In a fast-paced world driven by noise, excitement, and continuous connections thanks to technology, I think we’ve lost an appreciation for something essential to the human experience: Quiet.
I’m not talking about the library style version of muted whispers. I’m not talking about the quiet of a rowdy class being shushed or the use of an indoor voice at home. I’m talking about the soul-defining quiet of introspection, of solitude, and of being unplugged.
This past weekend, I found myself glued to my computer screen in a flurry of desperate work to build my career. I was drowning in social media and worrying about building my vision for tomorrow. Like so many evenings, the call of the internet had sucked me in, and the beautiful July night in Pennsylvania was ignored—until my husband stepped in and reminded me that there’s more to life that noise, likes, and followers.
We got into our truck and drove ten minutes to a local state park, a place that has marked our different stages of life through the years. Phones and computers turned off, we spent the evening in nature, enjoying simple scenes and basking in the quietude of the setting.
Gone were the dings of notifications, the honking horns of cars flying by, and the draw of YouTube videos. In their place, a silence perpetuated something we both know but sometimes lose sight of: Life’s quiet, simple moments are sometimes the most beautiful.
In these peaceful moments, I found a connection with nature and with my husband. I found a reminder that there is a world beyond the computer and beyond the hectic chaos of our fast-paced world.
Most of all, I was reminded that in these quiet moments, we are able to hear the most important voice: our own.
The Social Media Drain
Our world craves constant attention and engagement. Our social media accounts beckon us forward like a drug, grasping us in their barbed-wire fingers and grasping us at the core. We become so obsessed with constantly connecting and engaging with others that we lose sight of something crucial to our happiness: our inner voice.
In the constant flurry of activity and likes and selfies, we can no longer see ourselves. We become vessels craving attention and instant gratification.
Thus, for many of us, the inner voices are silenced, and we don’t let our worlds get quiet enough for us to hear them.
I’m not saying all social media is bad or that we should all give up on the society we’ve created. The beauty of our world is that it is, in many ways, simultaneously smaller and much larger than we could’ve ever dreamed. We have the benefit of connection, not just in our own communities, but across the world. We can engage in meaningful interactions with people we would never have the chance of knowing. I am a huge proponent of social media and of chasing dreams. I’m a believer in the power of technology.
Still, our world is flying forward at a pace that is exhausting in a soul-defining kind of way. We become so wrapped up in growth and the loud noise of tomorrow that we often forget to take a moment and just breathe. There is an addictive quality that sometimes gets the best of even the most self-aware.
It’s no wonder so many of us stumble through our lives feeling drained and lost.
It’s no wonder that so many of us are missing out on the simple, beautiful moments of the present.
It’s no wonder so few of us actually know who we are and what we want in life.
Finding the Quiet in Your Life
So how do we overcome this noise in our lives and reconnect with our inner voice? Do we abandon society’s progress and values?
I think, like so many things in life, it’s about balance.
This balance, though, isn’t easy to find. It takes a concerted effort to remind ourselves to step away, to step back, and to relish in the quiet moments.
These quiet moments can be a simple fifteen minutes unplugged on the deck in solitary reflection. They can be a trip to a local park or outdoor area. They can be a walk in a quiet section of town with a loved one or an afternoon on a lounge chair. They can be a long, hot bubble bath or an hour on a secluded hammock.
These quiet moments come in all forms, but they have one thing in common.
These moments remind us what truly brings joy and purpose to our lives. They remind us to live the life we have today, and to focus on the beauty around us in the present. They remind us there is so much to be thankful for and that life is a journey we need to appreciate every step of the way.
it is in the quiet moments that we get in touch with ourselves. They give us the strength and the peace to continue juggling our hectic schedules with a sense of purpose and to plan for tomorrow while appreciating today.
So take a moment, take a break, and take some time to find the quiet in your life. For a moment or an afternoon or even a full day, let the sun and the outdoors be your life’s soundtrack from time to time. Let the quietude of your surroundings remind you that life is beautiful and meant to be appreciated.
Most of all, let the quiet moments in life remind you that your inner voice deserves to be heard.
Lindsay Detwiler is a contemporary romance author and English teacher. To learn more about her writing journey and her celebration of simple love, click here: http://amzn.to/2tJxjOI