Is it true? For the first time this statement which I recently heard from a close friend seems to sound a little strange, and probably, ridiculous to me. Not that I had never made such a statement in the past, but now with a little deeper understanding of my own mind and also the realisation that came my way these few years, it occurred to me that I had never, ever left myself – so how could it be possible that I do not have time for myself? Time entirely defined me as that is what I am experiencing; else the meaning of time will be totally meaningless to me.
When I am with someone, I am there with the person; as such I “myself”, is experiencing time together with the person. I cannot be with the person and at the same time not there myself – it is impossible – for while being with the person, I can only experience my own experience with the person – I cannot experience him or her, except myself. If I don’t like the experience while with the person, that is exactly what I am experiencing. If I enjoy being with the company, that too is exactly what I am experiencing – in both situations, I am constantly experiencing myself about the person, never of the person. As such, I am having time with myself in the midst with another.
What is more true when I say “I have no time for myself” is that I am all the while paying attention to another instead of noticing my own involvement in another. When I subject my attention to another, I lose myself, so to speak, thus having the meaning that I am not giving enough time for myself – it is an unconscious habitual decision which most of us have yet to realise.
If I am fully aware of my own mind, I am able to be present to the internal process of interaction or responses of what is going on in my mind and what is perceived as coming from the other. When I am noticing this, I am totally being with myself in the midst of with another. One may ask how could it be possible to give attention to another while being with oneself? How could it not be possible considering that we are indeed encountering part of the experience which has to include me, unless our attention is fully 100% on the person and 0% on ourselves? Even that is impossible as we never and will never experience any moment without ourselves in it. It is more of I am oblivious to myself but not away from myself.
As in many situations, for example driving, we are not giving full 100% attention to the road as we may be listening to the radio, looking at someone or even thinking about a situation. If we are able to divide our attention at the same time, it can never be an issue dividing attention between ourselves and also another. It just takes a little training and adjustment. Attention giving is a function of the mind. Direct it and it will work for you.
After all have been said, whether you give attention to yourself or not, you are experiencing every moment of your time, albeit in an unconscious unknowing. When you wake up one day to what is truly happening in your space, you would have noticed you are having time for yourself only 100% all the time, irrelevant whether you are aware or not. Until then, being unconscious, you will try to find time for yourself, probably going for a holiday, or giving yourself a me time – whatever you do, it is no different from any moment than before; as wherever you go or do for yourself, your attention is still out there somewhere…