“What is it you seek?” asked the Master of a scholar who came to him for guidance.
“Life,” was the reply.
Said the Master, “If you are to live, words must die.”
When asked later what he meant, he said:
“You are lost and forlorn because you dwell in a world of words. You feed on words you are satisfied with, when what you need is substance. A menu will not satisfy your hunger. A formula will not quench your thirst.”
The tale by Anthony de Mello invites you to measure life by significant moments, instead of through thoughts and words.
Knowing life is short, seize opportunities as they arise instead of focusing on circumstances for which you care little.
Events conspire in your favour, despite your worries and frustrations. They are there to help you experience yourself in a greater capacity.
Sometimes, your way of life may be upturned as you wrestle with a change in conditions.
“Everything in your life – especially your challenges – is tailor-made to help you see your stories of struggle. Whatever is in the way, is the way!” avows author Mary O’Malley in What’s in the Way Is the Way: A Practical Guide for Waking Up to Life.
Have you experienced the pain of losing direction? Recall how you felt. Connect with that moment.
Now cast your mind back to the present. Note the insignificance of the experience from this vantage point. Hindsight is a wonderful teacher, in so far as it gives you clarity of mind to see the past in a new light.
Losing your way is attributed to losing sight of one’s core purpose, a sensation accompanied by emptiness and confusion.
I experienced this feeling when I changed career over a decade ago. Being vulnerable made it difficult to make sense of what was taking place. I tried to fight my way out of this gloomy state, to no avail.
However difficult life may be, in One Small Step Can Change Your Life: The Kaizen Way, author Robert Maurer reminds us the solution is often found in the scariest of places: “When life gets scary and difficult, we tend to look for solutions in places where it is easy or at least familiar to do so, and not in the dark, uncomfortable places where real solutions might lie.”
Directed by a Greater Intelligence
“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” – Lewis Carroll
Let me set your mind at ease — you cannot lose your way in a purposeful universe conspiring in your favour. Although it may not appear that way, contained within uncertainty lies the opportunity to reconnect with your intuitive compass.
You are likely to lose your way since man is not equipped with an inner navigation system, routing his passage through life.
Whilst we’re endowed with intuitive guidance by way of emotions based on a person’s awareness, they are less inclined to heed the messages. This is because they are busy attending to the torrents of emotions that being lost invokes.
“You just have to let things be and not do anything about them. That is probably the greatest discipline in the world because our whole thing is about making it happen. The point is to be present and trust the process,” write authors Charlene Belitz and Meg Lundstrom in The Power of Flow: Practical Ways to Transform Your Life with Meaningful Coincidence.
What if being lost turned out to be your greatest gift?
If you’ve used a GPS device before and have taken the wrong turn, you’ll know that as long as you enter the right coordinates, the unit will find its way to your destination, no matter which road you take.
Life functions in the same respect. You are connected to a greater intelligence through intuition and emotional guidance. Whilst you may veer off course, you can never stray far because your connection to this intelligence is far greater.
If you’re feeling lost, reconnect with your purposeful self to get back on track. It may require you to get quiet to listen to the stillness within that knows your next move.
To concede defeat may be your best move and not detrimental as you might think. In surrendering, you are made aware of a new direction you hadn’t considered before.
Trust you will reach your destination before long.
I invite you to retreat into these moments of silence often. When the mind is absorbed in excessive thought, it is difficult to find your way given the cloud of distorted thinking.
Remain still until a stirring within you summons you to take action. You will know when to take the next step, not unlike knowing when you’re hungry and must eat. It is the same intelligence guiding you.
A television may pause momentarily while buffering data to stream your favourite show. However, it is still a TV despite the brief disruption to its viewing. So it is of your life’s journey.
Strength of Character
“And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?” — Rumi
Life is a recurring tale of surprises. Sometimes you may feel lost while other times your path is well laid out. There is a greater purpose to everything which is known further down the road.
“You cannot, I repeat CANNOT dwell in any blame game in your life. Even blaming yourself is completely useless,” states Gary John Bishop in Unfu*K Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life.
Despite popular opinion espousing seeking happiness is key, doing so when you are lost is akin to expecting the sun to shine through a raging storm. Advance through the storm and assuredly, the sun will find its way through an unblemished sky.
Share your pain with others to support you and help you find your way back. What may appear as being stuck holds your greatest gift, yet seldom it appears that way.
In Paulo Coelho’s book The Alchemist, Santiago the young shepherd boy traverses the globe in search of his personal legend, to find it was present at home all along. Had he not embarked upon the journey, he would have missed the wisdom and insights gained along the way.
A confident outlook is paramount, since failure has a way of sharpening the saw of a person’s character. That which you sense when you are at your lowest point flames your inner spirit and invokes true grit and strength of mind.
Author Brené Brown writes in Rising Strong: “The truth is that falling hurts. The dare is to keep being brave and feel your way back up.”
Knowing your time is limited invites you to stop reaching for answers that don’t exist. Man spends a lifetime cultivating his way on earth and will naturally veer off track, only to find his way back again.
Nothing good results from fearing for the worst. For the breadth of one’s life is to be measured by memorable moments, not by losing direction.
Contained within each uncertainty lies the opportunity to step into your own power and know your true worth. Don’t allow it to be obscured by opposing what tomorrow will bring.
For it is not thoughts nor words that man craves, but the core of his actions that invokes the promise of a hopeful future.