When was the last time that you experienced silence? I mean, no talking, no TV, no Internet, no phone -no noise? Maybe when you were asleep? Did you check your phone the moment you woke up?
Sounds ridiculous when it is said out loud, how much time we spend surrounded by noise.
We watch films instead of reading books, we send tweets instead of having a conversation, we write a blog rather than a diary. Convenience, the need to be occupied, the idea of a 24/7 society.
There are of course positives of this, being able to communicate with people on the other side of the world, being more aware of situations in other countries, being able to share resources to name but a few.
What about the negatives? What about the relationships that are being eroded in real life because we invest so much time online? What about the fact we spend more time staring at a screen than looking at someone during a face to face conversation.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that you cannot develop meaningful friendships online but should they involve the a sacrifice of relationships with family and friends?
I honestly can’t remember the last time I had a phone conversation that was longer than about ten minutes. Text messages have become the norm – they are quicker, faster, more convenient.
I am currently on holiday, miles away from home. Taking a break from the busyness, the noise.
Yes, I am still using social media, yes I am still blogging but, I am having longer periods of quiet, of silence. Going for walks, sitting and looking at scenery. Listening to the wind blow leaves from the trees, watching the sunlight catch across the windowpane.
Moments without noise. I have also been reading books, in silence, without the television or radio on as accompaniment as is my usual habit. This habit grew out of finding silence scary.
At a recent conference I went to #CNMAC12 @digitalnun said that ‘Silence can be scary but it can also be healing.’
This concept really stuck with me and made me honestly think and question how much time I spent hiding from silence in noise and why I was hiding from it?
For me, it was fear. Fear of silence. The inability to be still. The frightening concept of being alone with my thoughts.
The thing is, if we are never alone with our thoughts then we begin to lose an essential part of who we are. We begin to fill ourselves full of the noise, ideas and opinions that are all around us and fail to take the time to develop our own. We lose our sense of creativity. We lose the essence of us.
Silence can be healing, it can be the opportunity to get back to who we really are, to remove all the additions, to remove all the distractions and just to be. To sit with our thoughts.
Are you hiding from the silence?