Thursday, May 2, 2013

Silence is golden

         I’m not quiet very often.  I talk a lot (and very quickly, or so I’ve been told).  In fact, I think the only times I’m any good at keeping my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself are when I meet someone new and my innate shyness creeps in or when I have some sort of illness that prevents me from speaking.

            This week, I am experiencing the latter and for 2 days I’ve had to really decide what words are worth enduring physical pain to utter.  It doesn’t happen very often but when it does, it’s always such an intriguing experience to be virtually speechless.  It can be frustrating, for sure, to be incapable of communicating my thoughts and feelings very easily but it can also be an amazing opportunity to really identify and understand my own thoughts.  And never do I listen and observe more, than when my mouth is closed and my voice silenced.

            Whether it’s from the overwhelming social inadequacy that comes with my bouts of shyness (which are much less frequent in adulthood than they were in childhood) or from the physical inability to speak due to laryngitis, a bad sore throat, or the painful recovery from extensive dental work (like I’m experiencing this week)- the lessons that come with silence speak loudly and profoundly in my life.

When my voice is stilled, my mind is usually more at peace too.  When I don’t (or can’t) rush to speak my own mind, I see and hear so much more of what’s going on around me and what’s going on in the minds of others.

Silence, I think, is the easiest path to humility but perhaps is the hardest one to take.  It’s so much easier to allow every thoughts and idea to spill forth from my mouth as soon as they formulate in my mind- sometimes before.  Incidentally, silence has never gotten me into trouble that I can remember, but speaking my mind, especially with little to no forethought, has caused more strife in my life than I care to admit.

It’s crazy, really, considering how much I usually like to talk, but I'm sort of enjoying this little reprieve from hearing my own voice.  It’s giving me a great chance to hear and, strangely enough, to see others much more clearly.  And it’s giving me a chance to see and be aware of my own thoughts better too.  

Silence is golden and with it comes not only greater peace and humility but, I think, greater understanding and wisdom as well.  Still, when my mouth is feeling better- there really is so much I’m anxious to say…….

photo credit: <a href="">martins.nunomiguel</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>


  1. Kari,

    I'm sorry to hear you're recovering from dental work and can't speak. I had a dental plate fitted a couple of years ago (to straighten my front teeth) and I couldn't talk properly until I got used to it. It was so frustrating! I really came to a new appreciation of our ability to communicate with spoken words.

    It's sounds like your enforced silence has given you plenty to reflect upon. Yes, it's good to remain quiet, and listen and look instead sometimes!

    I hope you're feeling better soon!

    1. Sue-

      The dental work was not fun! :( But the silence really was nice. As I said, I'm not normally good at silence but it is a wonderful avenue to greater understanding. Spoken words are gifts, but so is reflection!

      I am doing better now. My kids are missing my silence, I think! :)

      God Bless!

  2. This is really interesting, Kari. I read it, yesterday, and then tried to do a bit of self-analysis (which I usually avoid because it opens up a can of worms!). I find that I often get caught in my own thoughts and it becomes a real effort to come out of my head to talk. That sounds really anti-social, doesn't it?! I love having bursts of conversation and, then, companionable silence to work on hobbies and think to myself.

    I'm wondering if listening and observing is useful for your writing? When I'm painting or drawing, I need to sit and observe colours and light, etc, so that I can express what's in my head.

    I hope you're feeling better, Kari. It must be hard to function normally with that sort of pain.

    Sending prayers for a quick recovery:-)
    God bless:-)

    1. Vicky-

      Thanks for your prayers. My recovery hasn't exactly been quick, but it is coming along. Your tendency to get caught up in your own thoughts does not sound anti-social at all. More contemplative, really, which is such a good thing to be.

      I think listening and observing are good for writing. It is a great way to explore character ideas and traits. I should do it more often- the silence, not the dental work! ;)

      Thanks again, God Bless!

  3. Very insightful! I loved this sentence from your post, " Incidentally, silence has never gotten me into trouble that I can remember, but speaking my mind, especially with little to no forethought, has caused more strife in my life than I care to admit."

    Unfortunately, I've experienced this first hand, too!

    My most recent motto has become, "Only grace and kindness should exit my mouth."

    We can speak truth...gracefully and kindly.

    Feel better soon, friend!


    1. Val-

      Mind if I adopt your motto as my own?!?!?!?! I will need lost of graces to be able to pull off, but how much more peaceful life could be if I only allowed grace and kindness in my words.

      God can send His lessons in the most amazing ways, can't he? Who would have thought going to the dentist would help me grow in wisdom?!?!?!

      God Bless, and thanks so much for your well wishes! :)



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