“As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.”
Silence when it is because you didn’t say something is a … well … a haunting silence.
It haunts because inevitably we must account for our idleness when it happens.
It is the repercussion of the version of ‘things you don’t say.’
That means this is not about things you purposefully ‘don’t say’ … because that is about selective silence … this is more about regrets and missed moments and shit like that.
This type of silence is more a ‘regret silence’ and is about accountability in our own minds. Accounting of the repercussions of choice, and choices, we make with regard to ‘idle silence.’
In my voice
there is at least a sign
of living geometry
the words of life
I have never understood
difference that runs
between death and the illusion
of the heart’s beating.
Despite the fact I think the words you stop yourself from saying are the ones that will haunt you the longest <and I am fairly sure most people know this> we still struggle with warring impulses to speak up and shut up.
I am a no regrets guy. I kind of feel like it’s a waste of energy looking backwards and regretting shit.
Most of the time I would argue the things you think you regret probably did more to make you the person you are today than anything you didn’t regret.
Idle silence can be fixed in some cases. Yup. If you spend a little time thinking about some of the things you didn’t say … recognize them and well … figure out if you can do something about it..
By the way.
This is not navel gazing <of which I am not a huge fan of> but rather an examination of your actions, or inactions, in assessing and improving.
And maybe in the examination you will find yourself seeking an opportunity to say one of these things:
“I’m sorry I didn’t …”
We’ve all have made some bad idle silent mistakes. And apologies, when used well and sparsely, can have real meaning.
Not cheap meaning but valuable meaning.
So say you’re sorry.
And don’t attach a “but” excuse to the apology. Eliminate ‘but I was really upset …’ or ‘but I thought …’ or any ‘but statement’ that diminishes the apology, absolves you of the mistake or shifts even the tiniest amount of blame back on the other person.
Say you’re sorry, say why you’re sorry, and take all the blame.
No less … no more.
“I’m sorry I let you down.”
By the way.
This is not “I’m sorry.”
This is sorry attached to something.
Attached to something because sometimes people take a chance on you … and for some reason … you don’t step up and get it done.
This means someone else stuck their neck out and you didn’t care enough or were not good enough or … well … just not enough.
Most times in these situations we make excuses … or simply ignore the fact someone took a chance on us and we put our head down and get on getting on.
We rarely take the time … or maybe don’t have the guts to stop and say … “I know you went out on a limb for me and I’m really sorry I let you down. I will do my best to never let it happen again.”
I know you can’t go back in time.
And maybe if you are lucky you can still say it even though it is better late than never.
My real point is to ‘never let it happen again.’
If you don’t step up when someone puts you in a position to step up … own it. No excuses … no caveats … own it.
It ain’t easy.
But this is a good hard. The kind of hard that makes you a better person.
I am chuckling as I wrote this because there will be a shitload of people who will not ‘get’ what I am writing about.
I say that because there are a lot of talkers in the world. They talk and talk and … well … talk. They bludgeon you with words.
And some of them may look back and actually find some idle silence to be accountable for but then they will use gobs of words to try and be accountable for the idle time.
“Half the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t, and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.”
We all have some ‘idle silence’ to be accountable for.
We will never always get it right. That is Life.
But we can always be accountable for our choices. And we should be accountable for the things we didn’t say … the idle silence.