“One way to find yourself is to lose yourself.” – CatherineGraceO
One and done is what I thought.
I believed that once you lost yourself and went through the arduous process of finding yourself, you wouldn’t have to do it all over again.
Oh, how painfully naive I was only to have that belief shattered time and again!
As I approach my sixth decade of this wild and crazy life, I shudder to admit that I’ve lost and found myself so many times that I’ve lost count.
What I’ve come to understand is that when we lose ourselves, for whatever reason, the Self we come to find is almost always a beautiful, unrecognizable surprise. Our new Self comes with all kinds of gifts – gifts to unwrap one at a time as we revert to young children in awe of what we discover or, more truthfully, what we uncover – as those gifts were always there waiting for us.
COVID-19 is like one gigantic, never ending game of lost and found. It certainly has been for me.
Let’s just say I had a hell of a lot of uncovering to do!
Maybe you did too.
With all of its devastation and upheaval, COVID-19 may have also brought with it a great gift. This challenging time has forced many of us to evaluate every aspect of our lives and an overall reckoning of self.
It’s interesting … when our world is turned upside down, we are instantly given a unique vantage point with which to view ourselves and our lives!
A fresh perspective to be sure along with some introspection.
I’ve always been introspective.
Much of the time, it’s served me well.
Other times, I find myself utterly stuck in the introspection.
The thing about introspection is it only serves us if we use it to move our lives forward. We must leave behind the things that aren’t working so well and grab onto the things that do.
One month ago, I made a decision to unplug from everything – from social media along with all media. It was the first time after 5 years of being fully plugged in.
I don’t know what I expected but I do know that I didn’t expect the way I would feel – at least at the beginning.
Silence – wide open white space – allows for a lot of time for introspection. I mean A LOT of time!!! A lot of time to get stuck in the introspection.
I began evaluating absolutely everything in my life. It didn’t take long for me to realize I’d lost my passion and purpose along the way. My “Why?” had fallen by the wayside. In 5 years of being online, 5 years creating an entirely new life and new self, I hadn’t stopped long enough to understand that the world had changed a hell of a lot. I had changed a hell of a lot.
My being and my reason for being had morphed along the way.
The new me needed a new “Why?”
I no longer woke up in the mornings ready to conquer the world.
Many days I found myself more moody, weepy, and feeling empty – not exactly Miss Peppy Positivity.
I needed a new spark to light my fire – a new pep in my step.
A journey up the rugged and stunningly beautiful Oregon Coast gave me just the spark I was looking for!
It’s amazing what getting out of our routines and daily surroundings can do for our perspective. The beauty of Mother Nature is a panacea more powerful than anything I’ve ever experienced.
It’s those times when we have zero expectations that we’re surprised the most.
And, I had ZERO expectations!
This adventure was one of those times.
Driving along the winding path of the Oregon Coast in a well worn Jeep Wrangler with a wide eyed puppy in tow, every vista was more breathtaking than the next. The Oohs and Ahhs were endless.
We began with a 4 hour hike deep into the Redwoods National Forest. As much of the national park was closed due to COVID, we decided to venture off on our own. The majestic beauty of the Redwoods felt overwhelming at times. The tree hugger in me couldn’t resist, runn