Thursday, October 30, 2014
Make quiet time a part of your life
Are you poised, seriously, at the point of running away from home?
Is everything overwhelming you? You feel like you are a week behind on the things you can understand and control, and you don’t really comprehend the rest? So many projects at work, so many problems at home, so many things you’ve agreed to do for friends, family, community, church, work. Too many!
If you opt out of any one of these duties you’ve committed to, you will get dirty looks, sarcastic remarks, tears from your children, anger from your wife or husband, sneers from a club or committee, a dangerous look from the boss, etc., etc. You can’t sleep, or else wake up in a cold sweat at 3 a.m. wondering how to get control of this confusing mess your life is.
Being the honest, reliable person you are, you won’t try to get out of any of your commitments. But, you need some way to ease the jittery, spinning-your-wheels feeling that torments you when awake, worries you in your sleep, and wakes you in the middle of the night.
We hear and read about the New Age buzz of “personal time.” We are now in the Age of Aquarius which stresses peace and understanding of ourselves and others, and isn’t a bad philosophy.
I’ve been trying “personal time.” Inside or outside, doing chores, cooking, reading, or staring into space, mind emptied of worries, absorbing the sounds and sights around me is so comforting. The gentle or stormy wind in the trees, birds calling, flowers blooming, water rippling, ducks quacking, a storm’s thunder crashing and its lightning creating beautiful, dangerous light shows soothes my soul. Think about chickens, cows, hogs, horses going about their placid, unself-conscious daily lives, not worrying about anything that may or may not happen. Ahhh!
You try daydreaming little fantasies that are all yours. Don’t you feel the knots loosening? Some sort of peace and order invading your mind? Things don’t seem quite as bad as they did - you feel like you have a handle on things. You even feel a little benevolent toward all those worrisome people and things that get on your nerves every day. Like you’re on top and in control.
The best way to shed the worry load is to just go off by yourself to some quiet place that you love, that doesn’t require anything of you. Instead of making some excuse of going to get gas, going to the store, etc., just say “this is my personal, quiet time” and go.
Women can do this. If you work, tell the family that a couple of days a week you will come home an hour or so late. You are claiming your “quiet time.” Ignore clamoring about supper. If they can talk, they can find a snack or open a can. Cook enough for leftovers a night or two before. They don’t like leftovers? Tough! They can eat it or go without. For women who don’t work outside the home, pick your time and don’t let it be interfered with. A friend or relative can watch the rug-rats for a couple of hours; maybe a whole morning!
Men can do this. You will be an hour or so late getting home. Your wife can save your supper in the fridge and warm it carefully in the microwave when you get home. No questions about your personal time.
If single, man or woman, you can do it your own way and take all the time you want. No questions or prying from anybody. The dog and cat may complain loudly. Feed them immediately to shut them up so your peaceful glow isn’t shattered.
The important thing is to do it! Make it a habit and make it clear that this will take place on a regular basis. You are not to be questioned about where you went, what you thought about, do you feel better, etc. This is your time, very personal, and not to be picked at by anybody.
Children need personal quiet time. They need the mysterious time before dawn, by themselves, to creep out into the dark, feel the cold, wet dew on their feet, marvel and wonder at the night sounds, watch the sun start with rose and rise in gold. Let them have a “secret place” that you pretend you don’t know about. No, don’t question them. It’s their private time to mull over their problems and worries, or to feel delight in the new day. If you leave them alone, they will eventually tell you their worries and fears. If you pry, they won’t.
Make quiet, personal time an unquestioned part of your life. It should be as usual and ordinary as eating a meal or sleeping. It is not selfish; it is vital to your mental and emotional health, to your very existence as a whole person.
It will restore your soul!
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