Paths You Take When You’ve Lost Your Way

I could feel the cold dark howl of nothingness gust into my mind with intensity as apathy spread to every part of my day that day. I could only think that this must be the weight of my own mistakes, showing up right on time. Whatever it was that I was hoping to find it seems I’d lost in the absence of my own mind. “How you leave the places you outgrow to move to the places you wanted to live, all for the sake of following what makes you happy.” I felt like an impostor to the words of my reasoning which left me with a restless void I felt too weak to fill.

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I should have said the presence of love is what fills you up inside and develops you to find the depths of your soul only you can define. It was in fact in the company of love that I once opened to trust what was in my mind.  Inherently it brought me the clarity to see the impaired parts of me that needed nothing more than my own awareness and attention. Visions of hope would surpass any cloud of doubt and I was able to leave with only a string of fear in what I might find. As I sit here enduring the end of a day that feels much like yesterday I’m desperate to detect where exactly I misplaced that companion of mine I once called courage.

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Hello silence, December is here. I feel something in the lifelessness of winter and the end of a year drawing near that commands my essence to wake with a bitter awareness to my surroundings. Last year I guess I must have felt the same thing. This year isolation has taken a more literal form and although I often feel left with nothing but the noise of my own thoughts I wonder then how did everything become so unclear?

“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded”

I used to meditate so the Buddha quote seems appropriate. Not to mention, it was my abandonment to being mindful to the needs of my own soul that ultimately left me with the incessant needs of an absent mind. Needs filled with nothingness, yet they nagged at my soul with voracity. The end they say is always near and as I prepare for the end of this year I’m yet again reminded to wake up in my own life and pay very close attention to the state of my mind as it correlates to my soul. It’s hard to find where exactly your soul got off track when all you are focusing on is the weight of one or many disappointments. But just remember courage shows up in the most mysterious ways and its hidden in those moments of hope so if you’ve lost your soul in the frigid bitterness then you’re not alone, welcome to the cycle of life.

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It isn’t easy and there is no one answer for every individual soul but there are a few paths I’ve had to cross in finding my way back to myself that I may be able to lend to help you start thinking about where exactly you got off track, how you can overcome it and get back on the path of living true to your soul. For me, the feeling of being lost starts with the sting of bitterness. That sting often felt like a cinder block tied around my heart. Like a token of a destroyed hope from something I once loved that I now carried with me where ever I went. It weighed me down and felt like a burden I was being held responsible for. Any tug on that already tight bound weight on my heart burned a fire in the path of my life causing chaos and destruction. That burn is where everything ends yet begins again and it often lights the way for me to get back on the right path to finding a truth in myself I always seem to lose in a frigid bitterness…

Bitterness |  anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.

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1| Stay Close to What Brings You Light.

You know that feeling in your bones aching with frigidness when the weather begins to get cold? That’s what bitterness felt like. Just like the moments we find ourselves outside cold and exposed to the elements of winter I had to search for warmth. Something that could provide me with a little bit of comfort to bear what my body could almost no longer take. You see I believe our souls like our bodies have the innate ability to protect themselves and to find a place that brings them warmth when we have abandoned them in the cold. I could tell I’d abandoned the things I loved because all I felt was a bitterness towards everything surrounding me. As if being exposed to the elements of my environment had stolen my happiness. Here is the truth I’m beginning to learn, there is no one thing, person or place that can take away the joy you find in the things you love and those things will always be there if you choose to keep them close.

Words are my sanctuary and any form of expression feels like liberation to me. Feeling suppressed to openly and honestly reveal the essence of my authenticity only serves as a welcome mat to a dark place I still somehow blindly enter. The key word, blindly. Here is my advice for the dark places you feel you can’t get out of or you have no control over, stay close to what brings you light. We all have one thing that no matter what, it ignites us. Start there and keep people around who know what brings you this feeling of luster and encourages you to walk as close to it as possible. Eventually, the darkness will dissipate and you’ll find yourself once again with a clear view and path in sight.

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2 | What’s Done In Darkness Will Come to Light. 

I spent my days of elementary attending a Catholic school and this phrase will always hang out in the back of my mind. But like, in a haunting sort of way much like the Holy Ghost himself. For those of you who weren’t submerged growing up Catholic basically this verse states that “the secrets will be uncovered, that nothing is put out of view which will not be made clear in the light.” Essentially that God knows our truths and ultimately he will be the one you have to answer to one day. HOLY Sh*t, it was all my 6th-grade mind could think after hearing that, to which I immediately asked for forgiveness. But in all seriousness…

That’s about as religious as I will get on you and it is the only bible verse that I’ll ever recite, for one reason; the validity of its relevance in many situations.

This is a hard lesson to grapple with in the fight to get back on the path of finding your way because it causes you to come face to face with everything you aren’t proud of. Whether you believe in God or not you can’t deny that even if you never tell anyone the truth of your darkness that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. In fact, by not allowing that darkness to surface when you are in a moment of light only causes you to further dim that path you are trying to get to. Trust me, I know that those things that are causing you to abandon what matters are hard to admit but in doing so allows you to finally cut ties with them, for good.

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Admitting my faults has made it easier for me to accept that it is okay and absolutely necessary to forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made. Dwelling in our mistakes through constant condemnation for them doesn’t help in healing them. Because no matter what there will be times in which you make a mistake but it’s in these times of failures that cause us to grow. Only when we admit we’ve made a mistake can we allow ourselves to improve. *Disclaimer; this does not mean you have to take the blame for everything that others say is your fault*

This is why I find solace in this verse and it’s my mantra on the march back to the path I’m seeking “What’s Done In Darkness Will Come to Light.” All we can do is the right thing over and over again. It’s the fundamental principle we are all taught as kids to know right from wrong. Choose what is right and you never have to fear what gets brought to light.

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3 |Start Giving More Than You Take. 

Have you ever noticed how when someone or something in life has wronged you that you start to feel like the world or others owes you something?  How one disappointment can turn into two then all of a sudden you’re on a downhill spiral of resentment and anger not knowing where it even came from. Every interaction with others feels like an exchange of ‘give and take’ except you have nothing left to give, so you take…and take and take. If you’ve made it this far in reading, congrats and thank you but the real lesson is the last one I’ll leave you with and the one I regret the most.

What you feel you’ve lost your way you must continue to give. Never leave what you love by taking more than you are able to give.

I’ve been let down numerous times, but then again, who hasn’t? Recently and quite reluctantly I ended a friendship for the disappointing feeling of being used. I’m not the first to call attention to those draining interactions where every time we must prepare for their presence and when they are gone we are left feeling drained. Yet I will admit I’ve been the giver and I’ve been the taker on both sides here’s what I’ve learned:

 A lost soul takes from a full soul all that is has not yet been able to find on its own.

And what’s more so? That lost soul will continue to feed off of a full soul until the full soul is empty and can no longer sustain the needs of what is now, two empty souls. Losing your soul is draining, exhausting, like a car that is running out of gas you can no longer move forward. You become stuck in your drudgery.

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It wasn’t until I had a friend point out to me that I’d begun treating them in the same way that I had recently been hurt by my former friend that I could understand. Things had to change, I had to change. Friendship is the closest mirrors we get to see the truth of our own lives. If you’re lucky you have the kind of friends who not only see the best in you but can also honestly communicate in the kindest way when you’ve lost your direction. Don’t lose sight of these friendships, no matter what, they are your guiding light. They will bring you home, every time.

It’s easy to take when we are in a dark place when we feel that the world owes us something that was taken from us. I promise you this, we are owed nothing in this world but the karma we give is the karma we get. Take ownership of what you feel entraps you in the shadows of your life and start taking actions towards something better. We all deserve that much.

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This trail is not for the faint of heart and it doesn’t end just when you begin to see the glimpse of a shimmer. But it is this trail of life that continues to evolve that separates those who feel happiness and fulfillment in the quiet peace of nothingness to the absent minds and their incessant need to fill the hole of nothingness.

-A.Lipp

on lost souls.
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