So if we want to be found but we must begin by getting lost,
then how do we get lost? As we all know, getting lost just happens.
One moment you’re sure you’re five minutes from your desired
destination, and then next thing you know, you’re in the middle of
nowhere with no clue how you got there or what to do to get home.
That’s the bummer and the beauty of it all: There is no road map
for the Way of Being Lost.
You can’t get lost on purpose, but you must get purposefully lost.
The Way of Being Lost is a conscious, considered, cocreative,
collaborative act. The first step is to acknowledge to ourselves, to
anyone else we trust to hear us from their hearts, and to whatever
higher power we believe in that we have lost someone essential and
precious—our true self. Then the next thing we must do is make a
commitment to find her.
No matter what.
The summer of 1985, when I was 23, I drove cross country and
back in my baby blue 1963 convertible VW bug with my partner
Sam and our two large dogs. Everywhere we drove on that trip I
saw them. Wildflowers blooming in reds and yellows, oranges and
purples. Some more delicate, lithe, and tall. Others multipetaled
and enormous. The flouncy ones and the sturdy, the scruffy and the
hardy, the interplay of all their colors, shapes, and sizes—every one
of them beautiful, joyful, life-affirming, and hopeful. I loved, loved,
loved those wildflowers!
There was only one problem. They bloomed not off in some
photo-worthy field underneath picturesque blue skies surrounded
by scenic forests. Oh, no. They always seemed to bloom right by
the side of the road. There where the asphalt pushed up against
dirt, littered with old pop cans and discarded diapers, plastic bags
and cigarette butts. That’s where the wildflowers bloomed—and in
riotous, gorgeous profusion.
No matter how much I sometimes don’t want to be, I am my
mother’s daughter. I was raised to believe that beauty can only
really be beauty if not a hair is out of place. So mile after mile I saw
the wildflowers and mile after mile they brought me joy. Yet all the
while I hated the tarmac and litter for ruining the perfection of
their beautiful blooms.
You can’t get
lost on purpose,
but you must get