A recent experience taught me one of my most painful lessons to date: silence.
I’ve been talkative for a long time. When I was a child, it was because I was a surprisingly social creature. These days, it covers my shyness (yes, I have it), but often reveals my awkwardness. The past several years have represented a lot of work on keeping certain subjects quiet, especially things that are not mine to tell. Not that I try to be a gossip, but I do run on at the mouth a lot and, in the past, had a bad habit of saying something without thinking and not realizing until later that it wasn’t mine to tell. I never seemed to cause any damage, but finally figured out what I was doing and started making an effort to occasionally shut my trap before I did cause damage.
Part of what helps is having a confidant to whom I tell everything. Kit has always been that for me. He can keep things quiet, and sometimes the things said to him disappear into the ether that is a PTSD memory. All the things I can’t say to anyone else go to him, and that not only helps me keep my yap quiet when I need to, but helps give me perspective on situations that I might misread or misinterpret.
Recently I had a long discussion with a friend. What was said isn’t important and not mine to share, but there was nothing hurtful in the conversation. What hurt is that after it was done, I heard a familiar voice.
You can’t speak of this.
There was no quarter. You can’t speak of this. Period. Done. Not a word. To anyone.
I have heard much of sacred silence in the past several years, even more so recently. There is a certain confidentiality that is rightfully expected of the Work spirit-workers perform. A spirit-worker, no matter how well-intentioned or skilled, cannot earn the trust of the people who might need their help by running off at the mouth. Confidentiality, then, is sometimes more important to a spirit-worker than it is to a doctor or therapist. The difference is that doctors and therapists at least have other doctors and therapists in which they can confide.
This lesson hit me like a freight train. It showed me, more than anything so far, that He is training me for Work. I sat on the bed, held on to Kit, and sobbed, because in this Work, my partner and confidant has been barred.
Let me make one thing very clear: Kit is not hurt, shocked, or surprised by this. He has never, ever pressed me for the things I share with him so freely. He knows the value of silence, and there are things he can’t tell me, which I have long accepted. I should not have been surprised by this lesson, but I was. Part of my life can’t be shared with this man I trust and love so much, and it hurts. And it sucks.
Cernunnos was gentle with me that night. As Kit held me, so did He, touching my hair and reminding me that I do have a confidant, just not the one to which I am accustomed. He excused me from the night’s devotion so that I could rest and process, and let me sleep a little later than He otherwise has of late.
It’s a hard lesson, but a valuable one, and there is no other way to teach it. If I can consistently keep my silence with Kit, then I can do so for others in the future. Yes, it hurts and sucks and all of those other things, but I have to learn this, or everything else is wasted.