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If you were lost, what would help you find your way?

That’s the question from Roberta Allen’s book (The Playful Way to Knowing Yourself) in this week’s Sandbox Writing Challenge.

My first response was to lead off with Tolkien’s quote (in Tengwar) from Lord of the Rings,

tengwar quote

That’s one of my favorite quotes of all time. I even got to use it at church a while back. One of the folks in the congregation who doesn’t know me well saw me standing at the back of the sanctuary looking dazed and confused (I was looking FOR someone in particular) and actually said to me, “You look a little lost.” I couldn’t resist. . 😀 I turned to her and said, “Not all who wander are lost!” Of course she had absobloominlutely NO idea what the heck I was talking about. The moment fell rather flat. My smile faded quickly, and, red-faced, I went off to find my friend.


Mt. Ogden, just east of our house.

However (and despite the fact that Spiritual Dragonfly got to it before I did), I realized in pondering about this prompt there’s another quote that probably fits even better. You see, I’m ALWAYS lost to some degree or other! Oh, not on a physical plane. I never head anywhere without getting Goggle directions first if I don’t know where I’m going. I may be a little dense at times, but I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck yesterday. I KNOW to print those suckers out then keep my eyes on the mountain east of us.

mind-maze-grow-232x300It’s my mind I have trouble with. Not with knowing where I put things or forgetting appointments (though both happen more often than I care to admit these days). That’s not the kind of lost I’m talking about. No, it’s the MAZE that is ME in which I’m usually lost. For some reason I’ve convinced myself that life is a puzzle and I MUST find the answer. I tell myself that everything will be alright as long as I keep moving. (Which explains why meditation is such a problem for me.)

So there it is. I’m usually LOST IN MY OWN THOUGHTS. Some people mistake that for being self-centered, but for me it’s just a matter of survival. And since I don’t have any kind of tribal council to advise me, I spend a LOT of time wandering.

But I have at least taken the trepidation out of the whole labyrinthine process by subscribing to Rainer Maria Rilkes’s suggestion:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves . . . Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

And THAT is what helps me when I find I’m feeling lost. If I can find the next question, I can usually keep moving forward.

(Echoes of Plato the Younger are rumbling through my head, “Why?” 😀 )



Picture Credits:
Tengwar quote — forums.theonering.com
Mt. Ogden — www.meetup.com
Mind Maze — associatesmind.com