Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.
There was a time in my life when the sound of silence would cause me unspeakable angst. I had to call a friend or turn on the t.v. even if I had no interest in what was on... The thought of being alone was bad enough but silence?? The chaos (unknown to me at the time) in my mind would not allow it! I've used people, places and things, so as not to feel the wounded Soul that lay just beneath the 'noise'....
I read self help books of every kind, went to therapy for years, worked ungodly hours, spoke entirely too much about nothing of value.... and still could not bare to be alone for a day. It seemed nothing was helping till I was told the value of doing "nothing." It sounds easy enough to do... but it was not easy at all. It meant sitting with myself and feeling the pain of forgotten wounds, much deeper than I could have imagined. It meant being ok with feeling uncomfortable and anxious and frightened ... and not have any clue as to why those feelings were there.... or where they came from. It meant trusting that God loved me and desired to heal me, even if I could not love myself. This did not happen all at once... I venture to say, having a Spiritual Mentor who guided me and encouraged me to "sit and be still," was a supreme grace for me.
Today I see my wounds as redemptive ... it is what makes me Christian. I no longer hide from them or fear them as making me 'unworthy'. My limitations and weaknesses are used by God and for Her purposes... if I allow it to be. Being vulnerable is not a quality that Americans value on a secular scale.... but Christians know, 'when we are weakest, God is strongest.' We are called to be counter cultural as Christ was... and STILL IS !!!
To listen in silence... gives rise to authentic speech... and to embrace my autonomy, creates true opportunity for community.