How to Sit Still.

I’m sitting in front of the computer, surfing the web, checking the wedding section of the New York Times. I’m shooting out emails, and double checking my calendar for the upcoming week.

To be precise, I’m using my boyfriend Alan’s computer and sitting in Alan’s office chair.  My calendar and journal are splayed out on Alan’s desk, and I’m surrounded by Alan’s books.

Alan, conveniently, is sitting at the kitchen table, grading papers and writing with a pen and paper. He’s old-fashioned like that.

We are sitting in silence.

Our silence is still, sweet, and productive. Yet at a different time, with a different person, this type of scenario might have felt a lot less so.

Have you ever been in a room with someone, siting politely, wordless, and all the while climbing the walls? The silence isn’t silent at all, but a loud and stressful roar. On the outside you’re calm. On the inside you’re anything but.

I recently had this type of experience. I was in a car, in silence, in the passenger seat, in a rainstorm.  The driver was my mom and her knuckles were whiter than fresh snow. She declared “no talking”, as she needed complete silence to concentrate on the road. That was a very loud silence, indeed.

Alternately, it is possible for two people to sit in silence, and in comfort. Each person holds a space for the other to be themselves. Each person takes care of themselves. No one is being coddled, nor stifled. No one is looking for approval or guidance. No one feels put-upon. Both are simply existing as their best individual selves while in the presence of someone else who knows that their best is absolutely extraordinary.

I choose the second option, thank you very much. I appreciate the time Alan and I are together, still and silent. And in a few short moments I’ll get up, close the browser on his computer, and walk across the apartment to give my boyfriend a kiss.

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2 Comments

Filed under Inside Your Family, Inside Your Friendships, Inside Your Love Life

2 responses to “How to Sit Still.

  1. Daniella – Great post. It’s funny because most of us struggle with that silence at times. In the end, that’s often the greatest way to connect and feel close to someone. I spent 10 years in outside sales before starting my own company and I learned to ask questions and then shut up and listen. That uncomfortable silence can sometimes be so loud and its hard to fight the urge to talk, but it’s often when real breakthroughs and understanding happens, if you can get them to respond before talking. So, it’s not just personal relationships, but it’s such a great reminder for professional as well. Thanks for your inspiration!

    • Thanks Paul! That’s amazing advice, and a good thing to remember. Getting to the silence is tough. But over and over again, I learn that that’s where the real wisdom lies. In ALL aspects of life!

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