MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “behavior”

Unconditional true bonds

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She woke up excited but didn’t know why. It was the third day in a row that little Madeleine woke up before the alarm clock, bright and early without any particular reason. Her nights had been tormented by strange nightmares whose signs she could not read in the morning. But she always tried to retain her optimism, just like her parents taught her. After all, if you smile at life, it will eventually smile back.

In her backyard, the stray cat she had taken under her protection, provided for and fed for the past few months, had a surprise for her: three adorable little kittens. They were all running around playfully in the garden, under the watchful eye of mama-cat.

Madeleine couldn’t help but grin widely at the sight. She was thrilled that her cat family had expanded. It meant more friends, more living creatures with whom to create an unconditional bond.

Mama-cat walked over to where Madeleine was sitting watching them. She meowed and comfortably sat in front of the child’s legs. She began to purr as soon as Madeleine touched her back and began to pet her. A short while after, the three kittens joined in. They were fluffy little creatures, full of awe and excitement with the world.

She looked as they stared into her eyes, their small eyeballs gleaming in the sunlight. If only it were as easy to form unconditional, mutual and lasting bonds with people.

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Hidden thoughts

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We all have hidden interpretations of things others don’t see. And it is usually the ones that cause a conflict. Because people find it hard to see with others’ eyes. We can’t put ourselves in others’ shoes, nor interpret things their way.

There are symbolic meanings to everyday behaviours. Meanings that are affected by our own perceptions of the world, by our prejudices, by our mentality, by the way we were raised, by the things we read, by our own experiences and thoughts.

It is these very perceptions that give rise to our hidden thoughts. They may be misinterpretations of certain incidents. But they become so rooted in our minds that to us they are established as the reality we see.

We refuse to see a different perspective, an alternative view, because it seems illogical, irrational, in total conflict to our own. And in essence, we are too stubborn, head-strong and selfish to do something that requires empathy on our part. It requires setting aside our own beliefs to comprehend what makes others react or act in certain ways.

Such absolute perceptions and hidden thoughts make our relationships dysfunctional. They cause us to become defensive even hostile. But worse of all, they lead to disappointment when we realise that our expectations are not met.

The mind is like a parachute: it only works when it is open.

Seeking courtesy

http://www.hemantlodha.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Honestly-Be-Polite-62.jpgCommon courtesy – the act of being polite in even the meaningless of situations – is a trait we all have, yet very few choose to use. Take for example any phone call you make to any service, public or private. Or every time you walk into a store or an office seeking assistance. You are almost always left wondering if people simply like to be rude. If it is innate or if it comes to them more naturally than simply being kind or, at the least, fundamentally polite.

Nothing is ever lost by courtesy. It is the cheapest of pleasures, costs nothing and conveys much” (Erastus Wiman).

There is a saying that “courtesy is simply doing unto others what you would like them to do unto you”. Yet it all comes down to one simple thing: upbringing.

Our behaviour is an aspect that we obtain first by mimicking and then by observing and repeating what we see around us. It is a reflection of what we are taught and how we are raised. Of what our society and culture represent. Hence, having manners and being polite is something that makes us shine, to put it simply. The opposite easily places us on someone’s list to avoid.

Being well-mannered does not cost much. Just turn the frown into a smile and say a kind word. What you will get in return will be gratification alone. And everyone will be left in a happier mood. Isn’t that worth it?

“Politeness is a sign of dignity, not subservience” (Theodore Roosevelt).

Being royal

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©MCD

If someone gave you the chance to be a royal for a day, would you take it? Would you accept the commitments that come with the luxury? The restraints and regulations that come with everything money can buy?

We are raised to believe that we are princesses and princes. And some of us grow up to think we are, acting just as stubborn and spoiled as the description entails. But the real part of being a royal is not in the name or the title. It’s not in the things you have that reveal how much money you have or don’t.

It’s in the attitude.

The behaviour, the serenity, the calm in front of a storm, the nobility, the savoir-vivre and the etiquette. It’s knowing how to act like a decent human being.

And that is something money can not buy.

Because no matter the education you have, it you don’t adjust your mentality and cultivate your intelligence, it doesn’t really matter who you are.

Being royal is a feeling that comes from within, not a title you inherit.

 

The mind is everything; everything is in the mind

Boat-Calm-waterIt’s a curious thing that happens. Just when you think that things begin to fall in place and you are on the verge of finally finding some peace and much-needed tranquillity, something appears that messes with your mind. It makes you start over-thinking everything. Questioning your actions, rethinking your decisions and worrying about every single thing you do.

The mind is a terrible thing. Deeply powerful too. For the thoughts in your head affect every part of your being, from your mood to your behaviour to the things you decide (not) to do.

We are so often called to fill our heads with positive thoughts, as this is what will inspire our lives to change. The thoughts in our head aren’t always correct. But they overwhelm us to the point where we start creating problems that didn’t exist. We’re not supposed to always believe those random and miscellaneous voices that haunt our heads. Especially the negative ones. But some things are easier said than done.

“Ships don’t sink because of the water around them; ships sink because of the water that gets in them. Don’t let what’s happening around you get inside you and weigh you down”.

The things we do for others

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/5wZSt_LNq3U/maxresdefault.jpgThere are things we do during each day that go beyond our own self: holding the door open for someone, explaining something unclear to a stranger, or simply saying good morning. It’s those little things that cost nothing but may lift someone up.

Yet, sometimes, despite everything we do for others, we are disappointed with life. Often because we do not receive the appreciation we believe we deserve. Or – to the very least – a reciprocation of everything we do.

Sacrifices are usually made in silence. It is the sort of things parents do for their children, abandoning their own pleasures and hobbies so that their kids can enjoy their own. It’s when you have to make choices and decide that nothing is worth your health or spending time with your loved ones. It’s putting it all aside for once for the sake of being healthy.

The greatest disappointment comes from expectation. Sometimes we expect more from others because we would be willing to do that much more for them.

“What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the word remains and is immortal” – Albert Pine

 

Those who mean no harm

petsThey are those you know will never let you down. With whom it is enough simply to look into their eyes and feel all your troubles disappearing. They are those who, no matter how badly they treat you, will always come back with double the love than before. Because they mean no harm and they love you unconditionally.

Having a small animal around – a pet – is good for the soul. Because it relaxes you like nothing else and it calms you down. Simply by witnessing the – sometimes ridiculous – levels of happiness and excitement these creatures can show, is soothing. And it is in those things that make your mind wander that you can find calm.

Even if one of them scratches, bites, hisses, at you, it won’t last long. Because it didn’t really mean to and you know it. In fact, you might have even provoked it yourself. Your fights don’t last because they don’t matter. And you know that the love and care you both share is much stronger than any spat.

An animal is perhaps the only creature that can make you forget every torment the minute you see it wagging its tail and jumping with joy at the mere sight of you. They are the ones who teach us that as humans we worry too much, we overthink things excessively and we hurt each other more than necessary. We don’t exploit our ability to feel deeply and act with kindness. Instead, we allow our selfishness to get the worst of us and in the end we break relationships that once mattered.

Animals aren’t like that. They love unconditionally and their anger doesn’t last long. There are more important things in this world than clinging onto stubbornness. If humans too could be more like these small animals, wouldn’t life be so much easier?

All the difference

https://www.daysoftheyear.com/wp-content/images/romance-awareness-month-e1430661391688-804x382.jpgIt is something we often neglect or not pay enough attention to. The very simple fact that it is those small things that make the greatest difference. From the way you dress, to the way you wear your hair, to the accessories you choose to adorn you.

It is the way someone looks at you. The gestures they make when they talk to you. The words they use to express themselves; even the spelling mistakes they write. The force they exert when they shake or hold your hand. The aura they emit when they’re around you.

It is the glow of their smile when they look at you. The way they show you they care and make you feel special. The way they make you forget everything else and everyone around you.

It sometimes makes all the difference in the world.

It is the borderline between not wanting the moment to end, and wishing something would happen so you could get up and leave.

It is those little things, which we so often take for granted, that hold in their very essence the future of entire relationships.

The Transformation Hat

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/02/Amsterdam_-_Hats_-_0931.jpgThe first one that ever came into his possession was a tall black suede one. It looked so elegant and it made him feel so sleek and classy, like a real gentleman. The next one, he found in a vintage store. It was a dark green beret, like the ones marines wear, and with it, he felt athletic, strong and robust. After that, it became an obsession for him. And it seemed that with every new hat he acquired, he was granted the key to emphasizing an aspect of his character, sometimes even one he was unaware of.

Jonah would wake up every day and decide on the hat that he would wear, before choosing the clothes he would match it with. It all depended on his mood that day, and mainly on what he wanted to feel. So if he wanted to feel sporty and pass by almost unnoticed, he would wear his favorite baseball cap. If on the other hand he wanted to cause gazes to turn his way, he had the brown plaited deerstalker hat á la Sherlock Holmes. On the days he wanted to seem adventurous and exotic, he had the black cowboy hat with its silver band glistening in the sunlight.

Jonah was generally a very hat person. But that was not always a good thing. Because one time he actually misplaced his hat and could not decide what type of personality he was until he eventually found it again. He relied too much on some material good to dictate who he was to the extent that he forgot what type of person he truly strived to be. It was wonderful that he could be all those different persons with a simply change of a hat, but what about when he was without one? He no longer new who he was, and that was a quest he was reluctant to take on. That is the danger of getting too used to something – you fear too much of letting it go.

Ten chairs of same size but of different quirks

There were ten chairs arranged in a perfect circle right in the middle of the room, exactly twenty metres from the door and with a diameter of precisely four metres. Abigail herself measured it all every Tuesday ten minutes before the clock on the wall struck 4pm. The other seven members of the group usually began entering at five minutes to four, with only Kaitlin coming in at 4:02pm every time.

Living with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) was a drag. But going to a support group meeting in the hope of being able to alleviate the symptoms was something close to unimaginable. How could you accommodate the Obsessiveness of eight different people, especially when some of their OCDs actually conflicted?

For example, Arnold had to sit exactly in the centre of the group, something that had to change each time a group member was absent; but it would also have to accommodate Justin’s need for him to have an almost equal distribution of male and female “colleagues” on either side. And then, Mika always had to be the one to speak last, while Isaac wanted to have the word seventh in line. It was chaos for their coordinator Patrick. But what was worse was the fact that the OCD support group was not really helping anyone improve. If anything, it seemed to make things worse.

Abigail now began going in fifteen minutes earlier to measure the distances of the chairs and doors, irritated that Samuel came in a few minutes later and moved his chair ever so slightly, but enough for her to be compelled to take out her measuring tape and begin all over again.

Caleb had to tap his hand on the back of his chair three times before doing anything – literally, anything – before sitting down, before speaking, before getting up. Ray had to wait for absolute silence before he began to talk and even the slightest sneeze could get him off-course, so that he would have to restart his speech.

Patrick himself didn’t really have any obsessive traits. Well, at least not before he started the group sessions.

Now, three months later, he started noticing things he didn’t use to – the distance between chairs, the whiteness of paper, silence and noise, the order of lists, promptness of time, colours, decorations, the organization of a room; those little things that to any regular person might not seem important.

He feared that soon he too would need counselling. So he decided to follow a new method.

He took the OCD group on a field trip to the park. He laid down a brown plaid blanket and called them all to sit. There was no measuring, no time delays, no tapping, no counting whose turn it was, no total silence. It was just a group of people during a weekly gathering in the park.

Surprisingly it worked. For that one hour, everyone forgot about their OCDs and were just friends having fun in the park.

Until they left. And it all started again. The insomnia from not counting enough sheep, the measuring of the furniture, the tapping, the order of the lists.

Patrick decided to change the location of the meeting every now and again and hope something would work.

By now, he too had began looking at his phone screen more often than usual, swiping all screens back and forth twice before he would put the phone away. He used to think OCD meant something else, like Overtly Characteristic Denial or Other Central Differences or even Ominous Covert Detective. Now, he had learned exactly what it meant and what it felt like. If only he could now shake it off. Maybe even twice.

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