Lost and Found

I’ve read a great deal about people who have ‘set off’ to ‘find’ themselves

They ditch their current life announcing something like:

  • I’m confused
  • I’m unhappy
  • I don’t know what I want
  • I’m lost
  • I need to discover me
  • You don’t understand me
  • I need time on my own
  • I need to find myself

And that’s what they do!  Off they go to ‘find’ themselves. 

So often this appears to involve an element of travel!  Which of course adds a certain frisson of excitement to the whole experience!  For some it’s escape to the wilds of Scotland – others go the whole hog and really put travel on the agenda.

Well I don’t actually believe many people ‘find’ themselves at the bottom of a tub of Italian ice cream in the centre of Rome,(however moorish the flavour!)  or in the depths of an Indian meditation retreat, or come to that in lustful, abandoned, passionate sex on a Bali Beach! They might be having a jolly good adventure and a lot of fun, possibly with an eye on a profitable book about it and maybe that’s their justification for ditching their world and following their dream. But I’m not convinced on the ‘finding’ aspect of this!

I also don’t believe that “Wild Love” (a book which irritates me) is anything more than another justification for another ditch and run.

So to any potential ‘runners’ I would say this – before you charge off to ‘find’ yourself just look in the mirror.

Good gracious there you are looking back at yourself!  How about saying “Hello Me” to yourself before you run as guess what? You’ll always be with you. 

How about asking yourself “I wonder why I’m feeling like this.  I’d love to know”

So my suggestion is rather than ‘Finding yourself’  How about ‘Finding Out how to Understand yourself.  OK this probably involves a small amount of expenditure as help from a professional is probably going to be needed. But you just might discover that Understanding you is a far more solid foundation to build on.  And by Understanding you and what you need, Understanding how you work and why, and then Understanding how and what your partner needs from life could be one passionate bit of fun – and you’ve saved the air fares, hotel costs, ice cream costs, moving costs, divorce costs,… whatever.

And once you’ve done that you can both zip off and have passionate, abandoned, uninhibited sex on a Bali Beach together!  And I believe (though I don’t know) a Bali Beach hut is probably charged by the hut rather than the number of occupants – so is a great deal cheaper per head – or should that be per body! Much better than booking it for one and then hoping to find others to invite in!

OK, I agree, you’ve missed out on all that solo travel with no-one to talk to about it with but, personally, I prefer to share my experiences and share with someone who’s going to stick around!  And this way you get just that –  you’ve still got the person you promised “For better for Worse” to, the great, shared memories and a passionate present and future!

It’s just an idea!

20 thoughts on “Lost and Found

  1. One of X’s “inspiration” books is “Eat,Pray,Love”. I have looked through it and although I have not read it completely, it appears to be the same thing. Lots of excuses and self-service in the guise of self discovery. Maybe this is the journey one needs to take even if it means they get back to finding they can’t run from themselves. I don’t buy it, but I don’t walk in those shoes. The problem with these books is that they romantacise the journey of “self-discovery” so much that the real-life comparisons will always pale.

  2. as you say it is a classic line to say that you are off to find yourself. When in fact it oftens seems more like running away from something else.

  3. For once I disagree with you. I did just what you have described, I went off, alone, to another country for a few months. Was I ‘finding myself’? I don’t think so. I was running away. Away from the problems, the hurts, the heartaches and the confusions.

    I didn’t want a therapist, to talk to anyone about why I was feeling this way, I just wanted to escape. It helped. It helped me to realise that I missed people in my life and it also helped me to realise that I was far more capable and able than I had originally thought.

    I did not write a book about it (but I did see the EPL film whilst I was there) I didn’t have wild abandoned sex on a Bali beach (more’s the pity), but I did have time. And that is what I needed.

    Mirrors are great but they only reflect what you know. They do not give you the insight that you sometimes need to make sense of you’re life.

    So this time I disagree, Caroline. You have to do what is best for you. For some that is therapy and discussion, for others it is running like hell to a safe haven before you go totally insane. You chose what was right for you, others must do the same.

    • I have no problem with those who disagree! We are, after all, all different! So if it worked for you that is nothing but good and very important. I’m just offering up an idea for a different route because actually thinking ones thoughts out loud can give us the opportunity to find and discuss different ways of looking at things. To change one’s behaviours. To give oneself the best possible future. One free from fear and the insecurities we all gathered as we grew up. To become unstuck! It did for me!

      I sincerely believe running hasn’t freed up my Ex! He’s just changed the geography. Which for a time maybe enough. But having learnt what I’ve learnt over the last year and having allowed myself to accept there are other ways of being me, I now know there can be so much more. For me it worked!

  4. I’ve never needed to find myself, because I’ve never felt I have lost myself. I know who I am. Maybe some people who say they need to discover themselves, they need to find themselves, they don’t know what they want, meant to express a different thing: I need to explore my potential. Why they should need to do this on their own is another matter, because in some cases they overlook the fact the their journey would be easier, and perhaps more productive, alongside a well-established partner.

    Whilst composing this, a thought has struck me. I say I know who I am, but knowing who I am is a continuing voyage. Each week I learn something new about myself, however small. Recently I’ve been learning some very big and surprising things about myself, and I’ve done this with the invaluable help of my very good friend Caroline.

    So to all those who feel the need to find themselves etc, follow this very worthy journey, but don’t shun those around you. Take them along with you; you’ve a greater chance of achieving your goal.

  5. Of course I should have added to my post that anyone in an abusive relationship has every right to run and run fast. My post was coming at the situation from a point of a relationship which isn’t going well for whatever reason and the number of books around which encourage running rather than investigating the causes.

    • Yes, and no matter how fast or how far you run, there you are!
      For many people at the who/what crossroad there is an element of fear: they are afraid of realising that what is really in front of them IS a mirror and there is no escape.
      I think we all, sometime in our life, need to ask the question “Who AM I?”, but we should really pose the question for the here and now, not as a speculative trip which may or may not establish an alter ego we are satisfied with.

  6. I so agree with what you say. I think I even did a post onit myself, though I cannot even remember what the post was called.But basically it says that whatever personality bagage you pack, you unpack when you arrive at your new abode. Loved reading this. You are sounding more cwertain and confident by the day

  7. Ha, I soooo agree with this too. But this said, Katie’s got a point, even coaching isn’t for everyone. Some people work by shutting things off and moving on, or running away, and they cannot /do not wish to open up.
    I think my ex is definitely like that. It pains me immensely, but I have to accept it.

    • Yes I totally agree but listening to those who have run ( or reading some of the comments here) I still get the feeling they’re stuck.

      And I think coaching (or whatever!) can give you that final release from being stuck to being unstuck!!

      I was a total “I don’t need any form of help” type of person until I nearly swallowed all the sleeping pills. I then realised I needed help but my view wasn’t very optimistic. It took a dive after my brief encounter with a psychologist.

      Coaching worked for me more – much much more – than I expected. This is meant kindly but all I would say to anyone who says it’s categorically not for them but hasn’t given it a go is

      How do you know?

      • There are elements of ‘not giving it a go’ that are prohibitive, such as the cost and, quite frankly, I am always suspicious of people who make their living out of someone else’s misery.

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