Land of the Lost

Land of the Lost is actually a tv show I grew up watching in the 80’s. I thought it was a good title, but if only we were so lucky to be lost with others. The lost that comes to mind for me is being lost within. It’s the most scariest feeling because all you know is your overwhelmed with fear, and when you look around it seems like everybody has this thing called life all firgured out, but not me. It’s a very alone feeling. It’s like looking in the mirror and as soon as you turn from it, you forget what you look like. You dont know what makes you happy, you dont know if your in the right career and yes, you even ask yourself, “who am I?”

If all that doesn’t sound scary enough, most of the time the fear of not knowing who you are is accompanied with horrible feelings of anxiety, sometimes even panic attacks that paralyze you with fear. Your afraid to drive, go to the mall, and normal life begins to feel hopeless. If youre experiencing this type of anxiety, or know a friend who does, here’s some good news.

This form of anxiety is often referred to as Existential Anxiety. Its the fear of non-being, and it feels more like the fear of death. More accuratley put, its the fear of not existing and there are many situations that can make us feel this way. The death of a loved one who we’ve built our lives around, the break up of a lover who we’ve invested so much of ourselves into, or following the guidance of an overbearing parent, who leaves, dies, or just decides not to give us any more guidance. Something all these scenerios have in common is that for a long period of time somebody elses desires or lives, for whatever reason, we learned was more important than our own. Then suddenly we are left to figure out who we are and what to do with our lives. 

As one might guess, you won’t figure this out in a day, not two, not even three. It’s a process that continues throughout our life. But the healing begins when we learn to love ourselves while in the process. It’s about learning to be compassionate with ourselves as we take baby steps, it’s about being uncritical with ourselves as we choose the things in life that make us happy, and it’s also about learning to protect this process and the relationship we’re building with ourselves as we grow more and more in love with the person we’re becoming.