The Paradox of Connectedness

Why is it hard to be by yourself?

By Tiani Dun

Yannis in the Paperbark forest by Tiani

I had the house to myself last night, and let me tell you -things were quiet. Personally, I relish these rare moments of peace in my busy household, but there have been many a times when I have been afraid to be left alone -afraid mostly, of where my thoughts would run to.

We spend all our time together, that when we are alone we aren’t sure what to do with ourselves. We often don’t stop to look around, to wonder. In moments of stillness, we play music to drown out the sounds of our own thoughts.

This is what has become of our generation, so consumed by our consumption of things, that we are conditioned to never be happy with where we are, now.

Not only do we over consume foods, clothing, and everyday items, but we are forever in an unconscious drive for more -one that is accelerated by advertising and our social media accounts.

We are flooded with images of things we don’t have that we should buy -new clothes, a better car, expensive bags, shoes. And when we have a moment of down time, we spend it scrolling through images of others -living their lives to their fullest (or so their Instagram posts suggest).

In fact, we are so connected to one another, that we are becoming disconnected.

Today, I’m challenging you to spend a day free from all this “connection.” When you have a spare moment, notice how you may instinctively reach for your phone for comfort. Notice this, and instead, sit with your thoughts. Ponder with them. Embrace them. Relish them.

Notice the amount of time you spend using technology unnecessarily. Notice this, and then embrace the copious amount of free time that you are suddenly blessed with when you give yourself a day off.

Maybe you have time to read that book you’ve been meaning to -or paint a new masterpiece. Maybe you’ll learn a new language, practice some music, or do some exercise. If you find you have absolutely nothing to do, then go for a walk down by the river or the beach.

I’m challenging you to find solace in the peace and quiet. Spend time with yourself, because you need it and you deserve it.  

“I once read that people who study others are wise but those who study themselves are enlightened”.”
― Robin S. Sharma 

Most importantly, remember to spend time in nature. The vastness of your surroundings will humble your soul. Even the contemplation of the smallest flower may bring you back to your inherent connectedness with the earth.

It was the many indigenous tribes who initially recognized this connectedness, who lived fully immersed with their environment. Yet today, we live dangerously far away from this life. We are so out of touch with nature, that we often forgive time outdoors to sit inside and instead stare at small screens. We watch movies or documentaries about people or animals in the natural world instead of actually living in it.

We forget that everything is interconnected, and that we are nothing without the plants and animals we consume, or the soils that provide them with nutrients.

We forget that the wind drives the currents, which drives the waves that we ride. We forget we are connected to the worms which fertilise our soils, the bees which create our honey and the birds which pollenate our plants. We forget that without all creatures on Earth play an integral role in supplying our food, medicines and shelter, and that without them, we would not survive.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― Albert Einstein 

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