MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “choices”

Roundabout questions

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So, what do you feel like doing tonight?

It’s a question that entails the freedom of decision, the willingness to abide by it, while also placing the ‘burden’ of finding something to do on the other person.

For indecisive people, this is a challenge.

“I don’t know, perhaps see a movie? We can either go to the cinema or order in and watch one at home”.

He smiled. She wasn’t finished. So he held back his reply a little longer.

What do you prefer?

The question-bounce-back, that returns the responsibility of choosing an activity to the original question-setter. Like a boomerang returning to the one who threw it.

If the person who initiated the conversation continues the questioning of the type, “whatever you want” or, even worse, poses another option, their indecisive interlocutor becomes lost and even more agitated by the daunting task of having to pick an entertainment. And doing something fun suddenly becomes a chore.

Let’s go out. I know you want to see the latest blockbuster and go for a stroll around town tonight”.

And just like that, peace is restored, tranquillity reigns and the smile returns to her face.

He was used to reading her mind even when she herself couldn’t.

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.

Know your value

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In a packed lecture class, a professor held up a €20 note and asked his students who wanted it. Everyone in the room lifted up their hand. The professor then crumpled it and asked again: “is there anyone who still wants this bill?” Everyone in the room raised their hand again. He then threw the note on the floor and began to kick it, jump on it and make it as dirty as he could with his shoes. He then picked it up, crinkled, muddy and stained. He asked again: “Who wants this crinkled, muddy and stained €20 bill?” Every single student again raised their hand.

“My friends”, he said, “today you will receive a great lesson. No matter what I did to this bill, you still wanted it because it hasn’t lost its value. It is still worth €20!”.

“Many times in our lives, we are trampled upon, struck hard, thrown down and stepped upon…by both people and circumstances”.

“Do you believe that this reduces your value?”

“Your true worth does not change in the eyes of those who really care about you”.

“Even at our worse, our value remains intact…as long as we ourselves don’t forget it during both our good times and our hard”.

Know your worth. Stop giving yourself to people and situations that don’t deserve you, that don’t chose you and place you as a priority always. If you don’t appreciate your value, no one else will.

The depths of love

How do you know its real love? And that it’ll last?” Jennifer asked her godmother that question as she was putting on the veil of her wedding dress.

Her godmother smiled at her and wrapped her arms around her. “I asked that very question too on my wedding day”.

There is no single answer. It depends on the things you are willing to do for the person you love. Acts that go beyond yourself. That demonstrate you value something more than your own person”.

Jennifer looked at her godmother, her thoughts wandering.

I’ll tell you a story,” her godmother began.

There was an emerging photographer who was out on a photoshoot session one day. A beautiful young girl walked through his set at the very moment he clicked and captured her on film. He couldn’t get her image out of his mind. He was fixated on her gaze as she wondered off in a hurry. It penetrated him and remained with him so strongly he desperately needed to see her again. He searched and found her later that week in the hair salon where she worked. He conveniently forgot his cap there, so she in turn found his studio in order to return it to him. He asked her to pose for him for a few shots. She didn’t know it at the time, but he published her photos in a well-known magazine that brought him further recognition for his work.

Their encounter was brief but it changed their lives forever.

She was happy by his side. He made her laugh and she loved him for it.

She loved playing in front of his camera. And he always managed to capture the perfect pose, enclosing her beauty and charm in a single shot.

But one day, when she went into the dark room to get some film which he needed, a bottle of developing agent fell onto her head and into her eyes. She was rushed to the hospital.

He ran by her side, sweating with agony at the thought of losing her. At the thought that something might happen to her.

The doctors said her pupils were destroyed irreparably and the only way to see again was if she got an eye transplant.

Would you give up your eyes for someone else? Would you forsake ever seeing anything ever again, simply so the person you love can spend their life viewing the world? Could you feel a love so strong and profound that you would voluntarily hand over one of your main senses to someone else?

He never even thought about it. To him there was no need to discuss it either. It was a conscious decision it took just seconds to make.

In the operation room, he was lying next to her, holding her hand. His eyes wide open, his last memory was flashing before him. It was his last adrenaline-rush ride at full throttle on his cherished motorcycle before he handed over its keys to a random caretaker. He was giving up one love to save another. Tears were streaming down his face. The doctor told him to take his time. He needed to stop crying for the operation to continue.

He said he was OK. He turned around to look at her one last time. To capture her figure, her lines, her face, so that he could remember her forever. Just before the anesthetic kicked in, his gaze turned towards her, imprinting in his mind her image to last an eternity.

She woke up and saw light. After days in the darkness, the glimmers of sunrays hurt her eyes. But she could make out the people standing in front of her. Family and friends who came to wish her well.

He wasn’t among them.

She thought he had abandoned her.

She didn’t know that he had condemned himself to darkness in order to give her light.

She wasn’t aware that he loved her so much, he gave up his eyes for her. That it mattered more to him to make her happy even if it meant losing something he valued.

Can you imagine a love so great and perfect that it would mean more to you to see your partner happy regardless of if it destroyed you? That would make the other’s happiness your priority? That would erase every trace of egoism from your actions?

What if there was one person like that for each of us? And we spend our whole lives searching for them? Someone who would love us so deeply they would literally give up a part of them for our own wellbeing? Selflessly and unconditionally”.

Jennifer was fighting back the tears. She was deeply moved by her godmother’s story, which was interrupted by the sound of her godfather’s white cane sounding at the door.

She had been told he was left blind after an accident.

Only now did she realise he wasn’t the one who had suffered the accident. Her godmother was.

He gave up her eyes for her. And in doing so gave her the world.

Right People, Wrong Times

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“Is it possible to meet the right person at the wrong time?”

“That depends. What makes this the right person and why is it the wrong time?”

She sighed. Unfortunately, not everyone is a mind reader and the things we find it hard to express are usually what we need to communicate the most.

Julie was sitting on the porch gazing at the sunset.

She couldn’t erase from her mind that person she met the other night. They had spent hours talking about anything, everything and nothing. They had shared life experiences, thoughts, ambitions, goals, dreams, all in one night. And she had felt she was falling in love with him, while they were talking.

He had captured her brain and soul and her heart would surely follow.

He made her feel comfortable. Without any fear of judgement or criticism. She felt assured that there was someone on the other end waiting to listen.

As the stars lit up the sky that night, she could see his eyes gleaming. She couldn’t tell if they were radiated by the full moon or his happiness at seeing her smile.

She didn’t know that he felt the same and more. That he had been waiting for her, to get to know her – just how amazing she is – and to do whatever he could to win her over.

All he could think about was holding her tight in his arms and continuing their talk throughout the night until it evolved into the lovers’ stage.

She looked at him with a broken gaze. He understood something was wrong.

“This can’t happen,” she told him. She wouldn’t explain more, not even when he begged her, when he promised that things would be better and nothing would end.

She cried but resisted.

She cried more because she did.

She refused to speak to him, not even when he called or dropped by.

She didn’t want to ruin his life too. That’s what she told her aunt.

“Don’t be silly,” her aunt refuted. “Life is to live it to the last second. Don’t keep wasting it”.

Julie was not to live beyond the summer.

Overcoming hurdles

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They asked him at his first press conference following his Olympic Gold why he became a hurdle runner. He simply replied with a story: “when I was young, my father wanted to make me strong, to imbue in my head that life would be difficult at times, that hurdles and obstacles would be thrown my way. People would tell me that I couldn’t surpass them. That I was not good enough. But I should not believe them. I should do my best and jump over all of them. When I first saw track events, I felt an instant connection with the hurdles. Perhaps because I took my father’s words literally at the time,” he laughed. So did the reporters.

But a small girl did not. She raised her hand to ask another question. “Does jumping these hurdles make those in real life disappear?

The room fell silent. The athlete was dumbfounded. It was perhaps the most difficult question he ever had to answer.

To be honest, no,” he said. “The hurdles in real life never truly disappear. But jumping these hurdles on the track has given me the determination, the strength, the discipline, and the courage needed to be able to surpass life’s obstacles. I think I have been quite successful in life so far. But the key is never to give up. And never believe that you are not good enough or are not worth everything you dream of”.

The girl smiled and her cheeks turned rosy. The athlete had just made his impact on her. And that was enough.

“If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere” – Frank A. Clark

Second chances

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If life gave you a second chance, would you take it? Would you choose a different path? Would you do things differently? Would you take an alternate life course?

Sometimes destiny throws back something from our past to make us rethink everything. Not so much to despair or regret about the path we took, but rather to acknowledge how far we’ve actually come. How many things have happened since then, how much we’ve achieved and how much more we can accomplish because of all those experiences.

We are given a chance to review our lives in order to regain our lost confidence. To realise that we are worth and capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for. Something we usually only understand if we view ourselves from someone else’s point of view.

We chose the course we did for a reason. Perhaps it was not obvious then, perhaps it is not obvious not even now. But there is one. We become stronger from what we go through, what we are called to deal with, the difficulties, the challenges, the fights. Our successes also arise from our failures.

So, in reality, we should live a life not regretting of the past but being grateful that we managed to survive everything that was thrown our way.

We are not supposed to start over, even if given the chance. Because we are not supposed to quit in the first place.

Social norms

We live in a society that even inexplicitly wants us to follow rules. Unwritten regulations that are the norm. If you go against them, it is not only frowned upon, but you are seen as a reactionary, even an outcast. Simply because you don’t conform.

But it is not those who follow the path of the masses who ever accomplished anything. It is those who don’t fear to find a way of their own. Who have the courage to be different.

But until you find the strength to do something out of the ordinary, most of the time you are forced to live in hypocrisy. To socialise and be polite to people you are not even fond of, to behave “appropriately” according to context, to press “like” on social networks even if you don’t, to make positive comments even when you don’t believe them, to act constantly out of the character you know you are, simply because this is what is “socially acceptable”.

 We live our lives in fear of “what others will think or say” of us. And as such we end up suppressing our potential, hiding our true feelings and at times even dumbing ourselves down because the level of those surrounding us is so much lower.

What if we didn’t do all of this? What if we didn’t oppress ourselves the way we do? What if we didn’t care what others would say? What if we simply did what would make us happy and make us feel satisfied and proud of who we are? The world would definitely seem a better place, if only because we would feel more comfortable in it.

Shine and sparkle

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The Christmas-New Year festive season gives us the opportunity to rethink a lot of things in our lives. Least of all, who our real friends are, who are the ones who actually care and with whom we want to spend these special days with.

But the season also grants you the chance to view life in a different perspective. To set goals and ambitions, to consider how many of your wishes have already been fulfilled and to become more determined about realising the others. It makes you stop for a minute and think what we really need to be happy and satisfied with ourselves and the life we lead.

In the current times, what is perhaps most important is the time you spend offline. Those moments you don’t post online for all to see and envy. The hours you spend away from your screens and without the temptation of needing to look at your phone every now and then.

You feel special not because of the digital life you pretend to have, but because of the people who actually surround you in reality. Who truly show they care and who go out of their way to surprise you simply to see you smile as brightly as the lights over your head.

It’s the moments that make you shine and sparkle that make your life complete.

And we should always make it a New Year’s Resolution to have more of them.

Talk to listen

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Humans have a strange characteristic: they can either talk for hours or sit in silence. Sometimes we need to alternate between the two.

A good, long, talk – and sometimes a good cry – is often the best cure for anything that is bothering you. It works best if there is a recipient. A friend who understands you and can soothe your aching soul.Someone who was with you before a crisis, now during it, and will remain even after it is gone. Talking about our problems alleviates our sense of burden,the pressure we feel because of them. But it has an even greater effect when you know that you’re talking to someone who may not be able to relate, but certainly comprehends your troubles. They don’t need to offer solutions. Just to be there and listen. Often, that is more important. Because most people don’t listen. They only hear what they want, all the while preparing their response for when it is their turn to enter the discussion.

Perhaps that is also the reason why it is difficult to have intellectual conversations nowadays. That ability to just sit and talk, about anything and everything. To speak without fear or regrets or limitations. To talk for hours about life and all is challenges and what makes it all worthwhile.

There is a very valid saying related to this: “Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people”. Consider what the talk is about next time you socialise. You’ll better realise your level of interaction.Of course, we’ve all found ourselves discuss all three at some point or other. But it is the time you devote to each that matters.

Talking helps us to externalise what we’re hiding inside. It also helps us better understand ourselves and our own needs. What we’re feeling and what we want to do about it. Most of the time we don’t talk so that others can offer solutions, we talk so that we better acknowledge our problem and find the way to solve it ourselves and help us heal. Support, however, is always welcome.

The thing is, to choose to talk. For whenever we say “I can’t”, “it is not my fault”, “I’m not responsible”, “there is no other way”, we are merely lying to ourselves. There is always a choice. And it is one made by us.

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