I am writing after a long break but it is wonderful I am able to write in this year before it morphs into a new decade! So – yay!
Talking of the arrival of a new decade, I have to say that time is a strange thing. It is something we have made up, to keep track of things we believe we ought to do. Yet, the most powerful moments I remember in my life have been those which render our beings into timelessness, allowing our awareness to flow as if we were air, knowing no obstacles, able to find our way into and through anything that might present itself to us at that time.
Wait, I know I said I am writing about mattering so hold on – I will share how this idea of time links to the subject in a bit 🙂
I have been pondering on the subject of ‘mattering’ since a few years now. Often in fleeting moments, sometimes when during the day when the topic has caught my mind space, unprecedented and sometimes during my sleep state perhaps. It is only in the past few days when this topic has take shape beyond my own self that I have decided to write about it. I have always been fascinated with the idea of being able to find interconnections between things and ideas and ‘mattering’ is a subject which seems to impel me to do so.
Britannica defines Matter as ‘a material substance that constitutes the observable universe and, together with energy, forms the basis of all objective phenomena’. In other terms, what seems to have matter, seems to exist as it takes up space and we can observe its properties.
In my work with women, more and more, I have been intrigued and a bit distraught I have to admit, with the growing phenomenon of educated, talented and very bright women feeling a lack of purpose and confidence. A deeper look into their lives brings to fore this very idea of mattering. Having given into their duties and responsibilities, complying with the idea of what a woman ought to do, bit by bit, some have perhaps let go of pieces of themselves, finding themselves in a state of incompleteness. This often brings with it a sense of vacuum which creates an unexplained dissatisfaction and leaves one feeling less that whole. So how did we allow this vacuum get created in the first place? From a fully functioning, bright and shiny person, how did one end up in this space? I suspect it has to do with mattering. I can say this because I have lived with this void for a while in the past.
As we go along in our day to day chores, buying groceries, tending to the house work, managing children and many times the spouse, we tend to sideline the human need we have for being acknowledged, for being thanked and for being held in the awareness of another. I find in more and more households today, men tend to travel extensively, leaving the woman to fend for herself and the children. Despite being in a relationship, many women tend to bring up their children mostly, by themselves with an occasional guest appearance from the spouse. This phenomenon has become so rampant that I almost feel we need a new word in the dictionary for this kind of parenting that children of today, receive. It is a convenient arrangement I must say. Many times the women are made to believe that this is the only way the household can run. The man must travel to keep up his job else how would the bills be paid? Well…trapped between the responsibility of raising a child and managing the household, having lost their financial independence so as to better manage this added responsibility, women tend to find themselves at a loss of ‘mattering’.
In between travels, home is a temporary stop for the bread winner to repack, refill and restore themselves, leaving little time for things like conversations and love. ‘Mattering’ hangs, droopy eyed, on the window sill somewhere in the house, mostly in the bedroom and slowly, shifts somewhere around the dining area, where half a family mostly gathers to eat. So what is going on? I would like to believe that the men are very sincerely tending to their work during travels but we all do know that a night here and there is easy to extend to make space for having a good time. What that means, is open to interpretation of course 🙂
For the spouse back home, it is a reduction in mattering. It is to seek this very completion that many men and women today, indulge in extra marital affairs. They come and go – like breeze. They might or might not be long standing or serious, they might not last, but they are rampant and statistics are alarming.
While people can fret and stomp and go crazy when they discover what is going on in (behind their backs – well, mostly in front of their eyes, if one were to acknowledge the truth), if we were to take a bird eye’s view, there is only compassion to be felt for everyone in the situation. For this is about – ‘mattering’. Women (and men too, I believe), over time, start feeling a lack of connection with the very person with whom they read the vows. Where there is extensive travel, there is little opportunity to connect. There is dwindling eye contact, mostly due to a lack of physical presence and then over time, it is due to a lack of intentional effort leading to poignant lack of meaningful words. There are sometimes cold wars and harsh periods of silence or words that stumble to make incoherent feelings, caused mostly by an absence of receiving the other person as they are, due to the wall of our own individuality that we build around us. ‘Me, my needs and my desires’, is all about ‘my mattering’.
So what is the point? What is the workaround? Let us start focusing on the matter. Let us create moments of ‘mattering’ and those moments that render us into ‘timelessness’. How? I have come to believe that each of us are complete in ourselves. Before you sign me off as a cynic, know that this is really the ultimate truth. This whole notion of someone, someday will say or do something and life will be happy every after is not only impractical but also unreal. What if we knew that we are complete, now. In this very moment? What if, you knew, that the only person who needs to make you feel as if we matter, is you?
Times are changing and we are living in an era of self-love and self-reliance and that is the smartest way to deal with your big load of ‘mattering’ – by simply dropping it. Be the matter. Because you are the matter. You literally carry all the matter you are with you and in you. Create those moments of timelessness that take you where only you can go. Go watch a meteor shower, watch the sea waves, stare at the sunset, listen to the birds chirp. It is a beautiful world out there. What finally matters is that you are alive, now. You are well and you are able to breathe. Nothing else matters. As for those moments of connection and parts of you which you left somewhere along the way, they will all come to unite with you, in the hushed silence of the night in your sleep.