Why is it so hard to start afresh after an argument? Perhaps the problem is how badly we want to break it.
The faded friendships. The loaded silence after an argument, when you are both too stubborn to talk again – the silence of closing off, of excluding, silence as a punishment. The silence of pouting. Of not solving anything, because it feels nice top out. Silence as a means of power.
Nothing is more difficult than breaking a silence when you think (or know) someone is angry with you. Nothing is more difficult than breaking the silence when you have withdrawn into your own righteousness. There you are, on both sides of the wall. Nothing changes.
The silence before the big bang.
And how was it broken?
With a vibration. At some point, you have to cause a vibration. That’s how every new story starts. In the beginning, there was the Word. In the beginning of creation, there was a sound. Ohm. Somewhere, with one of the two silent ones, a vibration starts. A thought, and another thought. The fixed muscles in your face have to soften before you move your lips. After that, you can break the silence.
Not with big, heavy words, but with small, light ones.
Perhaps we can use the American environmental activist John Francis as an example. He was silent for seventeen years (!). Not because he was angry, but because he felt that not talking was so informative. When he came back, he greeted friends and family with a simple ‘Thank you for being there’.
Thank you for being there. It’s accepting the other, just the way they are. No matter their anger, the grudge, the silence. Accepting yourself, the way you are, no matter your anger, your grudge, your stubborn silence. Just a little thought, a vibration, is how it starts. Not much later, it’s time to break the silence. ‘Coffee?’
Photo: Sam Manns