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I Went a Day Without Talking and This Is What I Learned

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Verbal communication is by far my most expressed way of communicating. I have always been very vocal. If it's something I want, need, a question or thought, I had no issues with speaking up. However, I had a day where I couldn't speak and the lesson I learned from it was monumental.

I caught a really nasty sore throat that inhibited me from drinking, eating, and yes...talking. I couldn't even whisper. I was in so much pain that it didn't make sense to do the very thing that was making it worse. Having a one year old and my husband definitely made this challenging, but if I was going to feel any better it was a necessary step to take.

Obviously if I couldn't verbally say what I needed, I had to find other ways to communicate what was on my mind. But that's where the lesson comes in to play.

I woke up that morning and whispered to my husband that there was no way I could go to work that day. He asked what I needed and I couldn't respond. I placed my hand over my throat to sign that I'm not going to say another word. Not going to lie. It was a challenge. My husband would ask me a question and I'd be pointing and jumping up and down trying to emphasize what I really wanted to say. If others were to see me they would think we were playing a game of charades.

My husband would stand in front me guessing each gesture. "You want water? No. You're hungry?" I found myself frustrated by not being to able articulate what was so easy to just come out and say. I had moments where I'd endure the pain and just say it. Then, I would be upset that I made my throat worse. Eventually I got lazy with trying to find a way to say what I wanted and I just stopped trying.

So what did I gain from going a full day without speaking?

I had to really think about what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. I had to ask myself is this even important for you to take the time to master a way of communicating this. Is this even something that needs to be said?

Not speaking gave me the entire day to just observe. To do nothing. I then realized that I talk a lot. I can laugh at this now, but in that very moment I learned that I'm that chick. There were so many things I wanted to say. So many things I wanted to interrupt. I had an opinion on just about everything. There were things I felt were so urgent that I wanted to say right then and there. But my sore throat stopped me from all of that.

I learned to take a moment and think about what I wanted to say. I learned to take a moment and see how things will pan out without my assistance. I learned to take a moment and step down. I learned that some things aren't as important as it may initially seem.

I learned to take a step back and trust in my husband more. I learned to just adore my husband in that moment without feeling this urge to interject. Seriously. Each time I thought of something I wanted to say I just wanted to tell myself to shush.

Going a full day without speaking was definitely eye opening and forced me to take a moment to slow down and take a look into myself. I am more appreciative and understanding of the power of the tongue and going forward will do my best to work on it.

6 comments on "I Went a Day Without Talking and This Is What I Learned"
  1. Silence is so powerful. In my high school we hosted an annual day of silence for LGBT youth and I remember it was a powerful formative experience for me.

  2. This is a lesson that I am currently trying to learn and hope to do so soon. Thanks for the help and encouragement that it can be done! Great article can't wait to see more

  3. I know the feeling. I also once had a sore throat infection that made me lose my voice. I know how frustrating that can be but at least I was alone but couldn't answer phone calls though, which was equally frustrating. I can only imagine how hard it must have been for you with a hubby and a baby... Thanks for sharing this great post!

  4. Love that you did this! We need to learn to speak with purpose... I remember going on a retreat where we could not speak for two days ... we were just focused on meditating and connecting with God. It was a very emotional experience. I realized the importance of speaking with purpose on only saying things that are positive, that help people that inspire change. I love what you said here "Not speaking gave me the entire day to just observe. To do nothing." So true.

    -Angela Maria

  5. This is such a beautiful practice. Thanks so much for sharing it! Doing something that we can do, but not necessarily awls do (like practicing silence) helps us to experience a new pattern. I often attend silent retreats for this reason. When we cease talking for a little bit, we hear so much more. Blessings and gratitude. <3 Evelyn,