Busyness leaves us little time for ourselves. We are so focused on doing and accomplishing, being there for others and honoring our commitments, of which we have far too many, that we fail to recognize the importance of time spent just on us. When we neglect our own needs in this way and ignore our desire for time alone, we become unbearable to be around. We lash out at others. By being rude and abrasive, we push others away, and at the same time, we absolve ourselves of the responsibility to act on our own behalf. This creates excitement and drama, but also results in hurt feelings and messes we must clean up later. There has to be a better way.
On the topic of busyness, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“When we do not recognize that we have become too busy and overextended, we too find ourselves being ‘changeable, fitful, and maddening.’ Our lack of awareness of our needs and our inability to attend to them sets up a situation where our only recourse is to become so obnoxious that others will leave us alone. Then we do not have to take responsibility for stating that we need time to ourselves and taking it. Of course, this particular technique for getting alone time usually results in fences that need to be mended.
There are other ways of having what we need. We can let ourselves know that we need time to ourselves and then we can arrange to have it.”
Oh, what chaos we could avoid if only we could be honest with ourselves about what we truly desire. If we paid attention to our own bodies and minds, if we listened to what they are calling out for and actually took action in a direct and forthright way, what a different world we would live in. Can you imagine how different your life would be if you could just be honest with yourself and the people around you? We would save others the pain of being rejected callously. We’d save ourselves the guilt of treating others badly and hiding our true intentions, and we would also save the effort of cleaning up after ourselves, of mending broken relationships and healing broken hearts. Eventually, people learn not to trust you if you go on treating them in this way. Some relationships break beyond repair, and then what? You’ve lost a true friend who would have been happy to give you the space you crave if only you explained your needs to them. It’s time we stop letting busyness run our lives and come between us and others.