Feeling lost?

Zoe Manley

I imagine there’s a period in everyone’s life when they feel lost, but it may hold different meaning for different people. It’s a phrase I have both used and heard used many times; “I feel lost, I’ve lost my way, I’ve lost myself, my motivation , my sense of purpose.”

What we often fail to recognise is the difference between something being lost and something being gone. For example when someone dies many will say “I lost my grandma.” Unfortunately, Grandma isn’t lost, she’s gone. We know where grandma is, it’s not that we can’t find her, it’s just a euphemism to mask the finality of Grandma’s gone-ness. On the other hand, the good thing about something that is lost is that it has the potential to be found. I was once walking through the city centre and I came across a woman looking extremely flustered knelt over a grid at the side of the road. I asked her if she was okay, to which she replied, “no, my keys are gone.” It turns out the keys had been dropped and managed to find their way through the slight gap in the metal grates. I stooped down and sure enough I could see the silver glisten of a set of house keys staring back up. They weren’t gone I could see them, they also weren’t really lost. They were temporarily unattainable. Still incredibly frustrating, a massive inconvenience and one which caused this lady quite some stress!

My point is maybe when we are lost (not to oversimplify or belittle those very real feelings), but it might be helpful to remind ourselves that our sense of purpose, our motivation, ourselves; they’re not gone and they too have the potential to be found again. They may just be stuck right at the bottom of a metaphorical grid, extremely hard to reach and will only become obtainable again with a lot of effort, determination, help and maybe a bit of luck. They may be stuck down there for a while but every now and then the light might just shine in the right way to make them glisten to remind us they’re still there waiting.

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