A friend wrote to me a few years ago and all he said was…”Am lost”. Now I was pretty sure he wasn’t trying to drive to my house at that moment, which is the normal explanation for someone saying that to me. What followed was a long conversation about loneliness and that pesky old fear of being alone forever. He talked about how he wanted to find a special other with whom he can have a real connection. Someone who would really see him and love him. Isn’t this something we all hope for in life?
When we had this conversation, I’d been divorced nearly two years and I was truly terrified of being alone after my husband left. That fear meant I continued to attract (and even grab hold of) partners who weren’t right for me. Partners who were able to woo the inner child in me, who longed to feel good enough and loved. This meant I wasn’t able to maintain a healthy sense of self, or listen to my gut instincts. In fact, my inner child was way louder than my instincts. This eventually led to some deep healing for my sweet, scared and vulnerable inner child, which is ongoing, but more about that another day.
What struck me a few hours after my conversation with my friend was how lucky he was that could recognise he was lost. To feel lost and alone is horrible. But only by being lost can we find ourselves, our real-selves. My yoga teacher used to say that while we may always find it hard to describe exactly who we are (the observer), but we can hold up the mirror, ask questions, and come closer to knowing who we are not. My friend was delving deep within himself, and was brave enough to ask “who am I and what is the point of all this?”, because ultimately purpose and meaning is for each of us to work out alone.
Many of us feel lost and alone in life. We go through the motions of life, emulating a life experience that society has prescribed to us. Never questioning, never stopping to check whether our choices are allowing us to live a life that is truly authentic. We go to school, we study at university (maybe), we get jobs (hopefully), buy houses (if we’re lucky), get married, have kids (again, if we’re lucky), get divorced (more and more it seems), and lose loved ones to death etc etc. But maybe, even if we have everything, we find we aren’t happy. So, keep asking yourself the hard questions and pay attention to those emotions that cause pain. Consider them your guidance system. Because, just like the lobster (check out the link below), growth will nearly always be precipitated by pain or discomfort.
P.S. As I finished writing this, what should be playing in the background but Dermot Kennedy’s beautiful song titled “Lost”! Check it out here.