when you need to live quietly

Summer blazes on, full of cicada song and dandelions. I close my door against it. I could take my lunch and book to the meadow or the beach. I could cycle into town, wander the lovely, tree-lined streets. But although I'm hot, I'd rather just sit in my quiet house and rest from the world. The noise and clutter and beauty of the world.

Some people simply need to exist in a low stimulus environment. I read those words today at Beauty That Moves, and after many decades of living I finally felt allowed to accept myself. I am not boring, lazy, or wrong. I need a low stimulus environment.




It's not just about doing things. A walk on the beach is not too much because of the walking. It's because of the tidesong, and the light floating on water, and all the stories that wash in. It's because every other person walking past trails perfume, energy, wonder, sound. It's because of all the other days spent walking on the beach that layer the air of this one.

And needing quiet is not about wanting to be alone and still. Even the most adventurous, friendly, cheerful heart may be sensitive and easily overwhelmed.




Unfortunately, few people understand. I wonder how many women feel wrong for needing low stimulus? I myself have been judged often for sitting on the sidelines rather than swimming with dolphins or rambling over islands. It's hard to explain how there's such plentitude available even in sitting, staying, witnessing. To get in the water would be too much, and would ruin the experience.

And so I am at home today, and my existence is full.

17 comments:

  1. This. Wholeheartedly. Yes. This is me too.

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  2. This is so me...

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  3. I understand. It is wonderful that you have grown to accept it and understand yourself with kindness. xoox Su

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  4. add me to the chorus. story of my life. now i have words for it: "i need a low stimulus environment." yep.

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  5. I think many people feel the same way. Thank you for the chorus :-)

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  6. As a woman with Asperger Syndrome I know only too well the distress caused by an overstimulating environment. I totally agree with the writer, and there's never a need to apologise for not being one of the herd.

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  7. Yes to this. As much as I'm a doer, I do it in private, in silence. More and more so the older I get. And no, it's not something we need to be desensitized (sp?) out of. I've lived in the city, I've attempted various forms of socialisation, it never made me feel whole or included, it just made me tired and jittery. But they tell me I have social phobia... Me, who can walk up to any stranger in a supermarket and strike up a conversation. Yeah, right.

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  8. This is a beautiful post. I have always felt the need for quiet. In younger days I worried and tried to motivate myself to be like others rushing about. But with age has come an understanding, such as you speak of. To listen we must be still, and I now believe that we quiet ones are just hearing the little voices others miss. x

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  9. I love this post. The part about just witnessing resonates with me. I need a low stimulus environment. Just being at home with my thoughts, some beauty, it's enough. I feel my life, though boring to some is so rich and full. Thank you for this reflective post :)

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  10. i think it is wonderful to come to an understanding about oneself. not right or wrong, simply what it. perhaps it will always be, or perhaps things will shift and change, but for now.....

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  11. Elizabeth WaggonerMarch 5, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    I have been labeled Boring, Dull, a "sick-in-the-mud". I have been "not asked" because of the assumption I would say no. I have been eventually abandoned by the "friends" that I couldn't keep up with.
    It's OK. The ones who people my life now are the ones that don't require an apology. The things I do and the places I go and the nest I have built for myself are all welcoming and nurturing and quiet.
    The Universe honors authenticity.

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    1. I like that: The Universe honors authenticity.

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  12. I feel the same way, Sarah. Thank you for sharing this. <3 xo

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  13. You know you are singing my song. :) Still trying to figure out how to recharge in this loud household, this loud city-suburb. Thank you for reminding me I'm OK.

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  14. This timely post resonates a lot with me. Thanks for sharing.

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  15. Lovely post, and very relatable. :)

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