Awareness of self turns out to be what is most often missing when we feel empty and alone. When we feel like something is missing, usually that “something” is us. I often am uncomfortable when I find myself alone with time to spare, time which is not dedicated to a specific pursuit or hobby. Idle time is not my friend. I feel uncomfortable being alone with myself, and instead must fill the time with some pursuit or another, be it eating, shopping, working on my budget, or some other such hobby to distract from myself. I’m not good at sitting and being alone with myself. I look outside myself to feel fulfilled in other words.
On the topic of awareness, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“We keep ourselves so busy and so overworked that we do not have time to see that we are in a fog and searching for something of great importance.
We look to our work, our money, or our families to fulfill us, and all these ‘solutions’ fail miserably.
Even if we are successful, when we stop long enough we are aware of a feeling of loneliness and emptiness. We have failed to realize that nothing from outside can really fill us up and that the person we really long to find is ourselves. Not having ourselves and not being in touch with ourselves is life-threatening. When we leave ourselves, we are more vulnerable to outside influences and less aware of what we really need.
How exciting it is to begin to see the fog lift and to know that for which we so desperately search has been there within us all the time.”
It turns out that what we are looking for has been within us the whole time. It is us, in fact. We can distract ourselves all we want, but we will never be truly satisfied. We can never really rest until we are comfortable with who we are. That takes a certain level of self-awareness. We must be aware of who we ware in order to be comfortable with that person. We cannot be aware of ourselves unless we spend some time discovering who that person is. That requires being alone without other distractions to pull our attention away. Awareness requires us to be fully present and mindful. We can distract ourselves all we want, but we will never truly feel fulfilled and satisfied until we can be alone with ourselves and fully aware of who we are. This is something I’ve been struggling with lately. I need to get a little more comfortable with who I am, that’s all.