MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Tired Souls

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Techniques to fight insomnia or to ensure you get “a good night’s sleep” are usually similar with techniques to relax. It’s the things ‘life coaches’/’instructors’ and the likes fill your mind with and they very often center around one thing: letting go of whatever thoughts are troubling your mind.

The idea is to focus on something else if on nothing at all is not possible.

To stare into the star-filled sky, take a long walk, absorb your attention into something different that will also get you tired, and steadily push aside what is causing your anxiety to skyrocket.

Fix your posture.

Breathe.

Relax.

For all of us, there are some nights when falling – and staying – asleep is difficult. The mind is not an easy thing to control. It remembers things at random moments and shoves them right in front of you when you least want them to appear. And it wakes up when all you desire is to shut down.

Just remember, sleep doesn’t help if it’s your soul that’s tired.

And that’s when you need to take care of you first and foremost.

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Letters unsent

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The world was still asleep. Daylight had not yet broken the night.

She woke in her sleep as if an alarm clock went off inside her. She got up, sat at her desk with a pen and paper. Traditionally. She preferred it to the digital typing of a keyboard. Her pen was rushing across the page, trying to keep up with the words that were pouring out of her mind. She needed to record them all now that inspiration called, otherwise this wave would fade out during her sleep. Expression came at strange hours.

Time was the most precious gift you could devote to anyone. Even to yourself.

She scribbled down all that her heart pounded to say but couldn’t. Those words left unsaid that you always wonder if they would make a difference. He, on the contrary, didn’t have a way with words. He would only reply if forced to. But she wanted to let him know. She wanted to assure herself she had done all that she could; all that was possible on her part. The ball was then in his court. And she was obliged to accept his decision.

She wrote it all. The stubbornness they both had in communicating, their obsession with not letting go of things from the past, their inability to manage their feelings, the wanting it all and getting nothing in the end.  She wrote of how she was holding things to surprise him with, she dreamt of sharing with him her accomplishments and was eager to boast about his development too. But something broke along the way. And it kept breaking.

She concluded her letter stating that it was what he used to say – that they had found the winning lottery ticket – but somehow they had now lost it or simply let it go.

The letter – just like so many others – was left unsent.

The heart is a delicate thing. It hurts even when you’re convinced it won’t.  And the worst of all is when you say you can’t do anything about it. Because that ‘can’t’ has a “don’t want to” underneath. And that perhaps is the most painful of all.

Blue lenses to another world

© CEAyr

He had recently gotten new blue glasses because he had misplaced – ergo lost – the previous ones.  She was so excited to see them left on an open book one afternoon.

She had been trying to get him to read forever.

Readers do that – they try to insert everyone in their magical world. That place where you can escape to from anywhere at any time. Where you can, temporarily at least, forget about the things troubling you. Where you can raise your mind and glimpse into another world, another perspective, another universe. And you always come out wiser, sometimes even bolder.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

A building of ideas

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The first time he entered into a museum, she was holding his hand. He had no idea what he was entering.

He looked around astonished at how time had obtained a different meaning in those walls. It had suddenly transformed into space and it had teleported him somewhere else, to another era.

It was in there that he learnt how to search for the beauty, truth and meaning in his life.

She held his hand throughout the entire visit. Whenever she could, she shared some trivia about a famous painting or sculpture and the artist behind it.

It was in there that he saw more to the empty hallways and exhibits on the walls. It was not the artefacts he saw, but the ideas behind them.

He discovered that art is what Edgar Degas said: “art is not what you see, but what you make others see”.  

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt

Know your value

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In a packed lecture class, a professor held up a €20 note and asked his students who wanted it. Everyone in the room lifted up their hand. The professor then crumpled it and asked again: “is there anyone who still wants this bill?” Everyone in the room raised their hand again. He then threw the note on the floor and began to kick it, jump on it and make it as dirty as he could with his shoes. He then picked it up, crinkled, muddy and stained. He asked again: “Who wants this crinkled, muddy and stained €20 bill?” Every single student again raised their hand.

“My friends”, he said, “today you will receive a great lesson. No matter what I did to this bill, you still wanted it because it hasn’t lost its value. It is still worth €20!”.

“Many times in our lives, we are trampled upon, struck hard, thrown down and stepped upon…by both people and circumstances”.

“Do you believe that this reduces your value?”

“Your true worth does not change in the eyes of those who really care about you”.

“Even at our worse, our value remains intact…as long as we ourselves don’t forget it during both our good times and our hard”.

Know your worth. Stop giving yourself to people and situations that don’t deserve you, that don’t chose you and place you as a priority always. If you don’t appreciate your value, no one else will.

Renewal

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After a break – no matter how long or short – we experience a change of mindset. It’s as if with a refreshed mind, rested body and renewed spirit, we return stronger and more determined to do better.

New seasons do that.

Especially when they bring along a wave of change. It’s a calling to reclaim control of yourself.

And it is through this inner alteration that you become stronger, more optimistic, decisive and rejuvenated. “Renewal is what happens when you realize that some of this stuff you’ve been carrying around doesn’t matter” (Rob Bell). Because it finally strikes you that what matters most is primarily your own well-being. So change; renew your space, set a to-do list, dream of new goals and dare to implement them.

Remember, you can’t help others to shine if you’re not already glowing inside.

A forbidden apple and a box

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It all started with an apple and a box. Both forbidden.

Because had Eva not eaten the forbidden fruit, disobeying God’s orders, she and Adam would not have been thrown out of Paradise – the Garden of Eden. Similarly, if Pandora had not opened the box she was given as a present on condition that she would never look inside it, the world would not have been filled with all the terrible things it contained: illness, misery, despair, malice, greed, old age, death, hatred, violence, cruelty and war. The only thing she managed to keep inside the box when she hastily closed it was hope. It can be likened to the way we as humans behave to the Earth that has given us plenty in abundance, yet we brought upon ourselves harm by destroying everything valuable and genuine that exists: nature, animals, humanity, even our own dignity. And all we have left is hope.

People are always enticed by the forbidden. They are tempted by everything prohibited and actually enjoy doing the opposite of what they are told. Perhaps it is out of curiosity, or a reaction, an act of revolution, a desire to stand tall and appear in control of things, a show of strength. For various reasons, we wish to dare what we are told we shouldn’t. We want to see for ourselves if the forbidden fruit is indeed the sweetest.

When something is prohibited, it registers in our mind as most important because we focus our attention on it, searching for the reasons why it is placed out of limits. It thus becomes something we ‘must’ do. At the same time, we believe that something that is not readily available and is more difficult to attain has also a greater value, so we are willing to reach extremes to possess it – e.g. consider the price paid for objects at an auction.

But, perhaps the most important reason why we like to chase after the non-permissible, is because we don’t like to be told what we can and cannot do. We don’t like to feel we are controlled in any way. This behavioural resistance explains why we stubbornly refuse to comply with various laws or our need to carry out rowdy and intense protests every so often.

Beyond that though, we actually enjoy the game of hide and seek, the adrenaline rush from hunting the theoretically unattainable, the yearning of wanting something that does not belong to you or that you are not entitled to have.

And here comes another issue of human weakness: we are rarely happy with what we have and we are always looking for something else or something different. We get bored easily and we are difficult to satisfy. Perhaps if we truly observe what it is we actually have around and inside us, we would realize that we are richer and more complete than we would like to believe. And that some of our possessions may be those which are forbidden to others.

Parallel lines

In life, we go through a series of relationships. People come and go, leaving their marks on us and changing us for the better or worse.

Some are like parallel lines: we have a lot in common with them, but no matter how close they get, their lives will never coincide with ours. Then there are others with whom we start from different paths, our lives meet once, but then we drift apart again forever. Both versions are sad. They represent something unattainable. Something that either won’t happen or won’t last.

And the truth is, no matter how strong we want to appear, we’re all searching for a happy end that has the duration of a lifetime. We want that person who will come into our lives and prove why no other relationship worked. That one with whom we will form a partnership. The person who will inspire you to become a better version of yourself because you bring that out in them too. The kind of person who you won’t be afraid to fall because you trust they will always be there to catch you even with eyes closed.

It is difficult to let go of the stories and perceptions we create in our head. It becomes harder as we gather experiences and become more reserved, cautious and demanding of life itself.

But we can’t lose hope at any time that whatever happens has a reason for it, and that something better lies ahead.

Remember, “there are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind” (C.S. Lewis).

Conserving the summer vibes

©MCD

It isn’t really the return that hurts the most. It’s the crash landing that you feel you subject yourself to when the holiday ends. Because now you have to return to everything you were trying to escape from, to hide from, to pretend they don’t exist. You have to garner the strength to face it all. The reality, the routine, the “normality” you allowed to fade away while you were enjoying the sun, the sea, the fun, the new relationships and experiences the season brings.

We easily fall into depression when the summer ends and we are forced to return to our “ordinary” lives with whatever that entails. Because “normal” has a different definition to each person.  And we strive, at least for the first couple of days, to maintain that optimism and joy the sunlit weeks brought upon us. We struggle to maintain not only the memories of the most enjoyable season of the year, but the mood it brings along. We hope it won’t fade as soon as our tan-line does.

But the thing is, every season has its perks. There is something to enjoy every month of the year – every day, even. We simply need to have the determination to put all those dreams we make when we’re relaxed into concrete actions at any time. Our goals aren’t really seasonally. We can dream and make plans and set targets all year round. And if we’re decisive and courageous enough to take the risk, we can make them happen. We may even be able to conserve that summer optimism and cheerful mood.

The difficulties of detachment

The reality is this: even when on holiday, on a leave, on a short getaway, we feel the need to be connected with the world digitally. We fear we’ll miss out otherwise. That something life-shattering will occur and we won’t know about it and we’ll be the only ones feeling we’ve been living under a rock simply because we don’t know of the latest trending topics.

So we spend our entire lives – without break – constantly attached to a digital world we are paradoxically trying to escape from.

We can’t turn it all off and disappear, although we know that would be the ideal.

We are unable to disengage, to discharge from the social media stress because we’re constantly thinking of our next post, our reaction to someone else’s post and so forth.

We’re caught up in an unhealthy antagonism of who’s having the most fun in the better place, and we waste time like this instead of actually having that fun and enjoying ourselves with the people physically next to us.

We find it almost impossible to distract our minds, to unplug from it all and simply relax. It’s as if we can’t not do anything. By now, due to the radical rhythms in which we live our lives, something still and tranquil is considered by our systems as abnormal. As something we are almost physically incapable of doing.

We are so dependent on our devices, we cannot enjoy the reality of doing things without flaunting them.

And in the end, we forget to chase our dreams because we’re busy chasing after the acceptance of people we hardly even know. For no apparent or useful reason.

It’s good to – at least try – to detach from it all for a while. To remember what it was like without the intrusion of social media in our lives. When everything – even our relationships – were so much simpler. And we weren’t all so constantly agitated and stressed that we are perpetually on the verge of a burnout.

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