“Quiet lives in the woods and the river.” Eliza Maxwell, The Grave Tender Sometimes quiet can feel uncomfortable. It’s during the silent time our suppressed (or repressed) feelings, memories, and thoughts rise to the surface. These things have been kept at bay through noise, distraction, and busyness. It’s not always a bad thing to let the unpleasant memories, emotions, or thoughts have a little space in our lives. When we ignore these things because they are not pleasant, they often grow out of proportion to their importance. It’s okay to sometimes let these unpleasant things surface, say what they need to say, and then have them float right on up and away. Giving space to the sad or hurtful things, while at the same time not letting them take over, can sometimes lead to resolution or at least acceptance that they exist (or existed). It’s important to respect all of ourselves, even the things we wish did not happen. Balance is the key to healthy and whole living. Pretending something does not exist or did not happen will not make it go away. Learn to tolerate and appreciate the quiet times, even if just for a few moments each day. Take care not to avoid parts of ourselves or our pasts that are uncomfortable. Also be careful not to wallow in misery to the exclusion of our own peace of mind. We cannot truly love and accept ourselves as we really are if we ignore huge chunks of our lives. Avoidance is an excellent coping skill when used intentionally. On the other hand, if automatic or unconscious, it can block off whole sections of who we are and where we’ve been making it difficult to respect ourselves fully. Tolerance for unpleasantness is like a vaccine or shot of antibiotics. We can heal, recover, and overcome the past. Actually, we already have. We are here and the past is over.