Stillness – it is a state not commonly practiced in our culture. Instead, we fill our worlds with noise and busyness, often as a purposeful barrier to confronting our own deep pain. Sometimes, well-intentioned friends even encourage us to stay busy so that we can keep our minds off of whatever struggle we find ourselves in, and we happily comply, hoping that the pain will go away.
But friend, when the noise and busyness you create distract you from dealing with your personal pain, they become stumbling blocks and impediments to your healing and growth.
Consider your life right now. What are your barriers to Stillness? What busyness have you placed in your life as a cover for your pain? What career, hobby, addiction, relationship have you made so big and so loud that you can’t see that you’re using it as an idol, something you actually worship?
Friend, if your defenses are rising, let me reassure you that being Still does not mean being lazy, careless or neglectful. To the contrary, when you make a conscious choice to honor the things that matter and Surrender the things over which you have no control, you can come to a place of purposeful, intentional, meaningful Stillness.
It is in Stillness that we can confront the truth of our situation and allow the pain of our emotions to surface. It is in Stillness that we can identify and address the idols we have created in our lives to distract us from the important work of healing.
Stillness is an essential part of your healing process, and at Living Hope, Practicing Stillness is the second step on your journey to Hope. Stillness is the mental and emotional space that allows you to thoughtfully consider the circumstances that have impacted your current struggle. It is a space where fear and anxiety cannot control you, and truth or reality can be seen with a clear perspective.
You will begin the Practice of Stillness when you choose to disconnect from all the ways in which you seek to distract yourself from your pain, loneliness, and fear. Turn off the television, power down your phone, leave the crowded bar, and sit with the Stillness – not to escape, but to truly see what is in front of you and react to it appropriately, instead of with fear or anxiety. Train yourself to find that quiet place of equilibrium, and when the overwhelming rush of emotion knocks you for a loop, reorient yourself with this place of contemplation.
You can begin to Practice Stillness now. Go to a quiet spot away from noise and distractions, close your eyes, and breathe. Focus on your breathing and the peace that comes with Stillness. It may be difficult at first, but as you Practice Stillness, it will become a time of rejuvenation and an essential means by which to find clarity.