I honestly can’t remember where I found this pic of these words, nor do I know who wrote (or said) them.
But I can remember that it stopped me in my tracks.
I feel the power in these words in my gut.
I am either hyperverbal or silent as the grave.
There isn’t much in between.
When I’m hyperverbal it’s because I’m feeling unsettled and desperate to make sure I’m heard. This comes from a lifetime of being dismissed. When I’m hyperverbal, I’m trying to engage (another) in discussion. It can become more like beating a dead horse than actual conversation. I realize that’s because I feel like I’m not getting anywhere. I feel like the conversation goes round and round in circles and never comes to a conclusion. I also realize that my hyperverbality is a major contributor to the circular conversation situation.
But sometimes being hyperverbal can help me sort my thoughts. Especially when I’m unsettled and desperate to make sure I hear myself. I’m notorious for talking aloud when I’m all alone. This is the Roby version of helpful/positive hyperverbality.
When I’m quiet it’s because I’m actively choosing to disconnect from others, but mostly to disconnect from my own words. When I’m quiet it’s because to verbalize feels overwhelming. This also comes from a lifetime of being dismissed. When I’m silent as the grave it can be a good thing, a bit of a reset for my brain, for my central nervous system. For the ears of the people I’m near.
So when I read these words I understand their power down deep in me.
Because, sure, I’m both sides of the same weird (verbal/silent) coin. But also because I spend a great deal of time itching to spit out my words.
You know why. (I mean, if you didn’t already know, I did just tell you…)
But what if I didn’t feel the need to barf up my words as quickly as Robynly possible?
What might that be like?
It might be as simple as a pause.
Pausing to breathe.
Pausing to listen.
Pausing to absorb.
Let us avoid hurrying to verbalize.
I wonder how many of us need to heed these words?
More than will admit it, I suspect.
Consider the power of that pause.