Many of us walk through life on automatic pilot. We rush waking up, have coffee, shower, ready ourselves for work, or get the children ready for school, then ourselves, and we’re off.. the day begins. We trudge through the day, work, gym, shopping, cooking, cleaning, meetings, phone calls and the list goes on and on. We simply don’t stop!
One reason, simply put, is the demands of modern life. Another reason is to escape the void. What is the void? Many experience it, many have it. It’s that feeling of emptiness that is constantly there, deep within you. You don’t know what it is, nor why it’s there. It just is, as I have labeled it ‘the void’. So we avoid it, we keep ourselves busy, and when we’re not busy we’re bored or depressed. We just can’t be alone with ourselves.
Many try to continue to busy ourselves with external things, material things. Many turn to mood altering substances, alcohol drugs, gambling, sex. Addiction often develops. At some point in addiction treatment, the newly recovering addict will bring up the void, accompanied by the statement ‘I didn’t or don’t feel comfortable with myself’. How many of us relate to that?
Modern life is filled with wonderful technology, and wonders making our lives so much easier. At the same time, it separates us from one another. Not that long ago, generations of families remained in the same village, or within 26 miles of one another. Now, we’re continents apart. A few lines in an e mail, or text message, a phone call on your smart phone, or if you really want to be personal skype! Our lack of personal contact (sorry x box won’t cut it!), has not only affected our relationships with others, and creating a bond with others, a sense of belonging, which is a significant part of the void, it more over has created the lack of connectedness to ourselves.
I’m reminded of a verse from ‘The Invitation’ written by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, “ It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you can truly like the company you keep”
In my opinion, the void is that lack of connectedness to ourselves, and to others. that lack of feeling comfortable in our own skin or our connection, true connection to others. Perhaps if we take those extra few moments each day to do that little bit extra in actually making a visit, finding out something more about ourselves, something we truly like, and perhaps sharing it with a friend, or a loved one. You could take a walk or just a sit and talk where there are no phones, games, TV, music blaring, video games. Share a joke with someone .. go on a simple adventure, maybe around the block. You never know, gradually, your void will get smaller, and one day you will realize that yes, you can be alone with yourself and like the company you keep.
Be well, be happy