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Finding Comfort in Silence - The Balance between Self & Our Obligation to Community

Silence is golden.

Though few are tuning in.

For many, it's been some time since they last experienced the beauty in silence.

We are tapped into distraction.

Absentmindedly, we continuously take the bait; so busy responding, engaging and attending, that any exercise in quiet, or solitude, feels foreign and unfamiliar.

We are bombarded by bids for our attention.

So much so, that any fleeting moment of quiet becomes disorienting and discomforting.

We feel obligated to give energy; to satisfy every request made of us. We feel guilty in exercising the choice to not attend at all; to withhold or withdraw attention from a person, situation or thing, that is not serving us. We are as disgruntled by receiving silence, as we are in extending it, conflicted as to the value that leveraging silence entails.

Sometimes, we forget that anything beyond silence is a courtesy.

We each have a right to exercise autonomy, in deciding when to keep our energy for ourselves, or to repurpose it, as we deem best.

Choosing, rather, to spend quiet moments becoming more attune to how we feel and the nature of our thought life. Alternatively, we might spend those quiet moments deepening our awareness of the sounds in silence. The aspects of our environment, typically drowned out and dismissed as background noise.

Deepening our mindfulness, tapping into clarity found in quiet and solitude.

With practice and intention, recognizing in time, that silence is a means of communication.

A lack of response, its own demonstration of our intention.

We are socialized to believe that responsiveness is active. Few understand the inherent power and impact of silence, not only as an experience, but also as a communication tool.

In silence, we are more attuned to what energy we have at our disposal; to give or to retain. In stillness, we develop an awareness of the internal signals calling us to rest, recharge and renew.

Silence is an individual experience.

Allowing us to reserve and retain our energy, in alignment with what best serves us, regardless of how that choice is interpreted on the receiving end.

No one is entitled to our energy.

Any access to our energy, is a privilege that is earned and can be subsequently lost.

When we shift away from always catering to others' expectations of a response, we give ourselves space to become more responsive — to ourselves.

Wouldn’t you say that valuing community coincides with valuing attitudes and behaviours that are communal? Communication is communal, being vocal — lending your voice, to the communities of which you are part, those that grow and shift alongside you.

Doesn’t promoting responding with silence conflict with many of the values adjacent to valuing community?

Silence is communicative.

If you find that your voice is no longer in harmony with the communities of which you have taken part, that your desired contribution no longer resounds with the collective voices you initially identified with, you need no one’s permission to withdraw, but your own.

Communities are subject to change, as we much as we ourselves are subject to change.

Words cannot bridge a gap that is formed in direct correlation with our individual growth.

Challenge the idea that words are needed, when there is nothing left to be salvaged.

Treat your energy as a finite resource; leveraging silence as an exercise in self-preservation.

We are each navigating our own individual journeys across a multitude of bids for our time, energy and attention.

Make space for silence.

Drown out the external. Make space in quiet, to find alignment with your inner direction.

Recognize that sometimes you need to tune out, in order to tune in.

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