Friday, October 25, 2019

The Anguish of Silence

Your Soul Cafe: Conversations that Open Hearts and Inspire Action
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” 
~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Many values and words from Dr. King, Jr. echo in recent tributes honoring the passing of Congressman Elijah Cummings on October 17--a giant of all that's positive about America. King made me recall the quote above and how powerful his four words "silence of our friends" stamped my heart after first reading them.

It is the "silence" that wraps us like a wet, wool blanket on a muggy, 87 Florida day--and regardless of the weather, we remember the silence with costly emotional pricetags--Heartaches. Soul suffering. Tossing-and-turning nights. 
I wonder if Cummings knew this "silence" in his 68 years.

"A true friend's silence hurts more than enemies' rough words."

Prepared, we understand when enemies or haters express in unkind and unmindful ways. We look at their actions and gain emotional equilibrium from recognizing their human patterns. Then, recalling their divinity, we can put on our spiritual Teflon shields, activate positive affirmations and denials, and even pray for them. We seek to rethink the labels above and, despite all this, they often continue on their paths. 

Finally, in acts of surrender and acceptance, we embrace the philosophy of, "It's their upset, anger or whatever, and at the core, it's about them, not me," and move on.

I wonder if Cummings cared about his detractors and how he came to his inner peace.

The anguish of a friend's silence can be "ghosting" leaving you feeling invisible or less than.

Friends are another universe of emotions. 
Unprepared, we are often shocked by their silence, even deafening silence. Some might call this "ghosting" when communication outreaches are completely ignored. We feel invisible. Less than. We are painfully left in the dark.

We don't understand. We trust, hope, and expect something different. We expect "more" from friends. This expectation is the root of the heartache, soul suffering, and tossing-and-turning nights. 
In tough times with bumps or even crashes on life's road, we thought friends would care. Reach out. Ask a question. Call. Talk it out. Support. 
Find out the other side of the story--there is always one!

I wonder if Cummings heard deafening silence from friends.

Loyalty. Commitment. Perseverance. Forgiveness. 
These are sacred qualities in the Art of Friendship.
If you put on the mantle of "friend," be prepared to express these qualities. 
Step into and through your fear to speak your truth. Be kind. Share compassion.
Remember what you saw in this person that first attracted you. 
Put your silence in a box on the bookshelf. It doesn't serve.

Your voice matters--especially to the person who calls you and believes you to be a friend. 
Silence is anything but golden.

I wonder if Cummings is reading this blog.


  1. We do expect so much more from friends. But, in friendship we must be aware that a person cannot give more than they are capable of giving. I have removed the expectation out of friendship and look more to answer: what kind of friend am I?

  2. As always, you offer innspiring insight and wisdom, Karen.


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