Silent Sound


Growing up and being rejected I tried hard to get used to the fact that no one wanted me around and to learn to be content with just me.  I was never one who enjoyed the silence.  Left alone with my thoughts my brain never stopped.  I was and have always been my own worst enemy.  The things I dislike most about myself and the things I ruminated on.  Being told you don’t fit or belong time and time again only played into this.  I have never been one of those people who are very comfortable in my own skin.  If people didn’t want to be around me, my Dad didn’t want to be around me, clearly I wasn’t all that desirable.   I kept to myself, my thoughts and my world, I shut down and shut out the world, crying wasn’t any use because that would only make me a target for people to mock.  So I would walk around fearful of people, trying hard to blend in, not be noticed and just left alone.

I believe this is where my first love of music came into place.  I didn’t want the silence, that was deafening and a reminder of all the rejection.  So, I found music to be a place I could lose myself.  Since that time music has always been a place I could find solace.  The lyrics of many songs often identified with how I was feeling.   I don’t remember at what point but I used to make tapes of music I loved to listen to and depending on my mood a lot of the times my way of coping with being alone was to make tapes of really sad and lonely songs and then listen to them over and over.  As I listened to the words blasting from the stereo it would bring me to the point where I could actually cry and feel emotion.

Over the years music has always remained the one thing I carry with me.  I’ve had my headphones, Diskman, iPod and my phone.  I’ve always got music on the radio, computer or laptop.  Music is with me from the time I wake up in the morning till I fall asleep at night.  It’s been there more than anything else and I can always count on it.

I have never grown comfortable with silence.  Even as an adult I hate conversations that don’t flow easily, gaps of time where no one is speaking.  It is always awkward riding in a vehicle when the conversation comes to a halt and no one is talking.  My mind begins racing about what should we talk about next so there isn’t a lull in the conversation.

In my adult life it’s been odd, I have periods of time where I have a lot of friends that I do a lot of things with and then somehow through circumstances those friends move, change jobs or churches and the relationship is not the same and the communication fizzles out.  I end up going back to feelings of being alone with no one to talk to.  Even though I do have friends and really good friends it is still remains difficult and sometimes I harsh reminder of my past.  More times than not I feel like I put all the energy into most of my friendships. When it’s not reciprocated or I get nothing  for a long time I go back to feeling all alone, it’s then I just pull back completely and return to music.

Even in my walk with God I have struggled with this.  There are times I have purposely made it so I did have quiet time and could shut out the world to focus on God.  I don’t practice this as much as I should, I do believe it should be a regular practice.  The world and the things of this world drowned out God so we can’t stay focused on him.  All part of Satan’s plan I believe.  I do try to make it a priority first thing in the morning either going for a walk or on my way to work, just spending time alone with God praying, listening and waiting for him to speak to me.

Maybe that’s why I had a large family and a house full of people.  I don’t want to be in a place where something isn’t going on or happening.  I want to be in a place where someone talks to you.   My house is always full and our house in our neighborhood is the spot to be.  People are constantly going in and out, and there are times where I do need a break and just need some silence and I try to take it, but give me 5 minutes of silence and it immediately takes me back to being alone and I hate that.

The struggle of silence will most likely be a battle I face all my life.  Taking time out and just being silent is healthy, listening to your heart, your mind and your body will tell you a lot.  Most importantly taking time out and spending it with God is what I need for to center and give myself direction.  Silence has a place; it’s just a hard place to be for me.

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About Chris Goforth

West Coast Hipster Ninja husband and Papa- allowing Jesus to impact every aspect of my life while raising 6 kids, taking photos, being outdoors & playing Settles of Catan. View all posts by Chris Goforth

6 responses to “Silent Sound

  • Cindy Holman

    I actually like silence, Chris. Call me weird – but I do. And being alone. When our babies were small – Greg would take them and say “Go and be alone for awhile” and it was wonderful. Even now I’m happiest when I’m shut up in my office writing – or doing my one on one teaching. Don’t get me wrong – I can handle crowds of people too – just don’t like it for very long – soon I’ll wander off to be alone and get away.

  • diaperdads

    I was always uncomfortable with silence. I guess, that’s why I have always been a talker. I mean, nonstop chatter! But one of the reasons I love my wife is that we can have long periods where neither of us are talking…and that’s okay. It’s a comfortable silence. It took years to get there, but sometimes silence is golden.

    It’s hard, but remember, if the car ride is silent, the other person is not judging you or your perceived weaknesses. You are doing enough of that yourself.

    We are our own worst critics. I pray that you find peace with your quiet.

  • Gary Taylor

    It’s always a remarkable event when someone, as you did, peel back the skin and shares how they got to be what and who they are today. This was courageous, Chris. And it was wonderfully instructive. My therapist soninlaw and I use the Enneagram for our personallity typing. I’m an 8 (often characterized Rhinoserous or Captain Thunder, stuff like that). The place the commanding, control-oriented 8 goes under pressure or for pulling it all together is the place a 5 goes, in the cave. So, as an extrovert, ENTP, I do crave my silence, long walks or horseback treks alone with my Clint Eastwood cheroots. Now with six grandkids to help manage and a soninlaw blossoming into a new ministry and moving his household, silence, oh for silence, is to die for.

    Thanks, Chis, for your transparency. May it bring your online pals to a recognition that however we get here, rough road or smooth, we best serve God and mankind by knowing who we are, who He is, and where He wants to go from here.

  • jessicadmoody

    i can totally relate, i was reading and i thought of myself.

  • Silent Sound (via ) « George. & Jessica.

    […] Silent Sound (via ) August 11, 2011 Filed under: christian — jessicadmoody @ 9:56 pm Growing up and being rejected I tried hard to get used to the fact that no one wanted me around and to learn to be content with just me.  I was never one who enjoyed the silence.  Left alone with my thoughts my brain never stopped.  I was and have always been my own worst enemy.  The things I dislike most about myself and the things I ruminated on.  Being told you don’t fit or belong time and time again only played into this.  I have never been o … Read More […]

  • jelillie

    Thanks Chris, for your transparency here. I spent a long time coming to terms with the silences that comes with rejection. Thirty years in to my Christian walk I have learned that in them I can find a voice and a song that is better than any earthly voice. Some days like you I still struggle, but then His voice and His word come and I know I have Father that will never reject me no matter what earthly friends may do!

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