This I Believe

Sophia - Seattle, Washington
Entered on November 9, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in the power of silence. There are countless instances when I feel emotion boiling up inside me, when I want to scream and shout and kick and punch; I want to fight. I want to unleash all that I have, defy all commonsense, all reason, and let chaos loose.

Occasionally I do let go; let vehemence blast like lava. Sometimes the result is impressively ghastly; showing someone or something that I am angry. Sometimes, the result is me sobbing until exhaustion.

What can you do to make someone listen? How can I exhibit the hugeness and significance of ME? I want to make the world listen. I have found, through tears and fury, that often the most powerful of all communications is silence.

Through silence comes power. Through silence comes the ironic serenity of understanding conflict. How do you stump hate? How do you win against yourself, and the universe? You cannot. And simply knowing this, I believe, is enough to defy the murk that is hatred.

Recently I called my ex-boyfriend just to say “hi”. He ended the short-lived, dull conversation with “I don’t mean to be a bastard or anything, but I don’t really like you anymore, and my friends don’t like you either. So….bye.” I replied by saying absolutely nothing, and closing my flip-phone at the appropriate time.

A couple months of swing partnership, a month of dating, followed by over 3 years of friendship and attraction…Gone. I could feel my stomach rebelling against me; I wish I could puke, I always wish I could, but my body doesn’t let me. No, it’s worse. It won’t go up and away, it stays there. I feel the ache, the sickness. It feels as if there’s a 10 pound weight on my heart.

My head was swirling and bubbling with witty and striking responses to the statement now echoing in my head. I wanted to provoke silence out of him. I so badly needed the taste of speechlessness, of defeat, rolling all the way from his phone to mine. I wanted to spit at him: “Actually DAVID, in just this past week, I made out with 3 guys and was asked out by another. 3 of them your age, 1 even a year older! Call me a tramp, whatever you want, but “hated” is not the word. And did you think that I called to beg for forgiveness, or to profess my love to you? I DID NOT.” And then I realized…I would never get to him. I could never in words express how I feel, and just how much I feel it.

The dumb victory, the satisfaction of knowing that he’s in the wrong, doesn’t apply to him. That justification may never be apparent to him; and it doesn’t matter. It is for my own benefit that I am silent. Silence or not, I will not alter him. His mind is made up. If yelled and cursed at him, he wouldn’t listen because he would view me as violent and out of control, as I would view myself. I do not need nor desire to prove to him that I am deserving of love.

My lesson learned, in October, 2007, is that silence is true power. I believe in the mysticism of quiet. Not stuffing your feelings inside, or shouting out belligerently. I believe in letting the universe progress without my noise, my destruction; the silence of centering myself and my feelings enough to know that, sometimes, it’s best to save our limited energy; because life is too short for anything less than clarity.