Noise. Have you heard all the noise, are you exhausted from the constant chatter? Are you overwhelmed by the continuous updates? Maybe you need to hear that it is ok (and even necessary) to turn off the television, the radio and just allow yourself to be in a moment of quiet and cancel out the noise.
Even though we are on a social distancing order, even though we aren’t getting together with friends or family right now, it seems as though the noise level has stayed the same, or in some cases gotten louder. And maybe we’ve even begun to notice new noises that we normally don’t hear (the humming of the fridge, the furnace kicking on when it’s a cool damp morning like today). There seems to be noise everywhere.
I recently upgraded my earbuds that connect to my devices. They have a noise cancelling feature on them. At first, I was skeptical and wondering if it really worked, then as I stood in my kitchen and heard the random noises around the house, the earbuds went in. Zeke played in the living room with his toys, the dishwasher running and my diffuser going, I hit play on the music and clicked the button to turn on the noise cancelling feature and the background noise quickly faded into the background. Instantly, I was hooked. It was
Yesterday, I reflected about how we are in a marathon mode of making sure we can sustain and endure this road, asking what it is that sustains us during this time. Additionally, I’ve mentioned different ways of self-care during this time of watching and learning about the coronavirus pandemic and wonder when and where it will spread to next. One of the ways we can practice self-care during this time is to cancel out the noise around us, even if it is for an hour at a time.
Know that it is ok, and strongly encouraged and even necessary to cancel out the noise for some time.
I have discovered that the more news I watch, read or listen to, the more tense my body gets as I begin to worry or wonder. When we carry stress and anxiety, our bodies respond in a way that brings sore and tightened muscles. This is why it is ok to turn off the radio, turn off the news and just allow yourself to sit and be in the quiet. Turn off the ringer and alert tones on your phone and breathe. Pray. Rest. Allow your body to relax. Make a cup of tea, and just rest in the quiet.
Over the past few weeks, you have been reminded to remember the words of the
Psalmist in 46:10 to “be still …” ,
and we can also remember the words in the gospel according to
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
When we are tired and weary, carrying concerns and worries, allow yourself to sit in the quiet and pray and share your weariness, your heavy burdens, your worries and concerns with Jesus. Allow your body to relax and notice how much better you feel in your mind, body and spirit.
When you find yourself tensing up, filling with worry or heavy with grief and emotion…listen to your body and cancel out the noise for a while. It’s ok. Trust me. unplugging and canceling out the noise for an hour or two or even a day is ok, and will help sustain and help reset you for the journey we find ourselves on.
May the peace of Christ be with you, surround, sustain and quiet your heart and mind today and always.
Don’t worry, in cancelling out the noise on my earbuds, I still practice safety and am always well aware of my surroundings. The best part of these is that they allow for a transparent feature as well, which will allow me to walk, work and listen to music or a book and hear my surroundings in a safe manner. But when I need to block out the noise of the surroundings as I listen to my morning music, readings I can now block out random noises…allowing me to be still, focus and rest.