Silence

Have you ever gone through a time in your life where you are just out of words? People seem to get on your last nerve, if you have kids, they are driving you crazy, your significant other could be pushing every button that you have, work can be more demanding than usual, and you just want to scream? While I don’t have the significant other, or kids, it seems like people have pushed my buttons hard this week to the point that all I can do is hold my tongue and be silent. If you have ever heard the phrase, “If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all!”, then you understand my mindset.

I think that’s true of all of us. Sometimes being quiet gets us farther than talking. Gandhi proved this more than once. There are always times to be vocal but there are also those times where silence can make people fumble more than if you say anything. I’ve seen cases where being silent led to a problem being solved faster than being vocal.

This past week I have prayed more than usual. There are people I care about who are literally fighting for their lives with cancer. I’ve had to shut up because I truly didn’t know what to say. One of my former teachers lost a son at the age of 52 this week. He left behind 3 daughters. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain of losing a parent at the young ages they are. I lost my dad as an adult and I’m still reeling from his death. The young woman I’ve mentioned before is doing a clinical trial with her cancer and had setback after setback. Her kids are literally the only thing keeping her going.

Part of the reason I haven’t written a blog this week is because I’ve been silent and listening to my heart. It’s really easy to give people advice about the trials and tribulations we all encounter on a frequent basis. It’s much more difficult to put that advice into action and to take your own advice. Burnout is real. There comes a point where we have to take care of ourselves and shut our voices out to the world because we need to hear what our own bodies are telling us.

The world of blogging has opened up new things in my life. It’s allowed me to share my own journey of faith, struggles, and joys with folks I’ve never met. Each of you inspire me through the blogs I read, the comments I see, and the continued support in this community of fellow bloggers. I’m sure there are many folks who see the world as something that needs to be conquered, but to be frank, I think there are more of us that just want to make the world a better place than to rule it. There are many who envision a world where peace can coexist.

Being quiet this week has given me time to think about the important things in my life. I’m blessed with an incredible family, a wonderful church family, friends who support me in my craziness of this life, a job that pays me every week, supplemental sources of income, whether they are doing social media jobs, apps on my phone like Checkpoints and Shopkick, and fairly decent health. It’s so easy to take everything for granted.

I watched the movie War Room not too long ago. While I don’t think I can clean my closet completely out to be my own war room, at least not yet, I’ve started reading my Bible, having conversations about God with others who are struggling, and finding that in this life, I am clueless about a great many things. That doesn’t mean I don’t have faith. It does mean that I question my faith a lot. And that’s okay. God loves me anyway. Can I prove there’s a God? No. All I can do is have faith. That faith is allowing me to learn to be silent and listen to things that I didn’t hear earlier. There’s a time and a place for things. There’s an inner fight inside me that wants to fix things and take care of things. Then I remember it’s not my fight. It’s not my place. There’s a time to speak up. As we all struggle, we learn when the time to speak and the time to stay silent is. It’s not always an easy task.

My problem at work is I don’t play the politcal gamut. It’s one of my biggest downfalls. I would not make a good politician. I’m so busy trying to take care of other issues that I don’t always play the politically correct card. Being real can be a problem. Especially now a days when you have to literally walk on egg shells so that you don’t offend someone. It’s hard to stay silent on issues that you know will only lead to a fight with others. One of my biggest faults and assets is that I care about people. If I see a situation where someone is being abused, I try to help that person as much as I can. I’ve gotten burned a lot. You would think that would deter me but in my heart I know that I’m doing the right thing.

I’ve had folks that I swore were my friends use me and then ghost me. Their silence was deafening and demeaning. I could have understood if they had told me why they weren’t willing to talk to me anymore but it just seemed like after I had helped them out financially, all of a sudden I got ghosted by people I would have done anything for. Their silence, their ghosting and exclusions in my life taught me that true friends are rare. They will tell you the truth, they won’t turn their back on you just because things are hard, and they are willing to have conversations. You can’t grow in any relationship, friendships or otherwise, if you don’t know what the hell is going on.

I took a chance a few years ago with a man that I had/have serious feelings for. He got sick. He’s pushed everyone away for years. He’s the only man I have really ever had those kinds of feelings for. His silence kills me. He struggles with the pain every day from a disease that there is no cure for. He quietly goes through the motions at work. He only lets people see a certain side of him that isn’t a true reflection of himself. Not even when I was married did I love someone the way I fell for him. I now understand what true love really is. It’s understanding and accepting a person completely and unconditionally, even if it means you can not be together. He avoids confrontations just like his mom does. It’s easier to shut people out than to face what issues are slamming you in the face. Neither of them are willing to let others who love them help them through their pain. They seem to think that they are a burden to those around them. They don’t understand what real love is about. It’s about taking a chance. Loving someone is never silent. It’s loud and it’s messy. It’s difficult and wonderful all at the same time. I guess that’s why understanding God’s love is so difficult for many of us too. Even if you don’t believe, that’s okay. It helps me to have faith. It makes living each day a little more achievable.

When I lost my last child due to fibroids, my heart shattered. I thought I had done something so horrible that was keeping me from having my family. My marriage was falling apart, my dad had just had a heart attack, work was non existent, I worked for a doctors office that was really clickish and was being pushed out, and I couldn’t seem to do anything right. I became silent. I was so tired of fighting. It didn’t help that I had developed feelings for a man that I couldn’t pursue until after the divorce and then he was dating someone else. Our timing was always messed up. Then he got sick and literally pushed everyone away. It got so bad that his mom came to spend Christmas with him one year so that he wouldn’t be alone for the holiday because he didn’t want anyone to see the kind of pain he was in. I get why he didn’t. I just wish he wasn’t so stubborn that he thinks he’s the only one living in pain.

My problem is that sometimes I’m too silent. I know exactly what I want to say in a situation and then sometimes I’m presented with the opportunity I freeze up. My anxiety level shoots up, I forget I’m a Christian and start using a lot of words I shouldn’t to myself. My confidence level sometimes takes a nose dive faster than someone who goes bungee jumping. Sometimes I have the ability to speak up. It depends on the situation and the person involved. If it’s work, I have no problem saying what I need to. Personally, however, it’s a totally different ballgame.

So tonight, I’m going to break my silence. I’m going to admit that I fell completely and hopelessly for someone who is the only man that I know in my heart I belong with. Whether he realizes it or not is up to him. I will continue to hope and pray that God heals the folks that I care for, that we all are able to live full and healthy lives, and that we all learn to take chances. Life is not a fairy tale. It’s hard. We take chances that are questionable. We use our voices for good and bad things in this world. But if we stay silent all the time, be sure the silence says what you want it to because silence can be a powerful tool if used correctly.

In closing, I just want to remind you all that silence can be therapeutic. It has it’s own way of helping to heal us. Clarity can often be reached in the quietest of environments. I hope you all have a chance to embrace silence for just a little while. It might help you make sense of the chaos like it’s helped me.

Sometimes in the silence, we can hear better.

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