clearly defined. Eat, sleep, play, get loved on, go outside, repeat.
The Trouble With Options
The trouble with options is this: while it is a double edged blade, having so many options at our fingertips can be debilitating. Where to go eat? What kind of career do I want? Within that career, what specifically can I do more of? Less of? Where can we live? How do I find purpose? Look at her/him/them…they seem to get it. Why can’t I? The trouble with options is they keep us in a constant state of seeking more or believing there is a better path, a more important plan, a more fulfilling road to travel.
The trouble with too many options is they turn into NOISE.
And the simplest way to feel lost is to have little quiet.
Moving through lost is less about knowing exactly where you are going in the long run, and deciding where you are going next. Just one more step. One more move. Moving through feeling lost looks a lot like accepting you feel that way and allowing yourself some space in the quiet to dream. To ponder. To sit with yourself and decide which direction your next one step will take you. In this space, Ask yourself great questions: What makes me come alive? What is holding me back? When I close my eyes and imagine a life that would make my heart hum, what does that look like? Write it all down.
I promise, you’ll get somewhere.
And in the meantime, in the place of lost, ask yourself this question: What can I learn from this moment, this time, this in-between?
Repeat after me:
I am not lost. I am searching.