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Whether you find yourself lost in work, in a relationship, or just generally, you are not alone. Life with all its ups and downs brings most of us at some point to question who we are, why we do what we do, and why some relationships don’t work no matter how hard we try.
Reaching the point of feeling lost is a good thing, because acknowledging that you have lost touch with who you are is the beginning of finding your true self. If you are not consciously aware that you are lost, then you will continue to feed your soul with lies about yourself, including your worth and value.
Feelings of being lost comes from our false self that views life through a fearful and insecure lens. Often the false self is developed in childhood. Maybe parents were absent, unavailable, or unable to provide the love the child needed. Perhaps, a traumatic event occurred that left a fearful outlook. Whatever the circumstance, the effect on the child is an unfulfilled need, a sense of deprivation, or a feeling of not being enough.
To cope, the child unconsciously develops a false, illusionary self that they assume will be loved and accepted. They try to speak, act and become like that sibling, friend or other parent that appears to be more loved than them. When that doesn’t work, they search for love and acceptance elsewhere sometimes even in bad relationships, and at the expense of rejecting family and friends.
But the nagging and prodding feeling of being lost never really escapes. Although we try to bury it deep in the recesses of our soul, it keeps following us, resurfacing every so often in loneliness, emptiness, anxiety, worry, insecurity, fear or even depression.
What’s the answer? How can we connect with our true self and live the life of our dreams? Here are some ways that have helped me:
1. Acknowledge your state. You don’t know you are asleep until you are beginning to wake up. So admit that I need to find my true self. It’s the beginning of living limitlessly.
2. Realize that your true self cannot be found in another. Your happiness and fulfillment in life does not depend upon finding the right partner in life. It begins when you are awakened to your first, true and highest self – the unraveling of the beautiful pearl deep inside you.
3. Find unconditional love deep inside you. It’s who you are from the beginning, because you were designed in the image of the source of life, who is love.
4. Let go of the need to judge yourself and others. The mind easily gets trapped in a binary view of the world that compares and pits one against the other. Nothing separates you from the flow of unconditional love more.
5. Spend time daily in contemplation. I quiet my mind in the morning by meditating on love, grace and peace. It’s like fuel for the rest of the day that helps me stay connected with my true self even when faced with challenges.
6. Practice gratitude. Every evening before going to bed, write down five things you are grateful for that day. Make sure to allow that gratefulness to flow from your heart. It will not only help you fall asleep faster, but give you a better night’s rest.
7. Give to others. Your true self is wired to give to others what you have first received yourself. It’s the circle of life. Awakening to your true self will make giving to others not a guilt-based compulsion, but a lifestyle that empowers.
David Youngren is an international speaker and the founder of Juma’s World (a charity working with children in Tanzania.) His latest book, Awakening To I Am Love: How Finding Your True self Transforms Your Wellbeing, Relationships, and What You Do was published in November 2019.