I have always thought of myself to be a good conversationalist.
Listening, talking, giving advice, repeat.
This belief didn’t just appear out of no where; it slowly emerged to the surface through years of people seeking me out to talk and asking for my advice. Even if I have never been through the situation being described to me, I always found a way to put myself in their position as well as everyone involved, and give my opinion based on each point of view. This really helped people get out of their own head and see the entire picture, then make a decision on what to do from there more clearly. At least, so I thought.
Self-reflection is terrifying; especially when the reflection forces you to undo everything you thought you knew about yourself. But, I guess, that’s the point. While I know my thoughts and opinions hold weight and can have meaning to others, I’m learning (slowly) that sometimes the most meaningful thing you can be is silent.
a time to tear & a time to mend; a time to be silent & a time to speak.
This lesson has been very hard for me; because if you’re talking to me then you obviously want my opinion, right? Until recently, I couldn’t accept the fact that that very belief is arrogant. Maybe, just maybe, this person is coming to you to be heard. And that’s it. Maybe their words and thoughts have been silenced by a sea of people just waiting for their turn to toss in their opinion on a situation that does not apply to them; so they’re coming to you for another chance to be understood.
I am not saying that your input is never needed; I am saying that more often than not, all that is needed is your presence. Sit, listen, and wait.
the one who knows much says little; an understanding person remains calm.
It’s hard to know when it’s right to stay silent; but there are a few moments that I am learning to reflect on to help me understand when it’s time to speak up, and when it’s time to be still.
obedience manifests self-control. only when we are silent are we in a place to truly hear what is needed from us.
in the moments when we feel anxious, be silent. no good can come from speaking from an anxious heart.
stop letting pride control our tongue. sometimes, we are wrong. sometimes, others matter more.
if we speak out of pride or anger, we will be ashamed of our words later.
if we have said it more than once, don’t speak. in these moments, silence says more.
do not be quiet due to timidness, be quiet to keep the peace. if one person is already angry, it’s best to quiet the mind, take in the situation, and revisit once things are calm.
take note of this: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or heartache. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in our hearts.
But, we are human. Sometimes, our emotions take over. Sometimes we speak out of hurt, fear, anger, insecurity. Sometimes, the need for peace doesn’t seem to matter until the moment we’ve realized we destroyed it. But luckily, we are human. So we have been given the ability to ask for forgiveness, and the ability to forgive. Peace can be rebuilt.
It just takes patience, understanding, calm conversation, and sometimes, the ability to be silent.
All relationships come with a middle ground in the event of conflict; but if we’re too busy shouting at each other from opposite ends of the battlefield, we will never get there. Hush, & be still.
header image by pynk magazine