Since I became Catholic, I started doing a lot of self-reflection. Recently, I've been contemplating the reasons for my sins. This isn't just because I'm supposed to be going to confession regularly, although it does help. I think being consciously aware of the things I'm doing wrong will help me in the long run. Kind of like when I started taking Tai Chi to help with my anxiety and depression. I eventually learned how to sense when I was heading into a panic attack or a low period and what I could do to alter these instances, alleviating some of the worst of these disorders. I.E. if I can figure out the symptoms and the indicators for my behaviors/thoughts/etc., I will be better able to circumvent them in the future.
Something I keep coming back to is a sensation of emptiness or longing. These sensations were beginning again today and their familiarity caught my attention. Perhaps these are indicators that I'm not spending enough time with God. Today, I took my walk with my Dad which didn't really afford me much time in prayer with God. I've taken walks with other people during this 10K, but I've never really encountered this detachment before. Of course this is the first day in a while that I haven't spent a great deal of time in prayer either. I had also caught myself trying to think of things I could do to ignore or offset this emptiness and I think this is when I finally made the connection that I've been using distractions to interrupt my time with God. Separation from prayer leads to an accumulated sense of emptiness or longing, which leads to a need to do other things to distract from this feeling, which eventually leads towards sinfulness as it manifests either in frustration from lacking fulfillment in some sense or in other ways.
This really isn't anything novel or new. Essentially, I'm just restating how intentionally or unintentionally neglecting time I usually set aside to spend with God makes me feel empty and causes me to stray. It's the same things people have been saying for a while, but until I really noticed it in myself, I hadn't really understood it. Whether or not I spend time in prayer while I'm walking, I still get to count the steps towards the challenge for this school, but ultimately I feel like I took a step backwards today (no pun intended...even if I get to count those too). I shall have to try again tomorrow and in the meantime set aside some time tonight for some praying.