MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “challenges”

Searching for allies in our head

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It was a cold, winter day with north winds howling through the window. The cold crept indoors, no matter how tightly shut the airways were.

He was moaning about how freezing it was even inside.

She had her mind elsewhere to pay too much attention. It was just the start of winter; more cold would surely follow.

Each person has random things hovering inside their mind. Things that grasp their attention at times when they should be focused on something or someone else. But we don’t know about them unless they are shared with us. Unless that someone else lets us into their mind, and on condition that we are empathetic enough to understand how and why whatever the problem is, is causing so much concern to the person next to us.

We are all different. It is inevitably so. And as such, we don’t all view the world in the same way. Problems we see as “end of the world”-type disasters, to someone else may be negligible mishaps. It is difficult to find people who share our point of view, our perspective, let alone our values. The meaning of “important” is not the same for everyone. That is why it is often challenging to explain what it is that is draining our energy and our mental health.

And that is why people often choose to bury themselves in a shell, rather than speak out. Because it is easier to shy away than try to make others understand.

He left, once again, as he always did when he couldn’t – or didn’t want to – understand her.

Just an hour later, the central heating in the building was turned on, presenting a strong ally against the cold.

Chasing Waterfalls

©MCD

It was a scorching hot summer day, but Jake was of the perception that you should grasp every opportunity offered to you to enjoy life to the fullest. The renowned waterfalls were very close to his holiday stay so he decided to go on the expedition early in the morning.

His car wouldn’t go that far though. It refused to budge further than the asphalt-paved road. So Jake had to get out, put his hat on, grab a bottle of water and take the trail on foot. Trekking was always one of his passions. He thought it would be an easy task.

But along the way, the road became steep downhill and slippery. Then small, sharp steps were added to the challenge, along with pointy branches that hit you abruptly. The temperature became humid and hotter as it took much longer than expected to arrive to the sought destination.

After an hour of trail – given that Jake took a wrong turn and had to go back to find the right road-sign for where he was going – he finally reached a rainforest-like path and could hear the sound of running water.

There was a crowd leading up to it.

Too many people meant he wouldn’t be able to enjoy it as much as he would like. Tourists often did not appreciate the cultural significance of what they were looking at.

Jake finally reached the foot of the waterfall.

You could hear the stream running from the top of the hill into a 3metre-deep pool. But that was pretty much it. There was not much to see and Jake was unimpressed.

Expectations often lead to disappointment. That was his thought at the sight.

And then he had to take the opposite route to return. And it was all uphill now.

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”.

The sound of gloom

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There was a poor person in the metro the other day playing a famous song on his guitar. He was dressed decently. Wasn’t begging really. His voice was imbued with feeling. He sounded almost professional. He sang from the heart and that was evident. It made you want to give him something. Some change to show your appreciation for the way he was striving to make a living.

Perhaps he could have searched for a ‘regular’ job. But everyone knows these are hard to find in a country where ‘crisis’ has become an everyday term.

At least he was giving melody to a train ride. And you could see the passengers actually stop looking at their phones for a minute and letting their mind wander at his tune.

You were almost mesmerised to give him spare change. Coins whose possession to you may not have made a difference. Perhaps it was the cost of your daily cup of coffee. But to him it was a measure of appreciation. Of the fact that there were people out there who liked what he offered and who were willing to grant a helping hand.

There are many people who leave aside their dignity and in their despair decided to ask strangers for help. There are the ones who feel outcast from society. Whom we look at demeaningly and most often choose simply to ignore. There are the ones who cause controversial discussions of whether they are worth our pity or our ignorance, of whether they are choosing the easy road of begging instead of searching for a ‘real job’.

Everyone we meet carries their own story, their own burdens, their own heavy loads. But it is people like these that make you realise all that you have and how little you appreciate how lucky you in fact are. Because what you perceive as obvious and ‘normal’ is not so for many others.

Thoughts for everything New

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As the sound of fireworks begins to fade and the cheering begin to silence, you find yourself unconsciously crossing your fingers and hoping that the lights will never dim, the laughter will never stop, and that smile that has illuminated your face will not diminish.

In the New Year, we all wish for one thing: that we have 365 days of health, happiness, love and prosperity ahead of us. That they are filled with new opportunities, new chances, new prospects and new experiences.

We have a blank slate to do things we’ve never done before. But we want to be with our loved ones, with people who constantly have us on their mind and in their hearts. We want to maintain the happiness and euphoria of the season and wish for its duration to persist through time and challenges.

In these first days, we hope that we can pass through the New Year with as few difficulties as possible, determined to make the most out of the time and moments that lie ahead.

May this be the year when our expectations are met, when our dreams are fulfilled, when our ideas become reality, and when we resolve that all we want is exactly the life we have. 

Happy New Year!

Everywhere and nowhere

https://cottagelife.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/3034764-slide-s-20-tk-of-the-worlds-most-jaw-dropping-rural-cabins-and-hideouts.jpgThere is a ‘dare’ going around online, prompting you to consider if you could live in an isolated cabin without internet or TV for something like six months. The prize would be one million dollars (or euros or whatever your currency is). To some this seems like torture. It is an unthinkable feat not designed for the modern age. Because nowadays our mobile phone runs out of battery and we run around in panic like headless chicken searching desperately for a charger, something that will keep us connected to the (virtual) outer world.

The problem is that a few decades ago, people did survive without internet and TV. In fact, they probably had a better quality of life too. We don’t appreciate that, let alone acknowledge it.

We feel the urge to be everywhere at once, to do everything even when it is beyond our capacities. We want to show that we are around, doing things, being places. But in the process, we are everywhere and nowhere. We do things simply to cross them off our lists, or to post them online, or simply for the sake of doing them. We don’t enjoy them, though. We don’t revel in what we’re doing. We drive and think of the other things we need to do in the day. We go on a trip and consider what we need to do when we get back. We dream of holidays but don’t experience life.

It is a shame. Because in the age where anything is possible, where we have the infrastructure, resources and technology to do so many things to help us move ahead, we choose to remain backward. Both in mind and in society as a whole.

Deciphering obscure objects

https://www.google.gr/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=imgres&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjn8a_wuPfdAhXD3KQKHR9mAx8QjRx6BAgBEAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Folhocurioso2015.blogspot.com%2F2015%2F10%2Fcomo-se-forma-neblina.html&psig=AOvVaw0xWhJTnB9Okhc0pQC7eV19&ust=1539108693186256Look at this. Look at it closely. What do you think it is?”

She showed him a picture of an object that was too unclear to decipher. It was oblong with sharp edges. It could be anything really. His mind began to race. The young boy had millions of images in his head as to what that object may be. They were bombarding him like fighter plane missiles.

Here’s the catch,” his teacher told him. “You only have two guesses. So make them count”.

The boy became even more agitated. Only two. The margin of error was too tight.

The object could be anything. How could he make sure he found the right answer?

In his head, he was putting together a jigsaw – placing his imaginary items onto the unknown object and assessing how far it matched.

It was a trial of imagination, of expectation, of prediction.

The task was to understand that very often in life, we imagine one thing, we expect another, we make it up in our heads to be that which we think it is, and in the end we end up disappointed when we find out it is something extremely different.

In the end we get hurt from our own expectations, when all we need to do is train ourselves to expect the lowest, even from the places and people we though the highest of.

Nature’s work

sandras-shells

© Sandra Crook

Look at the pretty seashells and corals over here”. The little girl approached the so-called “Nature Table” barely tall enough to look over it. She stared at the natural sponge, the hardened corals and the various sized- and shaped- seashells. She looked perplexed.

Under the water they look more alive”.

The museum guide suddenly felt helpless for words.

Well,” he began, desperately trying to say something positive.

Water is their natural habitat. But out here, we can observe them better, right?

Strange,” the little girl said.

Despite the waves and the water pressure look how pretty and strong they are”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Where to look

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-s1fNFC8wdSE/VO2R0p-_qoI/AAAAAAAACBg/1GNVGBpat1o/s1600/10393867_1399989516977154_5210932496958015929_n.jpgIt is often during the day that we look for motivation. It starts from the urge to get yourself out of bed. To go to work. To put your head down and be productive. We seek inspiration in almost everything around us.

And then we seek for things to change our perspective when something unexpected happens. Or when someone irritates us. When we realise once again that life doesn’t always happen as we plan or as we often dream it.

It is in the smallest of places that we find that strength – that push – to carry one. It is in the voice of a loved one. In a smile and a kind gesture from a stranger. In the colourful flowers radiating light on the balcony. In the comfort of your own home. And ultimately in the relaxation of the bedsheets wrapping you up at the end of the day.

All we really need is the self-confidence that we are doing our best at all times. And the belief that this is truly enough.

The dormant volcano

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They say that you never truly develop unless you face what you fear. Because you can never truly know what you’re capable of unless you’re forced to deal with circumstances you never thought you could survive from. To allow yourself to get exposed to the risks you fear of taking.

It’s when you realise that you hide much more inside than even you yourself thought was possible. When you acknowledge that a person will only find their limits when they push themselves towards them. Or like Eleanor Roosevelt said, “you must do the thing you think you cannot do”. And just like the fact that you cannot grow unless you are willing to change, and sometimes even surpass the things you fear, there are certain circumstances – or even people – that bring out the best in you.

We all have emotions, abilities, potential, that is hidden, dormant, within, waiting for the right inspiration, time, person to surface, to be awakened and expressed. It’s how you grow and evolve into who you want to be and who you can be.

It’s how you become a better version of who you are.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Exposure

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