Hero Forest What is being “lost?”

We risk much when we turn the experience of not knowing and uncertainty into a resolute negativity.  “I’ve lost my way and am suddenly feeling the acute naked vulnerability of uncertainty. This is not acceptable. I must get back to comfort post haste!”

We miss out on life’s grandest adventures when we keep our eyes fixed only on the straight and narrow trail ahead.

YES, I say to losing the trail, the way, the path!

Yes, I say to getting bewilderingly lost. For being too long on the comfortable and familiar path blinds us to the limitless possibilities found at the edges of imagination and in the deep wilds of the unknown.

Lost means we have wandered into unfamiliar and uncertain territory. And THAT is where the real magic happens; where our hearts are re-ignited with the adventure and exhilaration of mystery and alert attention.

If I am not often lost then I am not often found.  And the road that leaves the familiar ways to travel through the landscape of the lost and then re-emerges into the new is so damn enlivening. Even when the leaving of the old way is unbidden and unchosen.

Bu you are such an optimist.
Forever striving to stay on the path.
Eternally wishing never to get lost, again.
In the face of all evidence of the nature of human evolution and growth, you come to this stupefying desire to stay safe.

I know my dear that you do not want to feel lost.
You have learned so well the lessons from others who have fought mightily against their loss with anger, regret and shame.

When all along what you needed to hear and witness most from those who have gone before you was the exhilarated whoop of celebration. “I AM LOST!  And I will be found again. But in a new place resplendent with the riches of my sparked imagination.”

The old safe way had become a blindness.
The ruts of the correct path deepening over time into high and narrowing walls.

But your heart broke you out, led you astray and delivered you to this under estimated place of uncertainty, un-knowing and uncomfortable.

Now panic wants to send you screaming.
Like the last time and all the times before that.
Perhaps this will be the last time you get lost.
You are such an optimist.
Perhaps you will finally figure out how to stay on the path.

But the attentive and faithful heart brings calm.
Somehow you don’t run.  You stay.  In the lost.
And you sit and let wonder and curiosity guide your gaze.

To wander is to wonder.
Life is not prose, it is poetry
There are no straight lines.

But you are such an optimist.
And you hope and wish and yearn for that which you can never have;
Eternal correctness all along the journey.
Eternal knowing that will reliably point the way.
Such yearning leads you every time to this, once again lost.

You call out from the darkness, you reach out for the familiar and you claw your way back.
Too soon.  Before your eyes could adjust to the dark and the lost could reveal its riches.
And that is the pity.
The concerned and dutiful voices that call you back.
With their unimaginative advice echoing resolutely along the rutted walls.

“Come back, come back, you have lost your way.
It must be so lonely out there.
We are sure you are frightened, we understand the fear of the dark.
Let us teach you to how to stay safe.

Come back.
The forest is a dangerous place.
The seas unruly.
The open land an uncertainty.
The darkness a learned terror.”

Of course you feel lost.
You have entered unfamiliar territory where honest guides are rare.
And there are charlatans aplenty to kindly guide you in the ways of their own gilded ruts.
To offer their beautiful shiny promises with all the majestic safety that you could desire.

I know you do not like it here, at the edge, staring into the dark of the unknown.

I know you wish your heart would finally find its way, once and for all.

But out here, at the edge, if you stop screaming long enough and listen.

You will hear a new voice.

A voice not of reason or logic.

A voice you could not hear from the safe and comfortable places.

A voice tested at the edge of truth and courage.

Your voice.

I am home, it will say.

No matter lost or found, I am always home.

For I am a pilgrim and life is a pilgrimage through the lost and the found and the dark and the light.

A life full of inevitable edges to be navigated, between the known and the unknown.

A life that is always expanding into the unknown.

The edges are where I feel most alive.

The edges are where I find I am both lost and found.

Ultimately we are never really lost.  We simply find ourselves at unexpected edges and not always where we thought we should be.