Sometimes, it is so hard to just be silent. We look for ways to fill in the gaps between one activity and the next. We want continuous noise to assure us something is going on. We hate the idea of sitting still and being unproductive. We think we must be doing something.
It is so hard to be quiet. For me, addiction is closely tied to noise. There was too much noise in my life. My mind raced non-stop. I couldn’t turn off. I was constantly imagining scenarios (work, home, family, friends) in my head. I was always running through my to-do list and focusing on what I was not getting done.
I was always exhausted and one thing I never did on a regular basis was to sit in silence. I would be at places that were beautiful and I would like it and I would enjoy the scenery…for about 5 minutes.
I grew up going to a Christian camp in Maine. When we lived in New York we went to a Christian camp in upstate New York. Both places were full of natural beauty. They were somewhat isolated campgrounds so they were both quiet. They were (and still are) great places to be to get in touch with God.
When you can be fully present.
I struggle to be present. I struggle to slow down and be quiet. I went to those camps, sat down in silence for a brief time, and then went back to my non-stop thinking process. There once was a time when I found a way to turn off the noise. And it was not a good way.
If we cannot learn how to sit in silence, something will eventually give. We will burn out. We will become cynical. We will turn to an addiction.
When we learn silence, we can receive peace. When we learn silence, we can be present. When we learn silence, we learn that we do not need to always be doing. When we learn silence, we can be restored.
So let’s all practice silence. 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, 30 minutes; whatever seems to suit you. Start with small segments of time and grow from there.
Learning to sit in silence can free us from the struggles we face. Let’s learn together.