Are you feeling lost in life? Does it feel like you have no direction? Have you questioned the decisions that led you to your current life? Are you often analyzing where you went wrong? What if you had made a different decision? Do you have thoughts about how your life would be better if you had only done this instead of that? Have you beaten yourself up because, “if only you had known better?”
Answering yes to these questions is very common. Feeling lost in life is also very common. It does not mean that you screwed your life up. It also does not mean that you made too many wrong decisions or took too many wrong turns. So, what does it mean then when you are feeling lost in life?
Take a deep breath here because you had no way of knowing the “correct” path for your life. Not only that, every single turn you’ve considered “wrong” may have actually moved you forward to receive something you needed.
Often, that is a difficult concept because you are still left feeling lost in life. Many of you may be thinking that there was no benefit whatsoever from certain “turns” you took. It may be hard to see the benefit. You also may not be at the point in your life, yet, where you are supposed to see the benefit.
Healing When Feeling Lost in Life
The difficulty in seeing benefits in what many may call mistakes is that most people struggle to begin their journey of healing and rightfully so. That results in feeling lost in life. Merely starting a journey of healing, much less choosing to continue on that journey throughout your life, is so incredibly hard.
Now, why am I explaining all of this about feeling lost in life? Why do I think you should be kinder to yourself regarding your supposed “wrong turns?” In order to explain that, let’s pretend you are going on an actually journey or trip somewhere you’ve never been. Back in the days, we’d need an actual map to figure out how to get there. Nowadays, we just use our phones for navigation.
Feeling Lost in Life with No Actual Map
Imagine you live in Texas. You are taking a road trip to view the fall colors in New England. Now, what if I told you that you were not able to use a map or your phone for navigation. Wouldn’t you literally be lost in life? How in the world would you be able to get there? Would you know what roads to take to make sure you saw the most beautiful scenery?
Absolutely not! So, if you don’t have any form of a map, then getting to a location where you’ve never been is going to be quite challenging. Not only that, but you are going to take numerous “wrong turns!”
So, if you would struggle to navigate your road trip without a map, can you now see why it’s difficult for you to navigate life without a map? Perhaps you can understand why you are feeling lost in life. Most of us don’t even know the direction in which we want to go for many years. Others may never know in which direction they want to head.
Where is Your Map When Feeling Lost in Life?
Nobody was born with a map! Now, read that again. Nobody was born with a map! Oh how different our lives would be if we had actually been born with a map. Although, in my opinion, it would’ve probably lead to a boring life.
Not only that, but, as humans, we tend to be quite stubborn. So, even if we had a map telling us which “turn” to take at each “road,” we’d probably choose another road quite often. One road might seem harder or not as fun. So, we’d probably still be feeling lost in life.
If we can acknowledge the fact that nobody was born with a map for their life, maybe we can practice a little more patience with ourselves for what we believe were “wrong turns” that we took. How were we to know what each turn would create?
Why Did We Make “Wrong Turns?”
As a psychotherapist, I always begin the first session with each client explaining that the ways I practice are a bit “out there” or “woo-woo” for many people. So, I’m about to go “woo-woo” on you now.
At the subconscious level, we chose each and every “turn” we took because our soul needed the experience, both good and bad. Have you ever said, “If only I’d known what I know now,” or “Hindsight is 20/20?” I think everybody I know has said something of the sort at some point. Many have said it quite often.
Now, I know that my soul needed the experiences of “wrong turns,” regardless of the pain they created. If I had read a post like this fifteen years ago, I’d have rolled my eyes or deemed the author crazy. Not only that, I would’ve struggled to acknowledge that I was feeling lost in life to anybody.
Looking back over my thirty-nine years of life, I can truly say that I am thankful for every experience I’ve had. Some were devastating and knocked me to the ground. However, I would not be writing this post to hopefully help others if I had not gone through each of those traumatic experiences. I needed the experience of feeling lost in life to get where I am now.
Learning to be compassionate with myself for all of my “wrong turns” took many years. Every once in a while, I’ll still have a little thought pop up of, “What was I thinking?” I just have to remind myself that, for some reason, often unknown, I needed that experience. You may have to remind yourself of that quite often when feeling lost in life.
Compassion for Others Who are Feeling Lost in Life
Enough about looking at ourselves and how we should be more compassionate with ourselves for what we believe were “wrong turns.” Let’s also take a look at offering compassion to those who we believe made or continue to make “wrong turns.”
How often have you judged others for “wrong turns” they’ve made in their lives? There have been plenty of times I judged others for decisions they’ve made. Common judgments are things like judging somebody for their choice in romantic partners who we just “knew” were not good for them. I often shamed others, in my head, because I knew they were feeling lost in life. I couldn’t grasp how they continued to choose certain “turns.”
Being judgmental was something that, sadly, I was taught in childhood. I’ve done a lot of work on myself to decrease my judgmental ways, but it still sneaks in at times. Often, what I deem as the right decision for somebody is not the decision they chose.
Consider again how I said that my “wrong turns” taught me some much-needed lessons. Trust me when I say that so many of those along with “right turns” were harshly judged by others. So much so that strict boundaries had to be set with those who voiced their harsh judgments repeatedly.
Gratitude for “Wrong Turns”
If I am thankful for my many “wrong turns” because of the life it led me to, then how can I judge others when I feel they are making their own “wrong turns?” Yes, it’s human nature to want the best for others whom we love.
However, their subconscious mind, and possibly their conscious mind, chose each “wrong turn” just as mine did. Others also need the experiences just as I did and will continue to need them throughout my own life. Continually, I must remind myself that they, too, are walking through life without a map.
Judging Others for Feeling Lost in Life
It is very hard to sit back and allow others to take what are “wrong turns,” in my opinion. As I continue to grow, I get better and better at allowing others to create their own maps without judging the turns they take.
Unsolicited advice given to others who are about to take what we may consider a “wrong turn” is not beneficial. Again, for some reason their subconscious mind is choosing that turn in order to gain something they need. To read more about handling those who give unsolicited advice, click here.
So, the moral of this post is that NOBODY was born with a map telling them what turns they should take throughout their lives. I’m going to repeat the work, “NOBODY!” We all take what we believe are wrong turns, but we have the option to learn and choose the rest of the turns we take for the rest of our lives. So, if you are feeling lost in life or judging others who are feeling lost in life, again remember NODODY was born with a map.