Diagnosed with viral laryngitis, I've been prescribed nothing but hydration, physical rest, and no talking.
That's like going to the gym for me.
No talking seems impossible. Whether it's words or song, I've always found it irresistible to fill dead airspace between two or more with sound. There are few special people I can comfortably sit in silence with. I am well known to out-talk the talkiest of talkers.
Of course, I've talked about it. I've concluded in the presence of my closest of friends that I fill space because it is terribly uncomfortable for me to sit in someone else's silence.
During the past few days of no talking for me I have learned so much more about that discomfort. And I continue to learn.
I didn't realize how much I associate silence with bad things.
Silence speaks loud and clear volumes to me.
True or untrue, silence says to me that a person is of one of these models:
biting their tongue
punishing with the "silent treatment"
having low-self esteem
sparing people what they really think because it isn't good
I know that there are connotations that go along with chatty people.
having no control
But I am a little of all those things. It's true.
And I'd rather be seen that way than to be misrepresented in silence.
I'm not bitter, insecure, antisocial, untrustworthy, rude, or a liar. I'm not trying to hide something, get away with something, or avoid something. I am right here, available and capable. I'm for you and with you, and although I'm more careful of what I will give you than I might have used to be, I do not withhold myself. I believe you deserve the common courtesy, love, and care that I would extend to anyone created by the same loving Father.
I love to hear your stories, where you came from, what you believe and why. I love to know the details of your heart. It's a treasure to me that I keep locked away in a special place. Sharing leads to loyalty, trust, prayer, and family.
My current required silence is really stretching me.
In the mall when a person wants to talk to me and I have to keep it short and simple, I feel like I've taken something from them.
When my kid sits at the dinner table and no one says anything, I feel like we're missing SO much of each other.
When the phone rings and I have to text the person that I can't talk now, I feel rude.
When a service man comes to the house and I have to stay away so as not to communicate, I feel like I've lost the chance at extending our family.
I feel like words, sharing, encouraging, responding, engaging with interest are all gifts we offer each other. I feel like I'm wrapping gifts and hiding them in the attic to collect dust, right now.
I know there is more to this. I know that what is happening is good for me.
I'm praying through it. Keeping my eyes and ears open. I'm looking for truth and light behind all these ideas and notions that are surfacing about my interpretations of silence vs. sharing.
I know this is an exercise in which for me to learn and grow.
I don't usually do this, but if you have thoughts or ideas on this, prayerfully consider sharing them with me, please. I know my ideas freshly laid out might look a little stiff, close-minded, or even dark. I'm letting them out to stretch with me and hopefully take aim in a little better direction.
I'd love to hear from you. :)
Blessings in silence.