“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.” ~ Henry David Thoreau …
Being lost is a scary experience–not knowing where to go, what to do, or how things will ever work out. During a recent excursion to the zoo, my then six-year-old daughter strayed a bit from the family and was lost for about a minute. And after she was found you could see the fear and panic in her face. When I asked her about it at home, it was apparent how scared and lost she felt.
Of course, Henry is talking about a different, yet closely related type of loss, one that we generally think of as a bad thing–losing our direction in life. When we were children, it seemed as if all adults already knew exactly where they were going and what they wanted from life; and if they did not, something was wrong. But the truth is that we have only a vague idea of where we are going, and no idea of what the future holds in store for us. And sometimes it takes being lost in life to realize that we truly are not sailing towards our desired destination.
When we feel we know exactly what we want in life–what we are going to do and how we are going to do it–we are not open to listening to our hearts and trying to find new directions in life. And why should we… we are already sure of where we are headed. But perhaps our true calling in life is something yet to be discovered; and unless we are open to that possibility, we will never know.
Take some time to quiet your mind and ask yourself if your direction in life is taking you to where your heart wants to be.
Questions to consider:
How do you feel when you become lost or without direction in life?
What messages might you hear when you are lost and do not know which way to go?
Do the majority of important messages in life come when everything seems to be going well… or in times of great difficulty?
For further thought:
“It may be when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work, and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.” ~ Wendell Berry