by Valora Kay
From a person who also feels lost
|Like what you read? To read more, join me on my journey of self-growth at my website: www.unravels.org
Across our world, many people have felt lost.
Perditus is a Latin word that means Lost. In the English language, the word "Perdition" comes from Perditus, and Perdition means "a state of final spiritual ruin; loss of the soul; damnation." In the dictionary, the word Lost has two main definitions:
1. Unable to find one's way; not knowing one's whereabouts.
2. Denoting something that has been taken away or cannot be recovered.
Being lost is a strange, empty emotion that haunts many humans' souls - as they wander the cities and forests with uncertain glances from their eyes. In schools, in offices, in parks that have seen brighter days - feeling lost can seem like an inescapable burden for many humans on Earth. When a young adult feels lost, that person also struggles with other emotions such as disappointment, failure, hopelessness and frustration. When children become young adults, they start to grapple with very difficult questions about life, such as "Why was I born? Will I be strong enough - and wise enough - to create a meaningful life for myself before I die? Why do I feel so empty and confused now?" As hours turn into days, and days turn into years, many humans feel panicked and nervous in their "race against time" - to find their own answers to these very difficult questions before they exhale their very last breath.
At night, our minds are overwhelmed when we feel lost. As the silver moon and white stars glimmer in the night sky, the darkness is less scarier than the Stygian, hazy thoughts that obscure our perception with reality. In dark bedrooms, where ominous shadows linger near the curtains, some young adults can only stare at the ceiling with wide, fearful eyes as they struggle to ignore the anxiety that's been gnawing at their minds for hours. They might feel breathless. They might feel like they are suffocating - but when the clock strikes midnight, they painstakingly wait for the second when they can finally fall asleep - because at least their "peaceful slumber" will help them temporarily forget their problems.
During the day, our hearts become weak when we feel lost. As the golden sun illuminates the soft clouds in the blue sky, the bright light feels too harsh on our bloodshot eyes as we try to squint and comprehend the blurry, distorted environment around us. On grey, concrete streets as tough as the thoughts that scrape against their minds, there are adults with empty eyes and weakened heartbeats as they attempt to swallow very painful emotions in their throats. They might be too nervous to stare into the cashier's eyes, as they order their warm cup of coffee inside a coffeeshop. When random strangers pass them on the street, these "lost souls" might think to themselves "Why do those people look so happy while I feel so sad and empty?"
When young adults feel lost, and they read books and newspapers inside coffeeshops and libraries, they might read some words from people who also felt lost in the past.
For centuries, there have been ancient myths and legends about courageous sailors who sailed the dangerous oceans, in wooden ships as large as their curiosity about the world. With their telescopes and compasses, they were on a quest to find treasures in exotic, unfamiliar lands. To them, gold and colorful jewels represented a happy life built on adventure, courage and prosperity - until they landed on distant shores and were met by other humans who also felt lost and confused in this world.
Throughout our world's bloody history, many swords and arrows disintegrated into dust, and were replaced by cellphones and laptops that enable us to launch hateful words at each other. As young adults walk past shields and spears in historical museums, they might be left feeling defenseless as their insecure eyes notice other friends' popularity and success on social media. In the modern age of laptops and cellphones, the Internet often feels like "a dangerous battlefield" where many people launch hateful tweets at each other - certain words that perpetuate racial discrimination, religious intolerance and insensitive cultural stereotypes that should have ended years ago. In our modern society, many young adults understandably feel lost as they obsessively check and check their laptops and cellphones.
So much information and knowledge -
never enough wisdom.
To begin a physical journey, a human just needs a map and a compass to navigate across dangerous forests and snowy mountains - but once a human has traveled to different countries, and that person still feels confused and anxious about life, what happens next?
What happens when humans have to navigate another landscape that seems far more dangerous and scarier to them?
Feeling Lost Across the World
A human's conscience is a mysterious, enigmatic force that has eluded the world's greatest minds for centuries. Science, religion, philosophy, art and music each have very different perspectives about the thoughts and emotions that move across a person's conscience. When we open our minds as well as our hearts, we can learn so much about the world -
In science, neurologists will tell you that your conscience is nothing more than your different neurons firing signals to each other inside your brain, to create the phenomenon known as your "conscience." For scientists, "everything begins and ends with your mind" - since they believe that your brain is the "only organ responsible" for the thoughts and emotions within your conscience." Your heart? Just another organ that pumps blood. Dr. Joseph E. Bogen was a prominent neuroscientist who taught at the University of South California and the California Institute of Technology. Bogen often cooperated with another prominent neuroscientist named Roger Wolcott Sperry, who won the 1981 Noble Prize in Physiology and Medicine. According to Bogen, your conscience is attributed to a certain part of your brain called the thalamus (specifically the intralaminar nuclei of your thalamus). Of course, Bogen's argument is merely one of several theories regarding the formation of your conscience. In general, from a scientific perspective, most neurologists agree that your conscience is formed from hundreds of trillions of neural connections that actually outnumber the stars that can be found in our universe. Many scientists and mathematicians view the world with a perspective called Empiricism, which is a theory that claims knowledge can only come through our five senses: sight, taste, smell, touch and hear.
In religion, theologians will tell you a completely different story about your conscience. For many religious leaders around the world, your conscience actually comes from your soul - a powerful, transcendental spirit that hides inside your physical body. According to religious temples across the Earth, your own soul becomes lost the more you commit "evil sins" in your own life. Religion in general has a very large community across our planet, with five main religions that teach very different ways to avoid and overcome physical temptations that can destroy your soul. There are the Christians who believe in Jesus Christ, a powerful and kind savior who died on the Cross to save humankind from eternal damnation. There are the Jews who read the Torah - one of the most resilient communities on Earth because they managed to survive historical misfortunes such as the Holocaust during World War II. There are the Muslims who believe in their prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) - and Ramadan is a very special time where they fast and pray. There are the Hindus and Buddhists who both believe in reincarnation and rebirth - except these two Eastern religions also have vast differences between each other, such as the Hindus' belief that Brahman is manifested in 330 million different versions of itself. Many religious people view the world with a perspective called Subjectivity, which is the belief that different humans' personal interpretations of objective facts are also important for our society.
Philosophy, art, music and literature are intellectual manifestations of different humans' exploration with empiricism and subjectivity.
In the past, many philosophers from both the East and the West often walked the fine line between science and religion - because at the end of the day, philosophers were only concerned with "thinking about thinking." In the dictionary, the very word Philosophy means "the pursuit of wisdom." There were religious philosophers such as Avicenna and St. Thomas Aquinas - but there were also scientific philosophers such as Albert Einstein and Karl Popper. For philosophers, they are mostly concerned with difficult questions such as "Why do people think the way they do?"
In museums and libraries around the world, artists and writers paint and scribble about their own consciences' experience with painful emotions and confusing thoughts. Artists such as Frida Kahlo, Leonardo da Vinci and Picasso designed exquisite portraits that showed the world their "true colors." Warm colors, such as red and yellow, often represent happy emotions such as happiness and joy. Dark colors, such as blue and purple, can represent painful emotions such as sadness and confusion. For writers (like me!) certain words capture our experiences in life better than other words. Why scribble "walk" into my notebook when I can write "saunter" instead? The best writers in the world look for inspiration from both science and religion.
Even certain songs that we download from the Internet can bring certain emotions to our consciences depending on what we hear. Both heavy metal and rap music shout powerful lyrics about overcoming "dark times" in our world. EDM and House bring excitement and laughter into nightclubs and bars, while classical pianos and acoustic guitars can lull us to sleep on our beds - when we wear our headphones against our pillows.
As you learn from different perspectives about the world, you must also remember another perspective that is just as important to your self-growth:
How Can Lost Humans Become Happy?
Across our world, many young adults feel lost in their lives because they lost their sense of purpose. In the dictionary, the word Purpose is defined as "the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists." Let's be real here - the thought of death can be fucking scary for anyone, and many humans understandably feel lost and confused because they want to have full, meaningful lives before they die.
The question is -
How can humans learn to build meaningful lives for themselves when the very word "Meaningful" is so difficult to define in the first place?
What is a meaningful life?
To answer this important question in your own life, you should answer three other questions regarding your past, present and future:
1. Where did I come from?
2. Where do I stand now?
3. Where do I want to go?
Your past teaches you Humility, Resilience and Wisdom.
Your present teaches you Self-Confidence, Passion and Determination.
Your future teaches you Hope.
Hope is powerful.
If you currently feel lost in your own life, you have to answer one particular question - a question that should never be considered with wealth, fame and power on your mind:
"Why do I want to live?"
You must be courageous enough to answer these questions on your own. Forget your parents. Forget your scientific professors, your religious leaders and even your best friends.
When you have some free time in your busy life, I recommend that you turn off your cellphone. Turn off your laptop, and completely avoid your own social media so you can answer these questions alone without other people influencing your thoughts.
OK - no worries.
What do you need when you become lost in the wilderness? You need a compass and a map.
What do you need when you become lost in your own life? You also need a compass and a map.
You might think "What?"
Imagine that we are standing in a dark forest together. You have a compass and a map in your hands. When you look at the compass, you will notice that the compass' arrow always points North - your "true North." The map represents the different areas that can be navigated on a particular landscape. The question "Why do I want to live?" acts as your "true North" that will guide you in this world, while the other three questions about your past, present and future act as "the map" for your life.
When I became lost in my own life, a certain quote inspired me to find my way through life again.
The French novelist Marcel Proust once said, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."