Silence is a golden doubloon, with both sides playing equally impressive roles in communication.
Some people believe silence means you have nothing to say… as though you were hiding behind a shield of indifference.
Some people know, however, that it means there can be so much to say you struggle with where to begin… much like the face that appears on the other side of the coin, about to speak yet frozen in thought.
It is true that sometimes we really have nothing to say… no answer to a begging question, no insight on a matter that’s been deemed important by another person. People seem to forget that Life’s most important questions were generally answered with healthy doses of silent contemplation.
They may also have a tendency to push their own needs upon you, hoping that you will provide answers for issues that they are too scared or incapable of addressing for themselves. Beware of these situations… for some people will put their lives in your hands, and potentially condemn you when things work out less favourably for them – because, after all, they have put their lives in your hands, without realising what that really means for them. You may be doing your best from your perspective, although it may not turn out to be good enough for them when they finally understand what they really want or need. Now would be a good time ask yourself if you might be doing just that to someone else – if so, think about how you can take your power back and disengage from that vicious circle.
The ‘face’ of silence means there can be angry or hurt silences, happy or contemplative ones, in which a person’s energy exudes the feelings that are keeping them ‘quiet’. People who are out of sync may not notice these nuances, and often perceive them to be something far removed from your reality, forcing their opinions on you with little respect for what you really may be thinking or feeling, yet unable (or unwilling) at that moment to express it in a way they would understand. If the average amount of time people can manage to stay quiet before interrupting somebody while they speak is 17 seconds, it’s no wonder we have a tendency to jump to erroneous conclusions or fabricate our own answers just to ‘move on’.
Patience in such cases is more than a virtue, it is a downright necessity, if one is to truly give space and time for another to express themselves clearly. Stepping out of your truth and into somebody else’s in order to satisfy their impatience rarely bodes well for you, so be mindful of where your truth merges with another’s.
Thankfully, we have people – friends, family, even strangers – with whom we experience comfortable silences. We can spend hours gazing at the ocean, passersby, a cup of tea… deeply ensconced in our thoughts and happy to know there is another being within reach that we can touch, hold, speak to when we are ready to return to an active state of consciousness.
Sometimes though, it is better to sit in your own company and embrace what you have to say to yourself, without the distractions of music, phone, TV, or another person’s presence. It may conjure up pleasure or discomfort, but at least you will give yourself a chance to sift through feelings and memories that you have accumulated over time, and which you can now send off with gratitude for what they’ve taught you. You may even notice the knots that once formed in your throat when trying to express yourself have now frayed to nothing, and the anxiety in your chest that slowed your breathing has now eased up so that your truth can flow easier, faster, clearer. Ultimately, there is nothing to be afraid of, as long as you remember to be patient and allow yourself permission to forgive, let go and lighten up, no matter what.
Enjoy the silence.