A silent prayer for quiet is drown out by detestable drivel this out of body experience of being unable to stop myself from speaking is unbearable Double voice of internal tongue-lashing while arrogant assertions and petty comments continue to spill from cracking, spiteful lips in the moment it doesn't feel like a choice Conversations contaminated with dread presenting myself as someone I don't want to be the sickening shame of perpetually poisoning others' perceptions of me The reoccurring oath of silence never seems to matter when my mouth falls open again against my will how have I still not learned how to bite my tongue or simply speak in line with my true intention?
Don't allow yourself to believe the dead space between us is left empty or filled with the benefit of the doubt Anxiety and mental illness are excellent at filling in the blanks with haunting shadows and viscous, hateful delusions An "I love you" not uttered is not assumed to be neutral it is a shrieking echo of "I hate you" that reverberates inside my head A compliment offered only once is not carried over into the future it fizzles and is transfigured into just another lie Resentments are slowly added to the waters of my soul until an all-mighty tide of indignation becomes a tsunami to tear you apart An unseen pressure is surely building like hot air inside a teapot everyone always acts surprised when the shrill whistle of anger erupts Your silence speaks volumes to a heart that needs constant reassurance there is already too much bitterness to make it better
There is a stillness in the night that stops all thought I often wonder if it is supposed to feel so sweet as I slip underneath existence Each morning is an agony of renewed responsibility and expectation awaking to find myself again confined behind the same searching eyes within a cumbersome prison of flesh and bone Where is it exactly that we spend half our lives? why does my soul seem more suited to the ethereal landscapes of the unconscious? why has the waking world never seemed to hold me fully in its solid hand? I've always looked forward to the night to the moment I am swallowed up by the soft oblivion behind my eyelids even a dreamless inky darkness to me seems simply scrumptious I've rarely known the torment of an agitated, incomplete night's sleep I am equally a stranger to even a moment of conscious rest and repose I'm accustomed to black and white My soul is perpetually sleepy exhausted by the constant fires lit within the waking world It wants to dissipate under deep slumber to be scattered into stardust I can only hope that I'll be greeted by this same strange pleasure as I let go once more into my ultimate end and sink beneath those familiar, dark waters for one sublime and final time
Yesterday morning, my internet went out for a few hours. This isn’t the first time it’s happened. I live in a very rural area and when my internet goes out, it’s out. I can’t just use my phone data or walk to a restaurant or library with free wi-fi. I’m left in utter silence, cut off from the virtual world I’ve become so dependent on.
In these instances, it is really apparent how much I rely on the internet for everything. There isn’t a moment of my existence now that isn’t supplemented in some way by this technology. I am absolutely panic stricken when I see that little wi-fi symbol go dark. I am disturbed by how much it disturbs me. I feel an overwhelming wave of desperation as I try to think of some way to get back online. My mind races with thoughts of how I’ll make it through the next hour, the next day, god forbid the next week. Whenever this happens it is a huge wake-up call. I am unable to avoid the terrible truth that I have become horrified of being truly alone with myself.
Yesterday, I managed to avoid my usual meltdown and just get really curious about my fear. What was I so afraid of? Was I really incapable of getting through a day without lo-fi hip hop playing in the background and YouTube videos to watch while I go about my daily tasks? I tried to remember what my life was like before I even had access to a computer. I’m so grateful I at least had that experience for a good portion of my life. Otherwise I might not have believed it was possible to go without.
Even though my connection came back after only around four hours, I really feel that forced time apart from the world wide web was a blessing. I always say I’m going to try to take a break from screens and the internet for a day, but quickly come to find it nearly impossible to do. The only way I ever seem to manage it is when I have no other option. Being forced to face the eerie discomfort is truly a gift. It may sound silly, but I’m proud of myself for getting through it. I was submerged in the silence I’ve grown to fear, and I made it out unscathed. In fact I was even calmer and more grateful the rest of the day because of that quiet time of uncomfortable reflection.
How do you feel when you don’t have access to the internet? Does that even happen to people much at all anymore? How do you think this dependence on something so easily lost is going to affect humanity, especially the younger generations that have never known a time without it? I’d love to know if this is just a personal problem or something all of us have come to rely on to an unhealthy extent.
I'd love to know how others write do they have a plan before they put pen to paper or place their fingers on the keys do they know where they're going as they embark upon this daily journey For me writing is a chance encounter with my secretive inner self I never know what she has to say until I sit down to listen the conversation begins in silence shyly unraveling in slow motion Revelations of private wisdom glimmering behind the veil of the person I pretend to be that funny feeling of never knowing what's inside my own mind until I give it space to surface The stifling self-criticism that bars the door to my still, secluded, subconscious sanctuary tells me a masterpiece must have a plan fills me with fear of wasting time translating an underwhelming message that doesn't matter But conversations do not have blueprints you can't predict which will change you or save you suddenly from yourself it's always worth it to take the risk even if it's just for the pleasure of having someone to talk to So I faithfully open the door each morning hoping that the artist within arrives to tell me something beautiful even though some days she stands me up she is a busy woman after all with lots of better things to do
Obligated to fight for change I bared my bloodied heart inside my clenched fist I was always much better at biting off heads than biting my tongue Staying silent feels like defeat it feels like surrender is the same as giving permission having the privilege to turn my back and shut my eyes to the horror of a society sliding backwards Abandoning my sisters just because I am safe sounds egregious but how can I kill myself for a cause that can't be won I'll only make things worse Trying to make an impact from a place of violence and hate only serves to further salt the soil beneath our bruised and tired feet nothing good can be grown from actions fueled by rage It's best to hold back rather than adding to the viscous chaos my modest gift must be silence sitting quietly to quell the storms inside my own soul instead of spewing more poison Please forgive me for long ago losing faith in the human race for not having the power to protect anyone but myself
Silence settles in my throat a choking conviction that coils around my vocal chords a sickening, slithering sensation A sacred connection cruelly muffled by shame the all consuming ocean of not being enough Set me free from the binding belief that I am unworthy of witnessing taking up spaces where I have to earn my place, but haven't Grant me the courage to exist within this vast, incomprehensible world to take what I need, what is offered to me without guilt or apology Give me permission to be present to consume and create and collect my share of love from the universe
Silence is a special thing a commodity that cannot be boxed up in cardboard and set on shelves for sale Society only sees value in the shape of dollar signs so it's seen fit to fill that sacred void with noise The saddest thing is this absence is not even noticed by most it feels like good fortune to never be forced to face ourselves We pity the people of past generations that had to make due with their own minds to bear the boredom of still moments and shake hands with silence every day We've forgotten that space is necessary for new thoughts to be born for inspiration to strike us and give birth to beautiful things Silence has become unbearable feared above all else A sure sign that we desperately need to be submerged in it
silencing the inner chatter to hear the soft hum of celestial wisdom lifting myself above the tumultuous tides of my own mistaken mind finding stillness in the radio static of consciousness to tune in to the salient source of everything surrendering the obsession for contemplating complex patterns in favor of opening to the energy trying to be channeled in life's challenge is a sweet irony a call to remember what we are amidst the chaos of time and space to pause long enough to transcend them humbling ourselves to the unknowable truth to trust in forces we cannot control to be guided by an unseen hand down a foggy, confused path learning to mirror the beauty of faith reflected back in the eyes of the innocent by the joyous confidence of children and small beings with blindly open hearts our trust will not be betrayed only the temptation to doubt will mislead us even so we are never lost only learning new lessons
When was the last time I truly allowed myself to do nothing? Was there ever a moment that I’ve allowed myself that space, that freedom? No matter how busy I make myself day after day, year after year, I still go to sleep at night feeling like I’ve wasted so much time. I still wake up every morning with the pressure of thinking I’ve dwindled away all the days before. I keep myself in a flurry of frenzied thoughts and trailing to-do lists. I hold my breath as I rush around my home, my office, my head, trying frantically to get as much done as possible.
I tell myself that I’m trying to do extra work to create a bubble of free time for myself in the future, but that future moment never arrives. There is always something more that I could be doing. From time to time, I become so overwhelmed, so run down by my own errands that I have to stop and try to remember why I’m even doing any of this. I must have a good reason right? What was my ultimate goal again? What’s the point of all this work?
When I ask myself these questions, it’s hard to wrap my mind around the answer that always seems to come up. My only real goal, the thing that I’m struggling so desperately to achieve is just to be happy. I become so tangled in all the techniques I’ve piled on to my daily routine in order to facilitate a happy life, that I forget happiness is a choice. All I have to do is keep making that choice in every moment. These limits and restrictions and qualifications I put on my happiness are mine to hold on to or let go of as I wish. No amount of self-help or self-care rituals will generate happiness in my life. These things are just reminders, opportunities for me to give myself permission to experience the happiness that is already inside of me.
Despite all my years of yoga and meditation practice, I keep grasping and clawing at the world around me, at my external circumstances, trying to reach some perfect, organized, flawless outer condition in order to finally rest. I keep feeding myself a story that I know is a lie. I say, “In order to be happy, I must do this or achieve that or resolve all the problems in my life.” I place my happiness in some far off idealized future world that is intangible and unattainable. Then I beat myself up for not being able to reach it. “I’m a failure! I’m lazy! I’m not trying hard enough! I’m too easily overwhelmed! I’m too mentally ill to ever be happy!”
I allow my own inner voice to berate me and belittle me in ways that I would never allow anyone else to. I hardly even recognize the self-abuse I inflict every day. I place the aspirations of who I’d like to be off in the future and set up hurdles for myself to reach them. I make life more complicated, grave, and serious than it has to be. I tell myself to be calm and then pile on unrealistic tasks for myself to complete in order to permit a moment of relaxation. I tell myself to be happy while I rattle off endless criticisms of myself and everything in my life.
Life can be more simple and light-hearted if I only allow it to be. I don’t need to be or do anything in order to be happy or find peace. Those states are part of me. They are not dependent on anything outside of my head. I can go within and find peace, love, and happiness no matter where I am or what is going on in my life. They are not objects to be acquired out in the world. They are essential aspects of my nature. I generate them. I am them.
I am finally giving myself permission to stop regularly and ask, “what is it that I need right now?” and then simply allow myself to have it. Instead of withholding all of the compassion, understanding, and tenderness that I so desperately long for until I reach some distant abstract goal, I can give it to myself right now, this moment, every moment. I no longer require anything of myself in order to offer myself kindness. Real love is always unconditional. We merely clip it’s wings and distort it’s healing energy by placing qualifiers on it in any capacity.
I’ve wasted so much time and effort trying to earn love, trying to earn happiness, when in reality, all I have to do is stop choking off these energies that are always naturally flowing within me. No matter how many times I affirm it to myself, it’s so hard to remember that when I find myself in a state of distress or despair, I don’t need to do anything or obtain something to “fix” it. All I’ve got to do is be there. Just allow myself to be there, with whatever is happening internally and externally. Just allow myself to feel what it’s like to exist in that moment, to breathe, to experience life.
It sounds so simple, so easy that it just can’t be true. It’s very hard to combat so many years of telling myself the answers are outside of me somewhere, that reaching milestones and goals will bestow the inner experience I am seeking. It’s a daily effort in mindfulness to pull myself back down to earth, back into my own body, and redirect my soul’s awareness to that deep, dark, smooth, cooling stillness that soothes all of life’s struggles. It’s always right there inside of me. It is me. If I can only be silent enough to hear it’s soft, kind, loving voice. That’s the me that I want to be. That’s the me that I really am. She’s always there waiting patiently for me to come home. That path home might be perilous and overgrown at the moment, but I know with time it will be worn down until one day I’ll be able to make that journey back to myself with ease.