Today I am thankful for quiet.
Quiet doesn’t necessarily mean lack of noise. We can be quiet within even when it’s noisy around us. But for this post, I’m referring to quiet as the lack of noise. I’m not one of those people who need someone around all the time. I don’t mind being alone especially when I can have quiet time. I find I listen and think better when it’s quiet.
Religious leaders from all faiths have extolled the importance of quiet for meditation. In Christian vernacular, quiet times refer to the times we set aside to read our Bibles and pray. Although I still read and study my Bible, there seem to be more and more times I remain quiet and just listen. Every once in awhile I like some extended time of total quiet, when even my own voice is not allowed to break the silence.
There has been considerable research about noise and stress and the conclusion has been that noise is a huge stress factor. It certainly didn’t use to be that way. Life was simply quieter a hundred years ago.
Of course, in our own home, we can turn off the noise if we choose. We just seldom choose. But complete quiet is hard to get used to.
Most of us are uncomfortable with quiet. There are reasons for our uneasiness with quiet.
When we are quiet, the chatter in our head seems to get louder and that’s when our demons can come to haunt us. We are faced with our fears and insecurities. It’s hard to hide from ourselves when our minds aren’t bombarded, when we aren’t thinking about that next thing on our list.
That doesn’t scare me like it used to. I’m learning to be comfortable with the “quieter” version of me.
Most of us are going to go through a period of quietness before we leave this earth. Due to the infirmities that accompany old age, we will have no choice. Being comfortable with “quiet” and being unafraid to face ourselves now will prepare us for those times when we will have nothing but our thoughts. I hope this doesn’t sound maudlin but the truth is unless our lives are “interrupted”, we are going to experience old age. If we want to be a serene, contented elderly person, we need to become a serene contented person now.
The future always begins with the present.
Don’t be afraid of being quiet or being alone. Learn to be a friend to yourself. I think all of us would do well to incorporate real quiet in our lives.
We are approaching the busiest few weeks of the year. I’m sure many of you are thinking, “I’ll incorporate quiet later. Certainly, not now.”
But I would suggest that now is the best time. If ever we need to take some time for quiet, it is during this season. You might be surprised how taking some to be quiet and reflect might actually energize you.
God bless and have a quiet day.