Somewhere down the line, I noticed that just because I would not voice a great deal, it did not mean i was listening in its stead. You may have encountered this difficulty many a time and it may be quite obvious to you, but your silence is not necessarily you giving your attention, rather you are attending to every little thought and worry formulating inside your head. Turn your silence into your ultimate strength, your weapon of choice. This is how I learnt to play it to my advantage, hopefully it can help you too.
Here’s the trick, and it’s not as colossal or daunting an ask as speaking to people: to not recoil so far within yourself as a response to what can often feel like overbearing chatter and loud ambience. We must choose to listen, to take it in. Everything and anything around, ‘its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter!’ (Star Wars is not only extremely quotable to me but has genuinely helped me through some dark times). Anyway, to deconstruct all that is contributing to our uneasiness, our bubble of anxiety, is not easy but it can be chipped away piece by piece, starting from without.
We tend to believe our timidness or anxiety is our own selfish issue and that we need to ‘fix’ our minds; that it is some innate disease growing from the core and spilling outwards. Look for clues around you, listen out. Not for what makes you quiet but for the reasons you feel low about being quiet. For it is the unknown we fear, and it’s not only about heeding our inner perspective all the time. True, there are new revelations to be found there day after day but sometimes all we find is the same old unhelpful doubts and routine defences. In all this and all the while, we bear in mind that there is nothing wrong with us, with quietness.
An unfortunate derogation of quieter people is that we are rude, self-centred, of a negative outlook – it’s assumed we simply do not want to know. This may not actually be the case, and even less so do we wish to convey such a hostile stance. And yet sadly this is how some people view it at times – from our visage, our bearing, our idiosyncrasies.
Our ears are our saving grace, two windows out to liberation. Let them do the work and our responses may start to occur naturally. It is the biggest secret and no secret at all that we should contribute the most by way of perception. Listening, looking. Our mouths are not the be all and end all of sense and communication. There is so much that our quietude has to offer.
Paris is a Sociology graduate with a great appreciation for the creative arts. She was extremely coy, and taciturn in her earlier years. Although still introverted, university and adulthood has helped her overcome this somewhat but, more importantly, helped her to accept who she is. Paris loves to read and, primarily, write. She keeps a blog of poetry and prose at crumblesome.wordpress.com