I think we all feel lost at times.
We lose ourselves in our kids, spouses, jobs and in the responsibility of caring for others.
Sometimes we get lost in life transitions. We move, have a baby, the baby goes to school, the baby grows up and leaves home, we get divorced or widowed, we lose a job or a friend.
All of life's transitions create opportunities to lose ourselves. We get so wrapped up in other people, their needs, their wants, the tasks at hand to pack up our belongings or adjust to a new job and a new city, and in the process, you stop thinking about yourself.
Then one day you wake up and realize, little by little, piece by piece, you've given yourself away and you're not sure why or how it happened.
If you're in that place now, please know, you are not alone. We've all done it. And you can take yourself back. Find yourself again. One piece at a time.
Here's the real shocker.
I think it's good when we lose ourselves.
Yes. I think it means it's time to rebuild. To reexamine your perspective of who you are and what you want.
Losing yourself is actually an opening. It's a chance to reevaluate what you want in your life. It's like your psyche is helping you wipe the slate clean.
If you happen to be in that place now, where you feel lost, where you've forgotten what you like and what excites you, then stop for a moment and be grateful for the journey. Tell yourself that this feeling lost is a gift. It's allowing you to look at everything you do and every relationship in your life and ask a very important question, "Is this loving to me?" Then you pause and wait for the answer.
The answers don't always come immediately.
Give yourself time and space. Don't press or push for the answers. Be open to whatever comes.
When the answer comes, don't argue with it. Be open to possibility. Be open to a new way. That's why life brings us to these places. To give us a chance to find a new way. Maybe the answer is, "I need more help with the kids (or aging parent or disabled spouse.)" Don't dismiss it and tell yourself you can't afford it. Take that answer seriously.
Explore possibilities. Rearrange your budget. Find help through community services or local churches. Barter something you enjoy doing for child-care or housecleaning or whatever it is you need. You'd be surprised how well bartering for services works.
Be willing to give up something you didn't think you could give up. I don't mean give up taking care of yourself, I mean, give up volunteering at school or church. Or, give up a community organization you're involved in. If it doesn't pass the test of, "is this loving to me?" then it needs to go. Maybe it doesn't go forever, but it needs to go for now.
Life leads us towards life.
It is part of our nature to be driven towards life. To grow, not shrink. To live, not die. To flourish, not stagnate. When we feel lost, when we see ourselves shrinking and stagnate, it's a sign. A sign we need to examine our lives and move towards what is loving to us. One tiny step at a time. Move towards love.