I climb up the stairwell to the landing. The door is locked. Another flight up I open the door. Nothing looks familiar. I slowly walk down the long hallway, peering into empty rooms, hoping to for some sense of where I am. My heart is pounding. I am hopelessly lost. Suddenly my eyes pop open.
Versions of this dream visit me from time to time. Sometimes I’m in massive complex of buildings, sometimes in a foreign country. Always lost. Always knowing I’m supposed to be somewhere other than where I am, but unable to orient myself because I have no sense of the geography of my universe.
In times of change and uncertainty, we often feel lost. We may know when it is time to move forward and even know the direction in which we want to move, but first we must answer the question: Where am I?
When faced with the chance to make a brave change of course, the assessment of where I am can stop me from even looking at the map for directions. At times it has looked like this.
My next direction: My location:
More creativity I have a dozen unfinished art artistic endeavors
Improved health I don’t know my blood pressure or glucose level
A more financially secure retirement I have fewer dollars saved than I want at my age
Like my dream, I feel confused and disoriented when I don’t know where I am. Realizing my actual coordinates can be equally uncomfortable at first, especially when I realize I am not where I thought I was.
To be in a new place, be it in family relationships, my career, or having fun, telling the truth about where I am is an essential first step. I may be delighted to discover that I am farther along than I thought, like the time I discovered I’d already outlined four chapters of a book years before. Other times I’m disappointed, like when I see the boxes of unorganized photos piled up in my storage room.
Either way, with the choice to wake up from my slumber, with the decision to summon enough courage to open my eyes and look, eventually I discover my current location. Once brave enough to face my whereabouts, I am no longer lost. I have found where I am. I can orient myself. I can start to chart my course in a new direction, where what is next is a joyfully hopeful dream.
Is there an area of your life where you feel lost?
Are you will to be courageous and face some truth that will help you discover where you are?
If you see where you are now, how might that help you take your next step forward?