In our lives, most of us find times when we feel that we are not where we should be. We struggle with being outside of ourselves. How do we find ourselves? Here is one suggested method:
I was winding my way through the early morning rush hour at the station, past crowds of people blurring by, when this strange little moment of stillness opened up.
And then I saw it: a lost sole.
(In the picture, above).
A visual metaphor, reminding me of the times I’ve felt a bit like a lost soul myself. Or the times I’ve spoken with clients in counselling who felt they’d lost touch with their sense of soul and the things that really mattered to them.
Have you ever felt that way?
Where maybe some part of you was lost?
Maybe covered over by sadness or grief?
Or buried alive under a pile of convention or expectation that you felt you “should” live up to?
Or maybe you just became so busy you gradually lost sight of it?
There are so many ways to lose touch with what really matters in your life – to let the everyday grind take over instead. Or to let habits or old thought patterns get in the way.
Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and reconnect with yourself. To remind yourself of what you want this life of yours to be all about. To find yourself again.
But how might you do that?
Well, even though it might seem counter-intuitive, it can sometimes be the hard times, the pain, that can help.
For instance, it was one of the hardest times of my life that ultimately helped me. Though it took me to some of the darkest places I’ve ever known, and left me feeling lost for quite a while, it also taught me what I want to live towards. What I need to do to build a life that makes sense for me. Where to look when I’ve wandered off track and I want to find myself again.
Is it the same for you?
If you step back for a moment and gently revisit some of the painful (and perhaps formative) times you’ve weathered, what did you take from them?
What learnings did you draw from the experience?
What did the pain uncover about what’s fundamental for you?
Or what you want to make more time for in your life?
Or what’s strong about you?
Or what you want to avoid next time?
Or where you feel the pulse of life?
Sometimes, if you’re feeling lost, working with a therapist can help you explore all of this – to follow the steps you’ve taken in your life until you find yourself again.
And sometimes, maybe it’s enough to consult your own therapist within…
Text and photo copyright: Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar
Gabrielle Gawne-Kelnar (Grad Dip Counselling & Psychotherapy) is a writer, blogger and Sydney psychotherapist in private practice at One Life Counselling & Psychotherapy. Gabrielle also facilitates telephone support groups for people who are living with cancer, for their carers, and for people who have been bereaved through a cancer experience. She provides regular therapeutic updates on facebook and Twitter @OneLifeTherapy.