The Art of Losing Oneself


People say it like it’s a bad thing, to lose oneself. I don’t see it as such. What does it mean anyway, to be lost?

Obliviously there are both literal and philosophical interpretations. Physically it’s pretty difficult to misplace yourself – aren’t you always right there? But the answer to this question becomes less clear when we ask it from a deeper level of consciousness.

Sometimes we get lost in a moment; perhaps it’s a song or a kiss or a daydream that carries us off.  Our hearts get lost in love, our minds get lost in thoughts; we can’t get clear on a career to pursue or we take a wrong turn and end up 5 miles in the opposite direction of our planned destination. I suppose these could all fall under the category of “being lost”. But don’t we always find our way? Isn’t this temporary feeling of absence part of the learning process – part of the journey?

About 10 years ago I found myself in Whole Foods, aimlessly wandering the isles. It had been a rough day and I was upset and distracted. A clerk must have noticed my lack of focus and asked if there was something he could help me find. In my daze I muttered something to effect of “I don’t even know where I am right now” to which he responded, “you are right where you need to be.”

Well isn’t that the truth?! My life changed in that instant – right there on isle four of Whole Foods. Even though I felt disoriented, both emotionally and physically, I was reminded that “lost” is a place too; it’s a destination along the continuum of life that can be found between point A and point B. It’s that simple.

When I accepted the idea that getting lost serves a purpose, it gave me the freedom to pursue life without the added pressure of feeling like I had to have everything figured out. It allowed me to enjoy the fact that not everything in life is spelled out on a map with picture perfect clarity; that I may take a few detours and wind up in places I didn’t even know existed. It reminded me that there are lessons to be learned, passions to be found, movies to be swept up in and road side diners to be stumbled upon.


When someone recently referred to me as “lost” simply because I’m pursuing passions outside of my role as wife and mother, I had to laugh. It’s true – I’m a multidimensional person. I like things beyond my career. I love Yoga and writing and traveling, just to name a few. I enjoy learning about new things and people and places – I love getting caught up in all that life has to offer.

If this is what we as a society call being lost, then sign me up!

If I look back on my life, I can say with confidence that it was in moments of uncertainty that I was able to tap into my fears, my preferences and aversions, my hopes and my own personal truths. Each time I got “lost” was like peeling back the layer of an onion; through the path of discovery, not only did I learn something new about myself but I grew as a result of the experience too.

The more times we get lost, the more times we are found and in doing so, we create the very essence of who we are.

Enjoy the ride, little chickadees. Now get lost!

– The Confessioness

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