MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “actions”

Disappointed but not surprised

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Every new month we start with the hope that things will be better in the next 30 days. We garner all the optimism we sort of lost along the way during the previous month to start over.

Until it crashes over our head much sooner than we’d hoped for.

Perhaps we are living out a self-fulfilling prophecy in that we expect to be disappointed so we’re just waiting for it to happen. But what if this pattern is a recurring one? What if the circumstances around us simply lead up to that painful loss of optimism? Or maybe it’s just that we hope for a lot.

In the past few months (or even years) we’ve been through so much – so many ridiculous, unperceivable, irrational situations – that we’re no longer surprised by anything. Yet, we’re still left disappointed.

And that is the worst feeling of all.

Maya Angelou had said that “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

We desire the people closest to us – to whom we confide our deepest insecurities, thoughts, and dreams – to actually do what it is they proclaim.

Rhetoric is easy. You just tell the others what they want to hear. But it’s in the implementation that most are found wanting. It’s the actions that will prove who you are and how much you care. And it’s in the adversities – when you need a clan around you the most – that you’ll see who truly values and supports you. It’s all bright when you’re having fun, but when lightning hits and you’re called to confront the difficulties, who is by your side?

We rethink everything when the world overturns. It’s a push to awaken when we’re caught doing the same mistakes. When we still believe that everyone loves and cares the way we do; at times, prioritising others’ needs above our own because that’s just who we are.

We expect our people to support us in all our endeavours, professional efforts, and personal goals. To push us to be better and to help us maintain our sanity and serenity. Who will demonstrate their encouragement through the slightest of things: a virtual like on a social media post, a digital heart on our business page, an online follow to keep us going. It’s the people you can turn to at any time – be it in the middle of the day or at 2 am – because that’s when you want to speak your heart out. The people who will understand your burden and who will sit and listen to you despite having a great day themselves. The people who will try to soothe your distress because they respect, empathize, and acknowledge that that is what you need at the moment. Who will use a calming tone to communicate with you because criticism and patronisation won’t help.

Showing you care doesn’t mean moving mountains. Love is in the little things; it’s in the time you devote, the priorities you set, and the concern you show. It’s in making the other person feel safe and cherished, that they’re important and worth fighting for.

The more we mature and the more we experience certain things in life, the better we learn to appreciate the people who stand by us regardless. Unfortunately, we don’t always receive the support from the people we anticipate it the most. And we continue to realise it in a hard way. But we should be thankful that there is a handful who will help us pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move ahead because that’s what we do best. Egoism is bad if it borders narcissism and arrogance, but it is often good if it helps you build confidence and makes you realise your value.

We keep telling ourselves to expect less to avoid disappointment, yet that too is on the list of things easier said than done.

Support in actions

If you observe the signs around you, you’ll see a lot more than what you’re asking for in a verbal communication. That is, there are some things words cannot express.

Not everyone can – or will – communicate in the way you expect or want them to. Each person has their own way of demonstrating affection. You just have to be open enough to see it.

Sometimes, showing that you care is simply by keeping the house warm for your partner, cooking dinner when their too busy, or simply calling to check in.

There are many ways to be there, even if you’re not physically present.

And at the end of the long, hard days we often have, all we really need is to feel loved and thought of.

Right is right regardless

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We, people, are too concerned about appearances. About what other people think. About how we may seem to others; the image we portray.

We are often more concerned about the impression we give, than about acting right and with integrity. We lose ourselves to please others, but, worse, to fit into social confinements.

There are certain ways of acting that we can realise on our own if they are right or not. No matter the norms of social behaviour, we can discern if it is acceptable to shout in public, to speak badly to service workers, to be rude to anyone. They are part of those things that frankly should be common sense.

But what most people fail to comprehend is that just because everyone does something doesn’t make it right or even acceptable.

Similarly, just because certain people act in a similar manner around everyone – e.g. flirting or being overly effusive – doesn’t make that behaviour acceptable or appropriate either.

There are some things we need to respect when it comes to friendships and social conduct.  We need to take into account the people we have before us and adjust our manners accordingly.

But essentially, it is one single thing: don’t do unto others what you don’t want done to you. If you want to be respected, treat the people next to you with respect. It will elevate you much more than anything else you could say or do.

Remember, “right is right even if no one is doing it. Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it” (St Augustine).

A rattling realisation

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It is said that it takes something rattling to reveal who you truly are and what you want. But it takes something equally dramatic to shake you into realising who you truly have around you. We don’t really know the people in our lives. We only know as much as they allow us to see.

We often spend years thinking of a person as our closest ally, someone with whom we share our darkest secrets, our most intimate thoughts and our sincerest dreams. Only for a time to come – an incident to occur – that will serve as a slap in the face and we will come to see that they were nothing of what we thought. People we consider friends turn out to be snakes – deceitful and sly, sometimes even stabbing us in the back while all the while smiling widely and offering us support.

These are the worst kind of people; those who act as close associates in life, but tend to behave in the exact opposite way of how they advise you. They are usually the ones who blame others to you, yet hypocritically befriend them as if nothing ever occurred. The ones who see how others have wronged you but instead of – ethically, at least – taking your side, continue to have more communication and flattery-exchange with the former than with you.

There are people whose behaviour you cannot understand simply because it is completely contrary to the way you would act. Not everyone shares the same mindset or beliefs. And certainly not everyone has the same heart as you. Perhaps that is the most difficult to acquiesce or apprehend. That sometimes there is simply no answer to the question ‘why’ and we just need to accept the reality of things, let go, and move on.

If anything, for our own peace of mind.

The quiet friend

©MCD_Bruno

He sat there quietly. Always on the same spot on the couch where she paused for a rest from her tiring and incessant schedule.

She lightened up every time she saw him. And when they hugged, she would inhale deeply letting out a faint sigh with that exhale.

He had a way of easing the tension she inexplicably carried on her shoulders. She burdened herself with too much stress for her own good. Even he could see it.

But it was enough for him that he made her smile. And that, even if just for a little while, she would let her troubles slip away from her mind. For those few seconds she could empty her head. She found comfort in him and was grateful for his presence.

Even if he didn’t say much. Or anything at all for that matter.

It would be a little strange if he did.

After all, he was just a fluffy teddy bear.

But the person who gifted it to her knew he was much more.

If you left…

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You told me that if you left, it would be because something made you; some higher force pushed you through the door. But I don’t believe that is possible. I am convinced that the actions we do are the result of our conscious decisions. We are the ones controlling what we do. Our behaviour stems from ourselves, our thoughts and our inner peace.

You told me you were suffocating. That you couldn’t continue like this. I held you in my arms and assured you I was here, I wasn’t going to go anywhere, we would get through things together and everything would be alright.

You seemed like you believed me. Then. When you fell asleep in my arms and you woke up the next day telling me that it was the calmest sleep you had had for days.

You smiled and the whole room lit up.

I missed your smile. I still do. That cheeky, childish smile that transferred the glow into your eyes. You were genuinely happy with me once. We were genuinely happy.

I always thought ‘together’ would be our happy ending. I never saw anything different. In the planning I made for future endeavours, everything in my life included you. I thought the same was true for you. How could I have been so wrong?

And then you just left. And you took the pieces you broke my heart into with you. I never understood how people could behave so coldly. Perhaps because I could never bring myself to act as such.

And then I sat there blaming myself. I couldn’t understand if the problem was not doing enough for you or rather caring too much.

A few days passed and you returned as if nothing happened. As if you hadn’t broken me. You never told me what happened inside you, if anything. What had occurred during that time. What you were thinking of now.

But I can’t return to how things were. Because it is not the same anymore. Now I’m the one who feels suffocated by my own thoughts, my own unanswered questions. And you still refuse to say anything.

I never understood how someone could just get up and leave. Until now. Sometimes to save yourself you need to let go of everything dragging you down. I gave you my heart and you shred it to pieces. I can no longer feign that did not happen.

I’d never thought I would be the one to leave. But there seems to be nothing else left for me to do.

He left the note on her nightstand and walked out the door.

Emotions in action

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Don’t believe those who tell you they love you. Believe those who show you they do.

Because as cliché as it is, actions do speak louder than words. And we are fallible creatures, who need proof.

We need to feel loved and cared for. That we have the attention we seek and the respect and acknowledgement we strive for.

But we need to see it too, to believe it.

Otherwise, we feed our insecurities. We begin to doubt everything and everyone, even ourselves. And that is where the trouble begins.

Because insecurities deprive us of joy, as they become tension, irritation and anger. And the latter is simply an externalisation of the fear that we are not loved enough.

Leading to the vicious circle binding care with the actions to prove it.

If you don’t state what you want, you may never receive it. It’s sort of the same thing. If you don’t show what you feel, you may not have it reciprocated. And in the end, you’re the one at loss.

Obscure emotional shadows

Emotions are like an invisible shadow that clings on to us ever since we come into this world. They serve to help us taste life to the maximum. They may enlighten us or confuse us according to the situation. But in essence, they are what makes us stand out from every other species. The fact that we can feel things, sometimes (too) deeply.

We talk of and experience emotional outbursts, because sometimes our feelings get too difficult to bear.

And we often get carried away by what we feel, that sense of excitement, the adrenaline rush, the fear even. We let our emotions dictate our actions and sometimes this results in complicated situations.

So, we are prompted to follow our heart – our feelings – but to take our brain with us. To be smart in the things we pursue and we feel we desire, but to make our decisions wisely, logically and rationally. It’s not always easy to think before you act. Because sometimes your heart pulls you faster and stronger than your mind can convince you to think. It takes you to places you shouldn’t be, places that are as exciting as perilous, ones that can cause both happiness and pain. Your heart can easily drag you into situations you cannot return from, no matter how much your brain may try to take over afterwards.

Emotions are our strongest asset but also our greatest curse.

The actions we do voluntarily

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Every time you bend down to pat a cat or a dog, to take care of a wounded bird or an animal that needs you, you grow taller as a person”.

Daisy’s uncle was a vet and he had witnessed many examples of human cruelty. Behaviour he could neither explain nor understand.

He used it to teach his niece about life in general.

People always say a lot. They announce promises they don’t intend on keeping. And make statements simply for pleasing others. They tend to speak what they believe others want to hear”.

As Daisy grew older, she understood more of what he was trying to say.

It is people’s actions you should look for. How they behave when they have nothing to gain in return, what they do to keep you happy. It’s their actions that define who they are. Not the words they say”.

With the onset of her first heartbreak, Daisy realised that it is the simplest of things that can touch a person’s heart. Just like the attention you give to a stray, people too want to feel loved and cared for.

It is the “good mornings” and “good nights” you exchange with someone you love regardless the distance that is between you.

The fact that you tell them how much you miss them and all of a sudden they appear shortly after unannounced at your door so you won’t feel that pain any more.

It’s that hug you so long for after a difficult day when you feel broken and insecure.

It’s the things you do without being asked that show how much you really care.

Her uncle used to say, “In every relationship, be it with humans or with animals, the magic only lasts as long as you maintain the effort and believe in it. Indeed, ‘forever’ only has the duration you assign to it.

Life is the moments we spend being happy. Everything else is just a waste of time”.

What you see is often what you actually get

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“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” – it’s Newton’s Third Law of Physics. Or put plainly: whatever you give out will come back to you.

Wouldn’t that be great if it were true? If all the attention, effort and emotion you put into your relationships, your work, your life in general, was reciprocated? If the people you were there for when they needed you, would also run to your side when difficulty hit your door?

We don’t always get what we deserve. No matter how much we try or appeal for it. Some things are beyond our control, and although it’s hard to swallow, we need to accept that we are not always responsible for the way people behave or even treat us. It’s a matter of character, of mentality, of experiences, of upbringing; of a series of factors we have no effect over.

What we can do is stop putting ourselves out there for people who won’t do the same for us. Because, usually, when people show you they don’t care, it’s because they probably really don’t. You need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and regain the strength you had before all the emotion got to your brain. Sometimes we need to behave more rationally than emotionally for our own mental health and wellbeing.

You reach a point at times when you realise there is no use in putting others before your own self. In the end, you’re most likely the only one who does.  And you simply end up losing yourself in the process.

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