To feel completely comfortable with yourself, you need to accept silence as a part of your being. That doesn’t mean that you need to stop talking or communicating. You can talk, laugh, and continue your connection with the world. But you need to accept that somewhere inside you, there is a place where a pool of silence resides. That when you are alone, you don’t need anything else. No TV, no music, no books, no other person, not even sleep. It’s just you and yourself. If you can stand this silence, you can accept anything else the world throws at you.
When I first started living alone, I didn’t know what to do with these moments of silence. Instead of savoring them, I thought of it as a lack or defect . I would attempt to fill it up with calls – some of them quite frantic – to friends or read, or write, or constantly do something. But then one day coffee in hand as I sat on my bed and looked outside the window, I realized that I liked this stillness. It was morning and the world was yet to crowd it with sounds, people or things. The mini garden that my equally tiny window looked out of was full of trees; the road outside was empty; and if I kept completely still for long enough, I could almost believe that I was the only person on this planet at that moment who existed.
Inevitably such heightened moments are short lived . They are cut short by various distractions. All of them trivial by itself and yet they need to be attended to. The business of living goes on. Slowly, I looked forward to my silent mornings. They really helped me neutralize the effects of tiring days. Slowly, I started to appreciate these moments and never question them when they appear. Who knew just being was such a difficult state to reach?
Note: I wrote this piece a little earlier in the year. 10 Jan 2008 to be precise.