Culture

Enjoy the silence and listen to yourself

Life is filled with so much noise these days. Street noise. Alexa talking back. Music blaring while watching netflix and working on a strategic document. Dogs barking. Kids playing and crying. The dishwasher shaking. The refrigerator humming. The pipes piping. Phone ringing. Texts dinging. Planes roaring overhead. Noise. Noisy. Cacophony.

Many years ago. Decades even. The group Depeche Mode released a song called Enjoy the Silence. They noted how words are like violence breaking the silence. Fast forward decades from that song release and sounds of all sorts are like violence. Take stock of your day-to-day life. How much of the space around you is filled with noise? Too much, I can assure you.

It feels so good when one turns off the television, phone, and computer while sitting in the dark listening to nothing. It’s so freeing and liberating. I find myself more and more just sitting on my couch in silence taking in my thoughts. Instead of being filled with empty noise I’m catching up with myself. Sounds silly, I’m sure. However, I highly recommend doing something similar. If you need to listen to talking heads, might as well listen to the one on your shoulder.

Silence can be a balm. It can be healing. It can help break things in a good way. Silence can signal comfort as well. If you constantly try to fill the space with noise, you may be trying to mask something, including insecurities.

Now, this isn’t all that easy for me to say. Growing up, I was called the chatterbox. I would talk and talk. And, talk some more. Right now, I can still talk a lot. Give me a microphone and I’ll tell you a 100 stories. However, I have also learned to be quiet, shut up, and listen. Listening can be comforting to sll involved. There’s a time to tell a story and a time to just listen. There’s a time to put yourself on mute. You can then walk away and give yourself a reprieve and take nothing in. There’s a cycle that we must shift through. Or at least, should. It’s healthy. Or so I believe.

6 replies »

  1. Where I live we often get fairly violent thunderstorms in the summer. Sometimes, the power goes out. Occasionally it will be out for a couple of hours. It never bothers me. In fact, it’s kind of a relief. It feels as if the entire world, and not just the neighborhood, has suddenly gone quiet. My husband and I will sit and watch the weathertainment as the lightning flashes across the sky and the thunder booms. Maybe we’ll take a walk with our flash lights once the main part of the storm has passed and meet up with a lot of our neighbors doing the same thing. Why sit in a dark house when you could be out enjoying the cool air? I like electricity. I wouldn’t want to live without it. But there are times when it, and all the noise its use creates, also feels like a burden.

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  2. I am a big fan of the wild. When people go into the wild, one of the first things they notice is the silence. Once you are accustomed to the wild you start to notice the quiet. They aren’t the same thing

    People think it is silence because they are so used to the cacophony of civilization they are don’t notice the little things. No environment is truly silent. Even in an isolation tank you can hear yourself breath. There are always the little sounds. We evolved in an environment where the little sounds were vital to our survival. Sounds that are soft and small are comforting.

    Loud noises often meant something bad, especially those that were unexpected or harsh. I think many of us still carry a bit of anxiety at loud noises even though we think we are used to them. This is particularly true if the noise isn’t something we voluntarily embraced, like music.

    For an aspie like me, loud and intrusive noises are anathema. And unfortunately, even soft and comforting sounds are intruded upon by my tinnitus. But I still prefer the quiet over the noisy.

    Liked by 1 person

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