You know where you are physically, so why do you feel like you’re lost? You might even know what your day to day job is, what career you decided on years ago, and what some of your future goals are. So then, what is this nagging feeling clouding your mind that you have no idea what’s going on in life?
It’s kind of like standing in the middle of a crowd and feeling completely alone. You shouldn’t feel that way, but for some reason the feeling will not dissipate. It doesn’t make logical sense – yet, you know that there has to be a reason behind it. What if the feeling of being completely lost is being misinterpreted?
The truth is, you are searching.
What are you looking for?
We try so hard to have everything “figured out” and our lives on the “right track”. We do everything society expects and has taught us to do in order to achieve happiness and success, so why do we feel like we’re searching for something even though we don’t know what it is we’re looking for?
To start, here are some questions that you can ask yourself to figure it out:
- Do I know my life’s purpose?
- Does the work that I do make me happy?
- Am I happy when I am alone?
- What makes me excited about life?
- Am I taking care of myself – mind, body, and spirit?
- Am I running away from anything?
- Is the past haunting me?
- How do I process my emotions?
- How do I affect those around me?
When asking yourself questions such as these, some tough love is required. You need to be 100% honest with yourself and that is not an easy thing to do.
If you don’t know your life’s purpose, it can be overwhelming to admit. If you aren’t happy working a job that you have been at for decades, facing that realization is going to majorly impact your life.
However, when you are able to answer these questions you can begin to piece together what it is that you are looking for. You can determine what’s missing from your life that you have been subconsciously seeking.
Moving on from the past.
Feeling like you are lost in life can also stem from unresolved conflicts that happened in the past. If you have been hurt deeply by someone and refuse to let it go, you won’t be able to move on. You will never be fully present in the moment because there will always be a part of you stuck in the past.
When part of you is in the past, it can be confusing when you are attempting to create a better future. No matter how great things may seem in the present, the feeling that something is missing will constantly creep back into your life.
Your conscious mind isn’t always aware that this is going on, especially when it comes to deep rooted emotional trauma. This begs the question, how do I move on from repressed emotional trauma so I can live presently?
The key is forgiveness.
Forgiving those who have hurt you in the past is the key to setting you free from it. Forgiveness releases us from the grip that trauma holds on our present minds. When you get to a place of full forgiveness, you are able to recall those traumatic memories without having any negative emotions attached to it.
You must also forgive yourself. If you have not forgiven yourself for mistakes made, you will always live with the questions of what if.
What if I didn’t mess up that relationship?
What if I had never gone out that night?
What if I never said that harmful thing?
What if I decided to go a different way?
You will feel lost in time if you are always questioning how life would have gone differently. You’ll play out these different scenarios, envision alternate futures, and constantly replay where it all “went wrong”.
Forgiving yourself will release you from these tormentful questions. Once you learn to accept that everything happened the way it did, and there’s no going back to change it, you will begin to live fully in the present. You will find contentment where you are right now, and you’ll no longer search for answers to impossible what if questions.
According to this study by the APA, forgiveness also has many other mental and physical health benefits. In order to see these benefits, you must be willing to put in the time and effort that it takes to truly forgive.
How to stay in the present.
If you have done the inner work it takes to find yourself after feeling lost for so long, there are some practices that you can adapt into your present life that may help keep you there.
Mindfulness is a great way to keep you fully in the moment. It is like checking in with yourself throughout the day to make sure you aren’t wandering off too far. We can have thoughts about the past and future without being stuck in them. Daily mindful practices can keep your thoughts in check, so you don’t fall back into feeling lost.