About the same time that I took a hiatus from blogging in November, I got sick, the kind of cold virus that takes a few weeks to run its course, complete with laryngitis.
Losing my voice was the most frustrating part of the illness for me. No shouting up the stairs when I needed one of the kids, no calling for the dog, not even any teaching – aloud, anyway. To get my husband’s attention, I actually had to go to him, make eye contact, and mouth a few words or scribble a phrase on a little whiteboard.
But after the first day of enforced silence, my frustration faded into a sort of relaxation. I think I understand now why some people take a vow of silence, and I learned a few lessons of my own.
No one needs or wants to hear my every witty thought. Most of what crosses my mind can be kept to myself.
Silence is okay! I can still appreciate being present with my loved ones – curled up on the couch together, or walking in the woods, for instance – without talking.
Quiet is calming. When I only communicated what was necessary and important, my mind seemed to fall into the same pattern. My usual racing thoughts slowed and behaved themselves.
Closing my mouth opens my ears. Because I couldn’t contribute to conversations around me, I wasn’t thinking about what I wanted to say. I was truly listening, observing and absorbing.
Less talking means less sinning. My family knows I struggle with being judgmental of others, and I tend to vent my feelings. Not being able to talk nipped that in the bud.
My voice has long been back, but I’d still like to hold on to these lessons and live in silence more of the time.
Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. – Colossians 4:6
In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise. – Proverbs 10:19
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. – Ephesians 4:29