“Sticks and stones are hard on bones

aimed with angry art,

Words can sting like anything

but silence breaks the heart.”

-Dorothy Parker

Although I am one who advocates silence as a spiritual practice I am not, of course, recommending the kind of silence alluded to above.  This kind of silence holds us hostage,  it imprisons our hearts and locks others out.  Indeed it is a heart-breaking kind of silence.  Silence is golden, it is said,  yet this kind of silence is not golden.  It is dark and life-threatening.  It does not heal but rather adds to the wound.  It is an icy silence devoid of any warmth or attempt at communication.   

Have you ever shut someone out through silence?
Have you experienced the kind of silence that is a wall of separation?
Have you known the kind of silence that breaks the heart?

This debilitating kind of silence can be transformed into a silence that heals.  For this to happen, though, we must be able to name our sick silence for what it is.  When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable and actually feel the fear and anger that brings on our silent treatment, then we can move into a new and medicinal kind of silence.  We will experience a new creation taking place in our lives.

 
 
Macrina Wiederkehr

1 Comment

  1. I enjoyed your essay entitled, “Heart-Breaking Silence,” now that was some writing.


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