Lost in the Woods

IMG_1359As anyone who has ever read my blog knows, the reason that I start writing anything is to help myself through a struggle.  I publish them in the hopes that it may help someone else.  I’ve not written in a long time.  The main reason being is that I’ve been lost for a while.  So many different things have happened or not happened in the past few months that I’ve lost my sense of direction.  This has helped me create many feelings that are uncomfortable to wear on a daily basis: uncertainty, confusion, timidity but more than anything fear.  The odd thing about this mental situation is that I don’t have the same reaction to physically being lost.  In fact, I believe that it is almost impossible for me to be lost in the physical world.

Last year on my annual Appalachian Trail hike, my brother and I got physically lost in the woods.  We figured out where we took the wrong turn during this year’s hike.  However at the time we were lost, we never got fearful or confused because being lost was nothing to fear.  We simply had to get our bearings and hike that much harder in order to get back on the path.  The lack of fear came from my belief.  I believe that I can basically never be lost if I’m surrounded by a triangle of three things that I know.  If I have that, I’ll eventually find my way.  That belief made getting out of the woods nothing more than a matter of time and effort.

IMG_1352After considering my belief about the act of being physically lost, I’m finding that I’m less fearful of my present situation of being mentally lost.  In the mental space, I create the terrain.  Since it is all up to me, I can always choose to be surrounded by a triangle of three things that I know: my family, my friends and my perseverance.  At no point can I be lost if I have encased myself in those three things.  So now it is time to get back on the path or create a new one.  Regardless of which I choose, fear is not going to be my compass.  I’m excited by the prospects of where I can go.  Just because I don’t know the path, does not mean that I need to fear the path.  Hiking harder or possibly farther does not scare me but the thought of being immobilized does.  One foot in front of the other may not be the sexiest concept ever invented but it will get me going.

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