We have all experienced ‘being lost’ at one time or another.
You might have felt momentary panic as the fog of confusion descended and your points of reference vanished. You might have been overwhelmed by choice at a metaphorical crossroads: which way ought you to go from here? Or you might have experienced loneliness or resignation during a search for crumb trails in the darkest forest.
But rest assured: it’s completely normal. We just don’t really like to talk about it.
Maybe we consider ‘being lost’ a vulnerability that should be hidden away, for fear of… what? That others might mock or take advantage of our situation?
After all, we seem to be taught from a young age that we should know where we are heading, like a migratory bird with an inbuilt compass.
So it takes courage to accept that you’re lost, and indeed to seek direction. But what use are directions if you don’t know where you’re trying to get to? Of what value is a map if you don’t know where you’re going?
The reality is that we have the gift of self-determination and no map to follow. ‘Being lost’ is not something to be ashamed of. The very fact of ‘being lost’ indicates that you are in a period of transition; this is a liminal place, a place of ‘not knowing’, and you will come out of the other side. You just don’t know what the other side will look like, or what shape it will take.
Consider this without attachment. Be lost. Paradoxically, by allowing yourself to be lost you will start to find your way. And if you’re really lost, you might even find yourself.
‘Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where…’ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
‘…so long as I get somewhere,’ Alice added as an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough’.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll