Walking into the waiting room at the scheduled time for your doctor's appointment, after checking in with the receptionist, you take your seat amongst the many other patients in waiting. Situated comfortably in your sit, you reach for your cellphone and proceed to sign in to Facebook, Twitter, or whatever social media is your preference.
Hearing your name called, you breathe a sigh of relief and follow the nurse back to the room you will call home for the next hour or so. Having exhausted the fun offered by Facebook, you move on to texting a friend or playing a game. The minutes tick by and still no sign of your doctor, as usual. What to do now? You are left alone with only your thoughts. This is where the slow influx of uneasiness begins to seep in. Where is my doctor, and what is taking so long?! Anxiety and frustration overcome you as you peek outside your door. Seeing no one, you take your seat once again whilst attempting to regain your composure. Resigned to being stuck sitting there, although your discomfort at waiting has not abated, you glance around the room at the posters and brochures. Finding nothing of interest there, you notice you are once again experiencing the one situation in the world that you spend 23.5 hours attempting to avoid.
We pack our schedules to the brim with work, meetings, cellphone games, social media, television, and engaging in mindless chatter with those around us. Spending mere minutes in thought before we close our eyes in bed each night, we again have succeeded in evading the demons that chase us. Avoiding a mirror filled with silence and darkness that forces us to look into our own hearts is the only balm of peace we have found.
Hands tied and stuck in our situation, we are terrified at attempting to fix the problem by awakening the one tool we have to regain control over our situation.
Fear of silence is hindering, debilitating, and handicapping our society. Worshipping the comfort of noise offered by cellphones, television, the internet, and social media entraps us. When was the last time you turned off your phone, or took a full day away from whatever it is you use to fill the quiet moments that present themselves to you?
Soaking in the beauty around you and fully experiencing the joy and pain that life freely offers is essential to being truly present in your life. If you are hurting and tired of it, it's time to look straight in the eye at what is ensnaring you in its grip. Regardless if it the thing controlling you is in your past, or if it is from the here and now.
As a writer and musician, I had to decide early on in life to face the silence in order to tap the well of words begging to break the dam my fears had built across my heart and mind. There is nothing more freeing than to let all that crap go and to just be.
Be intentional about letting silence in. Stop picking up your phone everytime you are bored or alone. Start picking your mind and heart first.
When do you take time with your thoughts? Do you avoid them? What terrifies you? Please let me know what you think on twitter @scullyspeaks or in the comments below!
Playlist for writing this post: Echo by Jason Walker (in the spotify widget in the sidebar), Between by Courier, Holding On and Letting Go by Ross Copperman, Never Let me Go by Florence + the Machine, Be Still by The Fray