The Lost Souls

Don't let bitter, unhappy people drag you down to their level. Instead, use their behavior as an example of how not to behave, and be grateful you are nothing like them. (1)

By “lost” I don’t mean physically lost as in can’t figure out how to physically get where they’re going.  But it’s similar!

The Lost Souls are simply lost in that:

  • they don’t know what they want
  • they don’t know who they are
  • they don’t know who they want to be
  • they don’t know who they want as friends and/or lovers
  • they don’t know what they want to do
  • they don’t know, really and truly, how they feel
  • they are addicted and have yet to reach a point where they want help

Usually it happens by accident.  Seriously – don’t you remember when you were young or a teenager and you had dreams about who or what you wanted to be when you grew up?  I know I did.  Then life happened.  Then one day several years ago, I woke up and thought to myself, “I don’t know exactly what I want but it sure as hell isn’t this!

And that was very, very good news!  When you know what you don’t want, you’re well on your want to discovering what it is that you do want!  But I’m getting ahead of myself…

People can be lost for a host of different reasons.  For some, they simply lack the character or emotional fortitude that it takes to be responsible for their own lives and their own circumstances.  They never are able to understand how their thoughts, beliefs and actions actually create their lives, so they never take advantage of their own power in changing their circumstances.

Others have some emotional issue or illness, such as narcissism or the like, and they literally are not capable of seeing the damage they inflict nor of changing their behavior.

Others are simply too freaking lazy!  It takes a lot of energy and courage to look at yourself in the mirror.  Some of us embrace self-exploration while others just can’t be bothered.  These Lost Souls, quite frankly, just piss me off!  Seriously, they’re wasting this lifetime because they’re lazy!  Ridiculous!

Still others are in the throws of addiction.  My personal belief about a lot of addicts is that they are the most sensitive among us and they are easily overwhelmed.  The use of substances or activities to numb pain or to cope is understandable if unfortunate.  Addiction adds a highly volatile component to dealing with a Lost Soul.

Hopefully, periods of being a Lost Soul are brief and intermittent throughout a lifetime.  It does happen to all of us.  We get knocked down by life and it takes us a while to get back up.  What happens if you are in a relationship with someone who never seems to get back up?

The most painful of the Lost Souls are those who are chronically lost.  Their belief systems support them in their slavery.  They believe they are destined to be unhappy, alone, broke, poor, unhealthy, etc., etc.  And they will allow nothing, I mean NOTHING, you say or do to change their belief systems.

Whatever the cause, the unabashed, bitter truth about chronically Lost People is that you can’t save them.  It never works.

They just drag you right down into the bottomless pit of unhappiness with them.

The first time I ran across such a Lost Soul, I was in my early thirties.  I’ll never forget where we were when the conversation occurred.  We were discussing some things that were not satisfactory to both of us when the other person looked at me, with all sincerity, and said, “If I knew what to do, I would do it.

I’m fairly certain I rolled my eyes.  I probably threw up a little in my mouth.  I imagine my verbal response was something like, “Bull. Shit.”  Not surprisingly, within a few weeks of that conversation, my relationship with that person became very distant.

Hindsight is wonderful because we now know that nothing ever changed for that person.  Nothing.

If another person doesn’t see anything wrong with their words, actions or patterns of behavior, you are seriously looking for love in all the wrong places if you’re trying to maintain a close relationship with them.

Likewise, if they just pay lip service to wanting things to change, like my friend, but they want you to do all the work for them, they will drag you right down into the quicksand with them.  You’ll invest time, energy & emotion, but you’ll only receive insincere apologies, unhappiness and frustration in return.

You will literally drown emotionally trying to help those who cannot or will not help themselves.

But what about choosing to love them anyway?  What about being a loving, compassionate person towards all beings?  What about the admonition to “love one another”?  What about being optimistic and hopeful for change?  After all, none of us can predict the future.

True, we can’t predict the future.  But as they say about the stock market, the best indicator of future performance is past performance.

People can change.  I believe that wholeheartedly.  But I am not willing to sacrifice my emotional stability and peace of mind for anyone else’s.  Not for any length of time.  (And the older I get, the shorter the period of time!)

None of us are put in these physical bodies in this lifetime to sacrifice ourselves for another.  Nothing about being a martyr or a victim is holy or desirable or necessary or enviable or “godly”.

Although we are all connected, we are each responsible for ourselves.  It is no one else’s job to “save” another.  If you get out of the way and allow others to experience the consequences of their beliefs, actions and patterns of behaviors, they might just change on their own.

Or they may not.  Whatever.

In the end, you’ve got to be your own hero and save yourself.  Love those Lost Souls from a distance.  Send them love from far away.

Allow them the freedom to be who they are!  If they’re chronically unhappy, let them be unhappy.  If they’re chronically lonely, let them be lonely.  If they’re chronically poor and broke, let them be poor and broke.  If they’re chronically unhealthy, let them be sick.

It’s not your job to “fix” them.  Ever.  Sit with them if it’s a temporary situation and love them as hard as you can.  If it’s chronic, you have to save yourself.

Love them from your heart.  When you think of them, see them as healthy, happy and whole.  That’s the absolute best thing you can do for another being – visualize them health, happy and whole then let it go.

The saddest thing you could ever do is willingly allow yourself to be broken while you try to fix someone else.  It never works.

I know this to be an absolute truth.  I tried.


4 thoughts on “The Lost Souls

  1. I believe my ex-wife was a lost soul. She was constantly searching for meaning, reading blogs and self-help books. She was always unhappy in her hospitality industry jobs, and spent much time discussing and planning ways to have a more meaningful vocation. I invested so much in her; I encouraged her to not work so she could focus on her passions (I worked and paid the bills), I shelled out for her yoga training, I spent countless hours consoling her through her bouts of sadness and depression, I racked by brain trying to figure out how to motivate her as one method after another failed. I defaulted to simply providing her love. And how was I repaid? With the news one day, out of the blue, that she had had the realization we were “not right for each other”… that I was not the spark that she needed. This resulted in her request divorce a mere 3.5 weeks after the realization.

    “For some, they simply lack the character or emotional fortitude that it takes to be responsible for their own lives and their own circumstances. They never are able to understand how their thoughts, beliefs and actions actually create their lives, so they never take advantage of their own power in changing their circumstances.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I used to say “I’m so sorry this happened to you” when I hear stories like yours, but now I know that we come out of these experiences stronger, more resilient and actually with a greater capacity for love than before. Hugs to you, fellow traveler! How are you coping with it?


      1. I think it’s okay to say both. I am sorry this happened to me, but I am confident I will recover and find someone even better… or at least learn from this experience in some way. Coping as well as I can, I think. It’s been quite a hard experience but I am taking a proactive approach. I guess you could say I am being a breakup warrior (thanks for the term). Throw me a follow and let’s stay in touch 🙂


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