Silence is a hard thing to understand. It has a wide vocabulary, and sometimes rings out so loudly, as if a choir of confusion, that it is nearly impossible to translate. Sometimes it is so void of life that one cannot even hear one’s own heart beating. Silence is never the same twice, for it comes with different emotions and circumstances each time, even if seemingly the same, and it always has something new to unravel, whether it is what we need to hear, what we refuse to hear, or what we’ve been waiting to show, or trying not to show, ourselves or another, all along. Silence can be an ever changing friend, or an unrelenting enemy. No matter the form or fashion, silence is, and will forever remain, the most welcome and unwanted part of our lives.
It is an often overlooked truth that silence can be anything but. The voices echoing within the vastness between one ear and the next are still far more audible than anything exhaled amidst a mixture of lips, teeth, and tongue, so that even when we are not speaking our mind, the mind is speaking, even if only to the soul attached to it, speaking volumes silently as they translate into emotion and action, or the lack thereof, creating a vocabulary of gesture and expression, but also of stillness and blankness, woven together in both intricacy and complication, losing nothing in translation of language, but sometimes losing much in the heart’s translation of emotion to and from a soul other than its own.
Emotions are each a different language in themselves, for each has their own gestures, expressions, and blank stillness. The mind learns new languages by hearing and reading and teaches the mouth and fingers to translate from thought to spoken or written word, and it depends upon the exposure and the depth of study and experience in any given language as to which we become more or less fluent in, both in speaking and in understanding. It is much the same with the heart. It learns each new language of emotion by the experience of feeling, and depending on the depth and experience with each, the heart becomes more fluent in some over others, and sometimes one over any other. But, it is the relationship between the mind and the heart that truly allows us to understand these feelings, in others as well as in ourselves.
We say that it is the heart that guides us. We say to follow our heart. We say that our heart has been broken, or that it has been made whole. We say that our heart hurts, our heart leaps, skips a beat, races, that is swells and that it grows cold, or one of any other descriptive analogies. It is often what we feel inside our chest that dictates what we decide upon in our minds in any given thing of emotional importance. Poetry, literature, art, everyday speak, and even actions and expressions project and profess what it is that we feel in our hearts at any given instance or in any given circumstance. But, this is merely the hearts reaction to what our minds perceive in any given emotion of circumstance.
It is the depth of the understanding of any given thought or idea, fact or fiction, that ties into the emotional in any way or on any level for each of us individually. Depending upon what we think and believe about any given thing, it will have a different reaction in each of us depending on how important or unimportant it may be to each of us based on our individual way of thinking. The differences between what each of us considers important or unimportant has an influence on how each of us feels about any given thing or circumstance. It is our feelings about what and how we think and what we understand (or sometimes believe we understand) that are the basis, the origins, and the essence of our emotions.
The mind could not function if not for the heart performing its own function. In turn, the heart could not function if not for the mind. They are dependent upon one another. They are slave to one another. As long as the two continue to function together in any conscious state of awareness (or in some unconscious states), the mind literally controls the heart and the heart literally sustains and obeys the mind. The mind may decipher and understand what the heart feels in reaction to its thoughts, but it is the heart that feels it. This is why we speak of the heart and not the mind in almost every instance of emotion. This, however, does not mean that everyone’s mind understands the heart's obedience to the emotions created by the thoughts it produces, just as most do not realize it is the heart’s physical reaction in emotion that the mind relates its thoughts and feelings to unknowingly and descriptively. This lack of understanding applies more to the emotions emanating from others, be they audible or silent, than they do to the emotions we feel ourselves the greater percentage of the time.
How can this be so? How is it that the majority of the time, we misread, ignore, or completely overlook the emotions emanating from others when we feel those same emotions ourselves, and often express them in the same ways, whether more or less often, and whether we show our emotions deliberately, or they show despite our failed attempts at masking or hiding them? How is it that we fail to understand, or understand more fully, the torment or elation anyone other than ourselves can be going through at any given moment when we, ourselves, have been through the same or similar circumstances? Even when we have not been through the same circumstances bringing about such emotions in others, how is it that we have such a hard time understanding that the same emotions we experience can be brought about in others by completely different circumstances?
Maybe it is the amount of people who fake emotions to gain for themselves something from another in ill begotten ways so often that it becomes hard to believe what so many try to show or hide from us emotionally. Maybe it is that we are so often trying to understand those things in and for ourselves that we fail to see how those emotions affect others in their interactions with us and in their own lives. Maybe it is where some of the circumstances that bring about the same emotions for others are not quite the same circumstances that bring them about for us at times. Maybe it is where we are in a different state of emotion at times than the person or people we are interacting with, and our absorption in our own emotions takes our sight and understanding away from theirs at any given moment. It could be any one or more of these reasons, or even that we have had our own emotions misread and disregarded so many times that our own emotions have become so deep and ominous at times that we cannot see through the shadows that surround us or the elation we feel for ourselves in those moments. There are so many reasons that could be factors.
Even if we don’t feel the same emotions at the same exact time as someone else, or for the same exact reasons, we still feel the same emotions as everyone else, for despite each emotion being a different language, what we feel is universal. Despite the false witnesses of emotion who seek to deceive for whatever gain or manipulation they so choose, there are still so many good people trying to understand themselves, as well as others. In emotion, regardless of race or nationality or origin, we all speak the same emotional languages, even if some of us are more fluent in some emotions over others due to our personal experiences. If more of us would try, and some of us would try harder, to understand the emotions of others, not only from the circumstances bringing them to life, but in the effect each emotion has on each person in their moments of emotion, just as we so try to understand our own, then maybe, just maybe, there would not be so much confusion, misunderstanding, and in some cases, judgment, at the differences in what others feel and experience in any moment, whether similar or the same to our own, and hearts would heal more so than being broken, and we would see similarities over differences.
Despite how we live, where we come from, and who each of us are personally, we are all the same in what we feel in our hearts and through our minds, and even in our differences, we are still one in the same. Our minds control our hearts, and our hearts control our minds. We all feel, and we all feel the same, even if at different times than one another. Even when there are no words to say, and even when our words won’t bleed upon page or screen, or our emotions will not translate to whatever medium of expression we choose, our silence still speaks just as loudly as our words, for our every thought and action is based upon the language of emotion, and in that, we all speak the same language, even in silence.
Where it is so often that silence from another, or reflected upon another, determines our own understanding and emotion in interaction with the emotions of others, we should listen and try to understand more than just cursory what those silences reflect emotionally. Sometimes, our silences speak just as much, if not more, than words or other mediums can allow, if we would but listen as closely in others as we do in ourselves in the languages of emotion, with our hearts and minds in equal measure, instead of letting our own emotions in our own circumstances at any given time impede or disrupt how we see or hear these emotions effecting others in their own circumstances, similar or differing, for they are something we should try to relate to, not self-sidedly compare to our own in trying to self-deceptively prove that no one understands how we feel.
It is one thing to write about such things in poetry or other forms, for we are describing our own personal experiences. It is quite another thing to allow ourselves to misunderstand, misinterpret, or ignore the emotions of others for any reason, especially because we have convinced ourselves that no one can hurt like we do or suffer as we have or are suffering, and it is often the silences that have the most impact on how we understand or misunderstand others. This is a thought that rambled on in the best of my understanding.