Let Yourself Be Lost

Posted On: 03.21.12

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.

Henry David Thoreau

In the wake of announcing my yearlong existential experiment, I have received so many remarkable messages from you guys. Many of you do not feel comfortable leaving comments here on the blog, and I completely understand and respect that. In your notes, so many of you have said one thing (without actually saying it, of course).

What you have said: I am a bit lost. I am an adult and I am supposed to have this life thing figured out, but I don’t really. I am a bit lost.

And of course this resonates. Because that is what this is all about, this very blog, this very project, these very words. Being lost. Feeling lost. And once upon a time, I saw these as bad things, shameful things, being lost, feeling lost. I thought these were things to tuck away, to hide. Now. Now I realize what a smart man named Thoreau realized long ago; We must be lost in order to begin to understand ourselves.

Now. The reality is that not all of us are interested in understanding ourselves. But I am. And, given all of your comments and emails, given all of your wonderful and raw and real words, so are many of you.

I will say these words to my girls one day. When they are ready to hear them.

Let yourself be lost.

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6 Comments for: "Let Yourself Be Lost"
  1. Oh, this is one of my very favorite quotes. I don’t have it figured out at all, either, for what it’s worth. xox

  2. Sam

    It was not until recently that I allowed myself to be lost, and feel lost. And to understand the beauty of it. Because without that feeling, there are a great many things I might never have discovered. That there is a part of me that wants to leave what I am doing now to do something completely different. That there is a part of me that might actually have the courage to do just that. That that part of me gets bigger, and stronger every day. Thanks for sharing your experiment and for putting your courage out there for all of us to read. And thanks for showing all your readers the great adventure in being lost. Because without being a little lost, we can never really be found.

  3. Meg

    Letting ourselves be lost is definitely an important lesson to remember. I’ve tried to get better lately at “wandering” without direction, which is very hard for my Type-A personality. My boyfriend is the opposite; interested in living in the moment, being free. It’s taken a lot of mental work to get myself to a place of wandering and being “lost,” and I have to say… I do like it.

  4. I felt totally lost few years ago but I was found few months later. Since then, I experience and see life differently.

  5. Love the quote..happy you are finding your way 🙂

  6. There is nothing wrong with being lost. The question is what you do afterwards.

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