“Silence is sometimes the best answer” ~Dali Lama
There are times when silence feels deafening, dark, the unknown, even creepy.
I’ve hated silence many times. It’s a trigger for me. It makes me feel invisible. I feel disconnected. I fear the worst.
And then my default is to blame myself. Its crazy the torture that ensues and the conversation that goes on in my head.
It’s automatic for me to begin to look for something that I did wrong. The diatribe of I must have done something wrong, said something, and caused hurt feelings.
It all gets ugly and I waste an enormous amount of precious time berating and flogging myself focusing on all my inadequacies and less than shining qualities.
Is any of that the truth?
Maybe some of it is but more than likely most of it, isn’t.
If I did do something or say something to hurt another I know in my heart I would want to apologize, clear the air and resolve the rift that I may have caused.
What is it about silence?
Why does it cause so much fear and angst?
How fidgety we get with someone when no one is talking. We can’t get the words out fast enough just to hear voices. It’s all we can do to say something, anything. We’re uncomfortable. We don’t like it. It’s unnerving.
Silence means so many things. Each of us has our own interpretations and for many I would venture a guess that silence is negative.
As I’ve shared with you, silence certainly has been negative for me for far too long than I care to admit and although I’m still somewhat sensitive to silence, thankfully, it does not elicit the negativity it used to. Nowadays, I notice it. I notice how I start to feel and most times, not all, I let it pass.
On the days when all the junk and ugly feelings surface, on those days I have to be kind and work a bit to feel better. And some of the things that make me feel better are:
Focusing on what makes me smile
Asking myself – what is true?
Getting out of my own way and focusing on someone else
Writing – getting all the junk out of my head and allowing everything dark, fearful and ugly to just pour out of my system
Going for a walk
Listening to upbeat music
Calling someone who no matter what makes me feel good about myself
Saying a prayer
Getting some extra sleep
Drinking lots of water
Treat myself to something nice i.e. manicure, a good book, coffee or lunch with a friend, a movie that makes me laugh.
Do these things work? Most times they do. Nothing is perfect. But what has proven itself is that I don’t fear silence like I used to. I’ve actually come to welcome silence more times than I realize. I won’t fool you by saying things just instantly changed. They didn’t. It took deliberate action on my part to work through the bad feelings. And over time, things got better.
Silence used to feel hurtful. I would interpret silence as a weapon used by another to punish or reject me. In most instances, the silence I was experiencing from another had nothing to do with me but everything to do with them.
I’m far from an expert with handling what to do about silence but what I do know is that when I’m tired, cranky, irritable, and hungry or under a lot of stress, those are the days when those pesky old patterns rear their ugly heads. On those days I stop and check in with me as to what is going on. Just doing that is a far cry from how I used to react. I’ve made progress for sure!
Silence is there. It always will be but it doesn’t have to be an adversary that brings out our worst fears and make us feel timid and powerless.
Each day gets better. When I do what works and let the negativity pass, silence helps to focus. Silence becomes peaceful.
In silence, I calm down
In silence, I listen
In silence I quiet my fears
In silence I feel feelings I would otherwise ignore
In silence answers come
In silence I build myself up, cheer myself on and celebrate all that I accomplish
In silence, I pray, hope & dream
In silence I remember all that is beautiful and lovely
In silence I find my heart and my strength
In silence I begin again, when I want a fresh start
In silence I am never alone or afraid
In silence I welcome the possibilities
In silence I find love
Now that’s a place where no harm can come to me
That is the place where I am as perfect as I will ever be and my very best self.
I have so much gratitude these days for all that silence has taught me more than I’ve ever feared it and that is a wonderful place to be.
If silence has ever hurt you or felt negative, I hope today that in sharing my experiences with silence that I’ve shined a new light on the subject. I hope I’ve given you some different ways of looking at silence and how to change any negative thoughts or fears you may have.