There is anonymous quote that says…Some will hear, but not listen. Some will listen, but not understand. Some will understand, but not act. Some will act and still not understand; some will understand and be still! And, the wise will be still and learn. Mmmmm, not so much!
The world is getting louder, commercials are getting more annoying, politicians and corporate bigwig’s lies are getting more boisterous. It’s harder to find a place where there is peace and calm.
We may soon have more than 302 billion people, 91% of Americans, shouting into their cell phone, “I am losing you,” in the grocery store. You may be hearing how drunk everyone was at last night’s party from the unaware person who just reached across you and violated a space boundary as her child screams at the top of her lungs. You may be listening to the pros and cons of whether the tall blond should be dating the short brunette. You might even find yourself in the surround sound of an argument over God knows what.
It’s well known that most TV commercials are at least 5 decibels louder than the normal programming. In most of today’s normal programming, we can hardly hear the dialog over the background music that drones on at nauseam and drowns out the plot.
According to the Pollution Issues web site, Noise pollution is defined as the intrusion of unwanted, uncontrollable, and unpredictable sounds, not necessarily loud, into the lives of individuals of reasonable sensitivities. Among the “unpredictable sounds,” I find most annoying are screaming children, 6 am leaf blowers, lame excuses, the verbiage of those who expertly never answer a question directly, answer a question with a question, or answer questions with what he or she knows you want to hear, but what both participants know is not authentic.
Noises can be especially harmful to children. Scientific research indicates that noisy homes slow down cognitive and language development in young children. In addition, children living and attending schools near noisy highways, railroads and airports have lower reading scores.
Despite the unquestionable annoyance factor of noise, there is an even more important question at hand and that is: what is the payoff of all this noise? As Mitch Albom said in Tuesdays with Morrie, “Noise lets us ignore our most difficult struggle and our most precious possession: our true and profound selves.” It acts like a Halloween mask that covers up the real face of our issues.
We have lost the positive silence in which we find ourselves. It is in the silence that imagination soars and creativity abounds. It is in the silence that we hear spirit and intuitive wisdom. It is in the silence, between the words, that we feel love and joy. It is in the silence that we discover that feelings are neither facts, nor fearful.
In the silence, we can envision the future and clarify our purpose. We define our character and fine-tune our values. It’s in the silence that we connect to God, whatever you perceive that to be. In the silence, we grow emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. Silence is the room in which our souls can exercise and become stronger, deeper and richer… and we are losing it.
Søren Kirkegaard wrote, “If I were a doctor and you asked for my advice, I should reply: ‘Create Silence.’” Yet, in our over-amped, frenzied world, silence is perhaps the most precious and underused commodity in existence. The demands of personal life, family, career, finances and major world changes are relentless and unyielding. Most would breathlessly ask, who has time for silence?
However, is that the right question? Perhaps the question should be, how in the world could you NOT afford time for silence. We each have been given the same 168 hours per week. It’s up to us to prioritize our precious time make the choice to include a space for the inner work of our souls. If we don’t, what is the point? What else do we anticipate that we can take with us to the next adventure?
I am not talking about the dead silence that hangs mid-air between couples too afraid to express the truth or their feelings. I am talking about the rich space between the words and thoughts that creates new realities. You hear your heart best in the space. It’s the space in which you hear your soul’s yearning. It’s the space in which you hear your spirit. Your time is in your hands. It’s your choice about what you create and how delicious, or in short supply, the silence is. Take a minute and just hear your heart jump at the possibilities.
© 2012 Dr Dina Evan, Phoenix AZ
Dr Dina Evan is a licensed psychotherapist and nationally recognized presenter and activist for human rights and spiritual consciousness. She works with individuals and couples in California and Arizona (602) 997-1200 www.DrDinaEvan.com