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The Power of A Silent Response

I believe I may have discovered the power of silence.  The art of keeping quiet is not something I'd say I have mastered...not at all!  In fact, I often believe that I say too much.  Our family has long been outspoken regarding mental illness.  We have spoken when the message was unpopular, but we kept speaking.  Often times, we spoke a message that fell on deaf ears.  So, what is the power of speaking if those you wish to educate are not listening?  Well, it means that something you may have said has the potential to stick and stay with them.  Words have a power all their own, when you voice is long gone, words can echo in the heart, soul and mind forever. 

But sometimes speaking drowns out the power of your own voice.  I know it sounds like a paradox, but I really believe it is in part a true statement.  In a world that is full of in-your-face messages and advertising, we are accustomed to messages.  How often do they really make a difference.  I can't answer that.  I know from my own work as a jewelry exhibitor, that people most often don't read signage.  I'm amazed that the message can be right in front of their faces and they don't read it, don't hear it and they don't get it. 

This leads me to my point.  In this often busy and over stimulated world, is there a place for the silent but quiet message?  I believe there is.  For me, it's time to be quiet and let what I have often said be the continued message.  Some have heard yet refused to hear.  I can't help them.  I can only help those who have an open heart and mind. 

Mental health advocacy is the hardest thing I have ever attempted.  It is often unrewarding and thankless.  Yet, I don't do it for the audience only.  I do it for myself, my husband and my children.  They need my voice.  So here I am at an interesting time in my life.  I have sifted through the rubble and aftermath of life.  What is left is pure gold!  The refiners fire has done his work in us and he will continue to.  We have learned that letting go is better than fighting.  Let the process work for us and through us.  Let the pain, difficult challenges and obstacles serve as ground to make us strong caverns through which his spirit flows.  His voice is calm and sweet and so it seems the message from my lips should be the same. 

I still believe all the things I have said before.  Yet somehow it seems that a quiet message might say more.  I may be far out in space somewhere.  I have often heard, "if you love something or someone, let them go...if it or they comes back to you, then it was meant to me."  It has been a small trickle.  One by one some have left but one by one some have returned.  Of those who return, they will have to willing to have the soft now quiet conversation that involves mental illness.  At some point, it will be threaded into conversations of life.  And how can it not? 

Thriving with mental illness is and has been arduous.  At times we felt it would overwhelm and conquer us, but we pushed through.  What a wonderful experience it is, to arrive at a place of peace and calm.  To know you have done the work and to know that you have spoken the message.  If it has been heard, then we can rest knowing we did our part.  If it has not, then perhaps it will at another time. 

I cannot fix what is broken in anyone else.  Many don't want to hear.  Many are uncomfortable with conversations about mental illness.  I can't change that.  I think that is why our jewelry is so special.  The message of mental illness comes through even without us saying anything.  It is a silence, quiet but powerful message of hope.  Our voice is heard even when we are not saying anything!  That is the power of silence! 


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