We live in a busy world, one filled with an insane amount of distractions. It’s no wonder we are a society filled with stress, anxiety and depression. Everyday we are bombarded with noise – work, family, society – and too often we are unable to disconnect, to find peace and solitude in the quiet inner workings of our minds. Being truly present has become increasingly more and more difficult as we multi-task and attempt to survive a lifestyle that has become too noisy, too demanding, too hectic for our own good.
How then, do we find time to be still with our own thoughts? To find peace with silence? To find comfort in the lack of movement? It is as though we have been trained to constantly be on the move, constantly be involved in too many things, constantly be a part of every event going on around us. We have taught ourselves that in order to find happiness we must be the best, do the best, give our best at every second of every day. Sadly, this measure of who we are as a person has left too many of us overworked, overstretched, and overly stressed. It has also taken away the notion of being alone, of being comfortable in being alone. Spending time with ourselves has become taboo, it has become a selfish act that too many of us overlook and discard as though it is unneeded. But I beg to differ. I say that we are doing a disservice to OURSELVES and each other by NOT taking the time to be alone, to self-discover who we are.
By taking the time to reconnect with ourselves, we are able to quiet the noise in our heads, silence the inner voice of discontentment in our hearts, and mute the static of everything else around us. Whether our alone time is found in the form of prayer, meditation, fitness, etc we must use that time to clear the clutter, to reconnect with ourselves and allow our minds, hearts and souls to find peace with who we are. WE must turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the sounds of the world for just a little while so that we may recenter ourselves and regain our equilibrium. If we do not attempt to do this for ourselves, how then, can we find the strength and determination to help those around us? How do we become a better person for not only ourselves but those in our lives if we are not comfortable and accepting of who we are as individuals first and foremost?
It isn’t selfish to take time for yourself. On the contrary, if you don’t take time for yourself what good will you be for others? Remember when you are on an airplane and the safety video tells you to put on your oxygen mask FIRST before helping another in need? Well, think about it, if you aren’t getting the air you need to stay alive, how in the world could you possibly help someone else get the air they need to survive? As a mother, wife, daughter, friend, you name it, we are only as good to one another as we are to ourselves. Their is no guilt or shame in finding time for you. Don’t be a martyr and give all of yourself to those around you because if you do, then you’ll have nothing left for yourself. Take the time to find you, whether that is a five minute morning prayer or an hour at the gym, make the time to take care of yourself and not someone else. When you are strong, those around you feel your strength. When you are at peace, those around you feel your peace. And when you are centered, those around you feel your centeredness. The same is for the opposite. So, I leave you with one question – are you good at finding time for yourself so that others will benefit from it also?