Enjoy the Silence
When I was a young woman living alone, the first thing I did upon entering my empty apartment was turn on the television. Not because I wanted to sit and watch a program, but because I needed background noise. Afterall, without noise, without the constant chatter or hum, there would've been SILENCE. And silence is uncomfortable. In silence, there can be loneliness, fear, and an endless void. You could say I was on a quest to avoid silence. I did this by being in a constant state of distraction...the television was always on, the radio was always blasting, I talked on the phone with whoever would talk to me, and I would fall asleep to the drone of the nightly news.
I'm not alone in this quest I had to avoid silence. I know plenty of mothers who flip on the TV when their kids head off to school, so they don't have to feel the quiet emptiness. I know people who are always plugged into their iPods or iPhones, listening to music, if not chatting away. Think about how many people you see texting while waiting for the bus, in line at the grocery store, sitting in the coffee shops. This is an entirely different technological way to avoid "the void." What would happen if we all just stopped, put down our devices and were still and quiet for a moment?
Today, I don't avoid silence, I seek it. It isn't always easy, but it is an essential experience if you want to feel what it means to be truly alive in our human experience!
Being silent means being alone with your thoughts. It means getting to know yourself, both the light, joyful parts and the dark, dusty parts - and accepting both. Being still and quiet might feel like you're shining a light directly into those cobwebby corners you're trying to avoid, but be brave. Growth never happens if you're comfortable all the time. On the contrary, sometimes when we conquer that which we fear...when we learn to embrace something different, we find the answers to the questions we were afraid to ask. And then, only in that space that you once feared, will you be able to feel the deepest human experiences more truly than ever before...feelings like love, gratitude, expansive joy, and connection.
Practice being silent right now. Unplug, tune out what's outside of you and tune in to what's inside. Find that space of stillness and quiet, even if it's a little bit scary. Stay here and breathe. Fill the silence with your own light. Let go of your fear and open to this moment.
Then, take time to enjoy the silence each and every day. I promise you'll feel lighter and more centered on the other side of the quiet "void."