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I’ve been in a quiet place lately. At first I thought my brain was just empty, devoid of valuable thought, lacking imagination. I have felt inadequate by my lack of inspiration. I’ve not understood the importance of stillness. In truth, the quiet is sometimes so loud that it can be overwhelming. I tend to become uncomfortable when my mind ceases to dream. I’ve always had a busy brain but since my sarcoidosis diagnosis, I have become damped by the sheer power it sometimes has over me. Sometimes I fear how muddled and mucked up my musings become. I was never this way before my disease. It’s frustrating. It’s annoying. It’s downright embarrassing at times to know you are sharper than you appear to be.

Objectively, I know that my mind, despite these setbacks, is still keen. I know that my brain while slow and sometimes uneven, is still capable of cogent thought. Much to even my own surprise, I am still capable of reasoned insights. It just takes me a little longer to get there now than it used to but, I guess that happens to a brain that doesn’t get as much oxygen as it once did.

When I am armed with the confidence of coherent meditation, I am less afraid of silence. In my better moments when I am not feeling insecure by my sarcoidosis, I do know that quiet times are actually a gift. A settled and easy mind isn’t the same as an empty mind. My brain does not have to be in a constant state of motion for me to know that I am still an intelligent person. Quiet is actually a good thing sometimes because often when my mind is quiet, it is peaceful.

The silence in my head is relatively new though and has only really happened to me since my sarcoidosis diagnosis. It is two fold. I am slower in thought, partly because my brain just doesn’t move as fast but, also because I have become more deliberate in my thinking. I see and experience the world very differently now that I have a chronic health condition. Much of what once mattered so much to me no longer does, including for example, the need to be right. Now, I’d rather be happy so sometimes arguing the point just isn’t worth my serenity and silence allows me to keep my peace of mind.

Slowly I am learning that the sound of silence, those quiet places, are actually full of wisdom and it doesn’t mean that I am stupid now just because sarcoidosis has crept into my brain and made it more sedate. I am learning that only in silence comes clarity of thought. I am learning that only in silence comes humility. I am learning that only in silence comes openness. I am learning only in silence can I really hear the truth. I am learning that silence is sometimes the best answer to someone else’s anger. I am learning that in silence there is actually a lot of strength.

So, quiet places are good places and it is really only because my sarcoidosis has forced my brain to slow down that I realize what an unexpected gift silence really can be.