There is a lot of value in silence. Silence lets me block out unsolicited advice that comes in the form of phrases like “you should” and “you need to” and “you know what your problem is?” When I need to focus inward I seek out silence, it allows me to listen to what my heart is really saying. Silence doesn’t judge me, try to change me, or even nudge me in a specific direction. It just lets me find my own way in my own time, set to the rhythm of my own deep breathing – in through the nose and out through the mouth.
Some people are uncomfortable with silence, I think they don’t like the power it has. There are so many answers in silence. When you ask someone “are you OK?” and they are silent…there is an answer. When you ask “What do you think?” and there is is silence…they are saying so much. Then there are really big questions like “do you still love me?” or “do you forgive me?” silence carries the loudest and most powerful answer in those situations.
To be fair silence can be misinterpreted or manipulated to control an interaction. Communication is pretty tricky, there are so many components to making sure the message you are sending is the message the other person is receiving. A very easy way to clarify is backing up your message with actions.
Showing someone you love or appreciate them is easy to do with actions, and in the end makes you feel pretty good too. How is it done? Write a love letter, send a sweet video message, make their favorite meal, make their life easier by taking over the chores for a weekend, stock the junk drawer with their favorite candy, or even the simple act of a personal phone call. It is about going out of your way for someone – showing them they are loved and at the top of your life priority list.
It all seems very simple right? Except it is not, life gets in the way of simplicity. You get occupied with your career, finances, family issues, health problems, and “things.” We forget how easy it is to commit with actions, and how much it means to someone else.
Words are hard to remember exactly sometimes. Emotions are not.
I remember how hopeful I felt when I held my nieces and nephew for the first time – I have no idea what I said.
I remember how my heart burst with joy as I stood and watched my best friend marry his husband – I don’t remember their marriage vows.
I remember the look on my boyfriend’s face and the racing of my heart when he got down on one knee to propose – I remember parts of what he said. What I really heard was “this is me, committing to us – lets do this.”
Actions are this idea of “showing up” for someone, it isn’t just your significant other either. Birthday parties, graduations, weddings, big achievements, and even more important – big disappointments. Show up for these for any relationship in your life that is a priority, it shows action. Your absence shows silence.
How has someone showed up for you?