Real action is in silent moments.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Is there anything more lonely that an empty playground? We think of playgrounds as bustling places full of life and excitement; places where children giggle and scream with delight as they romp and play; places where the only care is how high they can swing, how fast they can slide, or how high they can climb. Constant activity that drowns out everything else.
So when the playground stands silent, it’s a little disturbing. Disturbing, perhaps, because we’re not accustom to silence. It’s awkward. It makes us uncomfortable.
We spend so much of our days trying to surround ourselves with activity. We plug ourselves into music to fill the deafening silence in our heads. We talk and text to stay connected to someone….anyone. We unconsciously fill our days with work and other activities to avoid that fearful moment when we may actually have to face our thoughts…alone.
Maybe because it’s in silence where we are painfully reminded we are alone. We all say we need our space, but do we really? Don’t we try and surround ourselves with distractions to try and drown out the silence of being alone with our thoughts?
It’s true we are created for relationships. But sometimes being alone in the silence is exactly what we need. It’s almost impossible to think through a major decision while multitasking the clutter in our minds. Only by stripping away all the unnecessary, extra noise can we achieve moments of clarity.
Nancy Claeys at A Rural Journal inspired me this week with her post about owning anxiousness and other uncomfortably scary feelings. Owning these feelings instead of just trying to crowd them out with other distractions. She went to Mr. Emerson for inspiration. So did I.
And Mr. Emerson led me to this last piece of inspiration.
Be still and know that I am God. ~Psalm 46:10
What better way to face being alone with our own thoughts? What better way to face the awkwardness of silence? What better way to be able to face our fears than with this comfort that we are not alone in this; that we don’t need to fear or fill our thoughts with distractions? What better way to discover moments of clarity?
And now, for all you children of the 60s, here’s one for you…since it’s been going through your head the entire time you’ve been reading this post. Don’t lie….I know who you are! 🙂