Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lessons on Getting Quiet

I grew up in a loud, noisy family that was hardly ever quiet. Quiet was not something we had much of. There was yelling, fighting, arguing, laughing, playing....but not quiet. When I had kids of my own we would sometimes practice the "Quiet Game." Especially when we were in the car. I would challenge them to see who could remain the quietest for the longest. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't. Kids don't like to be quiet.




As an adult I struggle with getting quiet. I fill my life with noise. TV, music, people. Something about absolute quiet has always bothered me. I can't spend too much time with myself. Then I get into my own head. And that can be not so good.

This year one of my goals for 2015 has been to investigate my spiritual life. And that has involved learning how to get quiet. Everyday I take approximately an hour and turn off the TV. Turn off the music. Sit quietly by myself. This is when I read my Bible. I am working my way through the Old Testament and the New Testament simultaneously. Sometimes I have to read the verses out loud. This helps me to better understand what is being said. And I write questions into my journal. And you can believe me when I tell you there are a lot of questions. Whether I will ever find the answers remains to be seen.




At times,  during my quiet time, I listen to nature. The birds singing. The wind blowing through the trees. The purring of the lawnmowers around the neighborhood. Dogs barking and cats mewling. The bubbling of my fish aquarium. The loud whine of the exhaust fan in my neighbors backyard. All noises that I can't hear unless I get quiet.

Recently, late at night, our electricity was off for about 3 hours. I was taken in by how quiet the house was. No refrigerator humming. No furnace kicking off and on. The bubbling of the fish filter silent. No fans blowing. Just very, very quiet. I liked it. But only for a little while. Then I needed to turn on the music on my phone and plug in my earplugs. I can't take long periods of quiet. But I'm working on it. I expect I will learn a lot about myself as I learn to Get Quiet!

Tell me your thoughts on being quiet!

22 comments:

  1. I think that is neat that you are taking the time to be quiet, Paula, and spend some of that time reading the Bible. Good source for questions being answered is the Internet; I was wondering about Pharisees and Sadducees the other day and found a wealth of information online. Otherwise, a local pastor is another great resource for questions to be answered :)

    I love quiet during the day; at night if I'm alone, I like just a little bit of noise, maybe to keep me company :)

    betty

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    1. I am learning to like quiet. I know the internet is a great place to seek answers to questions. And yes, a local pastor would be another. I wonder if they would be horrified at my questioning??

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  2. Hi Paula - I enjoy music and listening to radio programmes .. but do hate the hustle and bustle of the 'natter' of life when I'm out in the street or town .. I usually work in silence .. sometimes I have music on .. but it's so restful to be in quietude ... good luck with the move into more quiet time .. cheers Hilary

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    1. I just don't like total silence! Thanks for your comments Hillary

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  3. I probably have more quiet time now in my life now that mom is gone. There was no time for quiet when time is in short supply. I have always valued quiet time and time alone. We seldom have tv or radio on but I do listen to a lot of books on tape so I guess I do fill the silence more than I thought. But I find as I age being alone with my own thought refreshing.

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    1. That is the same for me Elaine. Especially when the kids are gone. I don't find my thoughts to be refreshing, yet!

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  4. In spite of two granddaughters, I live in a quiet house. When my own daughters were young, and arguing (in the car!) I enforced "Whoever talks first loses." I enjoy conversation, but not noise.

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    1. I like noise. And my grandchildren, for the most part, are not quiet.

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  5. Being quiet is very hard for me as well.....makes you wonder what it is we are trying to block out....

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    1. I am happy to hear that I am not the only one Wendy!

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  6. I like to be quiet, and it drives my family nuts. I think it is from growing up in a family that wasn't always very quiet. I find too much noise overwhelming. When I drive in the car, sometimes I can listen to music, and sometimes I can't. I used to love going to target, because they didn't play music. Christmases and get togethers with Mike's family were hard, his parents are Welsh, his mom is part Greek, and there was a lot of yelling going on, happy and angry. I don't like absolute silence, but sometimes the more quiet it is, the more you really hear. Don't get my wrong, I love listening to my grandson and kids babbling away. I really love going out for a walk at night when it is getting dark, and coming back to the house and I can hear their voices, and carrying on. but everyone talking at once, and music etc, makes me nutty! Also, when I am home on my own, I like to have one of my favourite TV shows on as background noise ( Like Christy or Little House on the Prairie). I guess really, I don't like a lot of different noises at once. Gosh, that is all about as clear as mud, isn't it?

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    1. I am glad that all of us are so different!. I cannot stand silence. I don't know why. I just need some noise in the background. I love how it was clear as mud!! I love you Ellie!

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  7. I always appreciate when the power goes out, if it's just for a short time. The world becomes still. But if it's a longer power outage, well, I'm not as appreciative!
    Maui Jungalow

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    1. The world is very still without power, for sure!

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  8. That's pretty neat, the way you're setting aside time for Bible study and follow-up. I like what Betty suggested about consulting the internet. Personally, I'd be reluctant to trust anyone I know with certain questions. I'm sure they've heard it all, but still ....

    Unlike Tom, when I'm alone I really enjoy absolute silence. Maybe that's just to offset the chaos surrounding my workspace during the week? ... That, or so I can hear if the boogeyman's approaching. (smile)

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    1. Ha! Ha! I might feel differently if I had to listen for the boogeyman approaching!!!

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  9. I like the quiet. No music. No TV. Just stillness. But it makes people uneasy. I don't know why.

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    1. I don't know why. But total silence makes ME uneasy!

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  10. Hubby would keep the radio or TV on all night if I let him, but to me that quiet is bliss! And outside, he always turns on a radio when he goes out to do something in the yard. But me, I just want the crickets, birds, breeze and such. And it all comes together like heaven to me at night, under the stars.
    Visit me at: Life & Faith in Caneyhead
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  11. I think we're so used to noise whether it's subtle like a fridge or loud like a group all talking at once, that true quiet is unsettling. I think it takes a little time, exposing it to ourselves little by little to enjoy it. However, I think there's truth in the fact that when it's too quiet, we're uncomfortable dealing with our thoughts that we can't ignore anymore.

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    1. Maybe that is why I don't like it quiet....then I would have to deal with thoughts I don't want to deal with.

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