I recently finished reading a remarkable book, which I highly recommend, called ‘Maybe you should talk to someone’ – a therapist, her therapist and our lives revealed, by Lori Gottlieb.
A sentence that caught my eye and my heart yesterday was, “In a state of perpetual distraction, they (she means us) seemed to be losing the ability to be with others and losing the ability to be with themselves. (she still means us)
This sentence got me thinking that we used to take for granted the ‘space between’; it was never something we had to put boundaries around.
The ‘space between’ is the place where we are aware of our thoughts, our feelings, our dreams, our desires, our pain, despair, grief and our internal chatter.
We have forgotten how valuable this space is; it is when we learn about ourselves and our experiences of life.
When we are waiting in a queue, we can let our mind wander. To where? Who knows? That’s the point.
When our dinner guest leaves the table to visit the bathroom, we can let our minds wander. To where? Who knows. That’s the point.
Our devices have replaced the space between; there is a whole business model based on having our constant attention. The endorphin hit is real, and it is masterfully manipulated. The scrolling, the swiping, the tapping, allow us to be continuously distracted from ourselves.
So how do we pull ourselves back?
Ironically there is a vast array of apps now to help us protect and set boundaries around your time and attention, and they are great.
There is also another way to pull ourselves back, it is to get curious about yourself.
Who are you in the ‘space between’? Are you fearful? About what? Anxious? About what? Are you secretly dreaming? About what? Are you grieving? About what?
Putting boundaries around our device is not just about being ‘more productive’; for me, it is also about learning who I am in the ‘space between’. Where am I growing? What am I excited about in life? Where am I resentful, angry?
I don’t always find my answers in the ‘space between’. But I always become aware of what is going on for me, and that is the best place to start, becoming aware.
What is going on for you? Do you need to maximise the space ‘between’?
Wishing you a weekend of pulling yourself back to yourself. Xx