Rachel-Naomi-Remen

Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us, not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are. We are all hungry for this other silence. It is hard to find. In its presence we can remember something beyond the moment, a strength on which to build a life. Silence is a place of great power and healing (…) Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to to find other people or to even know they’re alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of.
—  Rachel Naomi Remen
Perhaps the most important thing we bring to another person is the silence in us. Not the sort of silence that is filled with unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal. The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are.
—  Rachel Naomi Remen

“Perhaps the most important thing
we bring to another person is the silence in us.
Not the sort of silence that is filled with
unspoken criticism or hard withdrawal.
The sort of silence that is a place of refuge, of rest, of acceptance of someone as they are.”
- Rachel Naomi Remen

The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention… A loving silence often has far more power to heal and to connect than the most well-intentioned words.
—  Rachel Naomi Remen

Real stories take time. We stopped telling stories when we started to lose that sort of time, pausing time, reflecting time, wondering time. Life rushes us along and few people are strong enough to stop on their own. Most often, something unforeseen stops us and it is only then we have the time to take a seat at life’s kitchen table. To know our own story and tell it. To listen to other people’s stories. To remember that the real world is made of just such stories.

Until we stop ourselves or, more often, have been stopped, we hope to put certain of life’s events “behind us” and get on with our living. After we stop we see that certain of life’s issues will be with us for as long as we live. We will pass through them again and again, each time with a new story, each time with a greater understanding, until they become indistinguishable from our blessings and our wisdom. It’s the way life teaches us how to live.

So many of us do not know our own story. A story about who we are, not what we have done. About what we have faced to build what we have built, what we have drawn upon and risked to do it, what we have felt, thought, feared, and discovered through the events of our lives. The real story that belongs to us alone.

—  Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom
We are all here for a single purpose: to grow in wisdom and to learn to love better. We can do this through losing as well as through winning, by having and by not having, by succeeding or by failing. All we need to do is to show up openhearted for class.
—  Rachel Naomi Remen
Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. It is our loneliness that helps us to to find other people or to even know they’re alone with an illness. I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of.
—  Rachel Naomi Remen