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  • Aditya

Fear of Nothingness

Lights out!

No television, no Wi-Fi and to add fuel to fire, your mobile data is disrupted by a network outage. You are by yourself in a dark living room, with the abundance of one single thing – SILENCE.

What would you do ? How does this make you feel ? Are you feeling restless with just how boring your life has become, now that you find yourself alone in a dark room ? The silence is killing you.

You turn the light switch on multiple times to check if the power is back on. The disappointed look on your face when you notice no signal bars on your phone screen. Life Sucks!

This discomfort of nothingness is the root cause for our constant need to distract ourselves. We keep hiding from our discomfort using noise from the outside world. There is no dearth of entertainment to drive us away from being in a space all by ourselves. Our lives must revolve around constantly doing something as opposed to occasionally being by ourselves.

We dread Silence and Boredom. We Fear Nothingness.

This fear is the reason we know less of ourselves, because we are constantly in pursuit of the next distraction. On the surface one might say that we are simply addicted or obsessed with technology based on the abundance of usage. But at the core there lies a fear that needs to be dealt with before it’s too late.

I have lived alone for several years where I would binge watch shows on Netflix the entire weekend, without feeling the least exhausted or offer myself the relief of silence. Solitude can be harsh, but it is essential for personal growth.

Each time you express your state of boredom, your friends and family will offer you more ways to distract yourself — “Watch that latest show we have been following” or “Go out and watch a movie or meet someone”. Never have I heard a suggestion even remotely close to “Why don’t you see where this boredom or silence takes you?”

Now wouldn’t that be a territory you would wish to explore? It can be uncomfortable at first, but when you do, you will realize that Stillness Speaks. It is these moments of stillness that stimulate introspection and reflection. You will be aware of your environment while connecting with your emotions.

My love for traveling was an outcome of solitude, where I realized life was more than paying bills and running for the next promotion. It only took a simple moment of silence to trigger my adventurous spirit, and I was out there. I began traveling alone and have managed to visit some amazing places on the globe amid the busy work schedules. Today, I’m no longer afraid of traveling by myself.

It is in moments of stillness that I began writing as a way to express myself, only to realize later how much I loved it. I am certainly not the best writer or even remotely fine in comparison to some of the best, but who said this is another race? The smallest compliment from an unknown who benefited from my writing can make my day, and even if that doesn’t happen, I know I’m happy. Aren’t we all doing something because it makes us happy?

No, not everything is positive about stillness. You may uncover some emotions that may hurt you, but you will be more aware of your deepest feelings and find the ability to respond appropriately the next time you face something in life. Self awareness is the starting point to resolving your problems.

Treat solitude as an act of peeling an onion — each time you will be discovering layers within you that were lost in the surrounding noise. This simple act can provide you the necessary acceptance of our environment, with all its positives and negatives, allowing you to live your life in all its wholeness.

The only way to tackle this fear of nothingness is just how you would face any other fear – by facing it. Challenge yourself often to disconnect from everything and simply do nothing. Stare emptily into a wall, outside your window, observe the comings and goings of your thoughts with every breath. Include this as a weekly chore to remind yourself of the importance of knowing yourself.

That’s when you realize the superiority of BEING over DOING. Let solitude be your closest friend, for it isn’t loneliness when one is self aware.

The next time the lights go out, you know it’s ME Time !

Carpe Diem !

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