People think that silence is weakness. Growing up I’ve been teased and told and ignored because of my silence, and I come to believe their perception of it. I’ve beaten myself with self-hatred because of it. But as I grow and mature, as I read and learn about introversion, I got to see and accept myself in different perspective. But my experience with silence doesn’t end there.
For the past few months I’ve experienced silence in a different level. Imagine doing nothing significant, no work, no challenge, no new or only few people to talk to – all after eventful months – just at home with your chores and thoughts. That’s the kind of silence you don’t want to hang out with.
I remember one time when a friend once said from years back that I should not allow empty spaces and that I should make use of my time or else the devil will consume my mind. I didn’t understand it back then; of course I wouldn’t allow the devil to dominate my mind, I told myself. It was only this time that I have proven by experience what she meant. In the months of mostly nothing grand happened, I have faced my life in silence. Not the typical silence of an introvert, but the silence that includes lesser activity engagements, emptiness, and empty spaces.
In this silence I’m alone with my thoughts, and from there I have clearly seen and heard the contents of my heart, mind, and soul. I heard fear, doubts, shame, and saw laziness and mediocrity. I discovered some ugly parts of me – the sins, my flaws, weaknesses, and the things I try to keep buried and not admit unconsciously. The pain and insecurities that I thought I’m done with until it resurfaced again.
The dark sides of me.
I saw how vulnerable and weak I am – the deeper surface that other people and even I cannot see – and how much I am afraid to see it all unravel. I saw how messy my thoughts are, unorganized my life is, and how unsure my plans and poor my decisions are. I feel like failure. I realized how lost I really am. I cried for everything that I cannot handle at once. I cry for myself. I want to go somewhere where no one can hear me and scream the pain off. The devil sure did a good job in shoving these in my face.
I didn’t know what to do. Where should I start? What should I focus on? Will I be able to bounce back? Do I really have a purpose? I don’t feel like I’m in the right track. Why should I do this when I want to do another thing? I’m faced with confusion, rejection, pressure, frustration, and depression, but that’s another story.
But in the same silence I also saw and realized what I really want. In the same silence I have seen and appreciated my strengths, embraced my weaknesses, and let God fill my shortcomings. In this silence I know couldn’t and wouldn’t boast outside of it and think I’m better than other people because I realized that not only me, but every person is vulnerable and has their own weaknesses and hardships they go through. I saw that truly there’s nothing to boast about after seeing those ugly parts of me. In this very silence I come to see the real me and the real life…and started to learn to accept its imperfection and gray areas, but strive to enjoy and do my best in living while allowing myself to change, grow, mature, and be transformed.
That in this silence the devil tried to tear me apart but by grace I have seen instead God shining His light into the deep portion of my heart – of myself – for me to see the formerly unseen chaos, dirt, damages, weak points, and holes. I saw the root cause of my pain, insecurities, and fear of rejection. I come to know which areas to work on, improve, and pray for. I have known which one to focus on, develop more, and which ones I must move on from. To know which is right and wrong even though I know my steps would be shaky.
I have seen another shade of myself. The true me. Although I haven’t seen everything (I believe I will discover more), but I saw me. The mess, uncertainties, and dirt in some parts, but I know where I am now and I know which needed to be done to become the best version of me. I have a lifetime to change.
It’s harder to judge or condemn other people for how they act or respond to things. But I hope as I discover this truth about myself, they too, will discover theirs, because only those who are aware of their own dirt are those who would have the will to change.
I am Not Alone
I may have done a mistake in my previous decisions that lead me to this kind of silence, but that dark season when I was alone with my thoughts has contributed something good in me as well. A wonderful reminder that truly God make all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).
To find this truth about me long after I have accepted Jesus in my life shows that not one person (even Christians) is immune to pain, mistakes, darkness – especially the darkness that comes out from their inner selves – and the frustration of not knowing how to change and move on. But God understands our weakness and humanity through Jesus who had gone through the same temptations (Hebrews 4:15). He gives us grace made perfect for our weaknesses (2 Corinthians 12:9). The Lord is understanding, loving, and faithful. The grace of God is there to help me to receive peace and healing, to find light at the end of the tunnel, and to have the chance to be transformed to become the best version of myself, without Him judging on my shortcomings; only loving me unconditionally.