Possibly one of the best little getaways my wife and I ever went on was a three night stay at a cabin up in the Cascade Mountains. The cool part about this particular trip is that the cabin was only accessible via snowmobile. So we packed all of our stuff on a little pull-behind and motored our way up the mountainside. The second day there we ventured out into the beautiful Cascade landscape -my wife and I on one snowmobile and our two friends on another. About one hour into our journey it began to snow, lightly at first and then all of the sudden it was a whiteout. We stopped along the side of a quickly disappearing trail and watched as my friend and his wife argued as to which way we should go. (I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous at this moment.) I assured my wife that everything was ok, that they had been up to this cabin hundreds of times and they knew these woods like the backs of their hands.
Within moments visibility was zero. Every tree was the same. Left was right and up was down.
We weren't lost. No, it was much worse than that. We were disoriented.
In many ways being disoriented is paramount to simply being lost. When you're lost you can stop and ask for some direction or you can retrace your steps. Whenever you tell someone you're lost they will usually do what they can to help you find your way. When you're disoriented though you might not even know where you started, or how you got there. In the most extreme cases of disorientation you might not even know where you were trying to get to. The other challenge is that the average person does not know how to help someone that's disoriented. If there is no starting point to speak of, and there seems to be no known goal, then being of any assistance can present a real challenge.
During times of disorientation it is not uncommon to be forced back to the simplest of understandings about life. This is not necessarily a bad thing. The unavoidable deconstruction of life's complexities can sometimes do more for the human spirit in a moment of disorientation than a lifelong pursuit of preventative care ever could.
If I am lost, I can usually find my own way out. Eventually. When I am disoriented my only response is to look beyond myself.