Probably the biggest thing that has brought me peace in family relationships, is to not give my opinion unless it is asked for (or if I feel that what I have to add is needed)….and I’m not talking about the needing to speak that comes from the urge to put in my two cents or just to be a part of the conversation, but the need that is from that deep place that knows when to speak.
It’s amazing how many times my opinion isn’t being asked for, and isn’t needed or wanted, and how peaceful it is to just be OK with what is happening around me. Its been a big week for that, and a wonderful week, at that.
I’ve been with a lot of family members, and have at times felt an almost urgent need to be a part of things by talking. It’s what I did for years. I used to have to be in the middle of everything; every decision and discussion, and those conversations, and the new ones that were constantly springing up in my mind, stayed with me day and night. My mind never shut up, never turned off, it just kept chattering away, whether with people or not, and it always wanted to be heard and expressed. I always had to say something, and this way of living left me physically and mentally exhausted.
During this past week, when I’ve been with family and felt that old urge to “be heard” come up, I’ve asked myself the question, “Is what you have to say really necessary?” and the answer has usually been “No”. I’m not talking about a stony or pouting silence either. That is really not silence, it is loud emotional energy, many times more so than speaking. Debra Saum talked about this in one of her blogs regarding animal communication, and made the point that sometimes people are very noisy (and animals are aware of this) even when they aren’t saying a word. We’ve all been with people like this, and maybe have been people like this; either too afraid to speak (but actively engaged in constant, unhappy mental dialogues) or refusing to speak, causing everyone around them/us to feel uneasy.
Being mindful of my speech (and thoughts) has made me more present when I am there with family members, and when I am not there, I don’t carry them with me, so I am more fully present at home with Jack and the animals, and in my work.
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.” Plato