I don’t know about you but silence is not a word I would say brings happy or excited emotions.
When it is quiet, when it is silent.. its kinda scary.
The thing I’m most afraid of when faced with silence is my own thoughts and the ever rising and crashing waves of my emotions.
I’m terrifies that If I allow silence to hit me, what will my heart tell me?
Do I really want to hear it right now when I have so much to do.
Some of these fears rise up at the idea of silence:
How I’ve failed
Have I done something to offend God that I’ve been ignoring
That ever constant pang of “not good enough”
The feeling emptiness and meaningless
That I will be left lonely, What if God doesn’t show up?
Insecurities and vulnerabilities.
But alas I have decided to be brave and begin exploring the idea of ‘contemplative prayer’. Some call it meditation, listening to God, breathing exercises et cetera…
Its the idea of stilling yourself and your mind to bring more peace into your internal world and I hope to give time for God to speak to me rather then me listing off my needs all the time to him.
So I’ve stated doing 12 minutes of silence each day. And yes, Theres an App for that!
Now I want to debunk a couple of myths I think us common folk believe about meditation or silent prayer..
- You don’t have to be some floaty hippy weirdo with no thoughts to practice silence.
- You won’t achieve complete peace straight away (or ever). In my experience so far, its actually getting worse! All this “stuff” keeps popping up. Its like God is shining a torch light in those dark and dusty areas of my soul. OUCH!
- There’s no such thing as ’emptying your mind’ Your mind is designed to think thoughts. Its ok for your mind to wander off, you just bring your focus on certain thoughts instead of letting it run around like a child who’s drunk too much red cordial.
- God may not rock up in the ways your expect e.g.: Doves, Holy Spirit shivers, Divine epiphanies from heaven itself. keep an open mind and heart, he is always with us.
I’ve realised that practicing silence is a really brave thing to do because you are allowing yourself to hear truth from your heart and from God. Truth you may have been ignoring for a long time. Truth you may have been covering up with
Food (Me too!!)
Noise noise noise
Doing stuff for others
Saying yes everything
None of this stuff will make the truth of your heart go away. So you might as well allow God to deal with it. I believe completely that he is good and if you allow him into the dark parts, he will shine his light and bring healing into those hurting, dusty areas.
Practicing silence for 12 minutes a day has full on science behind it too. For victims of trauma like me, it can actually re-wire neural pathways that were caused by particular negative events. Helping you to think and respond to the actual situation at hand rather then being triggered by a past event.
So thats very exicting.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love speaks so well of silence:
“Letting go, of course, is a scary enterprise for those of us who believe that the world revolves only because it has a handle on the top of it which we personally turn, and that if we were to drop this handle for even a moment, well- that would be the end of the universe. But try dropping it, This is the message I’m getting. Sit quietly for now and cease your relentless participation. Watch what happens. The birds do not crash dead out of the sky in mid-flight after all. The trees do not wither and die, the rivers do not run red with blood. LIfe continues to go on. Even the Italian post office will keep limping along doing its own thing without you.”
Pull yourself out of business for a few minutes every day to practice some silence and you may just find yourself a little more at peace with you and the world around you.
Namaste, Peace be with you, Shalom, Peace up A town.
x Gem x