Why you should not alleviate boredom

In the old days, whenever boredom would come up, I would take it as an indication I was not in a good place and needed to get away. Boredom would send me scurrying off to find something to do. At least for a while. Then boredom would return, and I would be off looking for something to do again.

Nowadays, I look at boredom in a different way. Any sign of boredom today means it is time to be with myself. Boredom now means all is well—well enough that the thought that I am bored appears. Before, alleviating boredom served as a distraction from being who I was and where I was. Boredom often made me reevaluate my life and find fault in it. This would propel me to make changes to my life— a never-ending task that would sometimes backfire. This task kept me from being in my own company and finding contentment. It kept me busy with all kinds of things with no rest.

What boredom really is, I’ve discovered, is my own habitual thinking that I am not enough or something is missing in my life. This means I am supposed to be perpetually dissatisfied.

Of course, sometimes boredom can mean we are doing something that is uninspiring and not fulfilling our potential. We can then try to find something different to occupy us which is the automatic thing to do. However, I believe it will serve us well if we stop to take a closer look. What if you stayed the course and refrained from doing anything about it? Maybe you will find something amazing emerging from underneath. As I sit quietly and do nothing, boredom dissolves as my own presence appears. Wisdom comes through. I can then embrace who I am. I can be at peace. From there, I can determine what best to do about a situation if there is one.

Boredom can be a façade hiding the truth of who we are and what we actually need to do to find inner peace. Beneath the boredom, even in situations that don’t suit you, there is just you. Boredom might be you thinking it is not enough for you to be okay with you. So it pushes you to seek something to do other than being with yourself. It sends a message of discontent about yourself. So you end up diverting your attention from yourself to avoid being with yourself, including all the thoughts and feelings you run away from and don’t want to process.

Anytime you feel bored, don’t make a move yet. If your situation is really to blame, go ahead and make a change. But also take the opportunity to see if your boredom is making you avoid being with yourself and ultimately, finding and enjoying peace.

Check out my book The Power of Zero Expectations: 7 Steps to Freedom from Disappointment on Amazon.

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