How is it possible for an introvert to be uncomfortable with silence? I have no idea, but I’m an introvert and I’m uncomfortable with silence when I’m alone. I like keeping quiet around others because speaking gives the opportunity for words to be misinterpreted; so I’d rather just listen and occasionally throw in a funny or understanding comment. I like watching people listen too. If I’m watching an interview, I pay attention to how well the interviewer is listening to the guest.
When I’m in a one on one service situation, like with my hair stylist or my nail tech, I love it when we’re quiet and not forcing conversation. But when I’m alone, I either have the TV on, the computer playing, or music playing; I even read out loud. I only enjoy silence in the presence of others. And I’ve never thought about why until today, when my higher self gently brought this to my attention. I think she was gentle about this because she knows how over-dramatic I like to be with her about everything she tries to teach me, but hey, nonetheless…
I sat in silence for twenty-five minutes today and it was so awkward at first. I had no idea what to do with myself because I usually pray out loud and I usually meditate with my Bella Beat health tracker. I’m never completely on my own. At first I looked around and then I closed my eyes to see if my continuous thoughts would subside. Eventually my mind stopped chattering, and the stillness which was intimidating at first, was now serenely comfortable. It really felt great to just sit quietly for a while.
Maybe I’ve been afraid of silence because of what could arise from it. But why? Didn’t wisdom emerge from silence? Wasn’t the earth created from the void? My ego gets scared that she might be swallowed up by that great void. She doesn’t know what it’s like to be a silent observer because that’s my higher self’s experience, not hers. My ego didn’t exist before I came into this body; again, that was my higher self’s experience. The goodies that can be found in silence are infinite, but it’s difficult to just let go of the control that words give my ego.
Words are very comforting, but they also create duality. Everything you say can be interpreted in more than one way. This can lead to understanding and friendship, or misunderstanding and conflict. You can interpret anything however you want. This is what frustrates me about words as a writer, but excites me about words as a reader. I enjoy this concept as a listener, but I despise it as a speaker.
Body language is actually the perfect complement to silence. It is more accurate and does not deceive. The animal kingdom communicates through body language and I have the utmost respect for this majestic extension of Gaia.
After my time spent in silence, I got excited about the fact that I had just learned a very important principle. We need both words and silence in harmony and balance. It’s nothing to get religious about, but a daily dose of silence in an overly articulate life is probably just what the doctor ordered.