In the course of your life, no matter who you are, there will be moments when you lose your way. For me, losing my way means I have become disconnected from myself. Not only that, I struggle with the ‘why’ and ‘what’ I am doing, my flow is out and I literally feel as if time is passing. Sometimes, when I have lost my way, I also feel that the kind of challenges I face are recurring or they seem interminable.
When this has happened, I feel ungrounded, and even though I may be functioning well to the external person, I feel dissatisfied and untethered. At times also, because of my observations of the world I live in, I would feel a sense of lethargy. In fact, I tend to then care less for my health, what I am eating and also have no motivation.
The cumulative effect of having lost my way is that I criticize and judge myself, and this, in turn, amplifies the inner disconnect I feel. Furthermore, I tend to consciously disconnect from others because I feel ashamed, and I hide from the world. Feeling that there is something wrong with me because I dislodged from my usual sense of direction or focus, means that I stop taking steps towards a dream or a goal that I have been working on for a while.
Over time, I have learnt to be gentle and compassionate and to use the instances of losing my way in my growth journey. This is what I have learnt over time:
#1: Practice compassion and patience
I have learnt that instead of viewing the ‘detour’ from the path I have chosen as being bad/shameful and wrong, there is value in stopping for a moment and engaging with what is happening. It starts by being present enough to admit that you have lost your way somewhat. Using the moment to exercise kindness and compassion, I would let go of the notion that I have to always be on track and to practice patience and allow myself to just be with what is. Exercising patience and compassion means I have to connect with myself and accept myself completely.
#2: Losing your way has something to teach you
I have leant to ask what the moment has to teach me? That there is value in stepping out of the path for a moment to pause, to breathe and to allow for the possibility of expanding the view of the path. This type of enquiry is usually affirming and does allow for a pathway of finding your way back to yourself and what it is that you want in your life.
#3: Reach out and share the burden
Sometimes losing your way could increase the sense of isolation and loneliness. Letting go of this notion that I am less than, and that there is something wrong is often difficult when trying to go it alone. Reach out to someone who is in your corner already and share with them what is happening with you. By sharing the burden, you are owning your reality and you also do not allow the shame to take over.
#4: Step out of the reality
When we lose our way, we can be so overwhelmed and immersed in it, and it may feel like that is the only truth at that moment. In moments like that, it is usually good to step outside of the reality, and to step into another reality. I often watch a movie, or a series, or I do something that is completely different from what I usually do. It means that I interact with other realities, and it could spark a new idea or thought that may be the spurt I need to get back to myself again. It may take a few of those moments to be effective, but what it means is that I claim back some of my power to shift my reality.