I’m doing a shift on the crisis line tonight and someone put up a wonderful quote from Rachel Naomi Remen on the wall. It’s about the power of silence and it’s so good (and true) that I wanted to pass it on. If you have never read anything by Rachel Naomi Remen, may I recommend that you stop whatever you’re doing and buy one of her books? I read her book Kitchen Table Wisdom a few years back and it was incredibly powerful and moving and led to one major breakthrough (I was a business card that wanted to be a marshmallow. See, now you have to read the book to figure out what in the world I’m talking about. ;)). I read it on BN’s recommendation and then brought it to session with 15 different yellow stickies in it. She understands the power of human stories, but the even more powerful effect of having ours heard and understood.
I am grateful beyond words that BN understands the use of silence that is spoken of in this quote. Some of our most powerful connections have happened in silence. I am trying to learn to provide it (Which doesn’t come easy as people who know me in person would tell you I can talk the hind legs off a mule; but I’m working on it. :)).
Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing.
Rachel Naomi Remen