After driving home from church last Sunday, I pulled up to my home when I realized how quiet it was in my car. I had driven home without the radio on, which if you know me and how much I love music, is a rarity. It came as a complete surprise to me. So I decided for the rest of the evening I wasn’t going to have any background noise on nor would I look at anything that required a charger/plug. I turned off my cell phone, plugged my iPOD in and turned it over so I wouldn’t be tempted, and shut down my computer completely. No TV, no Pandora, nothing. Just the sound of the AC kicking on and off throughout the rest of the evening. Silence is golden, right?
Let me tell you, at first I went into my doing-ness mode (more on that in a later blog). I loaded the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, put away clothes, and read my mail. I was super productive! This all took about 35 minutes. Now what? It was soon after I asked myself that question that I realized I was looking for something to DO to fill the void, the silence. That’s when it hit me, I was avoiding.
I sat down for a moment and just sighed. I began thinking: What was I doing? Why was I avoiding? What was I avoiding? I took a breath, closed my eyes, and said a little prayer.
For weeks I have been watching The Tour de France admiring the landscape saying to myself, “I want to go somewhere beautiful and quiet in nature and just unplug.” So after my realization of avoiding by filling up my brain with distractions, I decided this would be a good time to journal. I grabbed my pen and plopped into my favorite oversized chair. What soon followed was a brief moment of trepidation then followed by pure fear. “Oh, this is a feeling thing” I said to myself. I needed to get quiet and sit with myself all along and like NOW. I desperately needed to connect with my soul once again. It took awhile to unwind so I placed my journal down and made myself a cup of hot tea with honey and curled up in my chair.
The noise of the world can easily drown out the sound of our own hearts so we must re-engage with our hearts. I get it, sitting down and getting quiet is often scary. There is a reason we keep ourselves so busy. The emotions sometimes aren’t easy to feel and let’s be honest, we don’t want to. It can be painful. And yet; I firmly believe that if we don’t allow ourselves the time and space to feel we will end up feeling more disconnected and miserable.
We continue to fill our time with distractions that keep our brain engaged so as not to sit with our own thoughts and feelings. (i.e. listening to music, watching TV, on social media, etc.) We live in a world where we are surrounded by distractions but they are just that, distractions. They take us away from the present moment and we have the power to change that at any given moment.
Believe me, distractions can be a welcome respite during challenging times. They are even healthy and warranted, but deep down, I crave quiet. I yearn for moments of solitude where I can hear myself breathe in and out. Where I can take a walk and hear the breeze through the trees and see the contrast between the light green leaves against a pale blue sky. For me, these moments bring me closer to myself and more so, closer to God. I believe if I just slow down and listen, really listen, I will hear what my heart yearns to share. My grandmother used to say to me, “Just be still.” I never really understood how very powerful those words are until now. I will always treasure them.