When in life you feel lost, look first not to outward obstacles ... but to your masks.
The time you spend looking outside yourself for answers is exactly equal to the time not spent looking within.
But it's not just about "looking within," either. There is a layer between within and without, and that is our Mask Layer. So, first look gently at your masks. Your masks actually contain a lot of information. Your mask is actually composed of two things: you inner vulnerability and your read of the outward environment. Your mask then is the thing that you create, perfectly tailored to protect your inner vulnerabilities from the perceived conditions of the outer world.
Often, we long for a feeling of freedom, and in so doing we look to the outside world to see if we "allowed" to be free. Often we do not see that possibility, and we just give up.
Your mask is the thing that you create, perfectly tailored to protect your inner vulnerabilities from the perceived conditions of the outer world.
But here's the funny thing: of the three layers (inner / outer / mask) the Mask is the only thing under your control. Can you control your inner self, your true longings and spirit, and what your true inner nature is calling out to be? Not really.
Conversely, can you make the entire world bend to your will so that your Authentic Self will always be safe? Not likely. I mean, sure, every generation has its Gandhi or its Beatles, but this is not the normal human condition. Often, the struggle for authenticity is just scared little us, feeling alone, wondering if we will be loved, wondering if we are the only one in the world who feels the way we do.
So the start to truly being loved is not in trying to twist the universe to our will (again, good luck with that), but in loving our true spirit enough to dismantle our masks so that a little of our true self can peek through. As much as it feels this way, we are never in a prison - we are instead trapped inside a fortress of our own making. And only we can dismantle that fort. Most times, others don't even know the walls we are living (surviving) behind.
And yet the more we dismantle our masks, all of us, the more the world will start to look like what we want it to be anyway. If everyone removed their masks tomorrow, the entire world would be a different place.
But it takes courage and love to remove your mask. Harshly removing your mask is just another form of self-abuse. You have to do it gently and carefully, consciously and with love, knowing full well that dismantling your Mask/Fortress will always involve risk, and yet it is the only way to be truly alive in this world.
So, if you find yourself feeling lost, look first to yourself and your masks. The biggest reason you are not on the road you feel you should truly be on has everything to do with the walls you have built around yourself to keep yourself safe. But safety, in this way, is not your friend, it is your jailer. Safety is the opposite of freedom, but it's a bargain we have chosen in order to feel secure. It takes a lot of internal love and courage to start to step outside of your own confines. And yet that is outside of that dark and cloistered place - out in the sunlight of truth - that Life actually thrives.
OK, good enough for now,
~ Quest Barely, all!
Kemson Cooper is the creator of QuestBarely.com, a site about using the body as a path to explore the Self. He is also the author / artist of "Love Yourself ~ A Body of Work" (hailed by at least a few as the world's first naked self-empowerment book) & "The Bird Who Had No Clue" (a sweet little illustrated tale about life, for all ages).