One of my favourite Bible passages has always been “Be Still and Know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)

I interpreted it in different ways over the years and I chopped off the word God for quite a while. When I was into new age beliefs I still used it but heard the ‘know I am’ as my higher consciousness. That all seems crazy now and I am so glad I didn’t stay in those beliefs for long and at some point I will write a blog about them as many as they are causing much harm and I hope my ‘lived experience’ may help others.

But back to the stillness. I really struggle with this. I go for long walks in nature and I find some stillness there, without question, but when I come home I hate silence and doing nothing at the same time. I don’t mind silence if I am doing housework, writing or something else, but I notice even when I go to prepare a meal I put something on – a podcast, a YT video – something that connects me to something and of course, to help me avoid what stirs in the silence or in the preparation of food, being home alone mostly, feeling isolated. I lay awake at night sometimes and it is extremely quiet where I live, but my mind goes into overtime thinking about consequential and inconsequential things, skipping about from one topic to the next. Its noisy in my head! But its tiring and is getting more painful.

What am I afraid of in the silence?

What will happen if I stop and do nothing and watch nothing and listen to nothing?

I am in heavy addiction avoiding the silence.

I reach for the TV, during the adverts

I look at my phone,

Do a ‘job’ that needs doing.

I fidget, I fuss, I scatter

My mind, my body and

My soul into a thousand places.

Never really resting.

Never really paying attention

To my own heart.

It hurts,

But I must be more afraid of

THE hurt.

I avoid the silence,

Yet I hear God is found there

And so am I.

Silence holds truth too.

The only time I listen to quiet is in nature,

Though nature is never really silent.

The rustle of leaves in the trees,

The lap of waves,

Crunch of stony sand,

The song of birds,

The squelch of mud

And the whispering wind.

It is a sensory experience

Of sounds, smells, sight and touch

So it doesn’t feel deadly silent.

And that deadly silence

Is what I dread

And avoid.

As a kid,

I was alone in the middle of the night

With nightmares,

Being chased

And tortured

With fear.

Seeing scary faces in the patterns of the curtains,

As I fell asleep.

No one came to comfort.

I would sit there shaking,

Forcing myself to think of

Christmas trees,

Ice creams

And poppies in fields.

I told my mother once and she said

“Why are YOU having nightmares?’

In a derogatory tone –

The morning

After the night before

When we had escaped

My violent stepfather

At midnight,

Shuffled into a car

In our nightclothes.

So, I learned to be silent inside

And avoid the silence outside.

In a room,

Just me

Doing nothing.

No sound,

No voice,

No comfort

Just me in a void

With my feelings;

How uncomfortable

I feel in my own body.

Its lumps, aches,

Pain and stiffness.

My breath,

My belly

They all appear.

In noise,

I can forget

What my body is trying to tell me:

The weight around my neck and shoulders,

The soft wobble of my belly,

The heaviness of my legs,

The backache behind my heart

And the tenderness in my gut.

In the silence,

My thoughts wander and flutter

Some random, unimportant.

Some deeper, important,

A memory,

A face, a time and place.

A sense of loss,

Sadness, fear, anger.

Moments of remembered

Innocence and its loss.

Silence takes me to

Thoughts and feelings

I don’t want to dwell in

Yet am stuck in

Because I avoid them.

But how truth revealing the silence is

So, do I want truth?

Or do I judge what comes up so much?

Fearing lack of control,

Safety.

Curiosity would like the silence

And all it reveals.

Curiosity would follow the trail,

Down and in,

Around and through.

Curiosity would let the silence

Tell me who I am right now

And be curious how to change that.

Silence gives room to imagination,

Creation, dreams and feelings.

My soul is heard in the spaces

Without noise

So that I get used to hearing my soul

Even in the noise.

I’m often not fully in my body,

Running from shame and discomfort.

I wonder when I was last in,

All the ways to my toes.

Could silence bring me home?

Meditation,

Used to take me further away.

It felt like rest,

But it felt like escape.

I could drift off to places and colours

And dip into co-dependent ‘fixes’

With spirits.

A ‘pretty’ plaster

Over a toxic wound.

Not big enough to cover

The cavernous hole in my heart.

Silence reminds me of the nightmares,

But it’s not really them.

The nightmare has become

Staying stuck

In the past pains,

Holding on too tightly

To avoiding ‘vulnerability.’

Sometimes a nightmare

Is not what it seems,

The same as the foreboding dark, mass of trees

in a wood at night.

You hear noises, see shadows everywhere

Imagine the worse.

Only to find the wind had blown through branches

Or a gentle deer was running

Through brambles.

Sometimes a nightmare is just telling you the truth.

Processing our painful emotions

Is not the same as the hurt we have from our childhood.

The pain I had as a child

Had no purpose.

Feeling my feelings does.

Pain with a purpose.

Pain that could lighten my load.

I never once really cried, sincerely

Without feeling

Better afterwards.

My guides are telling me

I will find God in the silence.

A place where I stop,

Free from noise and distraction.

A place where I can sit with God

And get real about what I feel.

Where I can make room for God’s Love

And Truth.

Being busy

Distracting in a myriad of ways

Isn’t working.

Time for different.

I’m scared of that Love,

So overwhelming

I may drown,

Or lose myself.

But no, I have already lost myself

In distraction.

Love would never drown me

And Love would never want me to disappear,

Or be controlled

Or manipulated

Or suck the life out of me.

Real love, never would.

Sigh! The irony of our error.

In the silence,

I’ll have to get real.

With myself,

With my body,

With my soul.

And with my Father,

Who patiently waits…

For some crazy reason

Called Love.

Love for His rebellious, stubborn,

prodigal daughter.

In the silence,

We may be found.

In the silence,

El Adonai-Roi

The God who sees Me.

And wants me to see me.

Silence is calling me to

All the places

I’m scared to feel

But will heal me.

And I want to heal,

And I want to feel

Again.

To be real,

Truly alive

Again.

Know myself,

Know my God.

To know the potential

Waiting for me in the silence.

@maxinecreates 2022

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