Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Truth About Lost Souls

I am ever-amazed at the power of words. Recently, an individual described himself to me as a lost soul. As I read the words, my heart felt squeezed in pain, not only out of empathy, but also a desire to reach out and nurture his wounds. The fact that we are practical strangers was of no relevance. As one human being to another, I wanted to help. I've been thinking about it ever since. While I cannot directly help him, I thought I could at least write through my thoughts and potentially help others who identify themselves as the same.
 
Truth be told, I believe we all feel like lost souls at one time or another. We're all lost souls when we're going through something painful that blurs our vision of the future. We can't see what's ahead of us.  It's like smearing dirt on the windshield of the car. It's like being on a journey that we can't see. We don't know if we're making progress or falling off the proverbial cliff. You don't really have any vision at all. You feel like you're just floating through life without a clear destination. It can break your heart and defeat your spirit.
 
Sometimes bodies get sick or experience pain so that doctors can fix something that will then allow you to live a longer, healthier life. Crazy as it sounds, getting sick can teach you how to take care of yourself; how to do what's in your body's best interest.  It can teach you great empathy, and perhaps lead you to reach out to help others who have gone through similar issues. That's my journey.  I so often curse the chronic pain and illness. I hate it, and tell it so. But there are those days when my illness feels like my most precious gift. It's made me a stronger, more humble person, and I hold fast to the infinite blessings in my life.
 
Sometimes relationships fall apart, ones that you thought were supposed to last a lifetime.  Love can be so intoxicating and delicious, but it can be equally toxic. Perhaps you weren't able to be true to yourself while with that person. Perhaps you were in a destructive relationship. And maybe, just maybe, your true soul mate hasn't yet found you. People come in and out of our lives. When someone hurts you by deceiving you or walking away, perhaps it's because, deep down, staying together would have hurt you more. I've witnessed that with my own eyes.
 
I once had a therapist tell me that life is not linear. It's web-like. That doesn't deny the feeling of going backwards during hard times, but it should give you pause when you go to judge yourself regarding where you are in life. No matter how unpleasant, I do believe we find ourselves exactly where we're supposed to be at any given time. If we can survive the heartache and loneliness, the physical and/or emotional pain, being a lost soul can lead us to our "greatest good and highest joy", as my Nana used to say. 
 
To every lost soul, may you find the way to your next tomorrow. It takes courage to be vulnerable, and you can't be found until you've been lost. There is one word that you should cling to when your soul feels lost and lonely, melancholy and defeated. That word is "HOPE".