Human beings find lots of ways to distract themselves from themselves. COVID-19 has brought us face to face with ourselves and the temptations are plenty, whether isolated or juggling family and work at home, to distract ourselves from what we are feeling and what we are doing to cope with the uncertainty and constant change. Why are we so afraid to be with ourselves? What is it about being with ourselves that is so difficult? For some it feels too empty or boring to sit quietly with one’s self while others struggle to quiet the incessant chatter that goes on when they sit with themselves. For others they need the external stimulation to know they are okay, or the external stimulations are so great, there is not time to be with one’s self. And for others, they avoid themselves because of an inner sense of lack, vulnerability or shame.
Distractions, in and of themselves, are neither good nor bad; it is the reason why we engage in them that matters. If a distraction is a way to get relief, give one’s self a break or rejuvenate, that can be very healthy or a needed distraction. However, if we never find time to be alone to reflect, listen to ourselves for what we need or want, or avoid looking at aspects of ourselves that need attention, then a distraction becomes a means of avoidance and can perpetuate the very thing we are avoiding. Taking time to get to know ourselves is one of the best ways to be more productive, have better, more fulfilling relationships, and have a greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in our life.
Lurking in all of us are parts of ourselves that need attention, healing, and connection. Just for today notice how you distract yourself and when you do, take a moment to pause and check in with yourself. Perhaps you’ll discover yourself saying, “notice me!”