When we adopted our son from Bulgaria we didn't know he was hearing impaired. After he came home and was with us for about six months, we had him evaluated and he received hearing aids. The first night after we got his hearing aids, he was sitting around the dinner table with all eight of us and suddenly exclaimed:
"Why are you people so loud?"
We had always been loud. He just needed the amplification of the hearing aids to know that.
I feel like everything is so loud right now.
I do not need the sound amplified. I need the opposite. I need quiet.
I need to protect my heart from the clamor of the world, of my house, and of my own thoughts at times.
In her excellent book An Invitation to Solitude and Silence, Ruth Haley Barton compares her soul to a jar of river water that has been shaken.
The jar is filled with cloudy dirty swirling water.
Silence and stillness are needed to let the sediment settle and the water to become clear.
"Psalm 46:10 tells us there is a kind of knowing that comes in silence and not in words - but first we must be still. The Hebrew word translated "Be still" literally means, 'Let go of your grip.'" - Ruth Haley Barton, An Invitation to Solitude and Silence
What is clamoring and loud in your soul right now?
What are you gripping on to?
Maybe you are worried about the election or the pandemic.
Maybe you are worried about a diagnosis or how you will find services for your special needs child.
Maybe you don't know how you will do one more minute of your day.
Is online education for your child overwhelming?
How do we combat the clamor?
Unplug: the constant news, instagram feeds, notifications. All of these compete for our attention and do not lead to peace. Unplug from it even for fifteen minutes and before bed.
Get outside: being outside makes a world of difference in our mental state. There is a Latin phrase "Solvitur Ambulando", which means "it will all be solved by walking." Take a short walk or just get outside to feel the sun on your face and listen to the birds.
Practice silence: It is hard I know but even a small practice of silence can go a long way to settling the soul.
"When we make room for silence we make room for ourselves."
- Gunilla Norris
Can you shut out the clamor this week and make some room for silence and stillness?