Have you ever been lost? You might think that is an odd question as cell phones loaded with GPS and cars that are programmed to get us from here to there are as common as air. I suppose we can get lost in the mountains or in the jungle – but really the possibilities for that are minimal – and you would have to seriously arrange to get yourself into that kind of trouble.
I have been lost. Not so much geographically but certainly, at times, emotionally, monetarily, spiritually, professionally and relationally. Just over the past couple of days and weeks I have wandered in my head, wondering and meandering …deciding what is reality and what I have made up as part of the story. I would suspect that I am not alone. The robust attendance at my church would infer that there is a plethora of human beings searching. They aren’t easily recognizable, hiding behind successful careers and growing families, but they are there, just shuffling through the dark…working their way along the journey.
It was a challenge that Pastor Jim made at the end of the service that made me think. This pastor is no ordinary pastor. His buff stature and ‘tatted forearms’ would certainly surprise the ordinary parishioner – and that pales next to his non-traditional message. However, on this Sunday he talked about his family. How no one leaves his house without hearing or saying “I love you” …and that it is ludicrous (I think his adjective was stronger) that people believe if you say it or hear it too much that it loses its power or deep meaning. He challenged us to pick a person and say it – I love you – everyday to him or her. Sounds simple.
For those that know me, saying I love you to my kids and friends is something that I do easily and often. I send them texts that proclaim it, write it on Facebook and whisper it at the end of every phone call. But I was lost. The person that came to mind – the person I want to say it too – the person that needs to hear it the most – well it just doesn’t work. How could something so easy be so disheartening. So I meander – wandering through the wonder and ‘what ifs’ that plague us when we are least ready. I will not meet the challenge.
As a successful consultant and coach I consistently search for professional development in what I read and the people I interact with. I am blessed that I am able to do what I love within the structure of a job and financial responsibilities – and I want to pay it forward by empowering others to be successful. It isn’t noble, it is my skill set…I am just lucky it is also my passion. Not surprisingly I follow Maxwell and Jim Collins – as well as Sheryl Sandberg. I am inspired by what they say, who they are and how they guide us through business…but still as human beings.
Tonight I listened to Tony Robbins. I have listened to him a hundred times on YouTube and mp3 files. I am inspired by what he represents – that he walks the talk and that he doesn’t apologize for his massive success. But tonight I was lost. I listened to him as he talked about close to 40 years in the business and felt myself relating to the length of his tenure. As he began to share about how he experiences life every day – from the hot showers to cold plunges – the protein and vegetable regimen for every meal and the massive runs he makes every weekend, I wandered into my own brokenness. Those places where I am undisciplined, the food I eat when I am training or consulting and my lack of morning routines beyond setting my alarm for 4 am. I became lost…wondering how I can do what he does, be who he is…as if by achieving that, I will find my way.
I decided that being lost isn’t so bad. I have good friends that are lost. Being lost inspires us to find a direction, jolts us into the reality that we live daily and commands us to find a better way or path. The trick is not to sit down – not to become complacent or weary. There is power in acknowledging that we are lost. Sometimes we can’t do anything about it but accept it – but most times there is a path for us…a journey still yet to take…perhaps not familiar…but still a road to travel. I just need to find out how to get there from here…
Shirley Ramos is a principal at Dirty Girls Consulting, with a deep understanding that life is ‘messy’. DGC is about real women with a story supporting and empowering other ‘real’ women to be the best that they can be. Women work differently, think differently, and it is up to us to develop this difference into our strength. We explore breaking free of traditional standards, accomplishing professional and personal goals to create an authentic, fully loved life.