The beauty of Silence

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Martin Luther King Jr.

I love when the extended family gets together. The vibe and the feeling of being together is wonderful. As a family of daughters – I have two and my brother has three – this means that there is always lots of chatter, discussion and often happy laughter. Generally, at the dad’s expense!

This Christmas, was the first opportunity for all of us to be together over a few days and the atmosphere was relaxed, gentle, but at the same time very, very noisy. I am not sure if it is modern trend, but teenagers tend to talk “at one another”, rather than “talk with one another”. Group talks tended to be noisy, rowdy affairs. With little, or no possibility or reflective dialogue and discussion, I felt that topics tended to be glossed over, rather than understood and agreed with. But, hey, that’s only my opinion. And the girls loved being together.

Whilst, I loved having all of the family around, it also made me appreciate the quiet times when everyone was out of the house doing “their thing”.

The near complete silence.

No one talking. No TV. No music. No radio. No phones ringing. Strangely, even my grandmother’s chiming clock that hangs in the dining room  had stopped.

I had no desire to fill up the silence with noise. Rather I was able to sit and practice mindfulness. Focusing on my breath, I even was able to “hear” my heart beating. It does not happen often, but when it does, it is amazing. The time seemed to flow by.

Then people came back into the house, chattering away. Noise levels returned to normal.

When was the last time you were in an environment where there was complete, total, silence?

Apart from our lives being full on, with so many distractions, I have come to realise that, we have even filled up our worlds with noise. Perhaps we are afraid of the silence? I am not sure. But if you do get a chance to “turn down the volume” on your life’s noise, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you find.

I was out walking and reflecting on this article, when  I realised that it reminded me of one of my favorite songs from the 1980’s by Depeche Mode – “Enjoy the Silence”. Here is a YouTube video of the official video from that era.

I leave you with the following quote…….

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”

Robert Frost


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