Somewhere between raising the kids, paying the bills, surviving my dysfunctional family and moving 11 times, I got lost. I’d always been the golden girl…the one who turned everything she touched into gold. Then one day I looked up and found myself completely and utterly in a place I’d never wanted to be.
I was broke. I was confused. I was lost.
I’d never been this way before. I’d never been the one…searching. I’d always been the one with the answers…not the one asking the questions.
I’d made a complete mess of my finances and my professional life. People would ask me what I did and I didn’t know because I did so many things. Yet, I’d wake up in the morning without any real agenda. I’d have lunch with friends and skip the “what’ve you been up to talk” because I didn’t have a good answer. I smiled to hide the pain and shed my tears in private.
My husband and I were in debt to the tune of $2.4 million. We were scared, struggling to even breathe. Our electricity was turned off and we downsized 4 times. We clung to each other…buckled down and over 5 years paid off over 90% of it. Even achieving that goal didn’t give me any real feeling of satisfaction.
I was truly lost. I maxxed out 60 pounds overweight.
My husband sliced his kidney in a motorcycle accident and we added on more medical bills to our already bulging debt column.
My Dad died and my Mom sued me. We haven’t spoken since.
I went back to real estate (renovating and flipping) hoping to rescue our net worth and my own self worth with it. I failed again miserably. Now, I had to work even harder to disentangle myself from the new mess I’d created. I encountered municipal court (for removing a stained glass window), vandals and irresponsible renters.
M. Scott Peck said that “the truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” The man knew what he was talking about.
Feeling lost is unnerving. Feeling lost makes you isolate and hide. Feeling lost is one of the scariest feelings you can ever have. It’s a struggle you have to go through because you can’t go under or over or around it. I also know that feeling lost is one of the most important keys to finding your real self.
How do I know? Because I’m finding her. Through all the discomfort, through all the pain and tears, through all the messy crap I’ve plowed through, she’s emerging. At 50, the golden girl is still here. Except for this time she’s lost her people pleasing antics and her adrenaline-fueled pace. She’s more deliberate and less frantic. She wants to do less and be more.
Losing yourself is part of finding yourself. The best work of my life (my writing) has been done during this dark time of uncertainty.
This work is real work. Losing yourself and finding your true self and your life’s destiny is the toughest work you’ll ever do. Most give up too early or bury their lives in minutia looking for comfort and security.
It wasn’t until I got lost…until my life got horribly and irrevocably out of control that I really looked up and asked myself the hard questions. What did I really want from life? Was God really in charge? How important were all the things I’d been working on for so many years? Where did I want to end up? Could I ever find myself again?
The questions aren’t easy. I got lost on my way to success. The only way to find myself again is to listen to the still small voice inside me. The Holy Spirit. The whispers of my soul.