“Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.” Robert Louis Stevenson
Do you enjoy the quiet in your life? How do you use your quiet time or do you avoid it as much as possible?
(Thank you, Katherine and Mike for suggesting this topic. Thank you to so many more of you who gave me other great ideas for today’s topic. It wasn’t easy to decide which one to use, but this is the word that spoke to me. Next week the topic will start with an “R” so please leave me some words for topics in Comment. Thanks so much)
We all experience two types of quiet: the outer and the inner. Some people are uncomfortable with the outer quiet because it forces them inward and they prefer not to think too deeply about what they are feeling. They have music or the TV on most of the time, are on the phone talking to friends, interacting on Facebook, or participating in groups online. The pandemic has stifled what they consider a normal life with its restrictions on being face to face with groups.
Those of us who are introverts enjoy quiet time alone to think, reflect, rest, or read. It isn’t that we don’t want a social life, it’s just that we need our time alone to deal with our inner selves. This may include a spiritual quest that requires meditation, prayer, and reflecting on the path we are following. While it is important to care for our physical body, it is equally important to take care of our emotional, mental, and spiritual selves.
We Are Healthiest When Inner and Outer Meet
The healthiest and perhaps the most satisfying way to live is for all these parts of ourselves to be integrated. That requires us to take time to work with our inner being, to explore the parts of ourselves that prefer to hide or the parts of ourselves we don’t really like.
When I reflect on my life, I have to admit there have been many times, especially in the past, when I just blurted out what I thought or felt in a tense situation. That was definitely an unwise choice in a work place and is probably why I was asked to leave or chose to leave in a couple of situations. I was not going to squash my feelings!
Looking back on those incidents and even some current ones and while working with my inner self, I realize I acted that way for several reasons. As a woman growing up when I did, I resented being treated as if my opinion had no value. I also grew up with an extroverted mother who had been a prom queen and who made me feel there was something wrong with my quietness and my not being popular.
Reading self-help books and going to therapy led me to become more aware of expressing myself in a more appropriate way. It also taught me that being quiet in some confrontational situations was more powerful than arguing. Allowing some silence in the moment could shift the conversation to a more reasonable place. Action was not always the best solution.
Learn How To Be Quiet
Valuing our inner quiet and making time to feed it will enrich us. Physical strength alone is not enough to help us lead a good life. When misfortune occurs, it requires us to adjust to the new situation. When I was divorced years ago, I was used to living with another person. At first, I felt very lonely and heart-broken, but as a child I had often been alone and learned how to make that time feel good. When my mind wanted to stay attached to negative ideas, I learned to direct it to let go, take a deep breath, and release the thought. At times, it took many deep breaths to let it go, but with time I became friends with the quietness again.
Being Quiet With An Activity
People experience quietness in many ways. When I walk around a lake nearby, I feel inner and outer quiet. There are always people fishing and they remind me of times during my childhood when I watched my father fish. We had to be quiet if we were nearby, so Mother helped us play in quiet ways or took us to another area to romp around. What I didn’t realize until later in life is that, for many, fishing is a form of meditation, a time to go within and be at peace.
We Must Care For Ourselves
We live in such a busy world and are taught it’s a bad thing to “waste time.” But cleaning out our inner mental garbage also helps keep our body healthy as well. We have to take the time to care for ourselves, our minds and bodies, and it requires that we take the time to be quiet and to listen.
As our country and the world faces frightening challenges, perhaps the worst in our lifetime, we must learn to take care of ourselves and make wise choices. In order to do that, we must listen to our inner selves. Finding that inner quiet may provide us with the strength we need in order to wisely meet the challenges that face us.
© 2021 Georganne Spruce
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