I saw a programme about hoarders on television just now. The lady that was being helped said she picks up things and hoards them cause she needed to fill up the emotional void she was having and after the sometime she feels empty again goes right out again to pick up things to fill up the new void and she had continued like that for over 20 years. That got me thinking about my own feelings.
Have I been feeding my own emotional void and need for the past 30 years? I keep looking for new things, new projects and new situation to do or handle. What is the void I have ? What am I actually avoiding ? Pain , deep sadness , hurt , acceptance , confrontation , anger …….. Yes , Maybe …..
Facing oneself is actually the hardest and most demanding thing in the whole wide world. Trust me , I have done some pretty difficult and exhausting things in my life but looking , identifying and accepting my inner issues are indeed tough but it is worth it ! A quote from Buddha comes to my mind “ One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousand times a thousand ,on the battlefield.”
I have been constantly involved in demanding situations in the institutes I have worked in. I have taken personal pain in improving the quality of teaching and learning for my students. I have challenged administrators, colleagues , parents and students. I have gone out of my way to both emotionally , physically and financially to achieve these changes. I have come home with aches and massive stress but yet I still embraced these demanding situations. I had chances to walk away but I never did cause I always insist I don’t believe in jumping ship.
Even in my personal life , I was always solving problems for my extended family and looking out for them. I was also always catching up on the problems around the world and discussing it. Now and then, I spend time enlightening people about these problems and worrying about them. I have caught myself once or twice in the past thinking “.. Oh .. nothing alarming is happening around the world.. there is nothing for me to worry or inform others.” I wonder whether I was addicted to stressful situations cause they would occupy my time and attention so I don’t have to think or pay attention to my inner feelings. It was a way of escapism. Yes , it is avoidance and I was forever looking for stressful and demanding situations to fill up my void. Oh ! how much I have hurt myself physically and emotionally. I am so sorry to myself for all the pain and exhaustion I caused my body. I am sorry to my emotions and my feelings for not addressing and easing their suffering. I promise now , today , I will always respect and care for my body. I will always address my affliction and work on them. Yes . I am grateful , I have the common sense to break this chain of seeking and filling up my void.
How do I do it ?
1. I tell myself I deserve a break and rest. “ Enjoy a cup of tea and listen to some songs. You don’t need to be constantly doing things. You body and mind deserve to rest. Respect them .”
2. It’s okay to not to do anything specific. “ From time to time everyone and everything takes a break. Animals hibernate,machines are stopped for servicing and the same rule applies to human beings. It’s okay to be just lying down, looking at the sky or reading a good book.”
3. I don’t need drama or stress to make me feel inspired. “ My best does not comes out when I am under stress. I don’t need miserable incidents, unhappy scenarios , accidents , or scandals to engage my mind.” “ My life is not boring just because nothing demanding is happening around me.”
4. I don’t need to seek new demanding situations to replace old or past ones. “ It’s okay if nobody needs my advice, my skills or my contribution. I am not useless or insignificant if I am not needed. I am happy doing my daily chores and appreciating nature and people around me.”
5. Learn to say No . This is something I have trouble with due to my upbringing ,culture and childhood conditioning. “ I am sorry , I would not be able to …….. . ” “ I need some time to think over before I give you my answer….”
* If you are not able to say no today, try again tomorrow , try the day after tomorrow , the key is to keep trying.
6. Not to be disappointed or angry with myself. It’s not easy to change my thought patterns or to learn new ideas. Be patient with myself. “ It’s alright. I will try again.” “ This is new for me so It’s okay if I make mistakes or stumble..”
Always give yourself a chance cause you are worth it !