Saturday, October 25, 2014

When Speaking Life Requires Silence

I met Kimberly Ann Coyle though an online (in) courage discussion group for writers.  She and a host of other writers are in the long haul of blogging for 31 days straight through the month of October.  Every blogger chooses a topic of focus and digs in.  This year, Kimberly is writing on the topic of Speaking Life. 

I've grown to appreciate Kimberly's writing for its honesty and humor.  Although painfully honest writing is en vogue right now, Kimberly's writing draws me because her honesty is not merely for the thrill of self-revelation; within, beneath and behind her honesty I get the sense of a heart that is drawn toward and always seeking the more.  This is what keeps me coming back to her posts.  I was grateful when Kimberly asked me to help fill some space in her 31 day journey by writing about the practice of Speaking Life from the perspective of Spiritual Direction.  You can start reading the post here and then pop over to Kimberly's blog to read the rest.  To learn more about the ministry of spiritual companioning, click on the Spiritual Direction tab at the top of this page. 
 
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After a few simple pleasantries, the offering of a cup of hot tea or cool water, we begin, almost always, with silence. Sitting in chairs not quite facing each other, we sit quietly waiting, shedding the many moments, worries and demands of the day until a space opens within and around us and we are together at home in ourselves, in the moment, in God.

Then the sharing begins and I listen and work hard to continue to hold open the space between words, between questions and answers, to hold open the silence that surrounds. This is quiet work, gentle and slow, drawing out the many questions that lead, most often, to a deeper place of longing and need. When, at last, that place is reached and the question of one’s heart’s desire rises, I have a choice – what now?

Too often the temptation arises in me to play the expert, advice-giver, wise counsel, or to speak conspiratorially of my own similar experiences, in order to draw an allegiance between the directee and myself. Often there’s pressure (spoken or unspoken) to do just that – the directee arrives in need, wanting answers and too often I’m tempted to give them.

But here’s the truth . . . 

Won't you follow me over to  Kimberly Ann Coyle's place. to continue reading?  And, while you're there, check out some other other posts in her 31 days series and, if you have a moment, leave me a little comment love (it's awfully quiet over there!) . . . 

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