Sirens, the dog barking, the cat meowing, you daughter or son playing video games in the living room, your neighbor getting it on so loud that you can feel the pounding of the bedpost against your wall, the washing machine whirling, airplane taking off or landing in the distance, the phone ringing, your husband watching television and laughing hysterically, a fax coming through. You get the idea. NOISE! The Merriam Webster dictionary defines noise as: loud, confused, or senseless shouting or outcry. A question for you my dear friends…when was the last time you heard silence?
I was on a stay-cation in December last year and I wanted badly to not be in the States, but finances to travel much less to hangout hindered that. I was left with three weeks to do nothing. The first week flew because I had finals but after that I had nothing. I blew through books and then quickly realized I had to slow down because it was tapping in way too much of my budget. I would play music but would get bored. I would watch the tele but oh gosh I was afraid of the garbage that was being downloaded into my brain. I have only a small room in my brain for the crap that’s on television and that’s to watch some shows on Bravo and certain segments on E! Nowhere to go, no one in my life to take me out, nothing to do more than to move from my bed to chair and back to my bed again in my studio apartment. I was constantly on Instagram, constantly texting friends, trying desperately to find something to do to occupy my time. I needed something, anything to keep me company. You see, the thing was I was scared to be alone with my thoughts. I hate hearing myself think. I hate remembering things. I hate going over things. My brain is a never ending cycle of thoughts and I was utterly afraid of them. I just did not want anything to seep into my brain that will allow me to think and ponder. Too much heartache too many pain too many, what I thought at the time, to be failures. See I rather think while doing something. Chances are I won’t be thinking anything personal. I was sitting on the bed with my back against the cold wall in a lotus position when my brain squeezed out a question: why are you so afraid of me? I pondered that and replied: because I do not want to ponder, reminisce, relive or think of anything that may hurt me.
After my response I got up and went on the internet because I so did NOT want to have a conversation with myself. I went on the internet and went to Iyalna Vanzant’s website and stumbled on an article, Can you find peace when you consciously go looking for it? By Lorriane Wilson (http://vividlife.me/ultimate/28031/can-you-find-peace-when-you-consciously-go-looking-for-it-by-lorraine-wilson/). I know I was led to this article and chuckled. It’s a five paragraph article. Very simple and to the point and it was like a brick to my forehead. The line that had my ears ringing was: “When you welcome uncomfortable emotions in and be fully present with them rather than pushing them aside you may discover they don’t come to visit you as often, if at all.” I wondered, is this possible? If I embrace any memories that evoke uneasiness would I be able to stop them from trying to visit or worse yet set up shop when I least expect it? I was willing to give it a try but got scared. I know whenever I get scared or fearful it’s my ego not wanting me to do something good. In my ever quest to silence this devil I said I’ll try it. I swallowed my fear. I turned off the tele that was on mute (it was on just to keep me company), shutdown my computer, closed my window the remaining of the way and put my phone on silent and away from arms reach and took a deep breath and just sat there…legs stretched out looking ahead of me staring at my vision board but not looking at it and I allowed myself to listen to my thoughts. Oh brother! All sorts of things flashed in. At first it wasn’t bad but gradually they came: I wonder how much will I get on my taxes next year?; I think I may need a bigger space; I wonder what my dad is doing? Bullocks! My dad (stab). Did he eat today? Is the car running? How’s my brother doing? I wish I could call him (stab). How’s mommy doing? How’s my nephew doing (stab)? Why are you alone sitting here? Why isn’t there a guy here with you? Don’t you just wish you had someone with you right now to cuddle you and stroke your hair. Why have I experienced so much pain? Why don’t you trust men? And then I answered that question softly in my head: because of him. He robbed me of my innocence. He completely stole it from me. This married man, 26 years my senior with a child stole it from me. I started to sob. Then I cursed my brain and I shouted inside my head: see this is why I don’t like to be alone with my thoughts! I don’t want to remember anything that would tear my wall down even temporarily. Sobbing turned into heaving, heaving turned to straight bawling. Then a voice started comforting me. I curled up in a fetal position and allowed myself to be comforted. I was spent. I was drained and I fell asleep.
When I woke up I was refreshed…and…I felt...I felt at peace. Crying is very cleansing. I hate hearing that crap that men shouldn’t cry. Everyone should cry. Go off to a secluded area if you must and cry. Don’t bottle it all in. In that moment there was no way for me to know if being alone with my thoughts would stop these hurtful thoughts from visiting again. All I know is that allowing them to come through was a release that brought me peace. And so the next day when I felt restless I shut everything off and went to meet my thoughts. The day after that the same thing. Till maybe around day five I would disconnect from the world and my brain would literary be blank. Don’t you hate asking someone, what are you thinking and they say nothing? It pisses you off doesn’t it? How can you possibly be thinking about nothing? Well, I was laying there and I was thinking nothing. Then I caught myself and thought: hey! Shy you’re thinking nothing! I started applauding myself and went right back to thinking nothing and it was so peaceful.
I’m completely estimating at this point but I think maybe it was a day or two after that I started having conversation with someone I know to be familiar. It’s that voice that sometimes speaks to me in my own voice which I’m pretty sure is my Higher Self and a male authoritative but loving voice that I identify as one of my guardian angels. They began speaking to me and questions that I had, the answers would start coming to me. Ideas would start to form and I would jot things down. You see loves, having this moment of quite time, with no distractions allowed me to have productive thoughts. My angels and my Higher Self was loving the time to chat me up and I enjoyed it because I was gaining so much insight into so many things. It doesn’t matter if you believe in angels or anything for that matter. I would like you to try to take a moment to be in silence. See what comes to you? Even if you think nothing. Well Shy, my brain rests when I’m asleep. Just how much sleep are you getting anyway? If you’re not looking for divination then how about the lovely thought of just relaxing? No noise. No ipod stuck in your ear, no baby crying, no tele, no phone no nothing. Just sit back and let your brain roam. You see the movement of the mind often means the movement of stress. I heard that from Sarah McLean. So be still for 10, 15, 30 minutes and allow your brain to calm down. Well Shy my brain is always racing. Where is it racing off to? Don’t judge it flow with it. Maybe you relive or remember hurtful things but maybe, just maybe this can be therapeutic for you as it was for me. Maybe that answer that you were picking your brain to get pops up. I feel the answers often come because there’s no noise to distract us. The answer was trying to reach you and all the noise that’s in our world delayed it and continued to delay it from coming forth. So, no excuses! Tell the kids to keep it down, close the window, silence the cellphone, plug out the house phone, take the battery out the clock, ask your roommate for 10 minutes to just turn off her radio, lock yourself in the bathroom if you have to!
Now I can’t wait to disconnect and just be alone with my thoughts. Even when I’m meditating and my thoughts roam I let them roam because I realized that I haven’t allowed my brain to simmer down. I’m not asking you to meditate, although I will write about that at another time. I’m asking/suggesting that you take a moment for yourself…to be silent.
Enjoy the remainder of your night. Shhhh