• Surapsari Fujimaru

Finding and Following Your Inner Compass



We all experience transition in life. It is inevitable as long as we exist. It is the order of nature: weather changes, seasons shift, and people live through transitions. Yet much discomfort during a transition urges us to avoid it as much as possible.


The time between the death of the old self and the birth of a new one is full of unknowns, confusion, fear, self-doubt, and pain. In such times, we want a map clearly showing how to arrive at our destination using the fastest and shortest route.


Time is of the essence in our modern culture. Who will give me a map right now? Who can quickly tell me which way to go?


I sobbed uncontrollably in the rose garden the day after releasing my husband's cremation remains into the Gulf of Mexico. I went there to start a new life after losing my life partner of twenty years. I naively thought the beauty of roses would help me heal my deep wounds and gently guide me to the next phase of my life.


What I experienced instead was an acute sense of void. I saw life was passing by me. While other people in the garden embraced the blessings of the fragrant roses, I gazed at the unclosable distance between the magic and me. Beauty that would always wrap my heart with love and awe left me with no mercy.


I felt totally lost. I was clueless about where I was and which way I needed to go.


A couple of days later, I was sitting with a man who had lost his wife of forty years some time ago. We belonged to the same spiritual community but never had a chance to get to know each other. Noticing my distressed state, my dear friend suggested I meet with this man. She thought he could give me some advice about grieving and life transition. I didn't know what to expect but asked him for a meeting following my intuition.


We sat together in silence for a while. Then we shared our experiences of losing a soulmate. I talked about my time in the rose garden. I told him I was lost and felt I could never emerge from this state of void and chaos.


"In the confusion of transition," he said quietly, "we eventually find a direction. It is not a clear path but a general sense of which way the wind is blowing."


Sitting with the wise friend in silence, I realized nobody would hand me a map to show my destination.


I had to find my inner compass that would point in a direction.


I needed to plunge into chaos and dig out the compass to save my sanity.


It was the beginning of my transformation journey. My inner compass showed me the direction toward India, where I would soon face chaos inside and outside of me.

Other people have never been where you've been and other people are not going where you're going, so why look to them for the path you should be going? - Glennon Doyle