Photo by absolutwade
Mostly during the winter, I take long, meditative treks of upwards of 10 steady hours through the mountains. Now and again, I am just “bushwhacking” through no particular trail, without tools of navigation. So, on occasion I am walking on a day when there is a heavy fog or it is snowing—or I have pushed too hard and the mist is in my head. A couple of times on such days, I have come to a place where I just could no get a grasp on my bearings.
Unfortunately I periodically become lost
—or imagine that I am
and in that imagining, am lost
I know when the situation is approaching up on the mountain. First I feel the sense of my resources diminishing (my strength and assuredness). Then the feeling of ‘being in control’ starts to fade. If I do not take measures to remained calm/centered, then somewhere about now I can feel my psychology take an unnerving turn. No longer feeling quite as sure of myself, the negative traits of doubt, fear, confusion start to fuel up.
Over time, I have come to realize that the first symptom, not generally as easily noticed, is that my mind has become inflexible in its sense of direction. Exhaustion—depletion of psychological or physical reserves—is consistently the cause of this rigidness.
One cannot become lost without too rigidly defining your destination.--Strike a Chord of Silence
The situation up on the mountain, with virtually no visibility, is not much different from the sense of becoming “lost” in my everyday life. It happens whenever I become too rigid in my definition of self, job, relationship, or any other aspect of my life. The same scenario plays out, to the same ends. Some part of me realizes I am ‘lost,’ yet attempts to deny the fact—throwing good effort after bad. Being lost on the mountain is much easier to perceive than being lost in the comfort of my every day. However, the everyday is a place where staying centered is even more vital.
You have heard that “too much focus on the goal will cause you to miss the beauty along the way”? Well, it’s more than that! Rigid focus can cause the beauty that you already see before you to begin to evaporate.
When was the last time you got lost? What happened?
copyright 2008 CG Walters
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