Speak, if necessary; if the words will edify you, if it is necessary for the one you wish to speak to. Otherwise, don’t speak. Remain in silence, undisturbed, and be at peace.
“Keep the lid closed.” That’s how I have been feeling this Lent. Sometimes I feel an initial urge to say something or contact someone, but this urge is followed by a deeper tug – silent but compelling – to not speak; to guard the container of my heart and not let words escape me needlessly.
When I was new to silence, I noticed only the disturbance of my soul when external noise entered me. I have become very sensitive to the effect that people, conversations, or anything I read or watch or experience have on me. But it was only recently that I began to notice that there is greater pain and agitation when interior noise disturbs me. And a big part of interior noise is communicating unnecessarily.
Sometimes, a thought or sentiment is half-formed, or some idea is just beginning to sprout. Instead of communicating it, far better to protect it in silence, cloak it in solitude and allow it to grow unmolested. Only when it is fully formed, and I am certain it is meant to be spoken, should words give shape to what has been pondered upon in my heart.
More often than I care to admit, I still act against that compelling pull to remain silent. Against my inner knowing, I send a message, or give voice to my thoughts. Never once have I been happier afterwards. But when I keep my peace, a deep quiet settles into my heart. There it warms me and gives me a secret, silent joy that no one knows of but which, hopefully, they can sense in my presence.
Yes, let the fire build. Let it grow from a single vulnerable flame to a roaring blaze in the fireplace of my soul so that it may give off light and warmth to all who come by.