Their Silence Means Something BAD

Many writings and texts, both ancient and modern, speak of unhappiness and how to work with it….how to relax, remember our happiness, come to our “right” minds.

Unhappiness; the experience of stress like anxiety, worry, self-pity, sadness, frustration, hand-wringing.

This morning I woke up and suddenly, the world appeared.

BOOM! It’s the world again!

The mind kicked in immediately. Sometimes it is slower, sometimes it is faster. It seems sometimes to pick up where it left off the day before, or where it left off last year…but one thing for sure is that if the mind thinks there is a big problem somewhere, it will return to that problem again.

Almost like it’s saying “Oh good, excuse me, glad you’re back…remember that problem you were trying to solve the other day, last week, last year, over the past couple of decades? Well! You haven’t solved it yet! You are running out of time, ideas, and ammunition! You need to work faster/harder/better/cleaner/longer!”

Have you ever noticed that if you tell yourself “I really do not know how to figure this out, I do not know the answers, I have nothing else to try, I give up” that the mind doesn’t listen usually?

Until it does.

One way to get there “faster” (knowing there is no faster or slower, really, it’s all going at just the right speed) is to clearly identify what it is I am thinking, and then take it to investigation and inquiry.

Sometimes, in order to help identify clearly the repetitive speedy stressful thinking, I like to ask myself how old I feel when in the middle of the feelings and thoughts?

So when the world appeared today I soon noticed the thoughts were moving around sadness I have towards missing someone. This person is no longer in my life. Still alive, I know that…but not connected. I have no idea of their deepest concerns or amazing ideas, as we once for many years discussed in confidence with each other.

No intimacy, no sharing, no closeness…no current friendship.

What are the actual painful beliefs going on? And also, I notice that I feel about 3 years old with some of this, almost without words, just terrible sadness.

Start here with this prompt: “I am upset because _________”.

I am upset because she is gone, we are no longer connected, something happened and I don’t know what it is, I did something wrong, she hates me, she thinks I am bad for her, she has cut off the connection and doesn’t think I am worthy, she doesn’t care about me, she is too harsh, she is too judgmental, I am over-reacting, I am too nervous…

I could go on. The mind really can go on, can’t it? It can loop back and start repeating itself, over and over.

The most powerful thing to do, for me, is to stop the mind by writing these thoughts down, no matter how ridiculous they appear, no matter how immature and petty, or wrong, or stupid or blown out of proportion. These judgments about how childish I am are ALSO thoughts.

The painful thoughts on my list are really what I am believing it MEANS when someone is distant and not responding.

She thinks I’m bad, unworthy, wrong, stupid, selfish.

I make it very simple and I take only the first thought. She thinks I’m bad.

Is it really true? I don’t know. Total speculation. I even asked and she said NO.

How do I react when I’m believing this? I assume I’ve done something wrong and I start making huge effort to fix it. It’s like there’s a gigantic push of energy, obsessive ruminating, thinking and re-thinking, going over past moments and images, trying to find where the “bad” moment happened. I say I’m sorry, I say I’ll change.

But what entity or self am I actually trying to fix in this moment? What actually IS this Bad Bad Self that did something wrong?

“What I say is, find an enemy. They won’t give you that sympathy. You go to friends for refuge, because you can count on them to agree with your stories. But when you go to your enemies, they’ll tell you, straight up, anything you want to know, even though you may think you don’t want to know it.”~Byron Katie

When I am feeling very serious, or very desperate or needy….and there is a Self here that is all wound up, I remember that I am thinking false thoughts. I am reacting, I am afraid. This Self thinks it is the center of everything and VERY IMPORTANT.


But I want to know the Truth.

So what I am receiving from this person I have loved very much is no contact, no interest, little response, mostly silence. Nothing mean, no words saying “you are bad for me”. No attack, no anger. Just silence.

WOW. I mean, just amazing, all the importance I place on me being worthy, on me needing someone else to respond to me, on me needing contact.

My core belief has been SILENCE = I AM NOT IMPORTANT (or I am unworthy, hated, distrusted, accused, wrong, stupid, blame-worthy).

Is that true?

Suddenly I remember that I myself have been silent with other people in my life in the past. I have not responded, I have cut off connection, when I myself have felt terrified, hurt, angry. When I have felt like blaming, accusing…when I have called that other person wrong.

I have thought of God as this way, in my childhood self (I secretly admit, in my grown-up self too). God is not responding…I have assumed…so it must be me.

Silence is bad. Silence means they disapprove.

Who would I be without that thought? REALLY? If I couldn’t even have the thought that silence means disapproval from that other person or entity?

I turn the thought around: I think I’m bad. I see how true that is, how I worry about this, how I put so much effort into being the perfectly good wonderful person at all times.

What if this person disapproves, but it’s OK? What if silence means you are set free to move on? To move back into yourself? To work with someone more available? To do The Work and be with your own mind and make friends with it, instead of focusing on someone else?

What if in the silence you find how much you love, appreciate, approve, care for and delight in that person, in the memories you have of them? What if you notice how much you’ve adored them and enjoyed them?

What if when you notice you are missing someone and wondering if they think poorly of you, you drop your doubts and you speak from your heart and soul, and stop demanding that they give you approval?

What if you completely and entirely respect and accept their words, their expression that they do not have time, energy, interest, or desire to connect with you?

If this is a friendly universe, I see in this moment the image of that person, all those people, who I doubted, worried about, cut off, separated from, clung to…and hold them in a most gentle light of unconditional love.

Silence = I am important. “I” am important. And not even THAT. It is all OK….it doesn’t have to mean anything terrible. Just not thinking I KNOW is enough.

And that amazing person who seems to be gone, or distant…they are showing me the truth that this is NOT important. This is not desperate, it is not an emergency, it does not mean that all is lost, that I am unworthy, that I am bad.

“It is within our deepest solitude, where we take leave of every image and idea of ourselves as well as of God, that we come upon the fullness of our being. And in that fullness of being we recognize the divinity of all things and all beings, no matter how great or small. For divinity is not something earned or given, but lavishly present within all. To have the eyes to see the divinity of all beings is to bring light into this world.”~Adyashanti

Divinity is in every being, of course in the friends who move away from me. In the silence all around me. In all the other incredible people I DO have contact with all the time.

Divinity is here in the flow of connection and distance, like the way tide is always here, moving in and out. The waves go in, the waves go out, without my dictating when, how far, how much or how high. When I express only love, and then get out of the way, I know reality runs itself just fine, without my opinion.

Love, Grace

Horrible Food Wonderful Food Weekend In-Person Intensive Seattle January 12-13, 2013 Saturday 10 – 5:30, Sunday 1:30-5:30. $215. To register click HERE now and then send me an email

Mark your calendar for Breitenbush, the end of June 2013! We will be looking at all aspects of what we consider to be flaws in the body, and Un-doing our beliefs about them. Stay tuned if you’d like to join me and Susan Grace Beekman from June 26-30, 2013. You can change your internal beliefs about what you think bodies should be like….and change your entire experience of being in yours.

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4 Replies to “Their Silence Means Something BAD”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I remember a book title many, many years ago “What You Think Of Me Is None Of My Business”. It is so powerful to feel joy, or neutrality, or acceptance within…our true selves, the way we really ARE…in the presence of that silent or judging person. Lovely to hear from you here.

  2. Thank you for posting this. I’ve been dealing with some internal struggles about a co-worker whom I’ve had difficulties and issues with in the past. And now it is to the point to where she doesn’t speak (even if I try to be friendly) and she avoids me. I’ve done The Work about it in the past and found some wonderful insights, but your post really hits home… especially the part: “WOW. I mean, just amazing, all the importance I place on me being worthy, on me needing someone else to respond to me, on me needing contact. ”
    I realize it has nothing to do with her but rather how I feel about myself and the opposite is true too. (Her feelings about me are not my concern.) I see now that her silence towards me means that I have been spared and I can focus my energy elsewhere!
    Thank you for all your work and great doings. I enjoy reading your blog!!!! Bless you!!!

  3. It is just incredible to think of that human being, doing what they do, and discover how they are doing the best they can. They are indeed living in their integrity. I remember getting upset with a good friend about 17 years ago. I remember it because it was the same time as my son was a baby (!). I decided based on several incidents that she was too controlling and bossy. What really was happening was that I was so terrified to confront her, so scared of rejection and so scared of seeing my own capacity to judge her. She wasn’t a super close long-term friend, and my investment wasn’t strong. I started fading out contact, and NEVER said a thing. That was the absolute best I could do at the time. Now, I would likely bring up what I cared about with beating heart…because I know that brings the possibility of such intimacy. And, sometimes, it is indeed OK to simply move on into the present. Expecting ME, or my friends, to be different than they actually are, is very hard. Love your sharing here, and your TA “I quit being my own friend”. Yes, it’s like right in that exact moment when I think I need her friendship and make contact…jeez, I am not feeling friendly inside myself, with myself.

  4. GRACE!!! Thank you, I am experiencing this in my life right now so your words resonate. This topic (the loss of a friendship) was one of my first worksheets and one of my most powerful yet. “She quit being my friend” became “I quit being her friend”. I did that by expecting her to be and act different than what she was. She was simply living her integrity. I remember the helpline facilitator helping me to see “I quit being my friend” and I recall thinking “well, that’s so self-centered and silly”, like there was something shameful and egotistical about being my own best friend. It has come to be one of my most beloved turnarounds xo Becky

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