Substance In The Silence

Substance In The Silence

“Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” - 1 Peter 3:4

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Silence is beautiful. There is pure magic to be found while being quiet. It is a source of beauty and creativity amidst the loud, fast-paced world we live in. Our daily lives are so cluttered with commotion that many of us forget to stop and breathe. It is rare these days to find a reflective observer – someone that notices the many things that others overlook.

Growing up, in school I was labeled as the "sweet, quiet girl." I have always been proud of this aspect of my personality. Don't get me wrong – I can rock a speech, presentation, or critique. When I am with my closest friends and family, I am just me – without the "quiet" or "introvert" label that the outside world seems to have wrapped around me. They might be subject to my uncontrollable laughter or long conversations about life. Those are the moments that feed my soul.

When I find friends - real friends, I realize how precious they are and I never let them go. At the end of the day, I don't have a desire for everyone to know my name. Rather, I crave for just a few solid connections with people who I know, and who know me, inside and out. I find my peace while reflecting in the quiet moments, and not socializing in the middle of a crowd. I am a quality over quantity type of girl, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I find myself looking inward, whereas many people look outward for approval. I love people with all of my heart and I care so deeply for others. I just show it differently than a more outspoken person might, because we all fit into a different mold.

Yes, some people that I have crossed paths with don't and will never understand me. There have been countless times that I have been pushed aside, forgotten, and taken advantage of. It definitely hasn't always been easy, especially during my time as a college student. Sometimes, even during this past year, I'd find myself wondering why I was made the way I am. But then, I'd pause and remind myself of the strength that I possess. There is great dignity in being a little more reserved. When one values his or her words and actions, he or she values him or herself as a person. When your confidence comes from your heart and mind, instead of from an outside source, the world will take notice.

When people turn away from attention-seeking, surface level chattiness in favor of speaking from their depth, their genuinely spoken words have much more power. Expressing one's thoughts and opinions simply to feel important is never the way to go. There is something so much more captivating about calm, quiet confidence. You'll find that anyone who is truly content with him or herself never has to find a reason to prove themselves to others, verbally or non-verbally. Our presence speaks for itself the moment we enter a room before our words or actions do.

And no, it's not all about being a quiet person. We all bring something beautiful and different to the table and are so deeply loved by our Creator. But, it is all about being a good person – accepting who you are and who others are. Loving those around you wholeheartedly without expecting anything in return. When you are in the position to include someone – do it. When you have the opportunity to serve, even with no recognition – do it. Don't close doors on people simply because they are different or you assume you have nothing to gain from them. Draw someone into your circle next time, and try to get to know him or her. You may be rewarded with a relationship that is fun, caring, trustworthy, and made to last a lifetime.

If you are one of those people who are naturally born with the gift of gab, the center of attention, the one that everyone wants to be with - that is wonderful. This is not about taking from one group and giving to another. It is just that in the world we live in you are naturally rewarded every day with accolades and open arms with people cheering your name. Be proud. My point that I am trying to make is that we can enjoy and learn from introverts and share life's grand stage along with the extroverts. Each personality type has its advantages and disadvantages. Both groups can enjoy and learn from the other. However, the Bible says to be still and know that He is God. All of us need to turn inward and be contemplative and receptive to His voice. We cannot hear Him over the roar of the crowd and too busy of a schedule. There is a reason that "silent" has the same letters as the word "listen."

No matter what personality type you are, try to find the quiet in the every day and spend extra time getting to know someone on a deeper level. These moments are good for all of us and will help us stay centered no matter how we see ourselves or how the world sees us. If every one of us is willing to listen, then we might just discover that there is great substance in the silence.

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A list Of 15 Inspiring Words That Mean So Much

A single word can mean a lot.
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Positivity is so important in life. A lot of times we always go to quotes for empowerment but I have realized that just one word can be just as powerful. Here is a list of inspiring words.

1. Worthy

Realizing your self-worth is important. Self-worth can really make or break a persons personality. Always know that you are worthy of respect. And also, never compare yourself to others.

2. Courage

Be courageous in life. Life has so many opportunities so do not be scared to grasp any opportunity that comes your way. You have the ability to do anything you have your heart and mind set to do, even the things that frighten you.

3. Enough

When you are feeling down and feeling that nothing you do is ever good enough, know that you are more than enough. And yes there is always room for improvement but when it comes to my self-worth I always have to remind myself that I am enough.

4. Blessed

Be thankful. A lot of times we forget how blessed we are. We focus so much on stress and the bad things that are going on in our lives that we tend to forget all of the beautiful things we have in life.

5. Focus

Focus on your goals, focus on positive things, and focus on the ones you love. Do not focus on things that will keep you from not reaching your goals and people that do not have good intentions for your life.

6. Laugh

Laughing is one of the best forms of medicine. Life is truly better with laughter.

7. Warrior

Through the good and the bad you are a warrior. Be strong, soldier.

8. Seek

Seek new things. Allow yourself to grow in life. Do not just be stuck.

9. Faith

During the bad times, no matter the circumstances, have faith that everything will be all right.

10. Live

Start living because life is honestly way too short. Live life the way you want to live. Do not let anyone try to control you.

11. Enjoy

Enjoy everything that life has to offer. Enjoy even the littlest of things because, as I said before, life is short. And plus, there is no time to live life with regrets.

12. Believe

Believe in yourself and never stop. Believing in yourself brings so many blessings and opportunities in your life.

13. Serendipity

A lot of times we look for things to fill an empty void that we have. Usually what we are looking for comes when we are not looking at all. Your serendipity will come.

14. Create

Share your ideas with the world. Creativity brings change to your life. However you chose to use your creativity do not be scared to show your intelligence, talent, and passion.

15. Love

The world is already full of so much hate, so love unconditionally with all your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Tanveer Naseer

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Being Skinny Isn’t As Great As You Think

A reflection on the struggles that come with a person's body image.

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Body image. It is one of the most powerful and harmful things on a person's self-esteem. Society and media have placed so many images of what we "should" look like. How we need to be eating, exercising, dressing, EVERYTHING. According to others, we always need to change ourselves or second guess how we see our bodies.

For as long as I can remember everyone has called me "tiny". Sure, being small and being able to fit into a lot of clothes is fun, but being tiny or thin isn't always a good thing. I am your typical college kid eating whatever I want whenever I want.

The only difference between myself and other students is that I almost never gain weight. Some girls or guys may read that part and think that I have a gift or blessing. That I can do whatever I want and still stay small and "pretty".

Have you ever finished a meal then looked at yourself and felt like something wasn't right? Some people in today's world and in history will spend time looking at themselves and seeing multiple things that are wrong with their body.

Some handled that by exercising and losing weight or gaining muscle, others have gone as far as throwing up their food or taking pills that force their bodies not to gain ANY weight. Hearing about that from adults or doctors seems crazy but people do it all the time. Possibly the people around you and you would never know.

I went to middle school with a girl that always finished her lunch walking to the trash and then taking herself to the bathroom. She wouldn't come back to our table until the lunch bell rang. Most people didn't give a second thought to this situation, me however, I followed her one day. What I saw next was something I wasn't prepared for as a 7th grader.

Two sinks, a mirror, and three stalls. One was occupied and the rest were empty. I walked into crying and nothing else. The girl had already taken care of her food and was trying to gather herself after what she just did.

People told her that she was gaining weight, that she was "chunky" or fat. She wasn't the only girl around that dealt with horrible comments like that. It's also not just girls dealing with issues like this.

Boys and men are constantly judged and only "ideal" if they are muscular. Young boys are called pigs or disgusting only because of their weight and looking bigger than the "average" person. Men are downgraded to a lesser meaning when they are thin and "stick like".

Even as we grow up kids and sometimes adults say things without realizing the effect. Being called tiny or skinny all of the time can make someone just feel small. Getting comments to eat a hamburger and fries can make someone feel insulted.

Having comments made about your skin or hair and people making assumptions about you can make someone feel misunderstood or judged. Being told that you need to eat more or go tanning because your body doesn't "look right" can torture a person.

There are so many things that play into a person's self-esteem. Average size, too small or too big is simply just words coming out of someone's mouth that don't understand the true beauties in life.

Do you ever look at a big oak tree and say, "You're too fat, you should really lose some weight."

Do you ever see a flower that blooms smaller than a quarter and tells it, "You are tiny! Why don't you go eat a burrito or something?"

No. You probably don't. Just replace the oak tree with mom and see how that feels coming out of your mouth. Replace flower with a teenage girl and see if you can actually say all of those things. Imagine if you were a parent and it was your little girl or boy that you were talking to and you said those words. Would you be happy with yourself? Would you feel guilty? Would you push them to make their body unhealthy just to fit society's standards?

I hope that you wouldn't

There are so many of us out there being told what to do with ourselves in order to be happy with our bodies. How can someone else determine our happiness for us? I have personally gotten to the point of breaking.

I see friends on a daily basis that want to change their body because it's "ugly". Many of those thoughts are because of things society has put in our minds, and not what truly matters.

As a society, we need to push towards total acceptance. Now, I am not meaning the sexuality or ethnicity type of acceptance because those are important on a different level. Respecting each other and our bodies are something that needs to be understood and enforced as much as sexuality acceptance is pushed.

I want to live in a world and raise children in a world that doesn't make people feel horrible about their bodies. It is THEIR body, not ours. The only body we should be worrying about is our own. I want my future daughter to grow and love playing dress up without wondering if her body looks right in what she's wearing. I want my future son to go to gym class and be able to do only one pull up with all of the other boys cheering him on to do better.

Is that too much to ask?

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