I sat outside on my back deck staring at the moon watching the cotton clouds pass overhead through the bright starry mid-August night. You could hear the aspen leaves dancing in the slight breeze out of the west. It was about 11:30, the night was warm as the crickets chirped in unison. Off in the distance, I could hear the thunder and see the lightening storm headed my way. Just a few blocks away, I could hear cars hitting sewer covers and pot holes, while motor cycles sped up to make it through the yellow light at the Avenue of Kipling and Oak street. The occasional dog barking down the block added the the busyness that late August evening.
I was in deep thought, no matter how busy the outside world seemed. My divorce papers were laying on the oak kitchen table inside the house. I turned my head and glanced towards the dinning room that was in the dark. The divorce papers weren’t going anywhere, just knowing the pain they caused me that afternoon was enough for me not to go look at them for the hundredth time. I picked them up several times during the day, saw my name, the name of my wife, and tossed them back on the table in disbelief. How more of this shock and grief could I take? Was I a glutton for punishment, I asked myself? Should I get up from this comfortable lawn chair and go see if that’s really my name on the divorce papers I received today? I would have to turn the lights on, then look again! Nope, I am going to sit here and take in this evening by myself, no more divorce papers for me tonight.
The thunder got louder, and the flashes of lightening arched across the sky. I could now smell the rain that was headed my way. It was now 2:00 AM, the city seemed to be sleeping. I hardly heard any cars, and my soul began to quiet down. I thought to myself, let’s see, what happened to me today? I got divorce papers served, my life is falling apart, nothing really major happened beside those two things. I was now alone, all alone. I started to figure out what was so loud at 2 AM, it was the quietness of the city and the calming of my heart. I compare it to just after hearing the muzzle blast of a 44 Magnum, and then the silence. Just for that split second, you hear nothing but silence. I sat in the lawn chair, and was alone with my thoughts. Slowly, I realized that being alone with my thoughts was perfectly OK.
This was my time, just for me, for the first time in years I was now alone with my thoughts and feelings. As I closed my eyes and leaned back with my head resting on the back of the lawn chair. I shut my brain down, and waited for the silent little voice that would tell me everything is going to be OK. After all, I have a busy mind that never seems to shut down.
I was very uncomfortable with how quiet the space around me was. Then I began to think, this quietness is not really that bad, it’s not going to hurt me. so, I started to think of my issues that I needed to work on. I didn’t let any outside distractions take over. Let’s just say for the first time in many months, I was in total control of an agenda that was to help me, get to know me. I forgot who I was during many years of a bad marriage. In order to find peace and quiet you need to put that as a top priority in your game plan. I did and it was amazing on what I found out about myself.
- I enjoyed being alone to think about my future.
- I wrote in a journal, keeping tabs on my emotions and feelings.
- I took long walks and listened to wordless music.
- I wrote out my goals for 1, 3, and 5 years, for personal, relational, and business.
- I decided to keep only healthy friendships in my life, no more high maintenance individuals.
- Do at least one fun thing once a week, trips, hobbies, read a book.
- Send or call one person a week and thank them for something they have done for you, that helped me appreciate those who made a difference in my life.
- If you owe someone an apology, make sure you do that in writing or a phone call, so I made phone calls, sent e-mails and letters to those I offended. That made me feel soooo much better.
- The tears I shed were real, and healing. I used to bottle up my feelings and just walk away, no more, many nights I wept from a broken heart, my broken heart.
Learn to appreciate the quiet that surrounds you. The first few weeks or few months, this time of quiet will be in the evening while you’re alone eating dinner or laying in bed. Sometimes it will be while your driving, or even eating lunch. Enjoy these times, they are very healing and beneficial. Healing takes place in the quietness of your heart, learn to have these times, they will carry you through difficult times. Please share your thoughts on this article. How did you handle the quietness you experienced?
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