I’m not sure of it is my nature or the ways in which my education and experience as a counselor has nurtured me, but I am very okay with silence. I don’t find it awkward or comfortable. When it reaches out to hold the moment’s hand I extend my own to welcome it.
And so when he slumped over on the makeshift bench in my kitchen, and began to cry I placed his hand my own and sat with him. We sat in the silence. I wanted a few words to comfort him. Just a few simple but powerful ones and yet I knew that nothing would be more powerful than the quiet of the night settling in and allowing the room to fill with his breath, his tears, and soon his words. The silence made way for his words, words I was certain had only run amuck in his mind, but never tumbled off the tongue to tickle his ear. They were hard, crunchy, painful words. They were his hard crunchy painful truth. I was grateful that whatever words I searched for eluded me and that silence made her presence and her power known.
Silence has a way of making room for us. It has a way of making space for the hidden vulnerable uncertain parts of our humanity, lacking in judgment, abundant in patience. It has a way of coaxing us to painful yet courageous confrontations with truths we let linger in our souls but are in denial about its very existence.
The past few weeks have been full of experiences that continue to leave me with fewer and fewer words. I have found more solace in times of silence, more peace when the noise has come to cease, more clarity in the absence of chatter. I have found myself better able to listen to and access what I need to be, do, live well. I’ve been more confident in and happier with my decisions, at ease when I’ve said yes and when I’ve said no.
Last week I reminded us to make time for what we need. That in the US, between Thanksgiving and the New Year we are often busier than other times f the year, traveling, attending parties, hosting parties, shopping, returning, volunteering at annual events to support our communities, etc. If we’re not careful to get what we need in seasons of busy we do ourselves a disservice. This week I’m letting you know sometimes you need silence. Sometimes it is the quiet that speaks volumes in and to our lives, giving us the clarity and resolve we need to make decisions that help us in our commitment to living incredibly, victoriously, and emphatically. May you find yourself speechless this week. May silence extend her hand and may you willingly extend yours to hold hers.