Throughout my life, I have noticed an amazing power and freedom that many seem to overlook. It is the ability to talk to someone, or something freely and openly.
With the rise of technology, the very thing that was supposed to bring people together and make the world a smaller place, has made the world seem more empty. People no longer know the neighbours like they used to or go out regularly to catch up over a coffee. Catch ups are over snap chat and Facebook messages and the ability to speak seems to be fading.
It is an incredibly special thing to feel that you have someone in your life that you can talk about whatever random, incoherent thoughts cross your mind. Someone you can tell you deepest darkest secrets to and know that they won’t tell another soul. For some people, they talk to their spouse, their pet or closest friend. I think that everyone should have the ability to be able to open up and physically speak (or write) their thoughts. It is a truly cathartic experience.
When I was a girl, the person I would generally confide in, apart from my journal, my dog and my teddy bear as my Grandad. I would tell him my fears for the future and that I couldn’t sleep and didn’t know what to do. They I was scared, lonely, had read a good book, absolutely anything and everything I wanted to get off my chest. This wonderful man was rather ill through a good part of my childhood and continued to have regular strokes and TIA’s and for long periods of time would lose the ability to speak to me in return. At times, he would make different sounds so that I could assume he had heard what I had been saying and he never lost the ability to wink with one eye. It seemed to me, to be like a little code that few of us knew (I know my brother was also in the wink club) and after I had poured out my heart, he would sit there for a few moments and then turn to me as best he could and wink. Everything I needed was caught up in that little movement. It seemed to be telling me, chin up kid you will get through it. Or, I am proud of you or the best he could do when I shared an amusing story.
Last year I saw a psychologist for a while and it was good to be able to unload everything off my chest and have my feelings validated in a way. It was nice to hear someone basically say, Yes, you have every right to feel like shit after that experience. And, no, you are not to blame for that. It was a highly emotional time that left me feeling incredibly raw and exposed and yet I never felt judged for the things I disclosed. I think it can be good for everyone to get a chance to offload some weight onto someone who is essentially a stranger with no preconceived ideas of the people we are. It felt good to be able to transfer some of that negativity to another person (I hope that it wasn’t retained) and be able to walk out the door having faced demons that I had attempted to ignore, somewhat unsuccessfully for years.
Friends and family can be a wonderful place to turn for a simple chat. Much can be said with words and silence can speak just as loudly. Finding someone who you feel comfortable to talk with, be silly with and be silent with is a truly special gift and these people should never be taken for granted. It can be scary when you find these people and you hear yourself telling them incredibly personal, things and your mouth just won’t stop moving of it’s own accord. For naturally quiet people especially, it can seem as if you have completely lost your mind and you may find yourself second guessing your initial thoughts and praying that the person will not judge you harshly or just laugh in your face.
It can be so peaceful and freeing to lounge around talking to the right person and for that moment, feel that nothing else exists. To swap experiences and anecdotes, or trade jokes and have a collective laugh is good for the soul.
If you can only achieve on thing in life, let it be the ability to speak. Whether it is to a friend, spouse, pet rock, dog, tree, medical professional or hairdresser. Find someone or something that you are able to connect with and let yourself go. Free yourself of your hang ups, let your voice and opinions be heard. Whether you talk to someone in person, over the phone or via email. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is the connection and the time that is being taken to honour that connection.
If you can achieve two things in life, I hope the second is the ability to really listen.