Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Stopping Your Constant Chatter: Time to Face the Silence
Fear of Silence, Fear of Being Alone
Constant talking is very rarely about having something worthwhile to say. It's usually a reaction, a fear, or a need. If someone never feels heard, they may often talk a lot in an effort to feel heard and to get some reflection back that feels validating. In my own life, some people who are more stoic suddenly turn into chatterboxes because they sense that someone can finally hear and validate them. This actually is healthy and will subside as the person feels nourished in connection. However, for people chronically talking in just about any situation, it's more likely that they're really afraid of something...most likely, themselves.
Avoiding Your Inner Critic
For many people, their inner critic is out of control. One way to feel like you're getting away from the inner critic is constantly talking. In these instances, you are always on the phone or with someone. You may even talk outloud to yourself. You are so afraid to listen to your own internal dialogue that you bury yourself in external dialogue. And it very likely is taxing to others. You may find yourself running out of people who will listen to you after awhile, and this may be very frustrating. You're thinking, "Why won't anyone listen to me?" But then again, you won't even listen to you, so why would you expect to create a relationship dynamic that doesn't reflect what's going on in you? So much of our external lives are reflections of what's going on inside, and that's why it's so important to pause, to stop, and to start to listen to what's happening inside.
Disconnection, Isolation, Loneliness
Constant talk can also be a way to avoid feeling alone. So many people feel isolated and cut off from others and from themselves. Talking a lot can make it feel like you're not alone. You can avoid the silence, the oppressive silence. Silence is a powerful thing if you aren't used to it. You can't hide from yourself. If you've been disconnected from yourself, the heaviness of your loneliness will press in on you. If you've been avoiding parts of your life, now they surface in your stream of consciousness right where you have to look at it. The good news is that because you've stopped talking and started listening, help can now come.
Meeting Yourself for the First Time
If you've spent most of your life constantly talking and engaged in discourse, silence is a revelation in and of itself. You will get to meet yourself, possibly for the first time in your life. Congratulations. Some people never do. This is a big deal. For you, you're going to start to become present to the dialogue and chatter that is going on in your head. You may be a little freaked out. I already talked about some tools to stop the mental chatter, and meditation and silence will be one of the most important. Practicing listening to yourself and others is also really important. It helps you cultivate the space of the witness and help you to get out of the inner as well as external banter. It helps you gain your perspective and build equanimity within you. This equanimity becomes a powerful tool in all the stressful and charged situations that arise in life, but you can't develop that until you engage with yourself and stop talking.
Clearing and Healing the Voice
The voice creates an energy field about it. It sets thoughts and intentions into the world--an important next step in manifesting realities in life. What have you been manifesting with your voice? Have you been manifesting kindness and happiness and abundance? Or have you been complaining and bemoaning that life isn't giving you what you want, the guy down the street is a dick, and you can't find any good dates? It's kinda shocking when you look at what's been coming out of your mouth. Heck, I feel like I'm zinging myself on some stuff that I do even as I write these questions. Crap. See, I'm right in it with you too.
And we all really are in this whole thing together. I don't have anything that you don't. I know that these blogs sound pretty transcendent or at least moderately conscious and kind, but I struggle with different things as I grow and embody this deeper awareness into me. I've learned a TON about the voice, and still there is more for me to hold in greater integrity. So if you feel like you've got a lot of work, you're not alone, and I'd love to hear any challenges that you face in the comments section if you feel moved to offer.
Next blog: Healing a Broken Heart