Circumstance, Meaning, Virtue

When We Are Lost, Let This Be Our Comfort

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.”

Søren Kierkegaard


Nothing is stable, we have delved into the deep unknown and it can only be described as the abyss.

In the abyss there is no shelter or boundaries, just endless and immeasurable space. When we find ourselves lost in the abyss, we know nothing and there are no answers to be found around us- we are on our own. There is something terrifying about having to exist in the open, our own two feet our only support. When we dare to take a chance, we come in contact with this abyss. Everything we were once certain of is gone. Anxiety consumes us, and all we want is to feel secure ground underneath our feet. Our intense desire for firm footing begs us to turn around and retreat back to where we had something to hang onto.

This is what we must go through in order to get anywhere that is better.

Feeling lost is an indicator that there is something we should find that will bring us closer to our potential. Its like a mid-space, between where we were and where we are going. When we are painfully worried from the nothingness we are surrounded by, maybe we should try to find encouragement in the possibility of the unknown. To return to where we were, moving further away from our potential-that is what will devastate us, not the trials ahead.

If we can navigate our way through this, exactly what we most need is waiting on the other side.

What if our ability to withstand and navigate our way through the abyss is our trial. When we are so lost, let this be our comfort. Like a great voyage that seems never-ending when surrounded by nothing but water, we will eventually see new land if we just keep going. We relied on bravery to step into this unknown; now let it get us out.

George Frederic Watts , Hope, 1886.
George Frederic Watts , Hope, 1886. Tate Britain. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Blind Hope sits on top of the world, playing a lyre with only one string remaining, bowing her head to hear the music. Of this painting Martin Luther King Jr said “There is much truth in George Frederick Watts’ imaginative portrayal of Hope in his picture entitled Hope . . . Who has not had to face the agony of blasted hopes and shattered dreams?” (Martin Luther King Jr, ‘Shattered Dreams’ Sermon 1962/63)

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