“Fear less, hope more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Hate less, love more; And all good things are yours.” ~ Swedish proverb
You know who I really appreciate? Those people who aren’t uncomfortable with silence. Those people with whom you can sit at a table and have a delicious meal and not feel uncomfortable when none of you has anything to say. I love people who can communicate with one another not just with words but also with silence.
I remember going out for dinner one night with two of my closest friends but also with this other person whom we just recently met. And while we were there, I noticed that this person couldn’t stop talking. I mean, she just couldn’t. She kept going on and on and on and I honestly thought my head was going to explode because of all the noise she was making. I just couldn’t believe that a human being could actually talk so much and breathe so little.
I was amazed and irritated at the same time. She was talking so much and so loud but her words seemed so empty of meaning. She wasn’t really saying anything. You know that quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
“What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Well, that’s exactly how I felt. I could hear her speak but I couldn’t really understand a word she was saying. Not because she was speaking a foreign language but because she wasn’t really saying anything.
We do that. A lot of times we just talk and talk but without actually saying anything. Maybe it’s because we want to feel that we’re heard and that people acknowledge our presence and existence. But is that really the way to go about it? Wouldn’t it be wiser to talk less and say more while at the same time immersing ourselves in those moments of silence and allowing them to just be?
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” ~ Plato
It seems to me that a lot of times we talk just so we won’t keep quiet, thinking that silence is something to be ashamed about, something to be avoided. But it’s not. There’s nothing wrong with silence. I don’t know how we got this idea that silence is awkward and that it should be avoided at all costs.
“It has been said that it’s the space between the bars that holds the tiger. And it’s the silence between the notes that makes the music. It is out of the silence, or “the gap,” or that space between our thoughts, that everything is created including our own bliss.” – Wayne Dyer
The Wisdom of Silence: Learning to Talk Less and Say More
Silence is a precious gift. In that space between our words, it’s where we find ourselves. When the mind is quiet, when there are no thoughts and no words to be said, we can hear our own heart talking to us. We can hear our own soul and our own intuition.
Herman Melville has a really beautiful quote that explains exactly what I mean:
“God’s one and only voice are Silence.” ~ Herman Melville
When we allow ourselves to be quiet, to breathe in and breathe out, without the need to force ourselves into saying another word or think another thought, that’s when we can hear our inner voice, our heart, and intuition. That’s when we can experience our own Divinity, our own beauty, and perfection.
I have learned more from being quiet and from embracing silence than I have learned from thinking and from talking. Silence is my greatest teacher, whispering things in my ear and helping me know things that I won’t be able to discover from anywhere else.
“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” ~ Francis Bacon
I honestly believe that the reason why so many of us are under so much stress is that we haven’t yet learned how to quiet our minds and embrace silence. We haven’t yet learned to appreciate and see the value and the wisdom that comes from being quiet.
Who says that you have to be thinking and you have to be talking all the time? Who says that it’s not okay to have moments when you just don’t have anything to say? Who says that you should be talking nonstop even when you don’t have anything valuable to say?
“He who does not know how to be silent will not know how to speak.” – Ausonius
Learn to talk less, say more. When you use your words, use them because they will brighten someone’s day and because they will teach people something valuable. Don’t just use words for the sake of using them. Use them because you have something to say.
“Much talking is the cause of danger. Silence is the means of avoiding misfortune. The talkative parrot is shut up in a cage. Other birds, without speech, fly freely about.” ~ Saskya Pandita
** Do you believe that we can only communicate by using words? Do you think silence is something to be avoided? When you are alone with someone, if there are moments when none of you has anything to say does that silence make you feel uncomfortable? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below 🙂