I have a question for you: Do you like silence?
When you find yourself immersed in silence, what do you do? Think about it for a minute… that deep silence in which you can hear your own heartbeat. A kind of silence in which there are no distractions.
Maybe it’s in the middle of the night, when you can’t sleep but you don’t want to turn on the TV or look at your smartphone because you don’t want to wake up your spouse… or your child.
Or it’s in a quiet chapel where you sit alone, lingering a little longer after you have said all your prayers.
Perhaps it’s in the doctor’s office, when nothing in the world is more important than the results of the medical tests for which you are waiting.
Or in the long moments of holding someone’s hand, being completely and utterly present to love, when nothing else matters.
For me, spending some time in silence with no distractions is a daily habit. I need it like I need food and water. And still, I get blown away when I experience it in a way that stirs my soul and reveals something I was in need of learning. Or healing. Or embracing and celebrating.
While on my recent Transformational Retreat & Sea Cruise, it was in the calm waters of the Adriatic Sea just as the sun was rising, as I was standing still on the deck of our ship. I became aware of the soft hum of the engines, the splashing of the waves against the boat, and the cries of seagulls. And I let them fade away, focusing on the silence.
There was no fear, no pain, no joy or excitement inside of me. Only deep peace in which gratitude was the only emotion I was feeling, and surrender the only action I was ‘doing.’
I felt so calm and fulfilled, that later I wondered how it was even possible – with all the responsibility that was on my shoulders as I lead the cruise in Croatia, with my children being half the world away from me, with memories of the past and unknowns of the future…
Silence, surrender and the awareness of the presence of God in our lives can transform all that’s chaotic and painful into the deep peace we all desire…
A few days later, standing on Apparition Hill in Medjugorje, I was listening to our guide say the words: “God made us with one mouth and two ears. Because listening is more important than talking.” The only time we can really hear is in the silence.
It’s a challenge not to talk these days. It takes effort not to pick up your smartphone, post comments on social media, or chat with people. All the time. It can get to a point where silence becomes uncomfortable. In those moments, we’d rather not think about tough issues, deal with hard feelings or face what our bodies, our minds and our souls are trying to tell us.
And if we can’t silence ourselves, how are we ever to hear God’s guidance?
Sit in peace and silence today. Not the kind of silence in which you actively pray, or read, or think… but silence in which you surrender. And see what happens when you do.
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