How I Navigate When I Get Lost on A Long Journey

My heart races as a rush of panic washes over me like a flooded stream after a torrential downpour. I feel the sharp inhalation of limited breath as it shoots in and out of my nostrils as though it was a frigid beverage traveling through a straw with a wide circumference, causing brain freeze. It is in those moments of brief existential dread and darting eyes of the realization of the apparent danger that I am in when I begin to rethink everything that I have ever done in life.

I always fear that I have gotten lost somewhere in the middle of my longer solo hikes. This usually happens after hours of climbing across difficult terrain when the pain in my legs from miles of pushing forward feels as though it melts into my very existence, and my exhausted mind becomes devoid of all thought. Nothing else seems to exist as I place one foot in front of the other beyond the point when my GPS tracker begins logging miles in the double digits.

A few minutes off of the trail usually shoves my mind into a cloud of immediate terror. However, it only lasts a moment. In the next few ticks from the clock, I shift my mind to more rational thoughts. I end up backtracking to return to the trail, and I trust in my abilities to navigate and continue with my hike. I’m never really lost, but because I allow my mind to dissipate from this dimension, I begin to question everything. It’s a fleeting moment when I view my journey through peripheral blinders before reflecting on where I’m at along the entirety of my path.

There are moments in our lives when we see the worst in everything because we are only looking at our lives from a very limited perspective. We think negative thoughts and feel as though the world is turning against everything that we do. At times we feel unmotivated and lost in the mundanity of life because we forget to check in with ourselves and view our overall life path. We forget to notice how far we have come and fear planning for the journey ahead because we are stuck in this seemingly terrible moment of the present.

It always helps me to stop and take a second for myself when I think that I have gotten terribly lost on a hike. I calm my breathing, check my GPS tracker, and look for the clues surrounding me to put me back where I need to be. In life, I try to rest and relish in the section of time I set aside to reflect on the path in which I came. I’ll even, occasionally, look through the lens pointed at my past through previous journal entries and blog posts. I then bring my thoughts to the present and look deep within myself to point me in the correct direction to achieve my desired goals. It’s as though you are a daring explorer in a foreign land or a brave captain on an uncharted sea, referring to a map that you are sketching along the way.

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