Feeling Lost?

Not knowing what to do, we start to pay real attention.

Just as people lost in the wilderness, on a cliff face or in a blizzard pay attention with a kind of acuity that they would not have if they thought they knew where they were.

Why? Because for those who are really lost, their life depends on paying real attention. 

If you think you know where you are, you stop looking.

David Whyte
The Three Marriages


Feeling lost in any or all parts of your life is a good starting point.     Good? you may say. Feeling lost may feel like anything but good. There is a way in which we can hold the perspective that we should know where we are, we should have everything handled and understood and we should know where we are going in life. As a result, the feeling of being lost can be met with self-judgment, non-acceptance and frustration. Just like being lost in the wilderness, if you stand there, should’ing all over yourself – it isn’t going to do you any good. 

Play with me for a moment and see what happens. What if you completely accept what you are feeling in your life in this moment? After you are done reading this, close your eyes and imagine yourself lost in the wilderness of your life, on a cliff face or in a blizzard – perhaps it feels like all 3 at once. Let it be. This lost feeling is simply a warning, a wake-up. It is a way of making you aware and a way to have you start looking. Let yourself feel the depth of your lost-ness. Notice and pay real attention. 

Up until now, what has consumed your attention and focus that now has you feel lost? Shift your focus, gaze in another direction, look around at other areas of your life; what are you now keenly aware of? What about your life, now, depends on paying real attention, in a new way? What is it that is now drawing your attention that has you see the sunlight through the forest, the next hand or foot hold on the cliff or has the snow settle – even just a little bit?

Whatever that is, start paying closer attention to it – what is it telling you? Where is it calling you? 

Kristen Bentley