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At the Heart of Hunger

April 16, 2010

I have been so hungry lately! Nothing has changed in the way I am eating. Sure I’m always trying to cut back, but this hunger is different. It’s a yearning, an itch, a restlessness. No doubt you’ve experienced what I’m talking about. I wander into the kitchen and look first in the refrigerator and then in the pantry. Nothing appeals to me. Why should it? I am well nourished but still starving.

Looking for Sustenance

When we are in this state, often it is not food that we need. It is something more. As Sarah Ban Breathnach states in her book Simple Abundance, “we instinctively swallow food and drink in order to push away the uncomfortable negative experience we’re feeling in our gut. We hunger and thirst, but it’s not for a bowl of ice cream or a glass of wine. It’s for inner peace and deeper connections.”
I spend my days connecting with others through my writing and yet the connection, in this world of electronic communication, is often brief and somewhat superficial. The vast majority of my friends and business associates are people whom I have never met face to face. There is no warm eye to eye contact, no shared sound of laughter, no warm hugs hello and goodbye. And so there is a hunger that remains. A feeling of “something missing” in these relationships and a little less of a commitment to one another.
In these times of electronic relationships, it has become more important than ever to take time each day to connect face to face with our friends and family; to set aside our computers and phones and look into each others eyes when we speak. Making an effort to fill the holes in our relationships left by the prevalence of distractions may begin to fill the real hunger we are feeling. And it might be fun to hop in the car or on an airplane and go meet some of these wonderful people we only know by their Facebook photo.
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