By Kenneth Stepp
Being quiet… For a social butterfly like myself, this can be a hard thing to find. To be quiet, to wait, to allow life to go by and just study it. It’s hard for me. I know how important quiet time is, but, it seldom dawns on me to indulge in it. And when it does, I’m scattered. But there are those moments, I had one this morning.
I jumped out of bed around 6:00 am and it hit me. Think, one word. I knew I needed to be in deep think mode for sure, I had to evaluate what had happened in the last year, I lost someone so important to me, someone I love, I needed to change my attitude about some things. What’s funny, or at least strange, is that we all have these moments. Most of us carry on and believe that moment will come back at a more opportune time than this, “I have things to do”, I say to myself. But no, this morning, my life would go into a gear it sees little of. Park… So I put my life in park and sat down and simply, thought. I thought all day.
“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”
― Albert Einstein
Change the world. I suppose that can be done, but my ego hasn’t grown to that size. So I’ll just see if I can change my world and leave everyone else’s world to itself. Thinking is something we all do, all day, every day. But focused thought, that’s where change lives. I woke up this morning unhappy… Why? I had a life changing event, how foolish, not to mention, self centered. Most of the humans on the planet would trade their lives for mine. I have a nice home, a decent income, a pantry full of food, and a career I love. Add to that that I work for me, I have no boss, I have no debt, and my schedule, most days, is my own, my life rocks!!
I entered my quiet time hurting and came out celebrating. How great is that? Many of us, if not most of us, have a very blessed life. Loneliness and the absence of romantic love can dilute the view we have of our lives. I was hurt, I was safe, I was in love. These are natural things in life, we find them then lose them, it doesn’t mean life is bad, it means we had a bad moment, nothing more.
“Once someone’s hurt you, it’s harder to relax around them, harder to think of them as safe to love. But it doesn’t stop you from wanting them.”
― Holly Black
Unwrapping these feelings isn’t fun, easy, or a desirable way to spend one’s time. But this is necessary if we ever want to “feel better about the situation”. Taking every piece of what was and examining it for what it really is. We’re talking events, actions, and feelings here, again, nothing more. They were meaningful. The feelings were powerful. But in the end, just feelings. There are emotions that will be missed, and the emotions that replaced them are painful ones, but something had to replace them if we ever want to move on. And we all should, I’ve known a few people who dwelled on what was, some for the rest of their lives. They were never happy again. Not who or what I want to be.
As Paul declared in the bible, “I am content in all things”. How awesome would that be? I have pondered his statement for decades. When I had my large business years ago, I was never satisfied with where I was in it. When my wife and I were married, my average monthly income was between $30k and $40k per month. I wasn’t risking my own money and I was done every day by noon. Sounds pretty great, right? It wasn’t enough for me. I believe I wanted bigger challenges. I built a business that didn’t need much of me in it, I had two very happy employees and an extremely supply chain. I believe I wanted something that needed more from me. And that of course, was the beginning of the end.
“I want to be like water. I want to slip through fingers, but hold up a ship.”
― Michelle Williams
I created my big business, I made twice the money and worked myself almost to death. I also ruined every area of my life in the process. Once it was all gone and I was left alone with my thoughts, quiet time was all I had left. At first I hated it, then it began to reveal things about me I needed to change. You see, quiet time is part of our DNA, we have to have it, and eventually we will. On our terms or on it’s terms.
Mine began after losing everything. Now it’s part of my daily routine. Deep thought, writing, and prayer. These are what make up my quiet time. Everyone is different. Remember. Quiet time will come, it’s up to us what condition we are in when it does. Today I have more clarity than yesterday, more resolve, and more happiness. Take the time. Allow your mind to wander. Think…
“When a poet digs himself into a hole, he doesn’t climb out. He digs deeper, enjoys the scenery, and comes out the other side enlightened.”
― Criss Jami