Make Room For The Stuttering

On Being Silent

Posted on: August 24, 2009

“Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry moving through and be silent.” (Rumi)

Rumi’s words speak volumes, of course. That’s why they have inspired so many. His words seem to find me at those exact moments when I am reveling in something that has impacted me.  When I read the simple, powerful words, I am freshly reminded of the little things in life that often make the biggest difference. Sometimes it is best not to say anything and just be silent.

Like when some one compliments me, I have been trying to not say anything and just let it seep in and enjoy the good feeling. Today at work, I was preparing a bio for a workshop that I will be doing in the Spring. I asked Barb to take a quick look at it. She started reading and said immediately, “Wow, this is incredible.” I was embarrassed and said something like, “How can you tell so quick?  You’ve only read one or two lines.” Barb replied, “that’s all I have to read.” I didn’t say anything else, even when she said it again, after she finished reading it. I just stayed silent and let it run through me.

Later in the day, Barb and Pat came over to my office and we were discussing the upcoming staff Orientation that will mark the beginning of another school year. Barb was anxious, because she has been asked to speak on a panel with the district superintendent about how our organization’s core values play out in every day work life. Barb hates public speaking, and has asked me if I can help her prepare for the panel. I started offering her encouragement and gave her some ideas as to how she might handle certain questions. Then all three of us were just chatting generally about end-of-summer school activities. After about 20 minutes, Barb casually commented, “you know, for the whole time we’ve been talking, you haven’t stuttered at all. Are you aware of that?” Then Pat asked, “yeah, why is that?”

Several thoughts ran through my mind in that quick instant. Like wow, how different this is from two years ago. Colleagues actually feel comfortable enough about my stuttering to comment and ask questions about it. I must be showing that I am comfortable with it. This felt WONDROUS to me. I spent years hiding and making excuses about my stuttering and never wanted to talk about it. And now not only is it OK with me, but it is OK with others around me. In my world.

So I responded by saying  “no, I hadn’t noticed. I guess I am so comfortable that I am not even thinking about.” Then Pat asked me again,”but how can that be, that you can stutter sometimes and then not at all?” I just smiled and said,”That’s just how it is.” And then I stayed silent for a long moment and let it run through me.

It ‘s amazing how I suddenly find myself really thinking about these little moments and how they have become a sort of commentary on my life.  I am comfortable with observing these moments and letting them in. I am not claiming them, just letting them run through me. And feeling the power. And sometimes remaining silent.

Are there moments in your life where you just let them in, wrap them around you and just feel them? How does it feel when you do this?

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5 Responses to "On Being Silent"

HI Pam

You are right by saying we should just be silent in the moment we hear a compliment. At times I think for myself it is so hard to understand why people say something so nice when we ourselves do not think the same. Letting it soak in and then saying, Ya I guess the person is right, is something we all need to do.

When I hear a manager at work says something good about my work it makes me feel really good. But I also think it’s not perfect and I don’t have to be perfect just because I stutter.

Gloria – thanks for the comment. We definitiely need to let the good things be absorbed.

Anupam – do I get it? I think I am digging down to my depths and remain wonderously in awe of all that is involved in searching the depths of the soul.

I have been getting real good reveiws about my work on my blog and I am remaining silent and let the compliments seep in.

It is a great feeling, it is empowering and it is encouraging.

Thanks for the great post and the reminder that we need to be silent sometimes and revel in compliments becasue it is not being vain or anything, we need them, we so need them in this unpredicatable road, called life.

Annetta, how wonderful that you have been getting good reviews on your blog. You are doing important work. And you should be proud of that.

Then there’s “You’re complimenting me because you think I could use a compliment.” I sometimes feel that way even when I know I’ve done really, awesomely well, when the audience has responded to every subtlety, and even heckled.

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