We live in a constant state of distraction. I could get into the chemical reactions that are actually taking place but the simple truth of the matter is we are addicted. As a society we have set a standard of activity without looking at productivity and have glorified movement without cause. We believe that we need to be busy for the sake of being busy. We’ve never stopped to consider something different and we do it because we are used to it. We do it because we think we have to.
In discussing this with a friend today, we talked about the pattern of how we are fed what we are “supposed” to do from a young age. We never question the pattern of eat, sleep, work, bills, buy shit we don’t need, repeat until we die. Unless or until we start to feel like something is off. Even then, we try hard to stifle that feeling with more consuming or creating unhealthy habits. For me, that feeling resulted in lots of control issues, some anger, lots of fear, tons of anxiety, some over eating, and constantly questioning my worth/who I am. There wasn’t one moment that triggered me, but a successive series of things that made me realize that I didn’t want to continue living like that.
So, the only thing that helped me in that moment was…..nothing. Well, that’s not quite true. It was more the act of STOPPING. It was refusing to repeat the same patterns for a time and being still. It’s still something I struggle with because my mind is pretty active (for the positive and the negative) but learning to recognize the busy mind for what it is (mismanaged thoughts) and to pause really helps.
In stopping and getting quiet, it’s a chance to hear what is inside. For me I heard loud and clear that I needed to redirect my energy and reconsider my value. I relied on validation from other people and I put in so much effort toward doing what made them happy rather than building a foundation for myself. I had to establish trust with myself. Trust that I could make the right decisions. Trust that things would work out how they were meant to. Trust that I would find the support of those who really wanted to be with me and wouldn’t just use me for their own purposes.
From my experience working through this, I know it is something that has to be continually replayed in our minds. It isn’t a one shot thing. It’s a constant effort until you learn to trust that you’re ok in this new state of not relying on anyone to make you feel a certain way. Stopping and getting quiet shows you what is really important in your life. Beyond the things, beyond the bills, beyond whatever it is you’re using to distract you from the fear that you can’t achieve what you want doing what you love.
The truth is we have lost the value of the pause because we allow ourselves to get distracted. The pause makes a lot clear including steps we need to take to get us closer to our goals. So much more is attainable than we allow ourselves to believe because we have been trained to think we have to have it all at once or there is no value to it. Learning to take it slow and take things one bite at a time still gets us the same result in the end. Don’t become so obsessed with the final result that you lose sight of the small victories that it took to get there. And don’t get so distracted by the little things we are told to focus on that you give up before you get what you want. Keep going. One step at a time if needed, but keep going.