Counselor's Corner: Electronic freedom and beyond

By Fred Cavaiani

Saturday afternoon my wife and I were sitting at the beach on the shores of Lake Huron peacefully relaxing in our chairs. We suddenly realized that we didn't have our cell phones. It was an accident but a glorious accident. (We left them recharging at our trailer.) No calls. No text messages. No Facebook. No emails or voice mails. Oh my goodness. What are we going to do? We just sat there peacefully observing the waters of this Great Lake lapping on the sand. We smiled at each other. We talked. We fell into a comfortable, tranquil silence. For the next two hours we experienced peace and a refreshing sense of calmness came over us. What a lesson. Just two hours before I was sitting on our porch reading, then looking at Facebook, looking at at email messages, and checking voicemails. One distraction after another.

I began to realize that I was becoming like many teen-agers who seem to be constantly texting someone else while they are with a real live person next to them. I couldn't do this on the beach because I didn't have my Smart Phone with me. What freedom. Seldom do I ever turn my phone off.

There we were for two hours. The world didn't end. The Democrats and Republicans were still debating how to trim the deficit and still continued to blame each other for all the troubles we are in. For two hours I didn't have to fix all the problems of the world, my family, my children and my friends. What is the world going to do without me? My wife looked at me and I looked at her. We had the same thought. Maybe we are in heaven right now. It sure seemed like it.

For a few hours on a warm, sunny and blue sky Saturday afternoon I began to realize that the world can get on without me. My own importance began to diminish and my sense of the Presence of someone and something much greater than me became a powerful experience. There were no distractions from experiencing this sense of a powerful, Divine Presence . My own grandiosity and chairmanship of the universe stayed quiet. The real grandeur and real Chairman or Chairwoman of the Universe took over. There were no phone calls to make me feel important. No text messages or phone messages in which I could feel needed. There was just silence and lapping waves and sharing some feelings with my wife in a calm, connected manner. Electronic Freedom had just happened. And beyond this, I realized even more that with all the blessings of electronics which keep me so close to everyone, there is also a profound blessing to become silent and renewed and humbled before the Creator of all and everything.

I absolutely need this silence to get out of myself and discover myself. I need silence to become open, broken and humbled and honest. I need silence to go deeper and find genuine peace. I need silence to become more loving and open to others. In our silences my wife and I could speak more sincerely and lovingly with each other. This shouldn't be rocket science to realize this. But it certainly seemed like something new was happening. It has happened many times before and I am sure it has happened to you many times also. But this day, July 16, Saturday afternoon we were both listening. We just had to be in the present with open eyes, open mind and open heart. It was true electronic freedom but it was far beyond that. I need to make sure this freedom happens every day. Yes, there will be more daily times when I will turn off the electronics and listen to the Divine Grandeur which has no limitations, no lost signal and no connection problems. The powerful connection is right in the silent present and I need to listen, look and experience This Presence with no distractions.

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Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage and family therapist and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Medical Center. He conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeastern Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at (248)362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@yahoo.com and his website is fredthecounselor.com.

Published: Tue, Jul 19, 2011