“When I lost me, you knew where I left me.”
I heard this line a few days ago and I couldn’t get it out of my head. It was the “lost me” part that hit a nerve. LOST brings a powerful picture and sends chills down my spine.
If you tell me you’ve never felt lost then you’re lying to yourself and me. I don’t mean lost because your car GPS is out of order and I don’t mean lost because you can’t find your favorite coffee in the grocery store.
Lost, standing at a turning point in your life with no clue which way to go. Faced with a decision without the knowledge or the courage to choose a direction. Lost, really lost. It’s a frightening place to be, this place called lost. So how does this happen? How do you get lost and why do some never find their way back?
I like to think of it this way. When you are a child, your view of life is like an open book. A book with lots of open space on which to write your story. The beginning is filled with experiences. Some of these are insignificant but others are dramatic and important. The important things that you learn become a significant part of your story. The very important ones might even become chapters. They rarely get erased or forgotten and over time they become rules by which you live.
A simple example might be that fire is hot and will burn you, don’t touch. A rule written from personal experience. There are many of these simple rules, but also some that are harder to learn and have a more dramatic effect on our life. Some pages are written by experience but others are written by the environment in which you grow up. This environment might be your family, friends, school, church or society. They all have their book of rules.
Rules they live by and try
to pass on to you.
sometimes successfully and sometimes not,
Over time, your book becomes filled, page after page. Maybe you should call them standards, morals and ethics, or life guidelines by which to live. No matter what you call them, they become your belief system. This system of beliefs helps you discern right from wrong. It’s the filter you pass things through to accept or reject them. It’s the foundation of your future.
Along with this experience and environmentally created map you also need a compass. A life compass that points true North. A direction you can depend on. A compass that points to a path forward or even home. Let’s start out assuming you have a strong moral and ethical map. Unfortunately, it may not be enough to navigate through the turbulent waters and rocky narrows of life.
You need more. You need to know when you have veered off course.
You need an alarm. If your life map and compass are in your head, the alarm is surely in your stomach. I’ve stated many times that your head might sometimes lie to you, but your stomach never does.
In summary, your environment and experience builds the book of your life. From this book you build a map of how things should work and that map resides in your head. Over time, you develop a compass that shows you a direction on the map. That compass also resides in your head. When making decisions, you filter the data through your book and see how it compares to the map of your belief system. You make a decision and then check your alarm system to see if you are on course. The alarm lives in your stomach.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Why do we get lost? It’s the subject of my next blog. Don’t miss it, it could change your life.
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