Hello dear friend,
I hope life has been treating you well. Lately, I’ve been thinking about the scene in Disney’s Lilo & Stitch where Stitch is reading The Ugly Duckling aloud – “I’m lost” – it’s a powerful scene, no?
For me, at least, it resonates so strongly because I’ve felt lost so many times. For me, it is often that feeling of being out of place, like even my skin somehow fits wrong. It’s that moment of feeling alone even when surrounded by others. It’s that moment of knowing something isn’t right for me, somehow, but also having absolutely no idea on how to change the situation. It sucks, right?
But it is also such a powerful space in which to find ourselves, you know? I’m not saying it is easy, not at all, but in those moments when we realize that something is no longer right for us – it is in those moments that we have an amazing chance to rewrite our own life stories, to change our path by forging a new one. When we don’t see the path, that’s when we get the chance to “write our way out” (https://youtu.be/7ZfzuJ8oVpE?t=33). And gosh, yeah, it can be scary – downright terrifying, even, but of course it would be, right? Isn’t it only natural to feel at least a little scared when we feel like the foundation we are on is shaking and crumbling beneath us? isn’t it only natural to feel that way when we feel lost and alone and unsure of the right way to go?
I’m reminded of how Mom used to phrase it when I was a kid, in an effort to make being lost less scary. We moved a lot, since Dad was in the military, and Mom was always ready to take a day trip, so we would often find ourselves lost in a new town, unsure of the exact route back home. Mom says she learned really quickly not to say we were lost, because it inevitably left my sister and me in tears. I think the first time she used it, I was in second grade and we were living in Germany – talk about a scary thought! Being lost in a whole other country than your own, when you haven’t learned enough of the language to really ask for help yet! So Mom started saying we were taking the scenic route – “Okay girls, we missed our turn, but that’s okay, we’re taking the scenic route. Let’s see what pretty trees or flowers we can find out the window, okay?” And that somehow took something scary and made it fun. Around that time, I learned to read a map, too – I became the navigator for our “little adventures” so I could help Mom figure out how long the scenic route would be before we could make our way back home.
I know it sounds strange to ask myself, let alone you, to “get comfortable with being uncomfortable” – but it’s kind of like I’m asking you to find the scenic route in your situation and to be your own navigator. You may find yourself going through a dark forest or a lot of open fields with no buildings in sight, but you’ll find your way back to yourself and the road you want to travel, I promise! I’m asking you to see you aren’t in “eight of swords” energy, but in “ten of wands” energy. I’m asking you to realize you aren’t trapped and surround by obstacles that suggest you have no way out; instead, I’m asking you to think of this space of uncertainty as a temporary burden – perhaps even to see it as a positive one? To sit with it, to acknowledge how it makes you feel, and to check in with yourself to figure out 1 – why you feel lost, 2 – what you can do, right now, to change that feeling – how can you make this a scenic route, and 3 – what you can do long term to stay on the path you want to follow. Yeah, I hear you. I know it isn’t always easy, believe me. I’m still working on asking myself these questions over and over again, but when I can’t see the scenic route in a situation, I’m really trying to remember – this is temporary, “everythinggoes” (song, lyrics translation) and better things are in store for me and you. I keep coming back to “You Will Be Found” from Dear Evan Hansen (https://youtu.be/_iqVzaFWGP8) – doesn’t it perfectly state this idea that feeling lost is temporary? That it’s okay to feel that way, but it is so important to know you won’t feel that way forever.
I feel like I’ve moved out of that “ten of wands” energy in some respects, but in others, I’m gladly shouldering that temporary burden. I’m taking on extra responsibilities for myself because I know that even though I’m losing a bit of sleep now, the things I’m working on both bring me joy now and are actively contributing to the future I’m trying to create for myself. I no longer feel that “eight of swords” energy, at least at the moment, and I’m doing my best to know that when I do, I have the power to remove the blindfold, to take the swords and use them to aid my journey to forge my own path. I can take them as I embody that idea of being my own knight. And my hope for you, dear friend, is that you know you have that power, too. My hope is that you and I can both remember that we are never really lost…just taking the scenic route, somehow. And I, for one, am looking forward to the positive surprises the scenic route may hold.
Until next time, my friend, wishing you all the best.