The Deafening Sound of Silence

Dara LevanBlog3 Comments

Silence can be deafening. How is that possible when the definition of silence is the absence of sound? Silence can also serve as a salve, a soothing quiet space for reflection and healing. Silence is a serum that soaks one’s soul with awareness.

A moment of silence, such as at a memorial service, halts time to honor those who are gone. Then there’s the collective silence at the end of a performance just before an audience erupts with applause. Silence is also an impactful strategy when negotiating a purchase or brokering a deal.

Emma Gonzalez used silence to poignantly, passionately reach people. Just days after the Parkland shooting, Emma intentionally paused on public television. It literally felt like forever. The six minutes and 20 seconds of silence seemed to become its own being. I felt it grasp me, reaching from the television screen shaking my inner foundation.

Presidents, prime ministers, and other world leaders use silence, too. A non-response to a request or comment is often even more impactful than an audible message. In recent times, I think about how some of our political leaders ought to remain silent rather than tweet or speak. Words can hurt rather than help in the political and personal arenas. Saying too much or anything at all can dilute the effectiveness of expression.

As I wrote about in last week’s blog, “Connection,” we are easily accessible. Phones, computers, and other devices make communication easy. Yet it is crucial to disconnect from technology to connect with ourselves and those we love.

Silence can also create a gulf of detachment in which space between souls widens rather than narrows. Certain people are limited regarding their emotional capacity and what they can give. Perhaps they didn’t grow up in a loving, expressive home environment. Others may not know how to react or interact with one who is sick or grieving. So they do nothing at all. I’ve also realized that sadly some people will never find joy within themselves. Therfor they cannot be happy for others. Silence has taught me, too, about the ugliness of envy.

It has taken me years to grasp and accept that reality. And I do not resent nor hold anger toward those who are connecting in the only way they know how. I am understanding I cannot be responsible for others’ happiness. I have compassion. I try to meet those people where they are at and understand their possible limitations.

It’s been humbling as I’ve learned how to adapt and shift. And I am grateful for the lessons learned from those I’ve met along the way. Communication and connection are more precious to me than material objects.

Engaging at any level is a conscious choice. I find social media interactions fascinating. I refer to this often in my writing, and I will do so again. I have “friends” who profess publicly to be a close part of my life. Yet, some of these souls stay silent when it matters most. For quite some time, I’ve chosen to ignore what I know to be true; I am an open-minded, perpetual optimist.

Living a life of truth requires rearranging, repositioning, and sometimes removing. I speak often to my children about whom we allow into our inner circle. When my husband and I first met, he used to joke that watching me juggle all of my friendships exhausted him! I love people of all ages, cultures, perspectives, and backgrounds.

We must mute the chatter in our heads to hear our heart’s message. A reciprocal, thriving relationship sometimes requires silence. The healthy type in which perhaps you walk with one you love yet no words are spoken. Or you listen quietly as a friend shares something confidentially. Or saying nothing because words would hurt.

You can be there for those you love, even if not in person. We are all easily reachable via phone and email. I used to accept and tolerate the “I am busy” excuses. I will not and do not any longer. If you accept the unacceptable, you will continue to attract old energy and patterns. We have an active role and responsibility in how we choose to live.

Silence. It is powerful. Silence does not lie. It is quietly yet paradoxically one of the loudest forms of communication. Listen to the silence. What people do not say is often the message we are meant to receive. And within the silence and space in our own souls we will find the answers.

3 Comments on “The Deafening Sound of Silence”

  1. Yes, silence is better than meaningless words. But sometimes people need to speak up to take a stand regardless of what people might think of them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *