There are many moments in my life when fading to the wallflower makes me feel more powerful than passive aggressive.
To me, the power of silence is strength, and from strength comes power (to listen) and the power of listening is; hearing. And hearing provides perspective.
I’ve often sat in meetings; recovery, work, family and every kind you can think of, just listening. And from that power I receive so much. To the outsider I am silent, passive-aggressive, quiet, reserved, shy, sensitive, introverted. Actually I’m exerting my power.
Today, I’m sat at my desk with three screens; work chats, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, emails, texts, notifications, video calls, calendars, IMs, channels, Twitter, LinkedIn. Before clearing it I also had letters.
Mainly what I do with all this information is listen. I’m not always hearing what is said, but certainly there is a lot of listening.
The amount of information anyone can process in a single day is staggering. Add to that memory recall, what we see, what we think, what we feel, how we move, where we go, what we taste and smell.
Life can be overwhelming, overstimulating and full of stuff.
At this point I am reminded to meditate. That by breathing we can simply make sense of it all and it quickly comes into a spiritual place of clarity and awakening.
My perspective is that in all the silence, listening, breathing – I will never achieve a zen space of clarity. Breathing space is exactly that. It’s a stop, pause, moment. It won’t systemically organise everything I sense into a cohesive, organised life.
It is in hearing, sharing and action that things will come to order, that I will make sense of it all, that emotions will truly surface.
This weekend I shared at a meeting; my current perspective. Afterwards I felt shocked, uncertain, questioned what I said. It didn’t feel like a process of validation but an experience of me, bringing into question, my own experience. It was almost out of body.
But in the midst of my silence I hadn’t really had an opportunity to process and organise my thoughts, and this was my opportunity. I got something from it.
And from sharing, I let people know how I felt, what had happened to me and how others could relate.
Listening, sending, pausing, hearing, breathing has its limits. It means nothing without action, purpose, commitment and sharing. A person is not an island.