The Great Paradox of Losing Yourself


You’ve got to lose yourself in order to find yourself. 

You’ve got to traipse into the unknown and fall into the unfamiliar, in order to truly remember the truth.

Yes, this seems kind of paradoxical. But that is the nature of life. And it is exactly what I experienced last week.


A little story for you

With a growing number of thoughts taking up space in my brain, I was beginning to feel claustrophobic. I couldn’t sink down into “the spaces in between”.  I couldn’t even recognise those spaces. I was avoiding my meditation. And the thought of sitting on my yoga mat made me a little queazy. I had lost that sense of connection to the Divine. I knew it existed within me. Heck, only a few days beforehand I had been deep in the flow. But now it seemed unattainable.

I was lost. 

Frustrated & frazzled, I took to the bush. I just had this aching desire  to hike amongst thick sheathings of green and brown, and be surrounded by nothing but nature. As it is not somethingI do on the reg, the force behind this yearning was unclear to me at first. But from experience, I know that you can’t go ignoring those feelings.

Alone, I entered the dense forest, first with my music blaring. I was willing myself to dance along, hoping the beat would uplift me. But it didn’t feel right. My head still rang with thoughts. As I followed the path clearly etched into the forest floor, I removed my headphone and I demanded myself to stay present, to dettach from my monkey mind and surrender to this space.

Still my head raced. 

  • “How long should I walk for?”
  • “What time is it?”
  • “If I get out of here by 2pm, I’ll then have time to go to yoga…”

I was still in planning mode. Still grasping onto the thoughts that waltzed into my head. Still allowing them to have my full attention. And that sense of peace I so deeply craved… I was yet to feel it.

Then it hit me. That paradox, I spoke of earlier.

You’ve got to lose yourself in order to find yourself.

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Suddenly I found myself diverting from the path. I began to adventure.  I leapt over fallen trees and pushed through thick scrub. I found pockets of sunshine, where, with eyes closed and hands opened up to the sky,  I drank in the light. After bouts of exploration I would come back to the path, but whenever my attention was drawn to something “off-road” I didn’t second guess myself. I disappeared into the unknown. 

At one point I found myself climbing over big boulders, being energetically lured by something. At the top of these big rocks was a clearing. I knew it was here that I was being led. So I sat. Not in formal meditation. I just simply sat. Breathing in the energy of the trees. Observing the subtleties of nature in action.There were no thoughts of “where to next” or “how long should I sit here for?”. Time itself seemed to disappear. That peace that I was so eager to find, I had located it… deep within the wilderness. In a place, I could not now, for the life of me remember how to find.

I was living out the paradox.

I was lost yet incredibly found. 

The paradox explained

Losing yourself is the act of allowing the ego to drift away. It’s losing the “self”, that we so often mistake to be our truth. The one that frets and fears. The one that plans and predicts. It is this “self” that takes up residence over our true nature. It blocks our connection with the Divine. So when we attach to this ego driven identity, we feel lost. That void or feeling of complete emptiness, which Victor Frankl coined “the existential vacuum”, seems to overwhelm us.

It is only when we lose this “self” that we stop feeling so lost. When we allow this “self” to melt away, we rediscover the Divinity within us. And come into alignment with our truth. Hello… ease, flow, peace, joy, love. All the good stuff! 

So in essense, to lose yourself should really be … to lose your “self”.  As it is simply the act of detaching from your false identity (the ego) and coming home to You.

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 How to lose your “self”

The ego self cannot exist when we reside completely in the moment. This is where the magic lies. This is where we have access to our true state of being. When we are so immersed in the Now, there is simply no space for the ego to exist.

But how do you live completely in the moment? 

Keep life exciting. Stop viewing your existence like one long monotonous movie. Remember that every moment is different. 

If you can’t quite see it this way, you must break out of routine. Get off the beaten track and make your own god-damn path. Deliberately plunge into circumstances of uncertainty, ones in which the ego can not possibly predict or plan the outcome. Sink into the unfamiliarity of it all.

It is in these moment that our true being becomes more accessible. The one in which does not feel the need to predict, control or plan. So indulge in the present moment. Here’s a few ideas to get you started.

Lose your “self” in….

  • Someone’s touch/ gaze/ presence
  • The wilderness
  • The deep, all-encompassing ocean
  • The cooking of delicious meal. Using all of your senses to stay present.
  • The simple act of walking. Opening up to everything that is around you.

Every moment is a chance to lose your “self”. Consequently, every moment is a chance to find, or in actual fact, remember your true state of being. 

So go get lost.  What the hell are you waiting for? 

Big Love Meg x

2 Comments to “The Great Paradox of Losing Yourself”

  1. Erin says:

    Meg, that was such a beautiful post. Your writing, your story and your truth-telling – it was all so freaking beautiful. I’m going to try and stay in the moment for the rest of today. xx

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