Silence Can Break The Heart

Is there anybody you’re not talking to? Is there anybody you hung up on or who hung up on you recently? Is there anyone you’re alienated from? Is there silence in your life that you wish wasn’t there?

Phyllis McGinley captures it best in this Ballade,
“Sticks and stones are hard on bones
Aimed with angry art,

Words can sting like anything

But silence breaks the heart.”
Silence breaks the heart.

With the holidays approaching, is this the right moment for a card or a visit? Would a phone call help? Maybe yes, maybe no. Only you can decide if this is the year to reconcile with that person. Only you know if enough time has gone by. But it’s certainly a valid question, isn’t it?

My client, Theresa, after having been unemployed for a year, was recently presented with an offer to start at a new firm. We just started a coaching program last week and the first matter which surfaced was the resentment she felt for her old boss. (Whenever you have something unresolved from the past, almost guraranteed it will carry forward unless you can properly adddress it.) After speaking through the issues, I encouraged Theresa to try and forgive him. She hesitated at first and after thinking about it, realized that it was possible to clear the air. She decided to call her prior employer, and without judging, talk briefly about what bothered her regarding how they had left things. The next day Theresa called me to say that she felt a newfound energy as she was liberated from the past and her negative story. She said she felt “lighter.” Now she was ready to get moving on her dreams and current goals. The key to her freedom was forgiveness. And picking up the phone. Bearing a grudge, being angry or resentful, is a huge drain. If you want to relieve a tremendous weight and feel ten pounds lighter, try calling somebody you hurt or wronged in some way and apologize. Yes, do this even if it wasn’t your fault. It takes a great willingness to give up being right. The point isn’t who is right or who is wrong, but that it is affecting you and your ability to attract what you want in your life. Past grudges weigh you down and slow you up. If it is too difficult to get on the phone, write a letter. Not forgiving someone doesn’t hurt anybody but you. They probably don’t even remember what it was that you were so upset about in the first place. Start making amends today and reach out. Now you may be thinking, “I’ve tried to reach out in the past, and it didn’t seem to work.” When is enough enough? When I feel tapped out, I think of the quote from Mother Teresa, “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” So keep trying. As hard as it feels, give it a bit more time and see what happens in return. Despite how heavy the hurt or the guilt may be, it is never impossible to take that first step.

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