Get lost!

2009

No, I don't mean "get lost" as in "get away from me!", but the notion that sometimes, being lost in life can be beneficial.

In the midst of the political, financial, environmental and workplace upheaval that seems to be all around us, it's not surprising that so many of us feel a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Worry has replaced wonder; anxiety has replaced exhilaration.

There's a story of a man on a galloping horse who passes another. The bystander yells, "Where are you going?" to which the rider responds, "I have no idea; ask my horse."

Mired in uncertainty and confusion, we turn to others for help. These experts - who come in various shapes and forms, espousing varied hypotheses and theories - can't agree. No one seems to know what will happen a year, or two, or three or more down the road.

When relate to our world from a place of fear, our response to it takes the form of flight, fight, or freeze. We run away form our problems and challenges, we fight, often unsuccessfully, to reduce or eliminate our problems; or we just stand still like a deer in the headlights, paralyzed and perplexed. More than a few are dazed and despairing.

The fact is that our problems and challenges have much to teach us about ourselves. Even deep-seated trauma has a message – if we choose to stop, explore, inquire and ask for the teaching. That's a huge "if."

Encased in fear and uncertainly, we have two choices:
(1) do nothing, wring our hands and hope that someone or something will take care of us, or:
(2) ask why such events are "happening FOR me" and seek the teachings/learning that comes from honestly, sincerely, and self-responsibly confronting the issues standing before us. There can be no light without darkness.

SOME QUESTIONS FOR SELF-REFLECTION

  • How are currents events affecting you – financially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually?
  • Every cloud has a silver lining; every silver lining has a cloud. Which is your orientation to life and living? Why?
  • How do you commonly react to being/feeling "lost" or experiencing uncertainty?
  • Are you generally a fearful person? If so, why do you think that is?
  • Are you one who always needs to have all the answers?
  • Would others describe you as a controlling person?
  • Do you ever lose yourself? What is that like for you?
  • At the top of a roller coaster, you can scream with excitement or scream with fear? Which would you do? Why?
  • What was "being lost" like for you, your parents, or your family when you were growing up?

If we choose, getting lost allows us to open the door to the darkness, the unknown, and seek answers to our questions. After all, we came here from the darkness and one day we'll return to the darkness. So, why not now?

Our ego's deep need for control is what keeps us afraid. We can choose to bypass our ego, our conditioned mind, and move towards the uncertainty which is where we find the real answers to our dilemmas. The unknown does not have to be scary. Only if we choose to make it so.

One of the benefits of embracing the unknown is that the experience takes us out of our own rigid box and helps us to change. Clarity and insight often come from confusion if we can just get out of our own way and remain open to the journey of discovery.

So in these days of gloom, fear and discomfort, we can resolve - if we choose - to embrace the mystery, to surrender to uncertainty and be open to not knowing. ANd we can do this from a place of curiosity, excitement, and openness, rather than cringe from a place of anger, terror, angst, hate or vengeance.

There is beauty in the dark. There is a certainty, balance and coherence in the unknown. There is a wealth of strength, courage and steadfastness in our own soul that can support our growth and development by seeking what we don't know - if we choose to let it. This is the essence of true change and transformation – moving consciously through our insecurities.

Getting lost is what allows us to see the truth not only of our self, but of our relationship to our work, our world, and to others. Endings are always another beginning; darkness never exists without light.

Where is your horse taking you?

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About The Author

Peter Vajda
Peter Vajda

Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D, C.P.C. is a seminar leader, workshop facilitator and speaker. He is the founding partner of True North Partnering, an Atlanta-based company that supports conscious living through coaching, counselling and facilitating.