When you find yourself in a position of seemingly sempiternal disorientation, silence can be a salve. I never used to believe this. In fact it was pummeled into me at an early age that silence begat psychological and spiritual rot. Well-meaning loved ones would tell me that silence and solitude were synonyms for psychosis and Satanist ritualism. Compound these assertions with a fragile sense of self and mental wellbeing and you might end up in a position of cognitive ataxia. These corrosive, dime-store opinions were posited as facts, but they stung my consciousness nevertheless.
Silence and solitude are acts of self-anchoring. Sometimes I find myself in a dark room in my home, sitting still and simply listening. In those moments, I’m trying to hear both the hum and elastic vim of the many interior voices that remind me of the value of this small, singular life of mine; the fact that I’m alive during a pandemic; the fact that my faculties have not teetered off the edge of reason; the fact that I’m loved.
These are not small things. They are reminders that grace is as much an offering to others as to oneself. When you’re an asocial middle-aged ragamuffin with wonky knees and wonkier mental health, sitting in silence, in the dark, can allow for an understanding of vision beyond sight.
Yes, you will falter and muck up, but you will also deepen your discernment. When in doubt next time, sit down in a comfortable position and simply listen to your mind and your body.
You might just locate your center, and emerge more hopeful, alert, alive.
Big love from The Blue Temple.
Image by DIRIYE OSMAN and STEVE BRIGHT