As humans, we are social animals. We like to be around people, whether it be a big or small group. We enjoy being around people who bring out the best in us, especially those who radiate joy and love, and who can support us through anything.
With the ongoing pandemic, whether we are surrounded with those we love or not, I think we experience silence a lot more, especially when we are isolated from the rest of the world. At least, I know I do.
Silence is not only sitting quietly in our chairs, living in isolation, or hearing the crickets chirp when the conversations suddenly go south during dinner. Silence can be those times when we hear our own thoughts, the good and bad, or think about things that have occurred in our own lives or in the world. It can also be the times when we are unsure and uncertain of what is ahead—like right now. But in the end, I believe that silence is a way to pause and to think.
However, it is never easy to deal with. There are days when I am sitting down, with my journal in front of me, and I can live and be inspired by the silence that surrounds me. I am able to jot down, reflect, and be with my emotions and thoughts for a short period of time. Other days, I can’t sit still with the silence. Despite being quiet, the space feels so loud. It makes me cringe and antsy. I have to fill the space with music or the sound of the TV to feel okay.
In these two instances, silence can make us feel two things: comfortable and uncomfortable. As much as we can avoid silence, sometimes we have to deal with it head first, and in our own way. More importantly, in a way that is healthy. We have to create a space that makes us feel reenergized and content with ourselves, as well as a space that allows us to see how the good and bad circumstances in our lives have transformed us as individuals.
There are various approaches that we can take when dealing with silence. This does not always mean meditating first thing in the morning. It could look like playing soothing music on your phone and holding a pen and paper in your hand as you reflect, or it could be sitting down on the couch with one of your closest friends or relatives and not talking to each other. The most important thing that we must keep in mind when we are being one with the silence is to give ourselves time to pause. Listen to yourself, even if it makes you uncomfortable, and visualize your life or who you want to be. At the end of that time, for some people, this might mean a transformation in one’s lifestyle or letting out all your emotions. For others, this time is just a way for them to take a breather from their busy schedule; to finally take things slow.
Nevertheless, we need to take the time to listen to ourselves instead of ignoring it. By taking that break, we can admit things to ourselves that we are too afraid to acknowledge, recognize habits that we know we have to break, reconnect with ourselves or even those around us, or just learn to be comfortable with the things that we are uncomfortable with. However, how we choose to use that time and how it creates an impact on us, in the end, is up to us.
We can’t always try to dodge things that are difficult in our lives. There comes a time where we might have to deal with it straight on, by ourselves, or with an individual that we trust and know can help us navigate it.
It is okay to feel uneasy with silence, to get to the bottom of things, whether we are conscious or unconscious of it, and to recognize as well as learn how to deal with things that we are uncomfortable with—even if we don’t want to hear it. This can make us more resilient, braver, stronger, and better people in the long run.
It isn’t easy, but we’ll get through it.