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What To Say When There’s Nothing Left To Say

Does my opinion mean anything?

“No matter what he does, every person on earth plays a central role in the history of the world. And normally he doesn’t know it.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

I know and have proof that what I say affects people other than me. But I’m often cloaked by the uneasiness of influence — the thought that I don’t have as much impact as I think I do.

I spend a lot of time in my head. This can be a good thing when it comes to going through the motions and considering a path of action. But as Alan Watts says: one who spends too much time thinking loses touch with reality because they end up living in their thoughts — and thoughts aren’t real.

I suppose it’s this realization that allows me to shift the eerie feeling far enough to take action or share words and even, write. The realization that I don’t have as much time as I may delude myself unconsciously to believe. That a lot of what I spend my time thinking would not come to life if those thoughts aren’t followed by action.

Action means exploring options in the real world. It means exposing myself to the odds of success…or failure.

Thoughts have a way of blowing up both: success and failure. I often feel that the only way to escape the claws of this dreamlike abyss of failure or peak of success is stoicism. But I’ve never had concrete evidence to verify this hypothesis.

Will I ever?

In any case, the times when I’ve had to consider my thoughts and really weigh the words I’d use have become more prevalent since my move to the US and my marriage: everything I say is an avenue to strengthen my relationship with myself and my wife or claw it at it.

‘Everything’?

It’s this kind of language that stops me in my thoughts and reels me to reconsider the true impact of my actions and my words. As well as my thoughts.

Am I as impactful as I think I am?
Do my actions carry such weight?
Do my words make the future in such a meaningful way?

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Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

It seems, when I think of it, that my pull to stoicism is finding this balance : an awareness of the role of the individual, the power of a voice and acceptance of every life’s role in the universe and on the other hand, a kind of denial of pride and super importance — the kind that grounds a decision maker during a momentous event to be aware that almost everything in the universe is useless.

But where do we draw the line? When do we think so much about the words we utter that could change another’s mind, give life to a dream or kill an idea?

How long before we’re ready to express thoughts with words or share more of ourselves or take action?

Where do we draw the line?

I suppose that’s what brought me here today: what do I say when there’s nothing left to say?

How do I know when to say nothing?

What do I say?

‘I have nothing to say’?

The way I’ve seen this play out, previous experience has a role to play with this. I suppose it’s lots of such experience, from others and ourselves that also enables gut reactions and instinctual responses.

Maybe even ancestral experience lurking in the DNA.

I cannot ignore especially the language of the world — as Paolo Coehlo put it — language that can be interpreted simply by virtue of every creature’s link with the creator.

In this case, there’s little I can learn or express with words that haven’t already been bestowed upon us at birth.

I suppose the short answer to my own question is:

I’ll know when it’s time and I’ll do what’s best.

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”
Alan Wilson Watts

Written by

Cameroonian writer and video creator. Featured in LEVEL and P.S. I Love You. I write about building relationships and personal transformation.

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