Thursday, May 5, 2016

Silence

(Sometime last year I posted a list of 55 Precepts for Christian Living by Fr. Thomas Hopko. I have seen the list circulated quite a bit since then and I recently came across the suggestion of journaling through each item on the list. I thought that was a wonderful suggestion and, as I considered doing it, I decided that I'd like to share some of my thoughts here. This post deals with numbers 8 and 9 )


Silence.

I have been thinking about this for awhile now. Mostly thinking how I don't have much to say on the subject because I am in the midst of my child-rearing years and physical silence doesn't exist is rather hard to come by. Perhaps that's why I find myself able to appreciate silence so much; I treasure those moments of peace and tranquility that are so few and far between.

But there is another kind of silence that is not the same as the absence of sound. There is a silence that is interior, one which is dependent upon the state of the heart rather than one's physical surroundings. This silence is even more valuable than the elusive exterior silence that I crave so. The silence that comes from a careful guarding of the heart and mind is the kind of quiet and steadfast stillness that is immovable and unshakable. Interior stillness allows one to remain calm in the midst of the surrounding storm and chaos that is daily life.

It is this inner silence that I am beginning to understand these days, even if only a little. I have come to realize that even when my house grows still, as little bodies rest from the laborious and joyous daily task that is growing up; even as the sounds of little voices stop and breaths slow and become peaceful; even as the lights dim and the evening song of the birds begins to quiet, my own mind is still noisy.

The swirl and rush of thoughts, ever spinning, never slowing, continuously moving in and out of my mind in a whirlwind of worries, cares and concerns leaves me with hardly a second to catch my breath.

The ability to just be, to just exist, right here and right now, without engaging my thoughts, and without getting sucked back in to the maelstrom of madness that never ceases is an ability which requires practice and patience. I am learning, slowly yes, but also steadily, how to let it all go. I am beginning to practice being mindful of this present moment, the eternity that exists now, and I am finding that this ability can carry over into my daily activities.

There is so much to say on the subject, and yet I can't seem to find a way to say it. I don't have the words at this time. Perhaps they will come some day. But for now I am thankful that I am being given the opportunity to struggle with, and even to succeed on occasion, in my search for silence.