If you realize what the real problem is – losing yourself – you realize that this itself is the ultimate trial.
I can say, from personal experience, that the worst I’ve ever felt in my life was when I felt lost. And I don’t mean the good kind of lost—that feeling of flow we get when we are painting or riding a bicycle or writing or performing surgery—when we feel connected to something bigger and powerful and meaningful. I mean the exact opposite; the feeling that comes when we feel disconnected, cut off, alone and abandoned, when we experience the dark night of the soul.
But this dark night of the soul—I believe—is actually not something to be feared or dreaded; rather I think it is a whisper reminding us to return to our truest self, as well as an invitation to go deeper into uncharted internal territory.
But getting lost is so easy! If we love another or we love our jobs or our animals or we work as caretakers, we can get lost in the needs of another. We can forget our unique goals and purpose and lose that connection and flow. It can happen in dysfunctional relationships and healthy relationships. It can happen without us realizing it and it can happen with a few or many aspects or people in our lives. But really, all these things pulling us away from ourselves—are just a distraction; they, as Joseph Campbell says, are the real problem.
And so, the ultimate trial, as he continues to say, is to stay found—to stay connected to your individual specific purpose, your joy, your bliss. Because that is why you are here! You are here to do something on this planet that ONLY you can do, and you will not feel joyful or found or content or at peace if you are not living your purpose.
So take some time—every day—and check in and ask yourself, are you living your purpose? If you feel lost, how can you get back? How can you nurture and love yourself back to remembering or discovering your truest self, your connection to something greater? Only you know the answer to this. And, maybe in the quiet moments of your day, you will feel the whisper calling you back.