Posted by Valerie Hess under Valerie's Thoughts
Comments Off on Loss of dreams
In Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s book, “Gift from the Sea,” she writes: “We seem so frightened today of being alone that we never let it happen. Even if family, friends and movies should fail, there is still the radio or television to fill up the void. Women, who used to complain of loneliness, need never be alone any more. We can do our housework with soap-opera heroes at our side. Even day-dreaming was more creative than this: it demanded something of oneself and it fed the inner life. Now, instead of planting our own dream blossoms, we choke the space with continuous music, chatter and companionship to which we do not even listen. It is simply there to fill the vacuum. When the noise stops there is no inner music to take its place. We must re-learn to be alone.”
This struck me as being an important concept not only for us adults but for our children. If our children don’t know how to plant their “own dream blossoms,” how will they ever have time to develop their own “inner music”? How will they ultimately ever know what the deepest desires of their hearts are? How will they ever handle times when they are truly alone and have no external distraction to fill the void?
We must as adults take time to be silent and alone: no music, no TV, no external distractions so that we can hear our hearts speak to us. And we must raise our children with regular times of being alone so that they can grow up to hear their hearts, which is the space in which God often speaks. Constant noiseÂ is being used successfully by the Enemy of our souls to keep us from being able to hear God and that subtle strategy is working very well, especially with our children.
A way to begin practicing this with your children: when they come home from school, after they have talked with you, had a snack, decompressed a bit, insist on a half hour of alone time either in their room or outside. No IPods, no conversation, just alone time to process their day, their dreams, their lives. It could also happen after dinner, depending on your family’s schedule.
Or when in the car, insist that some of the time, especially on longer trips, be quiet time: no music, no reading, no conversation. Let everyone have a bit of non-distracted quiet space. At first, it may be very hard for both the children and the adults to encounter this. (A good way to discern if you are addicted to noise is to ride silently in a car for 30 minutes and see what your response is!)
We must be intentional about this in our lives and in giving this gift of alone time in silence to our children as often as possible. It gives us a chance to hear God speaking to and through our hearts deepest places. Our very lives and soulsÂ could beÂ at stake.