Learning to Slow Down

My dad was a very quiet fellow who didn’t talk very much. But when he did speak, you wanted to listen because it was always something wise or kind or funny. I think he ascribed to the old saying, “Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” To me, that is one of the aspects of wisdom – when to speak and when to keep your mouth shut.

But there’s another angle to it. The beloved 13th century Persian poet Rumi wrote, “The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.” And therein lies the wisdom. When we remember that inner voice of Spirit, we can listen and follow its guidance.

We humans are still learning about our inner wisdom, though. We tend to go off half-cocked into situations that turn out to be disappointing or actually harmful to us because we so often act on impulse. We can think a relationship is going to be perfect and fulfill all our needs for love and acceptance only to find that it turns out to be abusive or at least regrettable. We can think a lot of money will provide us with all the power and prestige we want so we don’t have to be afraid of anybody only to learn that it makes things worse.

We tend to think that we just don’t have good sense or we are losers because we keep making the same mistakes over and over. The trouble is we don’t listen to that Inner Voice that will always speak if we just slow down and listen.

Learning how to slow down and listen is a life-long learning process. Some of the things that can help us are prayer, meditation, walking out in nature or simply taking a deep breath. Reading inspirational writings can help or even engaging in something creative. When we are able to do this, the voice of wisdom within us can speak. It’s always there. It just needs our attention. There is nothing or no one who is great enough or smart enough or rich enough or even wise enough to surrender our destiny to. Only the Spirit within is that.