Life is full of distraction. If we’re feeling lonely, sad, or worried, we only have to turn to the external world to escape and find a temporary state of balance. It seems relief is at every turn of the head, be it a television, computer, smartphone, or social media site.
Search for Harmony
When the relief sets in during our search for harmony, we somehow feel we’ve conquered the inner demon. We may experience temporary feelings of empowerment, one that gives us a gentle nudge away from our discomfort and towards more harmonious times.
I’m one of those who has turned to the distraction of social media when I crave a sense of belonging and harmony. Typically, I scroll and scroll endlessly seeking something that will distract me from the tasks at hand. I scroll and chuckle, temporarily lifting me to good vibes.
At first glance, I’d agree. But, I never look at something just at first glance. I tend to dig deeper. In so doing, I realize that every time I escape into external stimuli, I become more and more dependent on it to pull me out of a temporary funk.
The truth about harmony
So many of us live distracted lives. Many of us bury ourselves into our chosen distractions in order to avoid having to get to the root cause of our feelings in the first place. The more we do this, the deeper we will eventually bury ourselves.
This got me wondering, why do we escape in the first place? Are we running from ourselves?
We all have things that we’d rather not deal with. Maybe it’s a childhood bully who plagues the mind still. Maybe it’s a fear of getting old and becoming irrelevant. Maybe the fear is not being smart enough or having the necessary skills to succeed. Whatever it is, we’ve all got these hidden thoughts that chase us from time to time.
It’s exhausting to be in constant defense mode of them. As long as we keep running, we’ll never be in harmony.
For me, I always tended to measure my happiness in terms of how many books I sold at the end of the day. Most Indie writers might be able to relate to this. Checking the facts and figures is addictive, especially when those numbers continue to grow. The danger is when they start declining. You see, at one point I used to equate my success and purpose to those numbers. Pretty dangerous, right? I placed enormous power in something completely outside of myself, something over which I had virtually no control.
What a wake up call I finally had one day when I realized that I was addicted to my obsession of being relevant in my chosen field. I feared losing the grip on it. That fear created a rash of emotions that actually took me further away from the joy of building my treasured writing career.
This realization came to me when I read a book called Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joseph Dispenza. Every single sentence in that book rang true for me and opened my eyes to the notion that I was externalizing my reality, and as a result slowly destroying any chance I had of being fulfilled.
While reading this book, I started to ask myself questions about my purpose and desires. The answers surprised me. I learned, with little surprise, that I was trying to please people and worried about how others would perceive me. This was so dangerous. This put all control on others instead of myself.
How I Got Back in Harmony
How did I eventually get to the point where I changed this? I began to journal, and go inward. I began to ask myself deep questions that only I could answer for myself, questions completely independent of the external world.
Questions such as:
Why do I exist?
What’s good about some of the problems I’m facing?
How do I feel right at this moment?
What gifts do I have that I can share without concern for conformity and judgment?
What is one of life’s simplest joys?
Suddenly, I became mindful. I connected with myself on a personal level. I began to listen to myself and nurture the concerns that in the past made me want to escape. I faced the fears from which I had tried to run and stared at them with great intention, squashing their power.
From allowing for quiet time with myself, I explored past judgments and anxious emotions, perceiving them in new light and seeing them for that they really were, owned by the external world!
Take back Your Harmony!
In this journey, I freed myself mentally from being tangled up in the perceived dramas happening outside of myself. The result was discovering that I had the ability all along to erase self-doubt and fear by simply being still and honest with my thoughts.
In this information age, where so much can distract us, it’s easy to get lost. The process to break distracting habits and learn to love quiet, reflective time is a process and journey best taken one step at a time. With practice, old habits can be shed and new ones formed, ones that will be yours and yours only, dependent on no one but yourself.
When we free ourselves from a dependency on external factors, we place ourselves on the path to harmony and ultimate fulfillment.
Let’s turn it over to you.
Have you stopped to nurture yourself lately? Do you feel the outside world is noisy and keeping you from maintaining a healthy grip on your purpose and happiness? What are you doing about it? Do you have a process that has worked to help you reclaim your harmony?