I woke up at the cottage, made my freshly ground Mokador coffee with honey and cream, sat down on the porch overlooking the lake and thought about stuff. I started thinking about stuff that I needed to do, which of course wasn’t DOing me any good, because at this point in my silence training it’s time I became a little more intentional about using the silence instead of the silence using me! So I picked up a book called “The Wisdom Of The Enneagram: The Complete Guide To Psychological & Spiritual Growth For The Nine Personality Types” and read a chapter about my personality type – The Individualist. (I’m pretty skeptical about this sort of thing, but after much research and even a conversation with the renowned Franciscan friar Richard Rohr about the Enneagram, I decided to do a monthly interview on my show with an executive from The Enneagram Institute.)
It’s nice when an inanimate source like a book is the thing that reveals to you the stuff you thought only you knew about yourself. You know – the stuff that haunts your soul when you’re all by yourself – alone? I’m not sure I would receive it so well if a human was to try and shatter my ego agenda using information that confirmed, I am who I thought I was. Especially when I’ve taken decades to painstakingly hide so much. I’m terrified of the same thing I yearn for the most in my life – being seen.
Every once in awhile I’ll read something that forces me to read faster and faster and faster and… SQUIRREL!… and faster and faster and faster and…. SQUIRREL! When I was young I’m not sure they had a label for my reading comprehension disability. I was just called “stupid” or “lazy” or “an attention seeker”. I would get so distracted so easily during reading time, but because my brain was going a million miles an hour, noticing everything there was to notice in a room full of humans, I ended up acting up and getting kicked out. Eventually, it was suggested that I leave the only school I’d known – the only friends I’d known. I was sent to a different school for my last year of public/primary education and put into a “special” class of 6 kids who were all special/slow. The excruciating social stigma of being a “special” kid in a new school was the start of my downhill slide that lasted 30 years. I soon figured out that if I could make ‘em laugh they would forget that I was “special.” Thus, the Village Idiot was born! Only as I approach my 50th birthday have I begun to allow myself to accept the fact that I AM “special”. Not stupid – lazy – attention seeker special, but special like this paragraph below, special. This was written by another Individualist who has finally come to a point of healthy clarity and an ability to see her best, not her worst:
“At my best I have an ability to soar. I can see broad vistas and synthesize different levels and can communicate what I see in poetic and precise language that sweeps other people along and enables them to see it, too. I have an ability to see deep underlying principles, universal truths, and subtle nuances of experiences and communicate them clearly and powerfully. At my best I am anchored in spiritual awareness and can be a source for others of wisdom and healing. At my best, I can express the ineffable.”
I recognize this “best” within myself, but to actually walk into this identity and wear it, own it, work it, move it, shake it… has been the focus of my silence this week. A silence that has leaked over into more than just one day. I’ve spent so much of my life hiding behind the village idiot. Maybe becoming a grandpa this year might be the nudge I’ve needed to step into my best. Maybe that’s what the silence is for…
Oh and this happened. While cutting down a tree, a rogue branch (the incarnation of pure evil) smashed the top of my head, re-opening yet another pretty severe head wound I inflicted upon myself while walking around an underground garage in Toronto trying to find my car – FOR 20 FREAKIN’ MINUTES! (I had just met my childhood idol – Gordon Lightfoot – so cut me some slack!) When the tree hit me, I stayed silent on my day of silence. When I walked into the large metal sewer pipe, then subsequently dropped to one knee as blood dripped down my face… I was not silent!
Spiritual Benefit During My 6th Day Of Silence = 5.3/10
(I feel like I’m chasing wisdom! LOL Desperately hoping to catch up with it before my first grandchild is born! Repeated head trauma might actually help in my case.)