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  • Jamie Berris

Find Your Compass When You Feel Lost


I have been running myself ragged my whole life. In the process I’ve missed out on some precious moments. Opportunities have slipped by and dreams have been diminished.

I lost sight of what it meant to give grace to myself, have compassion for myself, and pay attention to my needs. I wrongly convinced myself I was taking good care of myself and others by doing good things to the extreme. Many of which did more harm than good.

Inside I felt depleted and frustrated. Lost.

I felt like I wanted to cry or lash out all the time. I was beating myself up for feeling like this for no apparent reason. Then it dawned on me, I was grieving the loss of someone. Me. She was gone. Dead. I killed her to live for everyone else.

I remember in grade school getting handed a compass and map and being released into the woods to find hidden treasures. It’s vague and I can’t recall the specifics, possibly we were on a field trip at the nature center. The details are blurry, but I remember the feeling crystal clear. Lost.

We all had a compass and kids were running around excitedly from one destination to the next. I was aimlessly wandering, clueless to this directional stuff. Still to this day I cannot immediately point to a specific direction without first orienting myself to the sun, mentally lining myself up with the nearest highway, or consulting the readout on my dash specifically telling me I'm traveling south.

Turn south on Blind Avenue, west on Wrongway Lane, and the destination is on the north side of Lost St. Who speaks that language? Apparently, a lot of people. My husband for one. It’s completely foreign to me. I relate much better to turn right on Blind Avenue, left on Wrongway Lane, and the destination is on your right.

Wandering aimlessly trying to find my purpose and voice brings me back to my ten-year-old self standing in the woods watching my classmates find their way and I’m like, whoa, everyone seems to have direction and I’m lost. Not everyone did, not everyone does, but when we’re lost, we feel alone.

How do we lose ourselves? Life. Environment. Parenthood. Work. Culture. Family. Finances. Not living according to our values and beliefs. We allow other people to change or decide our direction. It's up to us to find our way back home to ourselves.

I get my bearings by being still and asking for direction from within. Where am I going right now? Where do I want to be going? How do I get there? Am I enjoying the journey? Who persuade or told me to travel in this direction? Do I feel confident it's my chosen path? Should I stomp on the accelerator, travel with caution, or slam on the brakes and turn around? Detour? How will I feel if I keep traveling the well worn path versus tearin' it up on my own two-track?

Finding and changing the trajectory of my life requires me to see myself where I want to be. If we don’t define and live by purpose and passion, we lose our direction and never arrive at our destinations. Continually consulting our inner compass and asking for direction helps us reroute so we don't lose our way and ultimately lose ourselves.

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