Sunday, August 22, 2010

Silenced

Earlier this week I came across this post at Alece's blog.

"Our lives begin to end the day that we become silent about things that matter."  Martin Luther King

I left Alece's post open in a tab in my browser for several days, looking at it, praying, thinking, remembering.

I was thinking about one specific conversation.  About a moment of being silenced.  About feeling like I couldn't safely express myself, and about the growing impact of silence, the sense of becoming invisible and unable to be heard.

I find myself wondering, sometimes, if there is a statute of limitations on hard things.  Especially hard things that involve people you care about.  How do you talk about them?  Do you talk of them at all?  Are vague references best?

I have no desire to lash out, really, but I've felt silenced and struggled with that.

Earlier this summer I sat outside a coffee shop called "Higher Ground" with a new friend, and, having shared some of the journey of the last number of years with her, she asked if there was anyone I'd been able to talk to about what I'd shared.

Her question stuck with me, probably because I'd felt so silenced.

My life is changing right now.  A new beginning, I suppose, or at least I pray it is.

And I've thought all week about the quote from Martin Luther King - about how something fundamentally ended in my life when that silence began to be imposed.

I'm grieving those things that were lost, and thankful for new beginnings.

4 comments:

Allie, Dearest said...

I wonder about the statute of limitations as well. There are certain things I've previously remained neutral on because I didn't realize how that silence was affecting me. Now that I know, if I speak up, I have a feeling I would be seen as a betrayer and think that the person would feel that they couldn't trust me, since I now really am bothered by something that I didn't even realize before. And for some reason, the possibility of their anger really, really bothers/frightens me.

Lisa said...

Ah, yes... I've realized in new ways that I didn't know how the silence was affecting me either...

and while I'm not sure there would be anger anymore in my case, I think it's mostly because there is not really relationship anymore... and yet, I still wonder about speaking up, because others know and love those people, and really, even though the relationships seem dead, my heart still loves them and I wonder what would happen if they saw or heard my thoughts...

Alece said...

i wrestle with that too. i have some deep aches in my heart from a "friend"... but they are far enough in the past that i wonder if i should just deal with my own heart rather than attempt to talk through it. when do i need to just process through it on my own and forgive... and when do i actively need to seek reconciliation?? i don't know... it's gonna be different for each situation. and will likely depend a lot on the state of each relationship. which, i guess, makes me wonder if there are times we are suposed to start those hard conversations even when reconciliation is no longer desired. start them for other reasons that we may not even be aware of but may be a part of something else God is wanting to do (in my heart or theirs)... just thinking out loud here...

Lisa said...

mmm... yes... I'm glad you stopped here to think out loud Alece...

for me, some of those conversations were had, and they seemed to lead towards the end of the relationships, and I grieve that. And some of them were started because I felt God prompting, for reasons I don't understand, long after I thought the relationships over, or sometimes long after I wished God would just let me off the hook, so that life could move on, and away from the aching, hurting places...

I shared the MLK quote with a friend and some of my thoughts, and she reminded me that sometimes speaking truth is important even when it isn't received...

so, yes, I think sometimes we do start them even when reconciliation is no longer desired, for reasons we're not aware of. and I think those are some of the hardest ones to start, and have, because sometimes they're entirely one-sided, and there's that waiting, watching, "I risked exposing my hurting heart again" moment, and the wondering...