The Quieter You Become...

When was the last time you were really selfish? I don’t mean in terms of refusing to share with others, or stealing the last piece of chicken (but I’m guilty of doing both). These are both circumstances where people probably will call you selfish, but I’m referring to another kind of selfish.

More specifically, I mean when was the last time you were selfish with the way you give your time and your energy? To really consider this, first you need to think about what it is that really consumes you.

This could be a person, a job, a living environment, it could be many things. For a lot of us though, (like me) social media and what is happening in the world around us consumes a lot of our energy. This is especially true if you happen to be a highly sensitive person (also like me).

It’s easy to take on the heaviness of what is happening in the world and in the lives of others, because it’s not even something we actively think about. As this is happening, we end up forgetting about ourselves in the process. Again, a common way that this happens is by absorbing too much of what’s happening on social media. With our timelines and feeds delivering hundreds of posts daily, we end up with a case of information overload.

What is information overload? Well, psychologists used the term to refer to the way our stress levels rise when our brains receive way more information than it can hold. Our brains are only programmed to hold a certain amount of information at one time, and the way that social media is set up these days…it has long surpassed that amount.

When our brains are on constant overload, it impacts the way we process things happening around us, and stops us from processing well. So, if we can’t properly process regular information because of information overload, can you imagine what that means for our personal lives?

Ancient poet Rumi said that, “The quieter you become, the more you can hear”. Meaning that, if we really try to tune out the world around us, we can hear ourselves a lot better. Our hearts, minds and bodies are communicating with us everyday, trying to tell us what they want and need. While we’re busy watching, and listening to everything that’s happening faster than we can process around us, how can we possibly hear ourselves?

This is why I am currently coming out of my own social media hiatus, where I didn’t use Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for over 6 months. In that period I took a lot of time for self-reflection and putting all of my efforts into figuring out what I needed to do to create a fulfilling life for myself.  

Taking time to quiet the outside chatter gives us the opportunity to get to know ourselves better. In doing this, we can see our paths clearer and begin to pursue the things that we truly want. It also helps to quiet the need to compare our lives with the paths that other people have chosen for themselves, which there’s no need to do. We are each meant to serve a unique purpose that no one else can take from us. We should feel proud in owning that fact.

We can begin to preserve our energy by creating spaces for ourselves to be silent and recharge, and allowing ourselves to be selfish in our pursuit of that. Be mindful of where you are putting your energy and feel free to say no to the things/people/spaces that are taking too much of it. No one needs you more than you, so take care of you.

You deserve it.