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.

Ram Dass

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.

silence_isnt_empty

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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39 thoughts on “Fear of Nothingness

  1. I often find myself lost in a cycle of endless consumption. Moving from one diversion to the next, barely taking the time for a breath. It’s like I’m constantly running without knowing what it is I am even running from. I love the idea of taking time to be still. To just BE. Instead of finding ways to disengage, learn to be comfortable in my own body.

    This is so well written and inspiring! I’ll be remembering this when next I take a moment to just breathe and embrace the silence.

    Like

  2. notquitesupermommn

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the fear of nothingness. I think you are spot on, many people are constantly moving towards the next distraction and never really get to know themselves, or their SO for that matter. I like to disconnect and just observe sometimes when I’m out an about, waiting for an appointment, or my kids. It’s interesting just to watch the world move around us.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such an important topic to talk about. Self-awareness and time to just think are going away. They almost feel like wasted time in this society that values productivity and distraction so much. Thanks for bringing this up!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When I was teaching I was dealing with 120 -150 students on a weekly basis. It was not an easy job dealing with all those personalities. I often left school on a Friday, went home and enjoyed nothingness for the weekend. Now that I’m not teaching I do look for human interaction more often. Maybe that is the fear of nothingness, but I don’t think so.

    Like

  5. I have to say I love nothingness. I think it goes back to teaching and learning to deal with the stress of interacting with so many different personalities on a daily basis. Going home and embracing nothingness was one of those coping mechanisms.

    Like

  6. Joanna

    I believe that we all guilty pf procrastinating and wasting time online or watching movies on Netflix. For some is a way of relaxation through busy times, for others is a state of normal. However, I think that this should only be a little part of our lives, and that we should find out passion and not be victims of procrastination.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Growing up in a third world country where there was hardly steady power supply, little or no money to pay for phone credit (if you you were fortunate to own one) would teach you how to enjoy your own company without distractions. It’s an utter struggle to leave without the fear of nothingness these days when there is always something to distract you. I try to block out the noise twice a week for a few hours and I enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Lisa Rios

    I do have a fear of nothingness, but only when I am completely alone. I’ve heard of those retreats they do where you stay in a completely white room, alone with you and your thoughts. I feel that would be very difficult for me.

    Like

  9. The closest I usually come to sitting in silence is when I am reading. I love to bury myself in a good book, but even that suppressing boredom to some extent. You are right in that we don’t always have to be entertained and this post gives a lot to think about. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Maybe we haven’t spent too much time with ourselves. it’s not nothingness , rather it’s everything but without a voice or judgement or an implication. With times we become a prisoner of chaos rushing to us, rather than we reaching out to the silence.

    Liked by 1 person

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