By Brent Andrews
I love music. I listen to new artists constantly throughout the day. In fact, my Spotify Year In Music notified me that I had listened to about 52 days worth of music in 2015. When that number popped up, I couldn’t help but to feel as if I had betrayed myself in a few ways, primarily by not leaving enough time for silence and reflection in my life. By filling my waking hours with noise, weather it be music, podcasts or any number of audio distractions I allowed myself to run from feelings I was afraid to face. I find it very comforting to project my thoughts into a song rather than thinking deeper about the reasons I am in some amount of distress. I also think I allow myself to escape too often by using music. When my earbuds are in, I can almost guarantee that I will not have to interact with people. I can just look down and mind my own business. While this can be okay at times, more than just a personal interaction is lost. I am, in many ways, missing the beauty that is surrounding me-even if it is the rustling of an angsty passerby or the scream of a small child waiting to be held by their tired parent.
So, this year I have tried to listen to music less in my daily life. Don’t get me wrong, I strongly believe that music is extremely vital to human life, but for me, and I imagine many others, I began to use it as a vice. I decided to not listen to music on the way to any of my classes or at work. In addition, every week I reserve two times when I am driving to sit in silence. To me, this practice is very spiritual. I have been able to see the power of silence for self-reflection and appreciation of outward beauty. Letting silence penetrate the air brings about rest and peace for me and I have found that I am much more in tune with my surroundings when I am in transit. I have also been more privy to refrain from watching mindless television and instead respecting the lack of noise as a way to recollect my often scattered thoughts. Other spiritual practices have often been short lived for me, as I find it hard to get into rhythms in times of transition. While this is an area I recognize in my life that needs improvement, I am confident that for me-right now-practicing silence is contributing to my self-growth and spiritual awareness.
Author Bio: Brent Andrews is from Nashville, Tennessee and is currently a freshman at Western Kentucky University where he studies Foreign Affairs and Mandarin Chinese. He loves to spend time outdoors rock climbing, hiking, camping, etc. This is a very transitional time for him and he is excited to be able to lean in and share with Ignited as he continues to grow.