Have you ever met someone who won’t stop talking? Not someone who has dementia. Or someone telling their funniest stories when they meet new people or on a first date. I mean people who spend 20 minutes telling you something they mentioned 3 days before.
I read an interesting article which stated that sometimes people will repeat themselves simply as a way of being heard. It gave me a whole new perspective. Possibly they did not receive attention or acknowledgement in their family of origin; to be heard, they needed to do things again and again. (We’ve all heard the poor 5 year old in the grocery store – “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mom,” while the mother ignores him.) Some people carry this habit into adulthood, not realizing the wearing effect it can have on people around them.
I’ve been frustrated by conduct like this, but I found a surprising silver lining. It caused me to realign my behavior of needing to get my point across. Sometimes listening to someone for the third time that week is simply polite, but other times it’s simply saving your breath with someone who’s more interested in talking than hearing your response.
Are you someone who has to have the last word? Articulate about making your point, but unrelenting? Joyce Meyer once laughed that she was the kind of Mom who would lecture her teenagers for 20 minutes, go to the kitchen to get a glass of water, think of something else, and then go back and start in again (usually while they rolled their eyes at her).
Maybe the thought for the week is finding peace in silence. Knowing that there can be as much elegance in keeping quiet and saving your energy as in stating your opinion. I’ll leave you with a quote from Caroline Myss:
Contain your experience with the Divine
so that it does not escape you but rather shapes you.
Silence will help you avoid engaging in the games of competition and illusion
that regularly seduce us in the outside world.
Silence also helps you avoid distraction.
It helps focus the busy mind -
the mind that always has to be doing something, thinking something,
the mind that always has to be otherwise engaged
lest it become introspective and allow the soul’s voice to override its own.
The silence I am describing is a silence that you use
to contain the grace you receive when you enter the Castle of your soul.
This quality of silence allows you to engage in discernment.
You carry this silence within you, even when you are with others.
It allows you to hold your center amid the chaos of your life;
it keeps you clear so that you do not do or say things you will regret
or make decisions out of fear.