What a Lost, Wandering Starbucks Addict Can Teach You About Finding Your Way

on May 14, 2012 | in Featured, Life in General | by

The thing about writing a website called “The Unlost” is that people expect you to help them get unlost, as if you’ve got these wise, profound answers perpetually on the tip of your tongue. They expect you to be some sage-like person who will magically point them in the right direction.

In reality, though, sometimes you’re just as lost as the rest of ’em. In reality, sometimes you wake up to find yourself in a strange land far from home, having left your job, 95% of your belongings, and your sweet dogchildren behind, asking questions like

“What in the hell am I doing here?”

When you know that going back won’t solve a single one of your problems and yet you have no idea how to move forward, when you’ve left home because you’ve found yourself, only to lose yourself once again, what do you do, and what answers can you possibly have to offer others?

This is the position in which I may or may not have found myself lately (this could totally be a hypothetical situation, so just play along with me here, mmkay?).

. . .

“What would Wise Therese say?” I asked myself as I stared blankly at my computer screen.

Wise Therese didn’t respond. It seems she’d run away somewhere, most likely to a tropical beach where she was sipping margaritas with a beaming smile spread across her face, blissfully speaking words of wisdom to the masses.

(God, I hate that bitch.)

And so with Wise Therese MIA, Little Therese was left to fend for herself. She thought and thought and thought, but no matter how she tried, Little Therese had no solutions to offer.

& So logically, she found herself headed to Starbucks for one of those new Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino things (chocolate whipped cream YUM!).

Little Therese began to think of the times she’d found her way out of difficulty in the past– about how she’d found her way out of heartache after a breakup or happiness after despair or clarity after confusion. She thought about how she’d gone from an insecure, unformed, approval-seeking girl to a woman of strength, confidence & grace.

How did I do that?” she asked.

And she realized that she didn’t really know how it had happened. It wasn’t as if there was one magical moment in which she’d gone from confusion to clarity, from despair to contentment, from brokenness to wholeness.

Instead, after days or months or years that seemed like decades of questioning and suffering and seeking, she’d simply woken up one day and realized that things had shifted without her even noticing. It was as if something much subtler, something just outside her conscious perception, had been at work all along– as if roots had been growing deeply and imperceptibly beneath the earth, until one day a bud finally surfaced.

She’d woken up months after a breakup and realized, “Woah. I think I’m actually… happy on my own.”

She’d woken up years into a struggle with rheumatoid arthritis and realized, “I am at peace.”

And after years of wondering what she was passionate about, she woke up to find herself writing this blog.

There was no one big shift, no one “aha” moment. Over time, without consciously realizing it, she found that the puzzle pieces had s l o w l y fallen into place. Over time, she had somehow lived her way into the answers.

And as Little Therese thought about this, she began to write.

A few hours later, she looked up from her laptop and this post had been written.

And by the time she’d packed her things up and left Starbucks, flip-flopping her way through the parking lot, it seemed as though Little Therese was no longer lost at sea. She felt the warmth of the California sun against her cheek and heard the soft chatter of birds in the air. A gentle smile rested softly on her face.

On the surface, nothing had changed– she was still far from home and from her dogchildren, still unsure about her next step and of the future that lay ahead. Her bank account hadn’t been magically filled, nor had Brad Pitt’s twin showed up on her doorstep.

And yet somehow she’d come into peace. Somehow things had shifted– she’d lived her way back into the moment that is.

And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

– Rainer Maria Rilke

Somehow,

some

day,

some

way,

so it happens for us all.

We are like sailboats on the sea– we can try and try to get somewhere, but no matter how hard we try or think or struggle, we cannot move the sailboat on our own.

Thankfully, though, we don’t have to, because there is a soft and gentle breeze already blowing– so soft, in fact, that we hardly notice we’re moving at all.

Slowly, subtly, imperceptibly, we are already living our way into the answers, into the moment, into beauty and joy and truth– until one day we wake up and we find ourselves staring out across the vast blue sea, amazed at the distance we’ve come.

Gradually, gradually, gradually, we live our way into the answers– we sail our way into peace and joy, contentment and clarity.

If Little Therese could tell you how to do this, she would– but the truth is, she can’t.

Life is funny like that. Some things, it seems, are better left to Mystery.

# # #

[Image by Shandi-Lee]

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  • Ooh, very timely Therese! Just a couple of hours ago, over lunch with my boyfriend, I was talking about how scared I feel. Here I am, about to go back to work after 2 weeks off, building up the courage to quit. Everything I’ve been dreaming of for the past year or so finally feels real. And as excited as I am, I’m also blooming terrified! I was actually shaking as I was talking earlier. I feel as if I’m on the edge of some pretty big stuff. I just don’t know what that big stuff is gonna look like yet…

    Faith is all we need. Have faith, take each day as it comes, and the answers will present themselves somewhere along the way, as you said.

    “Everything will be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.”

    • “I feel as if I’m on the edge of some pretty big stuff. I just don’t know what that big stuff is gonna look like yet…”

      Know that feeling well, Rebecca.

      Faith… yes :-).

      Best of luck with whatever’s to come!

  • Alygamache

    This may be (maybe) MY FAVORITE ONE YET!!!! It’s just so… soooooo…. SO DAMN TRUE. I found myself saying out loud the other day (to myself, obvi)… “wow, I’m really happy. But wait, nothing’s changed? In fact, things may even be more fucked up than they were before… what’s going on? Am I making this shit up? Nope, definitely not. Nothing’s changed… yet everything is different.” And then a wise soul told me that’s what ‘real transformation’ (whatever that is, right?!?!) looks like. And holy $h*t, it happened right under my nose?!!? I guess after years and years of trying to figure out the answer, the answer (without really being an answer at all) sort of just pops up. I’ve always loved that concept of a tree… ‘as if roots had been growing deeply and imperceptibly beneath the earth, until one day a bud finally surfaced’… because I think that’s exactly it – you don’t even notice you’re watering it… but you are.

    Beautiful!!! :)

    • YES! It’s that “answerless answer” that’s always been there, but you just didn’t know it until the bud popped up.

      And oh, how beautiful that moment is. It’s strange how happiness is always right here under our noses, and yet it takes time and faith and Mystery until we’re able to finally experience it.

      :)

  • Chuck Stecker

    As I get older, I am realizing that when I missed the answer it was often because I missed the question. Getting the right answers in life has become much more of a quest to learn to ask the right questions – of myself and others. Loved this post. You go girl and stay after the truth God has you in search of and you are helping others along the way.
    Your much older friend and follower, chuck

    • Hi Chuck!

      Yes, I’ve often realized in retrospect that I was asking the wrong questions all along. One thing I’ve learned is to “live the questions”– never stop asking them, but at the same time, learn to rest in their open-endedness. In some strange way, this IS the answer I’ve found for myself.

      I will stay after the truth– & yet I feel it’s something I don’t really have to search for. It’s something that’s already right here, and that I’m learning to rest in already.

      Peace to you, and thanks as always for the comforting words and encouragement.

  • Just finished a comment on a past post of yours! First newsletter arrived, very happy to have subscribed!

    • Yay! Glad to have you around, Valentina <3 <3

      • faithboo1

        !!! How To Get Your husband Back & Avoid Divorce !!!

        Hello to every one out here,I am Latisha Allen,From united states of America.I will start by saying to all that have experience heart break and also cant do with out there lover should please stop here and read up my story, So as you will know how to go solving or getting your ex back from this spell caster..AND AGAIN I WILL WANT TO ALSO TELL ALL THAT THIS SPELL CASTER I WILL WANT TO TELL THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT IS HARMLESS AND DO NOT HAVE ANY SIDE EFFECT, BUT TO RESTORE AND GIVE YOU BACK WHAT YOU DESERVE, COS WHEN I MEET WITH THIS SPELL CASTER THAT WAS INTRODUCED TO ME BY THE WIFE OF MY BOSS IN MY WORKING PLACE, HE MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE CAN CAST SPELL ON SO MANY OTHER PROBLEMS EXCEPT IN GETTING YOUR EX OR MAKING YOUR LOVER TO LOVE YOU MORE THAT WILL SUITE YOU. Last year December, My lover was cheating on me and was not also give me the attention that a man should give to a woman,And really that was troubling my mind and tearing my heart apart to the extent that i was not concentrating in the office the way i use to before the break up by my lover.And before that incident,I always see how my boss use to love his wife so much. I was binging to think that i was not doing the right thing to him that will make him love me forever,So i really gathered my courage and went to my boss wife office to ask her the secret that made her husband love her so dearly,In the first place she refused in telling me,She asked me why i am asking her such a question,That if is it not normal for every man to love his wife.I told her the reason that made me ask her about this question,That my lover started cheating on me lately,When i knelt down before her for her to see my seriousness in this issue that i went to ask her,She opened up to me by telling me that i should not tell anybody about what she want to tell me,The wife to my boss started to say to me that she used a very powerful spell on his husband to love her,And the spell that she used is harmless, But the spell is just to make him love her and never to look for any other woman except her. I QUICKLY ASK HER HOW DID SHE GET TO KNOW THIS GREAT,POWER,DURABLE AND PERFECT WORK SPELL CASTER,she said that a friend of hers also introduce her to him. Then i also ask her how i can meet with this spell caster.SHE SAID EVERYTHING TO ME,THAT THE NAME OF THIS SPELL CASTER IS Dr GREAT.My next question to her was how can i get this wonderful spell caster,She said she is going to give me the email of the spell caster for me to contact him for my problem,Really she gave to me this spell caster email and i contacted him and explained all to him,And after every thing that needed to be done by the spell caster, In the next two days, My lover that hated me so much came to house begging for forgiveness and i was so glad that i have finally gotten my heart desire..I was so grateful to this spell caster for what he has done for my life.. So i made a promise to him that i will always continue telling the world about his wonderful work towards me and also to other that came to you before and also the people that will also get to you from my story that i narrated online now..I will want to say to the entire world that you should not cry over noting again, That there is a great man that has been helping individuals to restore there Joy and smile in there faces !! The direct email to get this man is greatpowerspelltemple@gmail.com CONTACT HIM NOW THE BETTER FOR YOU TO GET QUICK SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS…

  • So true, we have to just keep living, follow our interests, meet new people and pay attention to our thoughts and feelings.
    You are spot on, the answers to life questions of any kind, whether personal or professional, have to be lived through. While thinking before one acts is necessary, ultimately we have to act and do something.
    I love that quote by Rainer Maria Rilke, too.

    • Yes, thinking is absolutely necessary, and yet I’m not sure we can get where we need to go by thought alone. Through the intersection of faith, trust, and the rational thinking mind, I believe we live our way into the answers. And yes, yes, ultimately we must act and take a step forward. Can’t wait to see where yours leads you, Lakshmi :)

  • beautiful!

  • Iris

    I’ve been a (love you) long time lurker but you quoted Rilke so now I must comment. You have read Letters to a Young Poet haven’t you? Say yes! It’s my all-time favorite read.

    Anyway, you already know this but I just wanted to say you are magnificently beautiful, wonderful and amazing (amaze-balls) and I like your ridiculously long and often tabloid-like blog post titles and your penchant for mixing wisdom with profanity (woman after my own heart).

    When you visit Canada, let me know. We have Starbucks up here too, beside our Tim Horton’s and igloos. ;)

    • “Long-time lurker,” Haha love it, and I love it that I get the pleasure of hearing from you today, Iris :-D!! (& thank you for the amaze-balls compliments, too!)

      I haven’t read the entirety of Letter to a Young Poet but I’LL HAVE TO! If Iris likes it, I bet I’ll like it too.

      I’ll let you know should Canadian travels surface. (Igloos; I JUST KNEW YOU HAD IGLOOS!!)

      • Iris

        I meant every word! I’m also super jealous of your amaze-balls road trip. And I was going to offer to mail you my copy of Rilke so you could read it on the road but then I realized.. you’re on the road. HA

        Yes please come to Canada! I’ll build you an igloo! Er.. no promises on whether you’ll be able to fit in it or not. Also, we have poutine, nuff said. POUTINE IN IGLOOS!!

        • Ha, thanks anyways for the offer!

          I’m ashamed (?) to say that I didn’t know what poutine was. I JUST LOOKED IT UP ON GOOGLE AND I SORT OF WANT TO BARF. Um, but I guess it’ll be a cultural experience…

          Um, can’t wait…

          :-/

          :-P

  • Katie Louw

    I agree with Alygamache – this is my favourite yet and so apt. A week ago my life literally fell apart – I’m lucky the doctors saved my life. People are tiptoeing around me but I’m fine. Yes, I hurt. Yes, I’m uncomfortable but mentally I’m fine. My heart is sore for a loss I didn’t even know I could feel, but I’m still smiling, laughing and being me. Perhaps a better me as I’ve not fallen back into depression. In fact, someone told me today I look lighter in spirit! Thank you for your journey Therese it is certainly helping me with mine. Love & Light babe xx

    • Love & light right back atcha, Katie– lighter in spirit can never be a bad thing. Sending love your way xoxoxo…

  • Very peaceful post, Therese. Calming. :)

    • Thanks Josh. Hope you’re well…

  • Rae

    Just live! So true. Why do we need to ask questions and find answers? Answers just pop out of nowhere in my experience.

    • Hi Rae,

      Yep, live & trust.

      That said, I’m all for asking questions– in fact, I think it’s a very important thing to do– & yet our minds can’t always grasp the entirety of the answers we seek.

      ;-)

    • faithboo1

      !!! How To Get Your husband Back & Avoid Divorce !!!

      Hello to every one out here,I am Latisha Allen,From united states of America.I will start by saying to all that have experience heart break and also cant do with out there lover should please stop here and read up my story, So as you will know how to go solving or getting your ex back from this spell caster..AND AGAIN I WILL WANT TO ALSO TELL ALL THAT THIS SPELL CASTER I WILL WANT TO TELL THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT IS HARMLESS AND DO NOT HAVE ANY SIDE EFFECT, BUT TO RESTORE AND GIVE YOU BACK WHAT YOU DESERVE, COS WHEN I MEET WITH THIS SPELL CASTER THAT WAS INTRODUCED TO ME BY THE WIFE OF MY BOSS IN MY WORKING PLACE, HE MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE CAN CAST SPELL ON SO MANY OTHER PROBLEMS EXCEPT IN GETTING YOUR EX OR MAKING YOUR LOVER TO LOVE YOU MORE THAT WILL SUITE YOU. Last year December, My lover was cheating on me and was not also give me the attention that a man should give to a woman,And really that was troubling my mind and tearing my heart apart to the extent that i was not concentrating in the office the way i use to before the break up by my lover.And before that incident,I always see how my boss use to love his wife so much. I was binging to think that i was not doing the right thing to him that will make him love me forever,So i really gathered my courage and went to my boss wife office to ask her the secret that made her husband love her so dearly,In the first place she refused in telling me,She asked me why i am asking her such a question,That if is it not normal for every man to love his wife.I told her the reason that made me ask her about this question,That my lover started cheating on me lately,When i knelt down before her for her to see my seriousness in this issue that i went to ask her,She opened up to me by telling me that i should not tell anybody about what she want to tell me,The wife to my boss started to say to me that she used a very powerful spell on his husband to love her,And the spell that she used is harmless, But the spell is just to make him love her and never to look for any other woman except her. I QUICKLY ASK HER HOW DID SHE GET TO KNOW THIS GREAT,POWER,DURABLE AND PERFECT WORK SPELL CASTER,she said that a friend of hers also introduce her to him. Then i also ask her how i can meet with this spell caster.SHE SAID EVERYTHING TO ME,THAT THE NAME OF THIS SPELL CASTER IS Dr GREAT.My next question to her was how can i get this wonderful spell caster,She said she is going to give me the email of the spell caster for me to contact him for my problem,Really she gave to me this spell caster email and i contacted him and explained all to him,And after every thing that needed to be done by the spell caster, In the next two days, My lover that hated me so much came to house begging for forgiveness and i was so glad that i have finally gotten my heart desire..I was so grateful to this spell caster for what he has done for my life.. So i made a promise to him that i will always continue telling the world about his wonderful work towards me and also to other that came to you before and also the people that will also get to you from my story that i narrated online now..I will want to say to the entire world that you should not cry over noting again, That there is a great man that has been helping individuals to restore there Joy and smile in there faces !! The direct email to get this man is greatpowerspelltemple@gmail.com CONTACT HIM NOW THE BETTER FOR YOU TO GET QUICK SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS……………

  • I came to this same realization a couple of years ago when I went to my bookshelf to find a new book to read. I pulled out a couple that I had read years ago when I started my personal development journey. It wasn’t until I flipped through those books that I realized how far I had come.

    While I’m hoping to teach my young kids much of what I’ve learned, I know that they each have to walk their own paths and learn their own lessons, as you’ve discovered. I wish it hadn’t taken so long for me to learn what I did (and I continue to learn) but there’s no way to make it happen faster. I love your tree analogy. It’s all so true. Thanks for painting the real picture for everyone. You’re so awesome!!

    • Truth! I think there are ways that we can help people along in their journeys and pull them closer to new realizations, but ultimately they must come to it in their own time & in their own way :)

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  • Hi Therese,

    I am going to get a little off topic here, but so be it. When you discussed the difference between the confident, secure, take on the world you, and the other you it really got me thinking.

    I am simply blown away by how sensitive my confidence can be in some moments yet so stable in others. By the very nature of confidence I would think that it would not be able to get rattled. But that is far from the case. Rather it seems that confidence that is solid is just simply more resilient. Yes, I may fall down, but my confidence allows me to get up much quicker.

    I have moments of doubt, but with confidence I am back on my feet the next day (rather than the next month).

    It is a very interesting thing to me :)

    Thanks for making me think.

    • “Rather it seems that confidence that is solid is just simply more resilient. Yes, I may fall down, but my confidence allows me to get up much quicker.”

      I like your observation, Izmael– I notice that in myself, too.

  • Rad

    Maybe it’s from watching too many Disney movies as a kid, but I think I suffer from Cinderella syndrome. Looking for that moment where all of my problems are fixed. Isn’t it great that progress happens over time? Life would be so boring if we learned and grew spiritually overnight. It’s all about the journey, not the destination.

  • Regina Getz-Kikuchi

    absolutely loved seeing you today! one of my best friends gave me the full version of that Rilke quote years ago, after a big heartbreak. It has been one of my favorites ever since and I actually painted it last year, it’s hanging up in my room with an infinity symbol in the background. Thank you for your post, It really, REALLY resonated with me :) just like we were talking about, the gradual growth and shifts!!

    • Loved seeing you too, Regina! Looking forward to more of it :). It is a great quote, isn’t it?

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  • ImLostToo

    Love this post. I just think it’s a funny coincidence that I’m reading this in Starbucks with a Mocha Cookie Crumble Frappuccino in California!! :)
    Totally related to your writing as I’m trying to live/be comfortable with uncertainty since I think I’ve felt confused about life and the unknown.

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  • Lily

    Wow. Probably the most insightful, reassuring thing I’ve read since I started looking. Thank you so, so much for this – it’s so true that everything happens just as it’s meant to, when it’s meant to, for a reason, even if we can’t quite see how or why at the time. You are a truly awesome human being Therese – thank you so much for lighting up the world with your words!! :)

  • faithboo1

    !!! How To Get Your husband Back & Avoid Divorce !!!

    Hello to every one out here,I am Latisha Allen,From united states of America.I will start by saying to all that have experience heart break and also cant do with out there lover should please stop here and read up my story, So as you will know how to go solving or getting your ex back from this spell caster..AND AGAIN I WILL WANT TO ALSO TELL ALL THAT THIS SPELL CASTER I WILL WANT TO TELL THE WHOLE WORLD ABOUT IS HARMLESS AND DO NOT HAVE ANY SIDE EFFECT, BUT TO RESTORE AND GIVE YOU BACK WHAT YOU DESERVE, COS WHEN I MEET WITH THIS SPELL CASTER THAT WAS INTRODUCED TO ME BY THE WIFE OF MY BOSS IN MY WORKING PLACE, HE MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE CAN CAST SPELL ON SO MANY OTHER PROBLEMS EXCEPT IN GETTING YOUR EX OR MAKING YOUR LOVER TO LOVE YOU MORE THAT WILL SUITE YOU. Last year December, My lover was cheating on me and was not also give me the attention that a man should give to a woman,And really that was troubling my mind and tearing my heart apart to the extent that i was not concentrating in the office the way i use to before the break up by my lover.And before that incident,I always see how my boss use to love his wife so much. I was binging to think that i was not doing the right thing to him that will make him love me forever,So i really gathered my courage and went to my boss wife office to ask her the secret that made her husband love her so dearly,In the first place she refused in telling me,She asked me why i am asking her such a question,That if is it not normal for every man to love his wife.I told her the reason that made me ask her about this question,That my lover started cheating on me lately,When i knelt down before her for her to see my seriousness in this issue that i went to ask her,She opened up to me by telling me that i should not tell anybody about what she want to tell me,The wife to my boss started to say to me that she used a very powerful spell on his husband to love her,And the spell that she used is harmless, But the spell is just to make him love her and never to look for any other woman except her. I QUICKLY ASK HER HOW DID SHE GET TO KNOW THIS GREAT,POWER,DURABLE AND PERFECT WORK SPELL CASTER,she said that a friend of hers also introduce her to him. Then i also ask her how i can meet with this spell caster.SHE SAID EVERYTHING TO ME,THAT THE NAME OF THIS SPELL CASTER IS Dr GREAT.My next question to her was how can i get this wonderful spell caster,She said she is going to give me the email of the spell caster for me to contact him for my problem,Really she gave to me this spell caster email and i contacted him and explained all to him,And after every thing that needed to be done by the spell caster, In the next two days, My lover that hated me so much came to house begging for forgiveness and i was so glad that i have finally gotten my heart desire..I was so grateful to this spell caster for what he has done for my life.. So i made a promise to him that i will always continue telling the world about his wonderful work towards me and also to other that came to you before and also the people that will also get to you from my story that i narrated online now..I will want to say to the entire world that you should not cry over noting again, That there is a great man that has been helping individuals to restore there Joy and smile in there faces !! The direct email to get this man is greatpowerspelltemple@gmail.com CONTACT HIM NOW THE BETTER FOR YOU TO GET QUICK SOLUTION TO ALL YOUR PROBLEMS…

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