Has there ever been a time when you felt lost?
I don’t necessarily mean lost in the woods but lost in a job or a relationship.
Feeling lost can include losing your moral compass or experiencing alienation in many forms. Our society can induce feeling lost for many individuals.
As an adolescent just browsing the autobiographies of successful people it was easy to see how the pursuit of their passions fueled their vision. I used to wonder how they knew with assurance that the path they had followed would lead them to the outcome they so fervently desired. I wondered if they had to battle fears and if they had to fight inertia, inconsistency, and lack of drive in their lives as I did.
In the realm of sociology Marx described the post-modern experience of feeling lost accurately even from an industrial age perspective. First, there is alienation from nature. We are mammals that originated in nature and developed with our mother’s milk many of the survival skills that are still with us in this post-modern age. Our brains are not designed to fit well with the urban jungle that we somehow managed to imprison ourselves in. We have also declared war on nature, and we are destroying the very home that gave us life and support in the first place.
Second, we have developed a sense of alienation from other humans because of the hierarchical nature of our organizations and the impact of data and information technology. We have become prey to mental illness and many physical ailments because of an over reliance on technology.
Third, we are alienated from our creativity and this causes us to not be in touch with our gut feelings, emotions, and deep-seated values. This confusion about values produces the effect that many of us work in jobs we hate. Jobs that are incapable of deriving any sense of meaning for us as individuals.
Meaning is critical to sustain a sense of well-being as we focus on our inner values and resources to succeed in our goals. People become anxious, depressed, ruthless and destructive to fill the emptiness with the materialistic products that our all-consuming society dictates. That is why people who feel alienated fall back on addictions of all kinds to fill in the tremendous void created and sustained by the market.
Early in our lives our modern cultures inserted a disconnection from our creative self and our natural intuition. Our gut, our intuition is our guide, our true north that cuts asunder ignorance, falsehood and evil intentions. We can access our true north, this burning flame of creativity, and ignite our lives towards the shining path of compassion and wisdom through meditation. This practice holds the key to our innate sense of goodness, empathy, and cooperation with all our fellow human beings. People are happy when they help and support others.
There is genuine meaning to be found in the service of others. Our brains are designed for connection and wired for love, cooperation, and service. Once we establish a meditation practice and truly connect with ourselves, we can examine our goals and see how they match with our innate values. Then it will be easy to see why we met with so much resistance in the past, because of the obvious disconnection and why we failed so often.
We all are the result of the decisions we make. Our finances, our bodies, and where we are headed in our lives currently are clear results of our decisions, habits, and behaviors. With self-compassion and inner peace, we can face our decisions and take honest accountability for what we have done to ourselves and others up to this point.
Important decisions have to be made based on our innate values, and our innate values must become a priority and the most important tools in our decision-making process. Only then we can raise the flame and burn the webs of ignorance and deceit in front of us. So initially write a list of seven emotions and values that you want present in your life more often, then determine what kind of life you want to have.
Do you value joy or contentment? Or is it discovery and success that you value most? Create a vision, write it down. Feel free to dream, but also consider your talents and limitations. Then proceed to determine what values you will need to access the life you dream of.
What are the seven most important values in your life? What is going to help? What is no longer necessary? Make that list in order of priority. For example, if security is your most important value all the ones that follow will be subordinate to that one. Also, if security is your priority your plans will be designed around that one and would certainly be different from someone who chooses freedom as his/her most valuable priority.
Once you determine that your hierarchy of values are one and the same with the ones that will help you achieve your goals, you would be able to dispel the doubts and blocks that arise on your way to happiness. Finally, be aware of who your heroes are and who you admire because they are a clear indication of where your inspiration lays and where to find the doors to your cognitive and spiritual evolution.
In conclusion, I’d like to leave you with this quote from Amit Ray:
“Compassion is the signature of Higher Consciousness. Non-violence is the tool to evolve into the Higher Consciousness.”