How much do you allow yourself to be silent?
Are you comfortable with silence?
With yourself and with others.
Verbal silence and mental silence.
Without having to think about what to have for dinner or the next sentence to be said.
Without having to make a comment or give advice when someone is sharing a problem.
Without having a book to read or a movie to watch in an evening ‘with nothing to do’.
Without having to have the answer on the tip of your tongue.
It’s in this space between the busyness of incessant thoughts and words that the true answer, wisdom and guidance live.
Many people fear this silence, not knowing how to handle it; thinking that they have to be always doing, talking, providing or producing something.
My teenage daughter is an example of this when she compains about her annoying brother or her mobile phone that’s not fast enough and I don’t offer an answer straight away to “fix the problem”.
I love silence. When I’m alone or in the middle of a conversation, a family dinner or in someone’s company. For me, it brings presence, it helps me to be in the present moment, I can really listen to myself and listen to others. I can better understand the unease behind the seemingly ‘noisy and dramatic’ words from my daughter, even if my not saying anything might seem disrespectful to her.
Last week, I heard a beautiful story from a friend. She shared that, when working as a volunteer clown in a hospital, she had a new and very rich experience with a patient who couldn’t speak. Unexpectedly, the ‘clowning game’ ended up happening without words, in total silence, resulting in an extremely deep interaction and connection between everyone. For her, it was a useful reminder of the gift silence brings.
Maybe you’re inspired to experience more silent moments in your life, with fewer words and more presence, with yourself and the people around you?
The memory of God comes to the quiet mind.
A Course in Miracles – T-23.I.1:1
by Catia Vasconcelos