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31 Days of Free Writes : Silence (31 Lessons in 31 Years: Knowing When)

I have decided to try to combine the Word prompt challenge with my 31 Lessons challenge this month.  Because some of them are lining up and that's easier.
It definitely applies here.

Silence is...
Golden they say.
Silence is
Deafening we are told...
It's both a treasure and a torture.
It's glory and ghost are found in its context.

Silence is gold for someone like me with four children and ample noise surrounding me. It's kind of like that warm bath you sink into. The silence covers over you and you have your moment with her.  Perhaps peace is found there, quiet meditation, or just a break from all things brazenly loud and busy.
I find that space in my car or in the quiet mornings when older children are up early and gone and I'm beginning the day.
Because this silence is gold I am trying to be better about taking advantage of it's value.  Not spending it unwisely and cheapening the gift.  Riding in my car seems to be the sacred space of silence.  I am better off to not fill the silence with music, but let the quiet come up and quiet me.  Work its way through me.
It's that place that's such a sanctuary of prayer.

Silence is gold when we choose not to say something damaging.  Something perhaps we have a right to say, but are too angry to rightly say. We can all remember the times we have cut someone deep with word wounds that we can never retrieve.  And the thing is we might have been justified in the saying of them, but I never feel right after I say them.  I feel like a hurricane of heated hatefulness that crashed down and hurt.  Most of the time a rant I deliver in the midst of my own hurt is never from the proper view, but my own howling skew.  It's never really the way things are, it's just the way I felt they are.  Anger often times distorts my perspective making me feel only the bad and takes my responsibility out of the equation.  Anger magnifies my feelings and minimizes the other's.  It's a lesson I must remember in those moments when I am on the verge of slicing and dicing with my words, I will never get these words back and they will haunt me.
If there is an avalanche of emotions falling out of my mouth I know this for sure, the next day, the next hour, or the next week I will regret it.  The damage it did, the feelings it expressed, won't be worth it. And chances are it won't be completely right.  It might be rightly how I felt, but like we know feelings don't have intellect. They can be one hundred per cent how we feel, but not accurate to the situation.
If anger is the prevailing force in a conversation then wait for that conversation to be had.  You will remember better, think more clearly, and not have a laundry list of regrets.

What about when silence is a ghost?
When silence needs to break her oppressive hold.
When I need help, but sulk in silence because I think I shouldn't need it or am too proud or arrogant to ask?
Silence is my ghost when conversations need so desperately to be had but never happen.  A million times I want to say what I really think, but I don't.  I just hold my tongue and go through the motions to keep peace.  In these moments when I know I need so much to say what I really think silence is my bully telling me to remain quiet and just go through motions inwardly sulking.

I think perhaps this happens to me because I'm afraid of the avalanche . I don't voice most of my frustrations or anger to people, but when I do after long lengths of time it comes out ugly.  It has been kept down much too long and has rotted me internally.  This past year I have had several conversations that were ugly.  Where things long stuffed and rotted came to the surface and I barely recognized my own voice when they came out.  It was like I was silent or screeching.
I needed and in between.
For me it is breaking the silence calmly when the moment isn't heated.  Saying what I think, but not when I'm clouded with anger or emotion.  Not waiting and stuffing.
So much of how we deal with conflict comes from what we saw in our growing up years.  That's what I saw.  Loud decibel yelling matches.  Explosions.  I've always been afraid of conflict and have found myself always acquiescing to avoid it while inwardly seething.  Yet that fear has paralyzed me to tell the truth.  About me and about what has happened.  Fear alone has kept me silent.  Fear of what I'd say when I was angry and then fear of what would be lambasted at me.  I remember walking around my growing up house afraid of all of the verbal land mines.
A trigger for me is a raised voice, if I hear it I cower and use silence as my protective cover.  Which just leads to stuffing and then one day spewing.

Silence is a ghost when I don't say the good I should.  I don't affirm the child the way I should and hold out for better behavior or performance.  Silence is a ghost when I wait to give approval or grace until I believe it's deserved.  Silence is a ghost when I don't pray, but stew.  Dam up all the worry instead of unburden it to God.

Finally silence is golden when I can sit with someone and it doesn't translate into strain, but strength.
Sometimes the silence is a beautiful indication that all is well and at peace, because we can relax into silence and say nothing at all.  I experience this sitting next to my dad when he watches golf and nothing is said at all.  I experience this with my girls tucked into me cuddling with me on Saturday mornings.  I experience this in the gentle holding of hands on car rides with my husband.

Silence is gold, yet sometimes silence leaves you with ghosts.  You most know when to use it and when to leave it.


  1. Well written. I feel akin to your nature. I stuff things down and then they come out twisted and ugly. I'm learning as you are.


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