Monday, March 29, 2010

What do you say when...

Ever been lost for words? There are so many ways that we can find ourselves silenced by an experience or a situation. It can come from being shocked, or flabbergasted (as my grandmother used to say) by maybe we can find nothing appropriate to say in the ridiculousness of a situation. Then there are the times when we are in shock. Other times, facing someone's loss or their sorrow can be silencing. Words are so limited when we are expressing an emotion. It can seem like a difficult and painful task to try and pull from the alphabet something that makes sense.

I have this great saying over my desk. I found it (or it found me) at a time in my life when I was trying to convince or defend or talk my way out and/or through situations. It was a time in my life when I was learning the true value of silence and reflection. It simply says, "A silent voice is sweet to hear."

Tonight our daughter told me how she has been learning to use body language to communicate with horses, Horse Whisperer style. The horse, in this way, learns to trust the person and develops a relationship with her. Silence can be uncomfortable but when given a situation where words seem inadequate or simply inane, perhaps silence says more and is sweeter than any string of the alphabet we might put together. Like my daughter with the horse, simply being there can say so much more. This is different from "the silent treatment" which can be abusive and deafening. I am talking about compassionate silence, just being with a person in their moment. I am still learning to do that but when I do, the gift of it is so sweet!

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