White noise is deafening. It’s so innocuous that it passes your awareness undetected. Its gentle yet persistent assault is so intense you become even more deaf to it as time passes. Whether the noise is on or off you are unsure. It seems quiet. Then the power goes out.
As your computer powers down, the TV goes dark and the lights disappear you realize the noise had definitely been present, but did you hear it?
What is the white noise in your life? Have you accepted as normal something that is really just noise? What would experiencing silence mean for you?
I hope your power goes out.
Lately I've felt inspired. Not because of anything going on in Sochi or Washington D.C. Not by a great song, moving speech, or new documentary. I like those things but they’re not what I’m writing about. The courageous souls who come to counseling have the power to warm my heart and tie it in knots at the same time. These people tackle some of the most daunting issues imaginable. Rather than cower in fear, or run and hide, these people search deep within themselves to find the courage to stand. They inspire me to be more courageous, tenacious, patient and kind. The resilience of these people is incredible and I am saddened and humbled that I am one of the few people to hear the beauty and intricacy of each story. I take solace in the fact that I don’t need to tell these stories. You already know them.
These people sit next to you at work. You pass them at the grocery store and while waiting in line for your coffee. They can be found in the church and the bar. They are young and old, rich and poor, and from every race, religion, sexual orientation and political party out there. Many of them don’t want you to know they are struggling. It’s embarrassing or private. Others share freely and openly, perhaps disclosing more than you feel capable to bear. But believe me you do know these people.
People do all sorts of things to obtain an inspirational high. We go to movies or concerts or hiking or listen to Tony Robbins or whatever. That’s fine. I am among the lucky few who get to open their office door and let the inspiration come flooding in. As I listen to each person describe his or her experience I am reminded that the most inspiring stories aren't in Hollywood. The most inspiring stories have faces, and at times these faces become so familiar we don’t even notice them. Perhaps you have seen one of these faces—maybe even today while you were shaving or putting on makeup.