Each of us must know when to use our voice, and know when to use our silence.
Because on one hand, silence can be a profound relief. A place of peace where we don’t have to perform or be anyone or do anything. And in a noisy, crowded, over stimulated world, that almost sounds like a luxury good. An act of useful employment.
That’s why I accept what comes from silence and make the best I can of it. I tolerate quiet periods of unknowing. I welcome every layer of stillness. And I try not to break the silence unless I can improve upon it.
But I also remember that the moments I most regret in life were my silences. Those instances when I had front row tickets to the what I should have said theater, and I shut my mouth to the detriment of my spirit.
What a mistake. What a missed opportunity to use my words and make a difference. ‘
Lorde, the famous civil rights activist, discovered that ending the silence marks a milestone on our healing path. It helps us break out of our isolation and discover that we’re not alone in our pain.
In her groundbreaking book of speeches and essays about feminism, she said:
You’re never really a whole person if you remain silent, because there is always that one little piece inside you that wants to be spoken out, and if you keep ignoring it, it gets madder and madder and hotter and hotter, and if you don’t speak it out one day it will just up and punch you in the mouth from the inside.
That’s what silence has the potential to become. A time bomb. A personal hell. A regret machine. An inner saboteur keeping us from taking risks.
Secrets, secrets, are no fun. Secrets, secrets, hurt someone.
Silence, then, is a multifaceted and ambiguous phenomenon.
It’s the frenemy of man.
And it’s our job to respect both sides of it.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How are you developing a relationship with silence?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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