MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “advice”

Hearts apart

A good friend once advised me that in any relationship you should not give too much all at once and up front. It will prompt greed, because people always want more but are too selfish to admit it is so.

Unfortunately, some people can’t help being kind, and giving others their all, unconditionally, without asking for anything in return. Nothing other than acknowledgment and respect.

Some things that are obvious for some are not at all for others. But when you have to ask for even those common-sense issues, their value is automatically lost.

We grow irritated and angry when we feel we are not taken into account, when we are not prioritised as highly as we wish, when we witness that our voices are not heard.

Anger leads to rage, and as our hearts grow further apart we yell to cover the distance.

Have you noticed that? We shout when we’re angry even if we’re standing two feet apart, because we sense the other is not hearing us, not grasping what we’re saying, because we keep repeating the same things without any change, without progress. We speak simply for reiterating each one’s position. Not to discuss and resolve whatever issues arise for whatever reason.

We may presume someone else’s worries are petty. But that does not mean we should treat them as such. Respect is seeing the world through another’s eyes. Wondering how you would act in their shoes. And helping them settle the crisis.

Caring is demonstrating that you value the other regardless of what your prior actions may have proven to them. It is a simple as that: show it.

If love is the only way to soothe the yelling and reconnect our hearts, all we have to do is display it. Otherwise, there is no point in even trying.

Perhaps that was the problem in the first place; that we tried too hard; expected too much; and got disenchanted too soon.

Art of Living

©MCD

“If you can handle the mood swings, the unexpected rage, the moaning, the breakdowns, the crying for no reason, the hypothetical and sometimes psychotic scenarios, all those small things that tick her off… well, then you can pretty much handle anything”.

Tom was a psychotherapist. A happily married man for almost half a century now. And his favourite uncle. His advise always worked. And he knew what to do to retain calm in any relationship, to help reconciliation and bring back the good humour of any couple.

“Take her for a walk. Long ones usually help”, he smiled.

“It’s the fresh air. And the gesture that you care enough to comprehend that there is not much you can do. Heck at this state, not even she herself knows what she wants. And perhaps that is what agitates her the most”.

“Walk by the lake. The one with the windmill. She’ll stop and ponder at it. Breathing in and out as it turns, it will help her relax”.

“If you’re feeling lucky, you can even throw something clever, like ‘life is like the windmill; it goes round and round’. Or my personal favourite: ‘All the art of living lies in the fine mingling of letting go or holding on during the winds of change’.”

Seeking advice

https://anythingworthsayingblog.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/img_0261.jpg

We seek advice from others because it is often deafening to quarrel with the sound of your own voice inside your head. We feel the need for an exterior perspective, in case we’re missing something given that we’re so deep in the situation we’re experiencing.

Perhaps it is true that “advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t” (Erica Jong) or maybe it’s just that we look to others to help us find a solution we’re too blind to see.

Talking to others – to the right others – most times helps us clarify things that are fogging our own judgement. It makes us see a clearer picture by getting out of the circle of our own bias and viewing a more spherical perspective.

But there is a catch in turning to friends – or professionals – for help: they’re not you. And whatever they tell you, they’re not the ones who will have to live with the decisions you make.

Not all friends want what’s best for you, neither does everyone understand how you feel, how you react, your idiosyncrasies, needs or desires. But most importantly, no one really knows what you should do in any given situation; opinions are not facts; they’re merely a perspective of reality. And each person behaves differently, leading to a diverse outcome each time. There is no ‘one-shoe-fits-all’ solution to all of our problems. Plus not all ‘friends’ want what is best for you; jealousy is a vicious characteristic.

Remember this: “You are the expert on you and even if you don’t know something, nobody can know what’s best for you better than you. So start trusting your gut instincts more and listen to other so-called experts less”.

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm” (Joshua Miller)

What if we were really ‘fine’?

We search for advice in self-help books, teachings, seminars, life coaches and gurus. As if a resonating, well-put phrase will magically heal us from all our troubles and problems. We search for a solution without even attempting to look for it within ourselves, because we want someone else to handle this burden for us.

We do the same in our relationships.

We expect too much from others, and blame them for not living up to our expectations.

But we also tire easily as we mature. We’ve been through the same vicious circle too many times to still be so tolerant of it. We decide faster and more critically of what we believe we can live with and give a chance to, and who/what not.

Yet in this insatiable quest for social completeness, we often find that what current relationships are lacking is depth. Actually depth. To be able to look at someone and see whatever it is they are trying to conceal. People are hardly ever what they (initially) seem or what they want to portray. And we may spend a lifetime trying to discover their true character and actually failing to. If a person won’t let you in, won’t let you past the limits they’ve set to the outer world, won’t allow you in-depth access, you’ll never really know who they are. And it’s a shame. Because you will never know how connected you can become to a person otherwise.

It’s not just about having fun and filling in the gaps of your social calendar. Relationships are much more. It’s about dancing till dawn drunk, but also about grabbing a coffee and hydrating the next morning; about chatting incessantly for days, yet sitting quietly enjoying a meal together; it’s about sharing your innermost fears without feeling criticised, and feeling safe that you’ll hear a truth that comes from a good-hearted place and is solely for your own benefit. The right relationships help empower you; they make you stronger, more confident, and happier.

And in the end, that’s what we’re all looking for: a reason to be ‘fine’ and genuinely mean it.

That inconspicuous dark cloud

It arrives abruptly and sits upon your shoulder silently at first. But then it grows heavier and you begin to feel the burden of carrying it. It grows darker the bigger it becomes and it’s even more difficult to shake it off.

Stress is like a black cloud. Inconspicuous upon arrival but may be lethal if prolonged.

We know it’s bad for us, yet we continue to fall victim to it.

We even know all the remedies for it too: meditation, deep breaths, organisation, priorities, etc etc.

But the one thing no one seems to be able to understand is that by telling someone “not to stress” does not solve absolutely anything. It simply elongates the circumstances that lead to the anxiety and nervousness in the first place.

It’s not about advice when it comes to ‘solving’ stress.

It’s about finding things and people around you that can help you get rid of that black cloud on your shoulder, simply by being too busy enjoying other things that you forget it’s even there.

Maintaining continuity

A good advice to survive a dramatic change in routine is to maintain continuity in your daily habits. Wake up early, stick to meal times, exercise. It’ll all pass. Just make the best of it.

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #150

Fretting too much

http://www.stickpng.com/assets/images/58afd65a0187e59a7d8a8f14.pngThe problem with us humans is that we tend to fret too much about too many things, many of which may not even matter. Look up “fret”: it means “to feel or express worry, annoyance, discontent or torment” but also “to cause corrosion, wear away”. It is obvious that when we fret too much, we cause damage to our own selves.

But even if we know it and we acknowledge the fact that this is what we do, often we don’t do much to alter it. Human nature is difficult to change. And when there are certain things that bother you, to the extent that they eat you inside, the simple realisation of what is happening will not save you.

Admittedly fretting about things that either make us anxious, agitated, upset or angry won’t really cause a spontaneous change that will turn everything positive. Sometimes we need a helping hand. People who understand us enough to comprehend why it is we fret so much over issues that may seem insignificant, and who care enough to act with us and to ensure that we won’t have a reason to fret.

Even Arthur Conan Doyle said it: “Above all, do not fret until you know that you really have a cause for it”. And when you have a cause, try with all your might to eliminate it.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Fret

Take a breath of life

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BuY3ZuxIEAAVFHC.jpgTake a deep breath. Slowly. Inhale and feel the air enter your lungs and fill your insides. Close your eyes. Now exhale. Free your mind of your thoughts. Allow yourself to be conscious of what you’re doing: you’re not just breathing. You are being alive.

Now do something more. Don’t just exist. Try to live.

You don’t need to worry so much about everything. Life has a way of making everything work out. Some way or another everything will fall into place.

And remember, smile. It’s the prettiest thing you can wear, and it’s contagious.

You’ll always be hit by negativity – from the people surrounding you to events that affect you. But you need to train your mind to see the positive behind it all, or rather despite it all. Don’t allow a little negativity to stop you from seeing all the good that’s around you.

Happiness, they say, comes from inside you. You just need to find the motive to bring it out.

It’s all a matter of choice. Just like the quality of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

So breathe.

Believe that better things are coming.

Breathe.

Everything will be all right.

RSVP

http://ichef.bbci.co.uk/wwfeatures/wm/live/624_351/images/live/p0/2k/4q/p02k4qwr.jpgWhen sent a form of communication – be it an email, an SMS, an instant message, a written letter, a pigeon, a Morse code or smoke signals – it is always good manners to respond. Regardless of whether there was a direct question involved.

The same implies for when someone is addressing you with an issue of some sort. Maybe they want your opinion on something, maybe they are asking for your input, or maybe they simply want to share their experience with you. But in all cases, they expect that you will respond in some sort of way.

Otherwise, if you don’t even have the courtesy to nod in acknowledgement that you are registering what they’re saying, it is easy to misunderstand or rather, conclude (either rightly or wrongly), that the other person is simply not interested.

If you care enough, you find the means, the time, and the way to respond.

The French have even globalised a polite abbreviation for it – Répondez S’il Vous Plait (RSVP). OK, you might not really want to respond to something, but it is merely polite to simply acknowledge receipt of the communication and fire up a minimum five-word response. It takes up much more of your time trying to edit a photo to upload on social media, or scrolling through social networking sites.

It is a shame that in the so-called digital era all this technology has in fact made us so anti-social.

Words of the wise

roller-coaster“Do you remember what it was like the first time you got on a roller-coaster? The excitement you felt when standing in line, the thrill that engulfed you as you took your seat, the adrenaline rush, the fear and the nausea, and the pleasant relief at the end? Life is like that. Like a roller-coaster. Love is like that too. In time you learn to become stronger and wiser. But that does not mean you stop loving. Or living”.

Grandma May always had a way with words. Her voice was as soothing as a hot cup of chamomile tea. And she always knew exactly what to say at precisely the right moment. Tricia could think of no other person to turn to whenever she needed a word of advice, a shoulder to cry on, or simply a hug.

Ever since she was a young child, she would run to Grandma May whenever she scraped her knees and needed consolation, whenever she would fight with her parents for some reason or other, whenever she felt betrayed by her friends, and, above all, whenever she experienced a heartache. The latter was Grandma May’s specialty. It was not everyone who could mend a broken heart. But Grandma May knew all too well what it felt like, enough to be able to convince even the most heartbroken of creatures that they will survive. She never told Tricia what she herself had gone through in life. Even when she outright asked, Tricia would never get a clear response, only some sort of wise-person talk, like something Yoda from Star Wars would say.

“How can you be so sure that a love like that will come again? What if that was it? If you had your chance and you missed it? Where will I ever find someone who loves me as much? Who will care for me so? Who will I find to match with so perfectly?”

Tricia was firing out questions as if her torso was a machine gun that had been kept silent for too long. Tears were rolling down her cheeks as she lay in Grandma May’s arms and wondered how life can go on after such intense pain.

Grandma May had brought tissues, tea, cookies and a blanket. And she decided to tell her a story.

“A long time ago, when there were enough women and men to form communities, the first heartache appeared. For now, people were free to choose who they wanted their partner to be. When a pair was formed it was usually for life. But on rare occasions, the couple split. They simply decided they could not continue on the same path together because their thoughts were heading on two different trains. I know you’re probably wondering what these prehistoric people were thinking about, but I’ll have you know that ever since our hearts began to beat, our minds began to think. The couple who split up ran to their own families and asked exactly the same questions you do now. It is natural. Everyone does. It is part of the process. The wisest man in the village – he also happened to be the eldest – took each aside on separate occasions and told them this: In our lives, we all must pass through different stages in order to grow. Just as we go through extreme jubilation when we are happy, we also go through severe depression when we are sad. But our minds and bodies have developed their own mechanism to deal with these roller-coasters. It is something you may know as the Kübler-Ross model, or more simply the five stages of grief. It consists of the stages we go through in order to, in a sense, mourn for a period of our lives that has passed. In these five stages we go through denial (refusing to accept that this phase in our lives is over); anger (at everything and everyone for having led to this); bargaining (in an attempt to make things right if something else where to be done or if we tried harder); depression (because you begin to realize that you have to go on alone, no matter how much you may miss your previous life phase); and acceptance (when you truly acknowledge the fact that life goes on and you must rejoice the memories and become stronger through the experience). It is our process for recovering, becoming more resilient and moving one. Above all, however, it takes time. And just like every heartbroken soul that came after this couple, we all survive. It takes time and patience and lots of strength, but it does work. Keep yourself busy – but don’t forget. Learn new things – but don’t regret. Become tougher – but don’t stop being kind. You will get through this. Everyone always does.”

Tricia was watching Grandma May dumbfounded. She had stopped sniffing and sat there mesmerized by her words. She had nothing to say. No words could come forth to be uttered at this moment. Maybe it was better that way.

So, she got up and brought a board game for her to play with wise Grandma May.

Post Navigation