MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the month “December, 2020”

Dispersing the clouds

© Na’ama Yehuda

So, what are your hopes and wishes for the New Year? Other than health, happiness, success, wealth, love, peace and serenity. How would you like to remember the year? Or more importantly, how would you like to be remembered?

After a year that was full of clouds, let the new one be brighter. Let’s make use of the lessons learnt, spend more time with family and friends, spread love whenever possible, and don’t fret so much over the things we can’t control.

Let’s enjoy ourselves more and realise that it’s not the things, but the moments that make life grand.

Happy New Year everyone!

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Starting from the depths

https://media.istockphoto.com/illustrations/caveman-sleeping-on-some-rocks-illustration-id495250166?k=6&m=495250166&s=170667a&w=0&h=mXg8hw9Y-t3Jp6jOJYUF4R7lxdJG2crhgkgkD8YZtaA=

We all have to start from somewhere…” were the last words he remembered from another strange dream before he woke up in sweat at almost noon. Lately he was sleeping a lot. And he had no energy or desire to clean up his house.

His aunt likened him to a troglodyte when she passed by one day to drop off some food.

At least he was eating well. But that didn’t matter if he wasn’t feeding his soul.

He needed to find a way to get back on track, to exercise both body and mind.

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #189

Sparking joy

His name was Elfy and he was…well…an Elf. He lived in the North Pole ever since he could remember. He was born there, actually. His father had been appointed head of Santa’s tech team and he transferred his entire family there just months after Elfy’s older brother was born.

Elfy was raised in the most wonderful place in the world, according to most children – and some adults too. He grew up near a person many didn’t even believe existed.

When he was young, he did not understand why so many people worked so hard all year round for just one day, and why so many material things were created to be used scarcely and to then demand even more of them.

Elfy disliked the entire process for another reason as well: he was born on Christmas day.

Having a Christmas birthday is both a blessing and a misfortune.

But one year, he realised that things only take the perspective you choose to give them.

He was handing out presents on his birthday, even though he received few – if any – in return, most even forgetting it was a particularly special day for him.

Those closest to him though would find ways to make him feel grateful.

For example, his best friend who was called Gnome, although that wasn’t his birth name. He was short and chubby and everyone burdened him with chores, because he would just not say ‘no’ to anyone. He was the type who would give his whole self, but nobody gave back anything to him. But that did not stop his good nature.

Elfy loved him, although he sometimes felt Gnome was allowing others to exploit him to the maximum.

When they were still children, Elfy didn’t know what to give Gnome for Christmas one year. It was a problem when you had it all. Literally. He remembered though that Gnome usually complained that his feet were constantly cold and he couldn’t sleep at night. So he got him a fluffy pair of woollen socks, beautifully wrapped up in a box with a red bow. Gnome was surprised and emotional at the sight. It was a present that was useful to him and signified that he had a friend who cared and above all, listened.

It was then that Elfy realised that giving a gift could spark joy just as much – or possibly even more – than receiving one. Because in giving you get the chance of making someone else happy. You create happiness and spread joy. And that is the entire point of the holiday, anyway.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give” – W. Churchill

The magic within

Isn’t it encouraging to consider that every minute of the day two people – seemingly strangers – are getting to know each other and are falling in love as their hands softly touch?

Do you really think that’s possible?

It’s nice to believe in something we can’t see. It’s refreshing to believe that magic still happens. We need that kind of optimism in our lives. That sort of positiveness is so lacking in this world we’ve created”.

They were sitting on a couch talking all night. Neither of them could sleep. It was those late night talks about random issues that brought them closer. It was those things you tell a person at your most vulnerable time that help you form a stronger bond with them. Those thoughts that spring to mind at the most awkward of hours; the concerns you have but haven’t even admitted to yourself; the debates you feel too silly to have with anyone else.

The magic happens when you least expect it. When you’re hardly prepared for it. When you’ve planned everything but that. When you truly are yourself, without shame, prejudices or fear of what others will think of you.

When you let yourself go and are proud of who you are, the magic will happen.

Because you’ve been carrying it within you all along.

You just haven’t realised it yet.

The real home we have

Her flat was beautiful, albeit small. Her parents had invested almost all their savings in securing for her a place of her own. In return, she gratefully ceded to them most of her income so that they could live a respectable life without needing to make more sacrifices.

But one day, the bank transaction went all wrong. She fell victim of a phishing scam that she could not revoke, and almost all her money was gone in an instant.

She could have done two things: either let it break her completely, delving into desperation; or allow it to make her stronger, changing her entire lifestyle.

She decided to do the latter.

With a sense of almost relief, liberation and excitement for the new adventure that opened up before her, she moved into the heart of the forest.

Using the little money she had left, she managed to build a wooden cabin based on an idea she saw in a viral video.

She retreated into isolation, knowingly and fully conscious of the huge alteration she was imposing on her life.

Yet, she was happy. And more relaxed and self-aware than she had ever been.

Her company was the woodland creatures that seemed to have emerged from a Disney movie.

She would spend hours observing them and witnessing the small traits each had; how their behavior was kinder, softer and more genuine than that of humans; how they treated one another without harm; and how they took care of the environment in which they lived and did not destroy their own habitat.

The forest was almost secluded in winter, as the paths would turn into swamps and crossing them became difficult.

But she did not mind.

Summer was the most social of seasons, when campers would disturb her isolation. She would exchange lifestyle habits with them, but it only served as a reminder that she was better off in her remoteness, away from a world in which she felt she did not belong.

In the end, it didn’t matter where she lived; what was important was feeling well inside her physical and spiritual home – her own body.

“You can live in a house, but your real home is inside you” – Leonard Jacobson

That tremendously important realm of feeling

https://curioushistorian.com/content/74363/582903debf59d7f1c192ddd97b00aea1.jpg

Love comes in different forms. It may develop unexpectedly, or it may rush into you like a hurricane. There is no single word to describe it, because the feelings it affects are endless.

Love is more than just a word. It’s how it makes you feel: the comfort, warmth and safety it embraces you with; the gratitude, fulfillment and joy it causes to overwhelm you; the inexplicable smile, positivity and sunshine that it helps you radiate.

Just like Eskimos have fifty-two names for snow – because it is so vital for them – love may not have as many names, but there are many ways in which to experience it.

Love, is “a tremendously important realm of feeling” (Robert Johnson). It “is the greatest refreshment in life”(Pablo Picasso), because “it is astonishing how little one feels alone when one loves” (John Bulwer).

We love in different ways, but we can offer an endless supply of love to various people for different reasons. It is so abundant that it itself is capable of offering life, energy, value, support, the more it is spread. You think of love and you can only evoke positive emotions. Sometimes there is no real reason why you love someone or something. You just do, because of the way it makes you feel. And that is an emotion that is hard to forget.

* World Love Day is celebrated every year on December 14th. The purpose of this day is to put aside all negative feelings, thoughts and words that have been said. To think only positively and the reasons we love our people.

Clear it out

© Roger Bultot

Every once in a while it’s good to clear out things – material stuff hoarded in your attic, negative thoughts embedded in your mind, bad memories, hurtful feelings, even toxic people. You’ll feel better afterwards; lighter, liberated, relieved.

Frank was old now. His walk at the pier was his routine to clear his head. He was adept at managing emotions, thoughts and reactions.

He had lived through a lot. He had experienced people come in and out of his life, each serving their own purpose. But he knew that those who mattered remain. And the things that truly count are eternal.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Emerging from the shadows

People fear a lot of things. But one intrinsic fear that may be common to all is the fear of being forgotten. We all want to make an impact, to leave a footprint in this world, to be remembered as having lived here.

We live in a world where everyone is trying to be famous, for anything no matter how futile and for however short-lived the duration may be.

In an era where everything can be broadcast and gone viral in a matter of seconds, the millennial generation is one addicted to attention. Everyone wants to be branded even though they’re not good at anything. We need the spotlight to satisfy our internal shortcomings.

The truth is, we need recognition and the broader social acceptance to displace the negative voices we alone create in our heads; to feed our own self-appreciation, self-acceptance and value. An old Japanese Samurai proverb says, “don’t speak bad of yourself. For the warrior within hears your words and is lessened by them”. Our need to receive recognition from others is ultimately founded by our need to prove our own value, firstly to ourselves. It’s always easier to complain, judge and condemn than to lift each other up. This is the culture we’ve created. But what everyone is truly seeking, is to enhance our own value. We depend on the recognition of others, because we’ve associated this feeling with that of our own self-worth and satisfaction.

Yet at the same time as searching for acknowledgement, we withhold from even asking for it. We suppress our wants out of fear of appearing egoistic, weak or needy. We hide in the shadows, but don’t want to be invisible. It’s a paradox of human nature. We desire to stand out from the crowd but refrain from making the effort to do so.

Those inclined and used to working backstage know first-hand the problems of not being appreciated or acknowledged for your work. Because in catchy songs, everyone praises the singer and never the songwriter; in wonderful books, hardly anyone ever remembers the writer, and when the novel becomes a movie, it is even associated with the actors that bring the plot to life, not the person who had the idea behind it all.

The difficulty of working in the shadows is that you never get recognized for your work and someone else always gets credit and is remembered for it. The problem in making others look good is that you never get to exhibit your true potential. It’s like you’re trying to leave your footprint but someone else always tramples on top of it and leaves their mark instead.  The world will thus never know your worth because you don’t speak up, because you’re the one who pushes others forth and remains behind the scenes, hoping to at least receive some form of acknowledgement and value.

Mother Theresa had said that “there is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread”, and it is a common fact that recognition is the best method of improving work motivation and employee engagement. It is essentially a driving force for life itself: for if you don’t show appreciation to those who deserve it, they’ll eventually learn to stop doing the things you appreciate.

With you

It was always so easy with you.

It felt secure though spontaneous, prudent yet crazy, idealistic but doable.

It was all quixotic, but it was wonderful.

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #186

On Gratitude

The Law of Attraction states that we entice what we emit, i.e. positive thoughts will bring positive outcomes. But the fundamental of all positive psychology ‘secrets’ is that of gratitude. The feeling of being thankful for what we already have. The appreciation that will help us receive more things to be grateful for.

Gratitude is a selfless act that leads to the improvement of your well-being. Grateful people are more open, more communicable, more pleasant, less neurotic, less stressed, more optimistic, happier, and with stronger interpersonal relationships.

Saying ‘thanks’ lies in far more than what you express with words. It’s about the actions that occur without speaking.

It’s about being thankful for the invisible safety net in your life formed by that indispensable network of family and friends around you who will be there for you no matter how much you yell, disappoint or push them away. It’s the people you know it’s ok to explode around,  because they’ll still be there with the outburst calms down. It’s those who help you through quarantines and lockdowns, but who are also there before and after them. Those who help you bounce back up when you don’t have the mental strength to even pull yourself up when you fall. Those who will do whatever they can to help without expecting anything in return because they know you’ll do the same if needed.

It’s important to feel grateful for the things we take for granted. Because it’s those little things that help us survive. And it’s those that we need the most to be happy. And grateful for it.

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