What do we legitimately need nowadays besides a roof, warmth and sustenance? There are the things that make contact and work more possible: a computer, some kind of cable, wireless in your house. Other things that keep us “us”, like our hair stuff, the right moisturizer, etc. Then there are those other things that we tell ourselves we need, or sometimes we tell ourselves we don’t need them but we tend to buy them anyway. The late night binge of whatever sort, or the online / in store “retail therapy” – in the moment it tends to work (or at least that’s what we tell ourselves) but really it’s like a pause button that costs us more in the long run. All of those “needs” that we have are tied to an illusion. That we have an emptiness. A void of some kind, that we need to fill or temper somehow, with something outside of ourselves.
I know the void feelings well and I constantly have to remind myself that it’s just an illusion; a concept that has been created as a distraction. There’s nothing lacking and nothing that needs to be filled. The key to relief lies in our ability to see that. Once we can see it or rethink it, we can figure out the right reaction to whatever the feelings are. The relief lies not in stuff or temporary numbing, but in spending some quality time with ourselves. Some damn good company. Things that remind us in a much more subterranean way who we are, why we are great and why we need look no further for comfort or soothing. Ever.
You are a great friend to hang out with. On Saturday nights! You can make yourself laugh, watch a fantastic movie, have valuable experiences that require no one else to witness them. Sometimes it can feel weird to spend time with yourself, like you could be doing something better or more noteworthy, but the truth is, the key to happiness in many ways lies in your best friendship with you. It’s cool to have a day where you spend the night in and make yourself the best meal ever. Other weekend activities like a hike, a walk to a favorite bakery, perhaps an at-home spa treatment or even tuning your snowboard so it’s waxed and smooth, are all things that help you reconnect to that self-awareness.
Even if you do spend lots of happy time alone, the self-soothing piece of this equation is still relevant to you. When we feel like we need something outside of us to make us, feel whole, whether it be a brand, the love of someone else, the new whatever it is, the night at the new bar with the fancy cocktails – all of that is false, and not what you need to be a better you. If you don’t already, start addressing yourself as a voice of reason. Yeah! Like talk to yourself. I do it and it helps me hear myself better. You are a self-contained entity that is bright, singular, and need only to follow the true course that your spirit wills you toward. And if that means you don’t go to any cool party or wear any cool clothes for years, that doesn’t change that. You are the source of newness and thought and creation and reflection. Forget about the stuff and just remember who you are outside of it.
Looking forward to a bright, healthy, wonderful best-year-ever 2012. Happy Sunday, xoxox Sarah
Featured image via theloushe’s Flickr gallery