When we were in Italy it was amazing. We spent 3 weeks sinking into culture, pasta and nature. We were there during the freak snow storm in 2010 which shut down airports. We were stuck on the way to Pisa to see the Leaning Tower and arrived quite late, to be turned around in the freezing cold to wait several more hours to get back to our accommodation.
At the end of the trip I started to get snuffly. I’m guessing all that snow, travel, not to mention pollution was sending my poor asthma haywire and my nose to drip like a tap.
So we entered a little pharmacy inside Termini Station. Of course, the assistant didn’t bother to help us. She attended all the locals, chatting up a storm with her sing songy voice. I picked up the box to see what it was as it was written in Italian. It looked like a packet of Strepsils as it had the same imaging on it but I wasn’t sure. I was hoping that by picking it up that she would come over and offer assistance.
She came over alright…to reprimand me.
‘Puhleeese don’t touch the medicines’ she said sternly to me before walking back to her counter.
I burst into tears.
Scolded like a naughty child and frustrated that I couldn’t understand the language except for a few key phrases like ‘Parlo poco Italiano’ (I speak a little Italian) and ‘Dove Il Bagno’ (Where is the bathroom?)
I felt unseen.
I felt unheard.
The future Diana stewing on it wished she had have said something back.
But at the time I didn’t.
I felt silenced.
So often in my life I have felt the silence. Not just in how I respond but in my relationship with God.
When my ex went missing I felt so connected in with God, loved and held even but after a while it just felt dark and dank.
Like the walls were closing in on me and there wasn’t an escape plan.
And if I did sense his voice (notice I said sense, not heard), It felt like God was speaking Italian at me, reprimanding me even.
And here’s the thing.
The silence grew me.
I threw my temper tantrums sure.
I did some pretty dumb things (like getting drunk on New Year’s Eve eons ago because I was sad and ‘punishing God’ and then throwing my mum’s expensive Karaoke machine up in the air declaring ‘screw you mum’ before watching it smash into a million pieces, alternating between laughing and then crying).
Despite all the stupid crap I pulled, and in my pain, I pulled through it.
And God was there right in the midst.
When I wanted to get back into church I prayed for direction where to go and a lovely couple came into the restaurant I was working at and they were praying. I ended up chatting with them and attended their church (which obviously become my church), for a good 8 years.
Flashback to last week and I felt silenced again.
I had sent off an email in an excited state but the response actually made me cry.
Not in a good one. An ugly cry.
I knew I had been triggered.
No one can make you feel anything that isn’t already existing within you.
I searched the triggers and found that it was my ‘I’m in trouble’ trigger.
I sent back a response to address the silence.
No more was I going to just sit back and accept it.
I send a respected response using my fighting fair words (they’re your ‘I feel’ words).
And I felt better for having had my voice heard.
It’s all sorted now, a misunderstanding and no malice intentions were even there (which I did suspect anyways).
Where do you need to trust yourself EVEN in the silence?
Where do you need to trust God EVEN in the silence?I mean even Mother Teresa confided to a spiritual confidant that “Jesus has a very special love for you. As for me, the silence and emptiness is so great that I look and do not see, listen and do not hear. The tongue moves [in prayer] but does not speak.” Wow hey. Even someone who appeared to be so connected to God (and was by the way), felt the silence of God.
Start by having your own voice heard.
Start speaking out and using those fighting fair words.
Have compassion for yourself. You can even dialogue to yourself and say ‘I’m sorry you felt….’ and say exactly what you are feeling no matter how crazy it seems.
Stop looking for external validation and start trusting your own gut!
And you can do this by just asking yourself this one question: ‘What is the one thing you need to do to strengthen your relationship with yourself?’
Perhaps you need to ask that daily.
And even in the silence do that one thing until you start to feel stronger. Until you feel your weakness be made strong in God’s strength.
You’ve got this!
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