Why is it that silence has been compared to gold? A valuable metal utilized to symbolize marriage bonds, made into religious icons or the backer of currency. By saying, “silence is golden,” are we equating it with precious objects and fiscal value?
If this resource is so valuable, how come it seems so elusive in our daily lives? Our days are filled with ambient sounds of television, the hum of lights, music and the bing of a text message.
Have you ever caught yourself saying, “I’m not always watching television. It’s just on for background noise.” Why do we feel compelled to have a continual stream of sound? Is it to block the thoughts or worries in our minds? By binge-watching the latest series, are we purposely disengaging from family, friends or ourselves?
Silence can be uncomfortable or even bring a feeling of loneliness. However, it can also bring a feeling of safety, such as when we are with that person we are so comfortable with there is no need to talk. It can be a mental release.
You may catch yourself in a moment of brief silence when your mind empties – if only for a few seconds. Maybe it occurs when gazing straight ahead on a long drive. Or, during a meeting or class that feels endless only to get reprimanded for spacing out. Here is the “aha moment.” Your mind just showed you what it needs.
“I need space!”
Typically, this phrase carries a negative connotation and may be followed by the break-up mantra, “it’s not you. It’s me.”
Basically, your mind is letting you know it needs to break up with your continual internal monologue and the kinetic world in general. Give it the space to breathe and organize. Or, a chance to listen to someone else speak without planning a response.
If silence is not yet golden in your world, you may ponder what I like to call my ambient bedtime sound bath.
Tonight, I went into my bedroom and sat cross-legged on my bed, closed my eyes, and just listened. Initially, the sound of the perpetual peepers at summers end overwhelmed all other sounds. Then, I picked up on another insect subtly humming one octave below. A plane flew softly overhead. A car swooshed in the distance. Rain fell softly on tender leaves. Whispering voices from across the street brushed past my ears. The sound of my own breathing finally arrived. The connection I was missing with myself all day was here. “It’s me.”
Next time you feel overwhelmed, and unable to really listen to others or your own thoughts on that matter. Pause. Give yourself space to listen. Space to breath. Space to just be golden.