By Kenneth Stepp
I feel lost. There, I said it. Saying it doesn’t fix it though. I’m sure I could find a therapist somewhere that would say that admitting it is the first part of healing. It isn’t in my case and I doubt I’m alone in feeling lost. Here I am but where is here?
I became single about ten years ago. I have thought I found love more than once during that time. Maybe confusion is part of the lost thing or maybe it’s where getting lost begins. I fell hard for the first girl I met. Only later did I learn how common that is. But in hindsight, it was real love. Still is…
You’re in a relationship for decades, it turns cold and dry then meet this amazing person that loves every word that comes out of your mouth. They say, I love you, they love being with you in every way. It’s intoxicating. Why wouldn’t you fall hard?
I’ve met some high quality people on my singles journey. And I’ve managed to keep most of them in my daily life. I laughingly say I collect people. If I meet someone that is my kind of person I fight hard to keep them in my life. They are worth fighting for.
The singles community is littered with too many just in survival mode. I suggest you stop dating till you are totally self sufficient. That way you’ll see a person, not a situation. It’s ok to have needs and to not have much as long as you are happy with your life. I’m one of them. I require so little to live and that makes me happy. A lot of freedom comes with requiring very little.
Back to being lost. I’ve developed habits because I am lost. For example, I wake up early but go to bed early, maybe 8pm. I’m always ready for the day to be over. I guess there’s a part of me that hopes the next day will be better, that I will wake up and not be lost. But the days come and they go and for me, most are the same as the day before. Mostly I remain lost.
Having explained my lostness, I’m not a sad person. I’m basically a very happy guy. I live my life by my rules, I have a good moral compass so I will listen to judgment but seldom buy into what others think of my actions. I have 5 people I call my tribe. If they tell me to correct my drift it gets my attention. Why? Because they love me and I love them. We have to be able to trust someone.
Choosing people to trust? This takes time. I meet someone I want to keep in my life and I watch them do life. We engage in conversations that go deep. Do they have the capacity to love beyond themselves? That’s the first thing I look for. Are they loyal to others? Do they carry tales about others? These are the things I look for and watch out for. I would pass these things and to be inside my inner circle, so must they.
So how do we become lost? For me it’s losses and losing. Trying and failing, relying on the unreliable, and believing someone who isn’t honest. These things for me result in me being lost. It may be different for others. I’m not you so I can’t know what things or experiences in your life affect you in this way.
The singles journey is full of hurting and hurtful people. I know as much as anyone about it and have concluded that in the end, hurt is there and always will be. For me being lost to some degree will always be there. I’ve defined myself as a father, husband, and businessman.
None of those things apply to my daily life anymore. My kids are grown and don’t need me, the business is gone, and my marriage is a memory. I’ve heard we are the choices we made. I think we are also the losses we’ve stacked up along the way. Most will never be again…