Silence is a Response

Life is loud, the constant chatter of a unified life. The more we connect with each other, the more we learn about ourselves. Yet, there are moments when a silent response may benefit us most.

We live with the daily fallout of nonsense that has been increasing over the last two decades but in the last two years, the social and political climate of the planet has completely changed. Hot spots are everywhere. Frankly, we do not know what to do so we text what we do not know.

In this immediate world, an emoticon or single parentheses with a colon is acceptable but the larger fallacy in all this chatter is oranges become apples and then later, as needed, apples turn into oranges. There isn’t a logical fallacy that is out-of-bounds.

I offer this: silence is a sound response preferable to the chatter of logical fallacies. There is nothing new in the virtue of silence but as we reach across, up, down and around the globe, we are connecting with all we can be, and the possibilities are endless. image

How we connect with one another in the ether seeps into our physical relationships, particularly those conversations of the heavy heart, the ones that thud: conversations we no longer want to have much less start; conversations that reveal a truth we never saw until we realize it was there always. Revelation and resonance are pure, often painful.

In a recent blog post, Sabrina Reber tells us: “Understand that when we resonate ‘strongly’ with the pain and suffering in others, it is a reflection of our own inner pain that has not been healed. STRONG REACTIONS to anything outside ourselves are always a reflection of our own inner turmoil.”

Other people are mirrors for us, even when we look away–keep the chatter on them–as we tweet or text a response to relieve our own discomfort.

“When you find yourself having a strong reaction to an external issue ~ STOP. Turn it around and say ~ ‘this is my stuff.’ This is your place of POWER ~ because you are accepting responsibility for yourself/your emotions/your feelings/your vibration ~ and only then will you be able to tap into the underlying truth of the issue so you can create change” (Reber).

A response is a thoughtful decision including whether or not to respond. There is so much chatter in the outer world  but if we listen silently and allow our egos to chatter, judge or interpret inside our heads, then we’ll know whether or not to respond but even better, we will know what to respond.

Silence is a straightforward action, and the fact that silence is a possibility for each one of us in every moment at a cost we determine is the very power we seek in chatter.

Truly, “it is time for us to stop expecting someone outside of ourselves to make the changes on this planet we so desire to see. Our power for change revolves around the SELF……one person at a time” (Reber).

Rhythm of ROW80 Sunday Scheduling:

This week, we examine conflict in the Idea and Conflict workshop with Bob Mayer.  As he says, it will be a challenge. This past week, I struggled with the kernel idea of my novel, which is clearer but not quite there. The kernel idea exercises require the writer to peel back layer after layer of story. It’s quite rigorous, and I have spent about five hours a day with variations on the exercise. In the process, I am writing a lot of back story.

Beyond my workshop writing, I am generating at least 1,000 words per day  for blog posts as well as some creative nonfiction. In this regard, I have exceeded my original word count of writing 250 words per day in this first round of ROW80.

27 thoughts on “Silence is a Response

  1. Mirror like wisdom is indeed hard to come by. Not getting triggered or enmeshed in the pain and suffering of others is indeed, a learned skill. I would say though that working through our pain to a place of compassion means that we will continue to resonate with the pain of others, as well as the healing. I think identifying with their pain is what makes compassion possible. But we identify it as theirs, not ours. I am however, just an amateur human! For me, I have discovered that sometimes then, it isn’t my place to say anything; just to be present, give a hug, hold a hand. Another learned skill.


    1. As you say, Rob, there is such wisdom in the mirrors that others provide for us and how we reflect it is us being human at our best and worst. Thank you for such a thoughtful comment on what is “indeed hard to come by.”



    1. Yes, Morgan. That’s it: “I see you; I hear you.” How elegant, how precise. Thanks for your support, Morgan. I am so enjoying getting to know you and your work.

      Indeed, peace,



  2. I have a sign in my office that says “Silence is God’s first language.” I truly believe that if there is ever to be peace and unity in the world, then we must all speak the same language – silence is the crucial key that unlocks all doors.

    The pictures you picked for this post are so awesome, Karen – one has become my screen saver now, hope you don’t mind! You are a treasure in that you’re influencing and expanding my mind, friend. Am loving the Dyer book, too 🙂 Keep on keepin’ on!!

    Much love,


    1. Ah, my dear friend, silence is universal, no matter how many universes there may be! Silence helps us be thoughtful, mindful; for me, it is key to an open heart. Part of being connected to and with the world is finding images like I chose for this blog; we constantly share with one another as this physical world is so inspiring.

      Am so glad you are enjoying the Dyer book; every time I read from it, I am amazed. I think of you often, dear one.



  3. OMG, those photographs made me want to just breathe them in and go to my happy place. What a great update this is. ROW80 is such a wonderful thing in that it allows me to connect with writers like you.

    Thanks tons!


    1. Aren’t those images incredible? Couldn’t agree more about ROW80 as it really does connect so many of us, which is what the world is all about. Thanks for stopping by, Jenny!



  4. Lovely. The quotes from Reber are perfect. When I can see my reaction to someone else, then I can learn about my view of the world. So often, my reaction has nothing to do with their actual reality. But the only way I can “get” what I think is to stop listening to all of the chatter around me and notice what my mind says. Sometimes my reaction to them is appropriate, and comes from truly seeing them, but often it has more to do with habit and biases and my programmed reaction to childhood experiences than with the present time.


    1. As you say, when we view our reaction, we are so much more to everyone, including ourselves. With the world at our fingertips 24/7, we can now be better than we have ever been, I think. The opportunity is ours.

      Really appreciate you stopping by, Ann, and an excellent review of Mary Called Magdalene on your blog,



  5. Like Adrian, I am not sure that having a strong empathic reaction should necessitate the existence of an unhealed wound. It can, certainly, and often it does in me and likely others, but to say one exits solely for the purpose of the other is to demean the value of our own common connection of human existence. To say that something is a wound implies that it has not been healed and is still causing pain or limitation to its sufferer. But at times, the ability to empathize and to connect is the most freeing thing we can do. To realize we are not alone and that we can share ourselves and hopefully give some of the comfort we are feeling to another….

    In that however, yes, silence…. Silence is never absolute. It just affects whose voices we hear.


    1. When we are mindful of our connection to all, we reveal ourselves to us, not that we can even know another being’s experience, but if we recognize what is struck in us, we more fully understand, and, I think, offer more to all. The possibilities are endless and so very exciting!

      Always, my dear Eden, your words touch my heart.



  6. Silence, privacy, contemplation are all vanishing swiftly but yes, we can create our own silence. We must. Without it our sanity is in danger. We can choose whether or not we will join the frenzied and constant connectedness of being “social,” or limit our exposure.

    Perhaps I’m misinterpreting, but I don’t think I agree with the Sabrina Reber quote. It’s true we cannot resonate with every suffering in the world, but we can feel strong empathy for those individuals who are real and touchable in our lives. It does not show a failure of inner healing it is a mark of our humanity.

    The garden of self is not big enough for a loving gardener.


    1. To me the quote is not about failure but about what touches us and why it might–our empathy or our anger is revealed to us–in discovering that, we open our hearts. Frankly, you say it best: “the garden of self is not big enough for a loving gardener.”

      A most thoughtful response, Adrian, as always.



  7. Brilliant wisdom, once again! This blog feels as if it was written for me to reflect on my own situation, and as I know so well, in silence. I have a hard time practicing silence, because I’ve taken it on as my role in life to be “the fixer”. How can you fix if you don’t give advice? I have a really hard time not knowing what tomorrow has to offer, so I ask too often. I’ll practice silence on certain issues and see if I can get some results that I can live with. Thanks a million (((HUGS)))


    1. Have come to believe that silence is powerful, however we may use it, but especially when we use it for a thoughtful response. For me, I need to look within to find what is touching me in any situation, not that I even know that particular experience but rather somewhere between me and my soul, there’s a familiar chord. If I begin there, then I know how to keep my heart open for whoever needs it including me.

      Much love, my dear friend,


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