Feeling Spiritually Lost
By Audra Elkington
I have no idea what I’m doing.
This is the thought that is on repeat in my mind most days for the past few years. I’ve never been the most decisive person. When my husband and I would go out on dates, prior to getting married, our conversation would go something like this:
Husband: “So, you said you’re hungry, where would you like to eat?”
Me: “I don’t know. You decide.”
Husband: “Do you want Tacos or Burger and Fries?”
Me: “I don’t really care, just pick one.”
Truthfully, it wasn’t that I didn’t care. I just have decision paralysis. When presented with two or more options, I tend to get lost in the weeds and then just mentally shut down. This has proven to make things more difficult than necessary when the decision truly does rest on my shoulders. I (privately) jump for joy when I feel clear cut guidance on which option is the right choice.
While I don’t really enjoy the times I don’t see a clear path forward, I have found ways to help me know what my next step will be. It doesn’t mean I don’t backtrack at times, but at least I’m able to get moving. Forward momentum always feels better than inaction.
In a speech given at Brigham Young University in October 2020, Elder Gérald Caussé said, “Our physical condition can profoundly influence our spiritual wellness.” I have become keenly aware of how the state of my physical body can affect both my mental health and my spiritual health. If I’m eating cookies for breakfast and lunch (totally guilty of this), I walk through the day unable to focus, with a headache, and generally irritable. My mind cannot accept input from the Spirit because I’m too consumed with how awful I feel. It is essential for me to drink enough water, try to maintain some balance with my nutrition, and most important for me is to exercise most days. I find that getting rid of excess energy through movement is a great way to settle my mind.
I have also come to realize just how much consistency in the little things really does matter. President Eyring, in the October 2020 General Conference, said, “God has the power to make our way easier.” For me, He does this as I spend time feasting upon His words, repenting daily, and seeking His companionship each day. Even if I feel like I don’t get anything out of it, I have confidence that He will bless me for my efforts.
Lastly, as I seek to know how I can serve those around me, I begin to feel my own burdens become lighter. As I involve myself in acting in a way that I think the Savior would, seeking to bring light to another, I find myself seeking Him more. And anytime I include the Savior in my day, I feel empowered. I am “being nourished and comforted by a loving Savior, who knows how to succor.” (President Henry B Eyring, Tested, Proved, and Polished)
Feeling lost is unnerving and has the possibility to shut us down, to keep us from fulfilling our purpose in this life. But, I know we have a loving Heavenly Father who has provided us with tools to help us through the rough times. He wants us to succeed in finding our way on the covenant path. As we put those tools to use, we will find the guidance we seek. The tools are innumerable. We just have to get to work.