25 Sept 2022

COLUMN: 'The real extraordinary things live within the ordinary facets of life'

Mental Health Matters

COLUMN: 'The real extraordinary things live within the ordinary facets of life'

Cathal O’Reilly has written a book of poetry titled Catching The Thought, the proceeds of which are being donated to C-SAW

The modern world is not designed in a way that allows us to reconnect with our true selves.

Our true self is being in such a way that others’ opinions of you do not matter. You are happy in yourself and do not need validation or approval from others for your way of being in the world. You embody joy and love and express this joy and love in all areas of your life.

A worthwhile endeavour to reconnect with ourselves.

We live in a world of distraction where our phones, television, our chores and even our work serve in a way that takes us further away from our true being. However, to reconnect with yourself is no easy task. It requires an ability to sit in silence, with no distractions, and be happy with yourself and your thoughts. Noticing thoughts as they come and go. Noticing your anxieties and worries as they come and stay until you “do” something in an attempt to control them. For many people, the thought of this is excruciating and as soon as silence hits, the habit has been built to look for ways to distract and break the silence.

This may manifest itself in scrolling through our phones, turning on the television, having a drink, smoking a cigarette, breaking the silence with conversation or even future thinking of ways to crowd your life with “things” that will have fleeting moments of ecstasy in a world that, to some, may appear mundane. The truth is that the real extraordinary things live within the ordinary facets of our life. There is grace in being in silence. They say the voice of God exists in the silence of man. I would go a step further and say that not only does God, or spirit, or the universe live in silence, but it does so in our highest selves. An idea to some and a reality or awareness of others that, indeed, everything we attribute to being larger than ourselves is in fact our fear of that – ourselves.

But how do we connect with this higher self?

There are many known techniques that provoke this connection and will help you connect. Meditation, spending time in nature, social connection, mindfulness, prayer and so on. To walk in nature, without your headphones in, can be an overwhelming experience for all of us. The silence of the trees, water and mountains unearth something in us that we find difficult to intellectualise, conceptualise or put into words so to speak. It is the silence of our surroundings that brings us back to our higher self and a feeling of connection with something larger than ourselves.

Some people label this in order to make sense of it – call it God, something bigger, the POWER of nature, spirit, divine etc. However really, it is yourself. It is you who you are connecting with, in essence.

This may cause a little fear. To think or believe for one second that the power that we connect with in the silence of nature is in fact our true essence and ourselves. How could we have gotten so “big” for want of a better word? How, in a world that tells us we are small and insignificant to the power of the “almighty”; how is it that this “something bigger” is in fact ourselves? It is because we are afraid of ourselves and we have been conditioned to be fearful of ourselves or our highest self. Afraid of our talents. Afraid of our capabilities. Afraid of our own power. So, when we sit in silence, we meet ourselves or our higher self, our best self.

It is an opportunity, in that time, to reconnect with what is truly important to us and what our mission is in life. It is an opportunity to meet yourself. To sit with the hurt, the losses, the grief, the pain is difficult. To bask in joy, happiness and success is much more welcome. So why is it that many people find it so difficult? I would argue that the distractions we create are to avoid the pain. To avoid the hurts and losses. However, they will crop their heads up in other areas of our life. In our relationships with others, in our work, in our daily life and most importantly in our relationship with ourselves.

I invite you this week to notice the distractions you are creating in your life in order to surpass the act of actually feeling. We have become desensitised to our own emotions through the act of distractions. It can be difficult to sit in silence. It can.

The world is not designed for silence. An even more worthwhile exercise would be to invite silence into your life and find time for the said silence.

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