MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “calm”

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.

Calm misfits

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Calmness originates in a state of mind. That is why often we are told that we should be selective with our battles; sometimes having peace is more important than being right.

Yet, the more strong-minded you are, the more you seek a “just cause”, the more you are affected by not being able to prove your righteousness. You are among those who acknowledge that life is not fair, yet have difficulty accepting it.

Because justice, unfortunately, is not always served.

People get away with a lot of things. Things that with the passing of time are repeated so often and go unpunished that they eventually become the norm.

And in the end, you – the one who is right and seeking justice for it – result being the lone wolf trying to change the world. A world which, however, considers you a misfit for not playing along.

In the end, you come to realise, that the more things you learn to ignore or simply accept, the calmer you will be. And, if anything, that alone would bring you peace of mind.

Cat on fire

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She sat on the balcony every morning among the plants breathing in the morning dew and fresh air. It felt nice being outdoors, even if this was on the third floor of a city-centre apartment. This was her ‘outside’.

The days passed calmly, as they do for an indoor cat.

But there was one day when something extraordinary happened.

Her housemates left early in the morning to “run errands”, as they told her. They reassured her they would be back soon as they had left their food baking in that square thing in the kitchen that heated up real fast and they called an ‘oven’.

It was hot that day. She realised it, as there was no fresh air, not even in the shade provided by the plants.

And all of a sudden, it happened.

Black smoke began filling up the house and causing an increasingly suffocating atmosphere.

She found it hard to breathe and snuck further behind the pots of the leafiest of plants. It didn’t work much, as the smoke intensified and there was a pungent smell that hurt her nostrils.

After a while, she heard commotion, but it wasn’t from inside the house. Her housemates had not yet returned.

And then, the sirens. Loud and shrieking, piercing her ears.

The door breaking open and five tall men, dressed heavily with helmets and bearing a long rubber hose that began to shoot out water. Voices shouting at all tones all at once, people moving in and out of the house, staring at her hiding behind the pots.

The smoke dispersed but the smell remained. She tried to go into the house to see who these people were and what happened, and that was when her housemates arrived and she could hear their voices break with agony.

One of them picked her up and clenched her in her arms. She said it was to reassure her that everything was all right and she was grateful nothing had happened to her. But the black cat knew that the hug served more as a comfort for her housemate, to loosen the tension and calm her nerves.

She had survived a fire.

To her housemates, she was the luckiest cat alive.

But to her, they were the lucky ones.

The worst place you can be

We all hide a whirlwind of emotions inside, just waiting to be expressed. Often women more than men go through a series of alternating sentiments even during one single day. Perhaps we pay too much attention to the little things, overthink excessively and try to find connotations in every action.

The problem though lies with tolerating too much. With burying emotions inside in the hope of forgetting about them, of extinguishing their force and of somehow making things better. We all nurture that illusion that things will change without action from our part. As if magically the world will improve in the way we want it to.

There comes a time, however, when our feelings take over our reactions. Either because we are tired, hungry or simply exasperated by everything, there comes an emotional explosion that is sometimes out of character. We can’t always control what we feel. Like Elizabeth Gilbert said, “your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions”.

It is during those explosions that we need people close, no matter how far we push them away. We need to feel loved even in our toughest of times, when we are being difficult, obstinate and insecure. It is at our worst that we need the affection. To believe that it is just a phase and will pass, that we will come out stronger, and that, in the end, everything will be better than fine.

Sometimes the worst place you can be is in your own head”.

Swimming counter-current

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

He entered the swimming pool area a couple of hours ahead of the competition and the other contestants.

There was a strange tranquillity in the still waters and the silence. Everything was ready, preparing for a festival, excitement, cheering and action.

But, he remained calm. His breathing rhythm had not increased a single beat. As if he didn’t care.

It was the biggest race of his life so far, yet he remained motionless, unaffected by it all. The only thing he could not shake off was that something wrong was about to happen.

He later wished he had been wrong.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Sneaky Perils

©Sandra Crook

Sometimes a danger creeps up on you out of nowhere. You don’t see it coming. You don’t even hear it. But it’s there sneaking its way into your life, preparing to harm you.

If you don’t act, you won’t survive.

Be grateful for that small thing that revealed the peril. You can now fight it on your terms.

Breathe. Be thankful for each new day that comes. We fill our lives with too much anguish and only appreciate it when it is hurt.

Listen to that ebb and flow of the waves and be certain that this too shall pass.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Avoiding the silence

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Many people start their day with the sound of the alarm clock buzzing in their ears. From that moment, our entire day is filled with noise – running water, the kettle singing, the phone ringing, email alerts, cars honking, doors slamming, music, trains on rails, voices of all pitches and intensities and so much more.

If you just sit still for a minute and breathe, you may even hear your own heart beat. Had it not been for all those noises that constantly surround us.

If you’re a person who easily gets lost in your thoughts, who drifts off in daydream or allows their mind to wander, every once in a while – perhaps more often than most people – you need the silence. You want to be able to enter public transportation without the hubbub, the clamour, the commotion. You don’t understand why people feel the constant urge to talk all the time. Some simply talk for the sake of talking. They are not really saying anything of substance; sometimes even nothing that makes sense. Perhaps sitting on the bus and talking on the phone to someone during the entire duration of your trip makes you feel important, that you’re not ‘wasting time’, or it is a way of keeping others astray. Because, yes, there are those types of people too, who want to talk so much that they will approach you and try to start a conversation out of nowhere, without your consent. Even if you kindly try to avoid it, it will turn into a monologue on their part, which you are obliged to listen. Unless you want to get off on the next stop and risk facing a worse situation on the next public transport you board.

People don’t appreciate the silence enough. It is as though they are avoiding their own thoughts. As if they are afraid of staying alone with themselves for a while. Of emptying their minds. Of discovering what their own perceptions on life are. Of even listening to the sound of their own heartbeat.

It is a shame. Because if we learned to be more mindful of our own well-being, of the rhythm of our breaths, of the ticking of our hearts, we wouldn’t be so agitated and stressed all the time, complaining about the world and everything in it.

Defusing agitation

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There are many ways to clear your head. To diminish the stress that is engulfing you and be able to breathe again a little deeper. They range from exercise, meditation, reading, writing, cooking, to spending time with friends, family and pets, even changing your house décor. But there is one thing that is underestimated in making you feel better: talking.

Keeping your thoughts and feelings locked up inside is like maintaining a time bomb inside a box and waiting for the timer to go off. The explosion will be massive. And it will hurt not just you but those around you too. That is why people suffering with depression and stress are also easily agitated and nervous. Their small and often outbursts are usually caused by the fact that they bury everything deep inside hoping they will simply dissolve. But this sooner or later diffuses into your physical system as well causing other problems.

Talking is underestimated. Because although it may not solve your problems, it is a way of defusing them. Of sharing your thoughts with someone who cares for you and understands. Someone who is there right when you need them. Someone who knows that when your rage overwhelms you the solution is not to leave you alone, but instead embrace you and hold you until calmness prevails. Someone who is willing to stand by you, to show you that you don’t have to carry your burdens alone. Someone with whom you don’t need to say much and who always knows just the right thing to say to soothe your pain and make you feel just a little bit better.

We should surround ourselves with people like that. Who when you wake up in a bad mood, won’t criticise you for it, but will tell you that every day gets better. Who prompts you to be grateful for what you have – your health and people who love you. Who gives you the encouragement you need to never let anyone get you down or make you feel like you’re not worth it. Because in the end, the only person whose opinion truly matters is your own.  

The chaos of an introvert

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Introverts, they say, are weird people. Because you can’t tell what is going on in their head. At times, they themselves don’t even know. Because often they want nothing more than to cuddle alone on the couch under a blanket with a hot drink, a book or a movie. It is their way of getting away from everything.

They won’t push you away. Not unless you turn them away first. Introverts have the characteristic of being willing to do almost everything for a person they care about. Even if that is not acknowledged or reciprocated.

But there comes a time when something breaks, like a glass being shattered too many times. In an introvert this is expressed with a physical illness. The body itself is beginning to complain, raising the alarm that there is something wrong. Of course, the mind already knows it, but something needs to happen to shake you up.

Our thoughts affect us more than we believe. And our mental and psychological state often define our physical well-being.

It is difficult to put your mind at peace when you feel a million things buzzing through your head. We live in a world where calmness is a privilege, one that is sought after through techniques like yoga, mindfulness, even the so many life coaches that have suddenly sprung up. When did things become so difficult that we actually need people to tell us how to live our life? How to breathe and relax and not take everything so deeply? Why do we allow ourselves to be drained by our own thoughts? To drown in our own insecurities and pessimism?

Introverts won’t really tell you how much pain they’re in – either physical or emotional. They hide their chaos inside. But – paradoxically – they will hope you understand. That you will realise what they really need is someone to sit by them on that couch, wrap them up in a soothing hug and convince them that everything will be OK.

Be afraid of the quiet ones, they are the ones who actually think

Trying to unwind

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How many times have you found yourself in a situation in which you are forced to hide your true feelings? It has happened to us all. Either because you don’t agree with the rest of the opinions expressed and don’t want to elaborate; either because the conversation bores you; or you dislike the people around you; or worse yet because you’re in pain and want to hide it.

It is not easy when you’re suffering to pretend everything is OK. But most of us do so on a daily basis.

From the millions of things roaming in our minds, we only express a couple of them, not even half of what we truly think.

As a result, we suppress everything else leading our body to suffer from the toxicity of unexpressed thoughts, feelings, opinions. This in turn results in psychosomatic symptoms – the tendency to experience psychological distress in the form of physical symptoms. These may include chest pain, fatigue, dizziness, headache, oedema, back pain, shortness of breath, insomnia, abdominal pain, numbness, impotence, weight loss, cough, and constipation. This demonstrates that our minds and body are interlinked, entwined to the extent that the one affects the other. Emotional disturbances are often translated into physical symptoms, mostly evident in the effects we experience when we’re stressed, upset, scared, excited.

We often seek treatments in fast remedies – usually painkillers. We are advised patience and above all relaxation and calm. But the latter seem almost impossible when you’re in pain. In reality, we need the courage to seek the source of the distress, so we can change what provokes it. Only then will we truly be able to unwind.

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