The present moment, if you think about it, is the only time there is. No matter what time it is, it is always now. – Marianne Williamson
I have been trying to be more aware of why I do certain things when I do them.
It’s a hard practice for sure, but extremely rewarding. I gain so many random insights from these observations. One thing I have been observing is when and why I go to Facebook (or social media sites in general). Or when or why I message people randomly.
I have realized that there is a need that I’m trying to fulfill here – everything I do is to fulfill a certain need of mine.
So I ask a further question.
What need am I trying to fulfill here? Am I just bored? Am I looking for attention? Am I looking for love? Am I trying to run away or fend off the present moment?
Every single time, I open a browser, and type in www.facebook.com, I take a moment before I click ‘Enter’, to think – Why am I doing this at this very moment in time? What is going on in this moment in time that I am running away from? What happened to cause me to need the mind-numbing practice of scrolling through my news feed in Facebook?
Same thing goes, for an online store.
I type www.aldoshoes.com or www.freepeople.com into a browser.
Before I hit Enter, I think, what am I doing here?
What needs or desire has bought me to this point in time? What is happening right now that is causing me to need this distraction or diversion?
What need am I trying to fulfill here?
What do I think I am not getting in the present moment that will be fulfilled by going to this online place? What am I trying to get away from? What am I trying to substitute?
The most important question I have started asking is ‘What hole am I trying to fill inside of me?’ What is this gap that I feel exists, that I’m trying to fill with outside conversations, stuff, or other minutiae?
The minute I ask these questions, I realize there is no hole.
This is very Matrixy – I know.
But it’s actually really true.
There is nothing missing in my life.
There is no hole in me.
There is no gap I need to fill.
I am complete in every way in every moment as I am, where I am, who I am, whatever I am. I am complete right now.
Nothing I do or say will get me to completion, because I am already there.
I am already complete.
What happens is that an idea appears out of nowhere in our busy monkey minds. We see something or hear something or something gets triggered – and we remember, we haven’t gone to Mozambique as we wanted or we don’t have that perfect wardrobe like our colleague does. It could be a hundred billion permutations and combinations of ideas and facts that suddenly appear to you and prove to you that you are incomplete.
But it is just that. It is just an idea!
But we run with it.
We decide the idea is true. We decide we need to fill that hole that we suddenly realize we have and fill it with something quick before we drown in self-pity or start feeling horrible about ourselves.
What happens to me is that I see someone on vacation or I hear about someone in love, and I think ‘Oh shoot, I’m not travelling but in this bright, airy office. I need to tamp down those feelings of missing out. So I go on Facebook to fill this imaginary hole of need or desire.’ Or, I think, ‘Oh shoot, I’m not in a relationship. I need to go online and message some friends of mine or some hot guys on Okcupid. Yes, I am loved, I am desired, or I am wanted.’
But it really started with an idea in my head.
It wasn’t real. It wasn’t anything happening in the present moment. It was just an idea that I blew up out of proportion and made into my present reality.
As soon as I realize that it is just an idea in my head, I catch myself. As soon as I catch myself, I stop myself from going online, wasting precious minutes, running away from the present moment. The only moment that exists is right now – this moment that you are in.
IF you are running away from this present moment all your life, than whose life are you living?