Sometimes in the past, a weekend idle at home was very difficult for me to pass I wanted to work and work, more and more. So much so that if there was a strike back in Pakistan my bosses had to call me and tell me to not attend work.
I realized alot later that this was only because I had never learnt to be with myself. Being with myself alone was so frightening that I was always at the go- keeping myself busy- doing one thing and than the next-
Does this sound familiar?
And so because I never spent time with myself. My inner contadictions kept increasing. So much so that one day I had a terrible back pain, I immediately ran into the emergency of the hospital. And that was the time when I realized how ruthless and inconsiderate I had been with myself.
Have you ever realized we jump from one relationship to another, one Facebook post to another, one call to a friend to another, one message to another, from one object of attention to another?
And that makes us lose our connection with ourselves. We stay busy all day long without getting in touch with ourselves. We become mechanical. Having robotic lives. From home to work, from work to home or taking care of the needs of the family, our spouses, children or, etc.
Sometimes I hear women say “I am so exhausted with the routine life I will go out with a friend and have time for myself.”
Seeing a friend, Watching a drama, a movie, shopping, is all that comes to our mind?
But let me tell you. This is not the time you spend with yourself. This is the time you spend in another relationship of your life. That is your friend.
The real-time you spend with yourself is connecting with yourself and for that, you don’t need a company or any object of attention. All you need is ‘yourself.’
We keep seeking love and fulfillment from objects, relationships, work, etc hoping it gives us everlasting love and joy.
But in truth it doesnot. It gives us certain sense of love and fulfillment. But for a very short time and than we are again on our own, yet trying to see them again.
Have you ever noticed after seeing a friend, or shopping or movie we repeat the entire experience to all our friends on facebook by posting pictures and those who are not their we send them text messages and share our experience?
After the excitement is over, we plan something new now and the pattern repeats over and over again.
And that is why we need one thing and than the another. If you have to spend one afternoon with you. It becomes completely immpossible. Some people even become depressed.
So from now- spend sometime in solitude.
But what is solitude?
Solitude is when you are with yourself, completely aware of yourself.
Love your company and you will never need anyone. I used the word “need” here “need” means something you can not live without. (it could be a person or a material). You may or may not have friends, partner, family etc but you need anyone.
You are happy and contented with yourself. And this is when you will understand the real meaning of love, relationships, life, God and etc.
This is what our famous poets Bulleh Shah, or Allama Iqbal who talked about ‘Khudi’ and Rumi meant. Following is my favorite poem of Bulleh Shah, it is in Punjabi but I am translating in English for you as well:
Parh parh Alam te faazil hoya Te kaday apnay aap nu parhya ee na.
You read to become knowledgeable But you never read yourself
Bhaj bhaj warna ay mandir maseeti Te kaday mann apnay wich warya ee na
You run to enter temples and mosques But you never entered your own heart
Bulleh Shah asmaani ud-deya pharonda ay Te jera ghar betha unoon pharya ee na
Bulleh Shah you try grabbing that which is in the sky But you never get hold of ‘What’ lives inside you?
And Rumi, “Everything in the universe is within you. Ask all from yourself.”
Here are the steps you can take right now and be aware and present with yourself.
Step 1: Pause- stop being mechanical. Do nothing, be silent, be aware of your body movements, of your breath, of your thoughts, of your feelings, and the inner deepest hidden fears.
Step 2: Reflect: In the beginning you will feel it is hard. Your mind will come up with things that need your time and attention. Notice this urge. Do not let the mind control you.
Step 3: Meditate every day even if it is for a short while. That would be a beautiful start. Meditate and watch the thoughts. Do not react. Just observe them.
Step 4: Make it a practice. Spend time with yourself. Even if its 10 minutes everyday.
Step 5: After it becomes easy now you can spend 30 minutes with yourself everyday.
Issue accepting yourself?
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