When I was a little girl, maybe 7 or 8, I became very lost. I had gone to a neighborhood not far from my own but one that was foreign to me. I went walking with a friend and we got into an argument and she stormed off. I was to mad to follow her. Puhhh. I didn’t need her. I could find my own way home. So I ended up wandered around hilly streets until I became tired, hungry and frightened.
I had walked by a house, at least once, that had a beautiful weeping willow in the front yard. I remembered that house, in particular, because we had a weeping willow in our backyard. On my second (or third) pass, I decided I couldn’t keep wandering around so I sat beneath the branches of the beautiful tree in hopes someone would find ME. Why I ultimately chose that house or that tree wasn’t consciously known to me. But as you all know, I preach there are no coincidences.
As I sat with my chin resting on my knees and my arms wrapped tightly around my legs, I cried and wished for my mom. The house’s garage door opened and a car pulled in. A tall, middle aged woman got out and slowly walked toward me. She had kind eyes and instead of standing to her full height, she bent down as she approached. When she reached me, she knelt next to my little, tightly curled up body and said, “Honey. Are you lost?” She was so caring and so maternal and I felt so relieved that someone had found me that I started bawling even harder. All I could do was nod my head.
She asked if I wanted to call my mom or dad. Did I know my mommy or daddy’s number? Yes. I did. She brought me inside and made me hot cocoa while she (or I?) called my mom. She had an easy, flowing way of helping me become calm. She chatted with me (not to me, there is a difference) as if I was an old friend who had stopped in for a visit.
I don’t remember much more of the experience except getting into the back seat of my dad’s car and wondering if he was going to yell at me for getting lost, for going into a stranger’s home or for interrupting his work day. He did not yell and he did not berate. What he did was asked if I was OK. For my rather unemotional dad, this meant the world to me and it helped me feel safe.
As we topped a hill, I caught my bearings and knew where we were. I felt silly because I was so close to home and yet didn’t know it. But that experience began a lifelong fear of becoming lost.
As a young adult and well into my adulthood, I would suffer from anxiety when I needed to be somewhere I’d never been before. This was well before the days of GPS or even MapQuest. This was when you actually had to go to a brick and mortar library if you wanted information on a particular subject. The internet hadn’t been created and cell phones were still a glint in someone’s eye.
Keep in mind I traveled for a living when I worked in banking. I traveled all over the vast, great state of North Dakota and each time I faced a new address, I would get my mini-freak out on. I would arrive at my destinations ridiculously early so I didn’t arrive late. My thoughts were this: if I became lost I would have time to figure it out before I was late. Being late was (and is!) incredibly distasteful to me.
When I was in counseling, we worked on this powerful memory. Some 13 years later, I’m still working on it. With the invention of GPS, etc., I feel more in control but I am still glued to the little computer voice that tells me when to turn and that my address will be on the right. I still plan my route before I leave the house and I make sure I have some wiggle room in the time area. I often joke that I am ‘directionally challenged’ and more often than not, I hear others say, “Me too!”
I’d like to put the finishing touch on the story I began earlier. Not long after my lost incident happened, my Brownie den leader quit and I was reassigned to another troop. As fate would have it, the woman who found me, the woman who owned the house with the beautiful weeping willow, was my new den leader. Yep. Seriously.
Putting this story on paper has helped me recognize that there has never been a time when becoming lost (physically, emotionally or spiritually) didn’t turn into finding my way. The countless fearful scenarios I’ve created in my mind over the years have never come to life, not once.
With or without consciously knowing it, we all come equipped with a roadside (uhhh, heaven side?) assistance plan. It doesn’t matter if we feel we are on the wrong spiritual, physical or emotional path. There is always guidance available to you, whether it is a physical person, an Ascended Being or an intuitive feeling.
Remember: If you feel lost, maybe you’re just one hill from being home, too.