I’m notoriously bad with directions. My friends joke, “if you don’t want to get there, ask Barbara.” Once on a driving trip to Atlanta I looked up to find myself far past the mark…in Savannah. In my defense, it was quite dark.
The problem isn’t only that road and street signs are, unfortunately, displayed in the smallest possible font it is also that there is something about driving that causes me to “zone out.” When I get behind the wheel I’m on auto-pilot - I don’t devote the attention I should to the road or route.
Some of us live in much the same fashion. Not surprisingly, we lose our way. If you’ve been there you know it usually goes something like this…you’re busy living your life when you begin to feel out of alignment. Sometimes the feeling is just a slight tug. Other times everything is blunted by gnawing emptiness. You have many things to be grateful for but fulfillment and purpose have eluded you.
If you suspect that your nagging feeling is about living out of alignment with what you really want to do or be, don’t worry. You can correct your course.
What can you do?
Be willing to sit with your discomfort for a bit. Your gut has a lot to tell you. As the old saying goes, “you cannot fix what you will not face.” As you sit, have the courage to be honest about your needs and your feelings Does your current life course offer rewards that are important to you? If not, what creative alternatives are available to you? What are you willing to give up or trade off (e.g. employment that doesn’t offer as much monetary compensation, but is much more fulfilling)? Journaling, prayer, meditation and friends can be very helpful throughout this process.
Listen to what you hear as you sit, pray, meditate or talk. Again, your inner voice has a lot to tell you. At this point you don’t need to know the “how” of it (i.e., how you will accomplish your personal revolution), so don’t let doubt or your inner critic sabotage you. You only need to be willing to open yourself to the process.
Put yourself in places and around people that inspire and recharge you. It may be in these places that you summon the creativity and courage to work out the “how.” If not, don’t worry. Be patient, you will get there. Remember, the journey counts, too. Your purpose isn’t only to find your path, but also to take the first steps and enjoy the sights and experiences you collect along the way.
Just as you do when you take a wrong turn on the road, you must consult your (life) map and correct your course. You don’t want to drive around aimlessly and lost anymore than you would want to live aimlessly and lost. Decide where you want to go or what you want to be and map out step by step plans.