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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.

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Rachel Naomi Remen, MD, is an American professor and author who specializes in integrative medicine. She has directed the Institute for the Study of Health and Illness at Commonweal and is known for documenting the psychological and spiritual impact of cancer on people and their families.