There have been times in my life when I have felt completely lost. They were the moments when I didn’t know which way to turn and how it was all going to work out. I recognize now that I am not alone in having experienced this. Most of us feel lost at some point in our lives.
For me, lost came when I flunked out of Law School in my early 20’s due to lack of attendance. I no longer knew what the vision for my future looked like, now that I didn’t have a particular career path to walk.
I felt lost in heartbreak, too. When I was 25 the guy I had fallen for didn’t want the same future I did – a white picket fence and 2.5 kids. I’d invested wholeheartedly in the relationship, and when it ended I was left feeling like I was drifting with no paddle.
Then when I was 31 I felt the feeling again. Exhausted from being a stay-at-home mom, I realized I had completely forgotten who I was and what I needed to be happy. I was lost.
We all have to face pain and confusion in life somewhere along the way. As a Life Coach I find that most of my clients come to me when they are going through one of these unsettling phases.
These are the times when we feel like we have lost touch with our path, and are looking for how to start moving again with clear direction.
Here are 3 things that I needed to be reminded of each time I felt lost in life:
1. You won’t feel this way forever.
Just because you are in pain or discomfort right now, does not mean you will feel this way forever. You will remember what it is like to feel bright and joyful, and it will be sooner than you imagine. You will be certain and focused again. Don’t forget that this too shall pass. Feeling lost is temporary.
For me, my feeling lost opened me up to new possibilities that I never would have considered before. After flunking out of Law School, I felt directionless. Yet it was this turn that nudged me toward finding my passion and recognizing that psychology could become a career for me. I immediately felt so much more joy studying psychology than I ever felt sitting in law classes. Psychology bought me to life and made me feel excited again.
2. Nothing that is truly meant for you, will ever miss you.
The things that are meant to be in your life, will be. That is true of opportunities, partners, and jobs. You will only cause yourself greater pain if you cling to things, wishing they were different. Rest assured that anything that is meant for you, will stick. Practice letting go and trusting that the Universe is on your side.
My pain in heartbreak came from clinging to the future vision I had for myself and the guy who broke my heart. What I couldn’t see then was that the Universe had an even greater vision of what my life could look like, and this relationship had to be complete in order for me to move forward. I went on to meet my amazing husband only a few months afterward. He is more than I could have dreamed I would find in a life partner. The Universe was always looking out for me.
3. Your greatest growth always stems from your deepest pain.
You have the ability to turn your pain into your power. Stories of beautiful transformation and growth typically have a period of deep pain. There is usually a rock-bottom or dark night of the soul. This is because our greatest growth is generally spurred from our deepest pain. It is feeling unhappy that urges us to look for more. Without the pain, many people fall into the trap of living a superficial and unfulfilling life. Your pain can be the blessing that will help wake you up.
Feeling lost in my early 30’s was ultimately the fuel I needed to dig deep and rediscover my connection to myself. My tendency towards martyrdom led to exhaustion. The tears made me realize I had to do things differently. It spurred me to immerse myself deeply in self-care and discovery. I started looking for the things that made me happy in my heart, and it ultimately led me to reconnect with my joy of writing.
Everything really does happen for a reason. If you’re feeling lost right now, rely on your faith in something bigger.
As Steve Jobs said:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
Someday you will be able to connect your dots, too.