The ability to be bored—and stay that way long enough for things to settle—is a powerful antidote to the barrage of stimuli consuming our spirits today. The process of dissimulation is not unusual for many of us. We tend to employ our best energy navigating an endless stream of micro-decisions and choices.
This kind of shallow work consigns us to swirl in the eddy of the river, fast going nowhere. Years of the same can leave us gasping for air, slowly sinking under the weight of impotence.
Boredom breaks the cycle of going nowhere by causing us to be still long enough to breath and slowly, but firmly resolve to live better. Only boredom has the power to speak to this deep, important place within us, to free us from the fear of missing out. Boredom allows us scope to be whom we are, where we are. It gives us time and space to look around and re-appreciate all we have been gifted. This is also when and where we begin to see with fresh new eyes.
This is why boredom is beautiful.
It gives more than it takes.
It costs us nothing and by refusing to justify its existence, proves its worth. It is what it is. This is the defining quality of stillness. This is where we go deep, taking hold of the things that matter. As such, boredom is essential to our souls, relationships, work and sanity.
Without the white space on the page that boredom represents, our minds become crowded with voice, image and data we are unable to process. Yet, despite the odds, we force ourselves to deal with mountains of minutiae—every day.
This is a distorting, disorienting, disruptive experience. And now it’s normal! It makes us feel overwhelmed and out of control because we are. We are not designed to function as micro-processing machines with no real end-goal in sight. Not only do we need rest on a deep, soulful level—extended periods of boredom sans outcomes—we need to know the energy we expend is leading somewhere worthwhile.
To simply keep up is not enough.
There is no neutral, no innate ability to coast through life. We are either going somewhere important or falling behind without a vision in sight. To get caught up in the river’s eddy—rather than its strong and mighty flow towards the big, blue sea—happens to all of us. But to wind up there for years is unsustainable and I would suggest damaging.
We cannot grow in the shallows, or the water’s eddies, because they do not expand our soul. They do not give us room to manoeuvre or decide our fate.
Destiny awaits us, but it’s vital to go deeper in life. The most beautiful way I know to do this is to take time out, to be bored. To unplug, disconnect, retreat, close the door. And, as the song says, give peace a chance. Breath. Reconnect with God and his whispers, your dreams and hopes for the future. Your plans. Your life!
To be bored is not to miss out. To be bored—and stay there long enough to feel, hear or sense something new and restorative—is the path to a deeper, richer, more sustaining experience of life.
Boredom is a gift: an opportunity to rediscover beauty, wonder and joy. Here we find a quality of life independent of our own actions, something that will stand the test of time and be there for countless generations to return to. This is why boredom brings rest to our soul. We learn to trust the big picture. It’s here that we put our own work and lives into greater perspective.
With time spent staring into this gradually opening space, we spot new possibilities and more meaningful connections to the whole.
And we grow… out of our frustration and suffocating impotence into a larger, more restful, thankful and re-energized state of being. We learn to live with less and less fear and more and more confidence. We learn to dislodge the stress that keeps us wired to worry about the next five years, or, more likely, the next five minutes. We learn we can exchange worry about tomorrow for faith today.
Boredom invites us to inhabit the moments of our life more fully, bringing us a measure of peace we never had. Boredom really is so beautiful: changing us from the inside out while appearing to do absolutely nothing.