During the holiday season, it can sometimes seem impossible to find time for silence amongst the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping and parties. Yet given this fact, I'd argue that we need that time in silence this time of year more than ever.
This weekend, I spent all of Saturday at an Advent retreat that allowed us several times for reflection and silence between talks with our speaker Matt Simmons. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I wasn't in the right place for silence that day. It didn't feel uncomfortable or unwelcomed, but I didn't feel like I was able to dig deep into some of the things that have been on my mind recently and over the course of the past year. Instead, I found myself a bit distracted, likely because I was getting tired of sitting for 8 hours straight (which is not normal for me), but that's besides the point.
Silence can be uncomfortable or hard to make time for. Why would we carve out time in our busy schedules for simply sitting still in silence when we could be using that time more productively?
But it is in those silent times that we can start to open up our heart and start the process of healing and/or working through some of the things we are struggling with in our lives. I feel like saying that makes time in silence seem only appropriate for thoughts/issues which we consider "negative" or carry a negative connotation, but this couldn't be further from the truth. It can prove to be a time to contemplate the good things happening in your life and how the stage was laid for those things to occur.
My point is that the thought possibilities are endless when we spend time in silence. So that is my invitation for you this week: make some time for silence and see what happens. What comes up inside of you, both good and bad? You might find that it has been part of what you've been searching for.
As for me, I'm going to give silence another try myself later this week, likely tomorrow after I go to 8:15am mass. I'm excited to see how it might prove to be different from Saturday.