We live in a community of words. They are used to teach and persuade, console and cajole. Their power is without question. Within mindfulness words matter — not the words others say, but my own words and my responses to the words of others. And so I think today about the power of words to affect our interactions with each other.
Last week, I found out I was going to be moving, a move I look at with anticipation not dread. To have other teachers at school ask me about it gave a feeling of connection. Tonight, sharing in a discussion about community on here, connected me once again. A well worded quote or a thoughtful image can gather people together in common response. And yet, writing this post about words is one of the hardest I have written.
I have to stop and ask myself why and then I stop again and remember, that the why may not matter. What matters is that there is this resistance. It is guiding and teaching me. There is a reason my fingers stop at the end of each sentence. Their silence is guiding me but I need to listen to see where they are wanting to go. I stop, look back and ponder. Words, not those spoken but those heard — quotes, the voices of others, but also my own.
Usually so quick to speak, my fingers keep pausing to hear the resonance of the strings played by the world where I live in harmony and discord with what is played by my own longings. My fingers only speak to get this done, thoughtful about the moments and shared words within the day. Thoughtful of all the stories in my head from others who have shared. “Vulnerability invites vulnerability” I wrote to someone but sometimes there is the risk of other responses in the living of that powerful and yet frightening word.
I don’t even have the sentences or phrases in my head to articulate the thoughts awakening in me. And so I stop short today. Letting these words stand on this day of mindfulness. Taking time to be silent.
My mindful gift for today is Listening.