I decided to give up speaking for a day. What I gained was acceptance.
It began with me noticing that we speak to change things. We only speak to change something in our external environment. Even when we only seek to inform, we are seeking to change the perspective of another, if only temporarily. It reminded me of cats. Adult cats never meow at other cats in the wild. They learn only to meow at humans, because it’s a language we understand. They learn to speak up when they are hungry, need attention, or something of the sort. Meowing gets the human to change the environment for them in a way that they cannot. We taught them the great language of complaining.
I speak the most in my house, so I decided I needed to give it a rest. I told my family what I was doing. It is not until you silence your voice that you realize its power. I made sure we didn’t have any big meetings that day. I hugged my wife and wrote one last note on the white board for our two girls. “You may speak. I will not. I love you, both.” Then, I began to listen. I contemplated what it really meant to listen versus to speak. What had I been missing? If I had been trying to change things, what if I spent more time just learning to accept? I carried a small notebook with me when I absolutely needed to communicate. I also stayed off of my phone and facebook. I spent a great part of the day in meditation. The meditation didn’t make it easier to stay silent. The silence made it easier to meditate.
A further experiment came out of this. It would become a game of shadow. Times when I would want to correct or change things in my environment, I would write it down in my book but not show it to the person. If one of them forgot their manners, I would write down “manners” instead of saying something to her. When they began arguing, I stayed out of it and allowed them to sort it out themselves. But I wrote it down. This is an excellent way to really get to know the true you. All the stuff we tell others not to do? We do it. At some point, we learned from someone that these behaviors were “bad,” “evil,” or “wrong.” And because we just can’t keep your personal expectations to yourself, we go around trying to fix everyone around us or complaining about what we think is wrong with them. Those horrible behaviors might make them happy, keep them sane, or might even do us some good, but we are too often on our high horse to think of this perspective.
To sum up, I’ve learned most communication is unnecessary. Most people are just looking for someone to listen, not someone to fix their problems. I vent from time to time when I’m stressed. It happens. More importantly, I learned every single thing you could possibly say to another person, you should say twice. Say it once to them and say it again while looking in a mirror. It will make you think twice before speaking too harshly or directing negative energy. Some people are difficult for a reason. Other people are nice for the same reason. Their methods get them what they want. Somewhere along the line they learned that their particular method worked best. Returning the favor reinforces the lesson. And yes, there is always a time to be difficult and a time to be nice. Balance is being flexible. But it is not our role to fix everybody else or their life. It’s our role to fix ourselves. Lend an ear when it’s needed, but your words have power. Use them sparingly and lovingly.
In the future, I will seek to use mine with more love. If there is a perspective I think people need to learn more about, it is one of gratitude. I am very happy with my life. I am glad that my throat chakra is catching up with my heart chakra. 😉
Thanks and blessings,