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Are you lost? I’m not referring to the spiritual sense of lost, or to the sense of not knowing (physically) where you are. Although, in either case, I’d love nothing more than for you to be found if you’re lost in either!
I’m talking about the state of being emotionally lost. It’s such a common phenomenon that I don’t think most people are even aware that they’ve turned up missing.
I know firsthand what I’m talking about here, because I misplaced myself a while back.
It all happened after the 11th that changed everyone’s world in one way or another. It caused my husband’s business to all but die and in turn caused us to lose our beautiful home. This event led to that event and we even wound up having to move away from an area that was my shangri la, my paradise, my heaven on earth. Oh yeah, I loved myself some there.
It was almost like the universe picked up our world, shook it real good, then sat us back down. I know, that in one sense or another, everyone’s world gets shaken – and some have their worlds shaken far harder than mine was. FAR worse. But when you’re the one being shaken you don’t judge your rattling by degrees. You just hang onto your teeth and wish it’d stop!
We fought to hang onto the house, but when it was obvious that the economy’s world had been shaken too – we felt it slipping away. Within a year, we pulled out of the driveway for the last time.
During the months leading up to and the months coming away from losing the house and subsequently the shangri la, I slowly became someone I didn’t entirely know. Normally talkative, I sort of withdrew into myself and never had anything to say. We’d take long trips in the car and my husband or girls would ask why I wasn’t talking – I’d be like, “Nothing to say.” I didn’t feel mad, and not even sad – I just didn’t want to talk.
Things I normally eat, live and breath (writing, movies, walking, yoga, cooking, gardening, herbs, music..) I lost interest in. It’s as if I was in a fog for months. Weird thing is, I didn’t realize it until the fog lifted.
I remember walking with my daughter (and one of my bestest friends) Steph, one day on a trail in Earlington, Kentucky. (How’s that for a shangri la?) We were talking and laughing, goofing off – I guess seeing which could make the bigger fool of herself, and it just hit me. I was, and had been for a while myself again. I didn’t know exactly when she had shown back up, just as I didn’t know exactly whey she’d left. All I knew for sure were two things: One, that it felt good to wear my own skin again. Two, now Steph didn’t stand a chance in the bigger fool contest.
All of this might not make a bit of sense to you – and if that’s the case I’m really sorry. But I’m also really happy for you because it probably means that you haven’t had a really rough worldquake. More likely than not, however, you know what I’m talking about. You can probably remember times when you just weren’t you. It might have lasted a week, a month, several months (like me), or even years.
You may even be missing right now. It’s pretty easy to find out. Ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I say things lately that surprise me?
- Do the people closest to me often ask me what’s wrong?
- Was there ever a time when life seemed different? Better?
- Was there a time when I was more comfortable in my own skin?
If you’ve lost yourself somewhere along the way, there are things you can do that’ll help you reclaim your life:
- Find pictures from the happiest times in your life. Talk about them – what you were thinking, how you were feeling, what you said.
- Do things you used to do. If you used to go rollerskating, lace ’em up and get rolling! Enjoy what you once enjoyed, even if you have to make yourself.
- Close your eyes and recall a favorite scene from the past. A time when you didn’t have a care in the world. Maybe it was your wedding day, or a time when you were collecting seashells on a beach, or maybe it was a time when you beat your brilliant husband and his brilliant military buddies at Trivia Pursuit (Uh oh, I’m projecting here.). Go back in your mind and relive it.
- If you’re lucky enough to have a diary or journal, go back in time courtesy of your writings. If not, find old calendars and read your notations.
I’m not at all suggesting you live in the past. There’s no future in that. I’m just suggesting you go back and have a look. You may have misplaced someone back there and they’re waiting to be found.
Make each moment count double,