I set the timer for 20 minutes and close my eyes.
I sense the freshness of the early autumn air from an open window as it enters my nostrils.
Through closed eyes, I feel the light of the morning sun streaming into my bedroom, despite the shades still drawn from the night. No mere shade can stop this life force.
Dogs bark in the distance. A sound that would have annoyed in the past brings a smile to my lips today.
The piercing sound of a passing motorcycle, which usually I find so violent, does not upset me today.
A feeling of joy—pure, unadulterated, overwhelming joy!
This feeling is so unexpected, so fragile still, and yet so strong and life-affirming it brings tears to my eyes.
Tears. Cleansing tears.
These tears, over the last few years, have washed away a lifetime of suppressed grief and sadness. This is the water that our bodies generate to wash away what hurts.
As I follow this stream, it brings me places I have long forgotten.
Places, people, memories—I have locked them away, without any conscious awareness. I have forgotten them, abandoned them to stew and fester in the heat of my mind. The noxious fumes of all the suppressed pain polish my organs, poison my mind, making my thoughts bitter, resentful.
But not today.
Today I feel happy.
Do I dare pronounce it? Do I dare admit this to myself? Could it really be so? Happy? Me?
For the last three years I have been so beaten by sadness—by grief, which my tears brought to the surface. Staying afloat was such an effort. Heavy. But it does not feel frightening any more.
Every day is different, in meditation as in life. I try to have no expectations.
I do not do well with silence.
Silence is lack of feedback.
No structure, no pillar of Papa’s love. It left me in free-fall.
It was love withdrawn. I was not worthy of attention, of his love.
Of course, I took it personally.
Silence is vacuum.
Silence is a door slammed shut.
Love withdrawn and no possibility to correct the situation. I cannot use my charm and my fixing abilities.
Feedback tells me where I stand. It tells me how I am doing.
Silence is withdrawal of attention.
Silence is me with myself.
But today I welcome it.
Today, I know that people’s reactions are based on their own state of mind.
That people withdraw when their thoughts become confusing and overwhelming. It has nothing to do with me.
“Through silence one can discover the truth within oneself and others and understand one’s own personality and role in the world, achieving a profound wisdom and consciousness about the world.”
~ Sara Bortoluz
Through this daily habit, I have become independent and self-reliant. I’ve found freedom from identification with the outside world. Now, I define myself according to my own internal value system.
But, I cannot do it alone. I need people. My connections nourish me.
Most of my insights, epiphanies and revelations come thanks to my interactions with the outside world.
My reactions to them reflect back to me. They press buttons. Sometimes harmonious and other times painful. They help me understand the music of my soul.
My timer trills.
Twenty minutes is up!
Author: Galina Singer
Apprentice Editor: Stella Bonnie; Editor: Toby Israel