MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “choices”

Learn, thrive, and grow together

It’s a skill knowing when to stop a tiff from developing into a full-grown quarrel. It takes patience and a lot of struggle to reach the point of constraint, of choosing to walk away and quieten down rather than engage in a fight not worth having.

It takes time to learn things. Any thing.

Like the fact that you cannot force people to change. No matter how much you love them or care for them. Regardless of how deeply you let them in, people will only understand what they want. And they will alter their ways only when they truly desire. But just like a selfish person cannot become more caring, an altruist cannot suddenly stop placing others first and only look out for their own benefit. It goes both ways.

It is a wonder, really: is there something in between either feeling everything so profoundly or hardly sensing anything at all?

We are so accustomed to the stories we tell ourselves, those deafening voices in our heads that convince us to try more, to talk more, to press more in the hope that we’ll put ourselves out there and people will finally see us for who we are, for what we’re worth, for the value we so long for them to acknowledge. Yet in this, we fail to see that what we intend as effort, as nurturing care, and affection, to others seems as a suffocating attempt to change their beliefs and attitudes. We judge ourselves on our intentions and not on how we make the other person feel. We act in the way we consider as ‘common sense’ and obvious, but it is not so for everyone, and we often fail to realise that people seldom think and act the same way. Our cheerful ramble confiding in another a portion of our day may be regarded as moaning and just noisy chatter. We feel disappointed and rejected because we’ve created an expectation in our head that is hardly ever met. We set out already knowing what we want to see, and are shattered when it doesn’t play out as such.

Perhaps the biggest mistake we make is taking everything too personally; even when that is how it seems, we are rarely the reason people act like they do. The real cause for people’s behaviour lies within themselves, their upbringing, their experiences, their fears, their influences, their social surroundings, or even just the noise in their own heads.

True relationships – of any sort – help us do three essential things: learn together, grow together, and thrive together. Having fun is just a bonus. Any relationship makes you better in every single way possible. That’s the point of it after all.

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Maybe

Life is full of unpredictable twists and turns.  You can never be sure what will happen, and that’s exactly what also makes it exciting. That you’re never bored. But you should always be prepared. Mentally, more than anything. To embrace the notion that whatever comes your way, be it good luck or bad luck, will be dealt with for what it is, and time will tell how it will develop. Even a misfortune can turn out for the best if you’re open enough to view it that way. Lamenting about it certainly won’t help.   

To illustrate, here’s a Chinese fable:

Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away. That evening, all of his neighbours came around to commiserate. They said, “We are so sorry to hear your horse has run away. This is most unfortunate.” The farmer said, “Maybe.” The next day the horse came back bringing seven wild horses with it, and in the evening, everybody came back and said, “Oh, isn’t that lucky. What a great turn of events. You now have eight horses!” The farmer again said, “Maybe.”

The following day his son tried to break one of the horses, and while riding it, he was thrown and broke his leg. The neighbours then said, “Oh dear, that’s too bad,” and the farmer responded, “Maybe.” The next day the conscription officers came around to conscript people into the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. Again all the neighbours came around and said, “Isn’t that great!” Again, he said, “Maybe.”

Like Alan Watts said, “The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad — because you never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune; or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.”

Bad and good experiences are all part of life; we need one to appreciate the other. And whatever happens, we’ll never know the consequences it may bring in the future. We just need to trust the process and believe that things will turn out as they should.

70,000 thoughts a day

https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1024276505524719616/XXb3H3tp_400x400.jpg

Experts estimate that we make around 70,000 thoughts a day. Most of them are obsessive-compulsive. And that incessant mental chatter steals our energy and drowns our focus. We’re pushed into creating scenarios about things that probably won’t even happen, interpretations that don’t stand, and events that aren’t true.

Yet, these are still thoughts that occupy our minds.

We have a tendency to gravitate towards the negative. If we hear ten positive things and one not-so-positive, we will automatically focus on the latter. Call it our innate instinct of survival, it’s what we feel threatens us and we need to act to fix it.

Perhaps the problem, however, is that we stick to how we think people should act. And that’s what makes us react so much to everything. Because we have in our head a whole list of actions that we are expecting others to make: to check up on us without any particular reason; to send a good morning text simply to show they’re thinking of us; to show up at our doorstep with a bowl of hot soup when we’re sick; to just sit with us when we’re not feeling well and all we want is some company to watch TV with. We long for things that others maybe don’t even think of: a goodnight call to make us feel loved before we end the day; attention when we’re upset; a smile when we’re frowning; the sharing of good news; a walk together to clear our minds. For us, we’re not asking for much. But nothing is obvious, and we shouldn’t expect others to act as we would. Perhaps that is the most difficult and troublesome thought of all: that we cannot expect others to behave in the way we would anticipate them to. We can’t compel people to change; they’ll do so if they truly want to.

We demand more of ourselves and oftentimes we force that upon others too.

We think too much and we perplex our minds with situations that sometimes don’t correspond to reality. But those thousands of thoughts soon take over our feelings. And that is the most dangerous of all. For we feel even when we sleep; when we spring awake from a nightmare, when we smile from the love we dream. We feel constantly. Some more than others. Not everyone can be as insensitive as not to realise when they’re causing trouble to others, or as empathetic that they carry the burden of others’ troubles. We need to find a balance. But the weight of our endless thoughts often hinder us from doing so.

We’re caught in an endless stream of thoughts that exasperates when we’re tired, stressed or worried. And this further adds to our exhaustion – both mental and physical. But like this article notes:

  • Just think how much energy and time you could have saved, if you could reduce the number of your thoughts.
  • Just think how much better focus you could possess, if thoughts did not bother you.
  • Just think how much inner peace, calmness and happiness you would have enjoyed, if there was a way to stop all these thoughts, which add nothing to your life.

Let me ask you, do you keep the engine of your car running after arriving at your destination? You certainly switch the engine off. So why not do so with your mind?

Some thoughts steal our peace, and in time, our lives too.

Passionate work

There is a saying that if you do what you love you won’t have to work a day in your life.

But it’s not that easy you know.

At it’s usually not as simple as that either.

Because often what we enjoy doing the most is not something that pays enough to sustain the constantly rising cost of living nowadays.

It’s nice to be able to begin the day joyfully, energised and motivated because you know you’re doing something that delights you, something you’re good at and you’re passionate about.

But we often need to pass through many stages before we create the circumstances that will enable us to do so.

We need to have experienced the ‘real world’, what it is like to be a simple employee, to be badly paid, exploited, and censored, in order to appreciate the ‘good ones’, those who are willing to offer you an opportunity to emerge, to bud, to develop your skills and to evolve into everything you aspire to be.

The fact that it’s not easy to do something doesn’t mean it is impossible. It just needs patience (which we very often lack), commitment, great optimism, believing you will succeed, and above all, never giving up.

Life’s Lighthouses

You know it’s true that you have to look where you’re going, because you will inevitably go where you’re looking.

You might as well shine a light on the path that’ll get you there.

When we’re settled in a situation and time flies without us realising it, we sort of feel that we’ve found our way. But the truth is, it’s in our human nature to want more. To desire better. To aim higher. At least, that’s how we evolve. Otherwise we’re just swamping, living a life without colour, satisfaction, or fulfilment.

There comes a time, however, when we feel lost. When our life lens becomes blurred and gloomy and all we see is disappointment and disdain.

It’s when we’re sulking the most that we need people to stir us up. To tell us truths we often don’t want to hear but serve to awaken us. To show us we deserve better and that we are worthy of it.

Those who love you are those who are most irritated when they see you wasting away, because they know your value and your ability to do more, be more, achieve better.

As Wayne Dyer said, “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

We all need someone to act as a lighthouse, to shine the way when we’re feeling lost in the darkness. To make us believe that we’re destined for greatness, and to boost us into envisioning its realisation.

The cat guest

©MCD

It showed up at the window unexpectedly. Like most things in life, it arrived unforeseen.

It was timid at first, unsure of whether to stay or leave. You could notice the anguish, the fear, the uncertainty.

It wouldn’t say a word, but it would stare right into your eyes.

As time passed, it would arrive more often, taking further steps inside. The nervousness disappeared and it was more certain.

Then it began uttering sounds; whispers at first that turned into confident statements.

With the passing of days, it became accustomed to being there. It looked forward to those visits.

And then it decided to stay.

The cat at the window chose where it wanted to be. It found love and care there, probed its surroundings, and selected to willingly be there.

It was pretty much how we all react to anywhere we go.

We may lose ourselves at times, and not know how we reached the crossroad we’re at, but if we remember how we got there, we’ll reassess our motives and actions.

Lo mas bonito de perderse es volverse a encontrar (The best thing about getting lost is finding yourself again).

Sleepless night thoughts

© Roger Bultot

Do you ever wonder what would happen if you had taken a different path? If you chose something else? If you hadn’t accepted the invite for a dinner date? If you had not walked into the café of bookshop the day and moment you did?

How different would your life be otherwise?

What alternate road you would have been all?

What if things had turned out better?

But what if they were worse?

You’ll never know.

But it would be among those thoughts that pester your mind on those sleepless nights.

What if we’re actually supposed to be right here?

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Different states of mind

People are different. It would be boring if we were all the same. From the way we look, think and act, to the stimuli we’ve had and our varying backgrounds, it all changes from one person to another.

It’s something neither good nor bad. It just is what it is. And we need to accept that.

Some people have the tendency to be more outgoing than others, to talk more and more easily. Others seek those moments of silent retreats, the loneliness of their own thoughts to be able to gather themselves before entrusting someone else with them.

Introverts are often seen by those outside their inner circle as having quiet minds. They only allow those closest to them to see the chaos that this quietness entails. An introvert will yak to you once they want to. Winning an introvert’s trust may take time, but once you do, be sure you’ve unlocked a special place reserved only for a selected few.

There is a very apt leadership quote that says be “slow to hire but quick to fire”. Consider it for a moment. It can easily apply to every relationship we have – from social to business relations. We need to be slow in developing our thoughts about people we meet, in trusting them with parts of us that we sometimes don’t even tell our own selves. But once that trust is lost, or the ties we have are broken, we shouldn’t hesitate, they’re gone immediately.

We often believe that there is only one time to make a good first impression. Do you ever get that feeling when you meet some people that you either like or dislike them without really being able to explain why? It’s your subconscious at play – gathering all those experiences you’ve already had to analyse the new entries in your life. But the truth is, there is a second chance for a first impression when you get to talk with the other. When they let you into their thoughts and positions on life, when you are allowed a glimpse of their mentality.

When we’re emotionally overcome – either by sadness, grief, anger or happiness – we’re not in the best position to make any decision whatsoever.

It’s not easy at the time to control yourself. That’s why you need a support group around you. Who sometimes know you better than yourself, and know what you need and how to get you to see it too. It takes time to build that trust and that family you choose to have.

But it also takes time to be able to acknowledge what battles are worth fighting, with who, when the right timing is, and how, where and when to detect it.

In the midst of it all, perhaps we need to realise that one thing that lately has become so evident: nothing we believe as common sense, truly is. Everyone has their own notion of what is logical and rational and what is not. And we just need to accept that difference of opinion.

Breaking the silence

©MCD

What’s wrong?” Miguel asked as he wrapped his arm around her.

He knew sunsets were her favourite hour. That golden moment when nature seemed at peace, and you could feel serene.

Nothing”, Adeline feigned.

He read through her reflex reaction that everything was not as fine as she claimed. Her eyes weren’t as shiny as when she really meant that. Other times, he could see the last of the sun’s rays reflect off her glistening emerald pupils. And her smile was genuine. Now she just seemed tired. Or, rather, exhausted. Emotionally.

He perplexed his mind for a minute, wondering whether it was worth asking again, pushing for a different answer.

What he couldn’t tell was that she was restraining herself from saying everything that caused chaos in her head.

She couldn’t figure out how it was all roses one minute, and in a single second, due to a single phrase, everything was upturned.  She was upset not only with the way he behaved towards other females – in her presence even – but most of all by the fact that he could hardly identify the problem.

People want to feel they are exclusively loved and valued. Much more so when they’re in a relationship. They want the security that their partner places them above all others, regardless of history or social connections. And it goes both ways. Every kind of relationship needs compromise and concessions. From both. Otherwise the balance doesn’t work.

By the time she decided to say something, the ferry boat had reached the port. And now the time was unsuitable.

He continued as if nothing happened.

But for her it was not as easy.

Silence is hard to keep. But when you break it, you need to be certain that what you’ll say is more important.

Round the bend

© Dale Rogerson

You should always change gear before the curve”.

Push the brake a little beforehand too”.

Don’t go rushing in full-speed”.

He was a good driving instructor. Aside from the fact that he would usually tell her all the things she shouldn’t do, rather than what she should.

Safety above all”, was his motto.

If she could drive safe, experience would allow her to follow her intuition when the time was right.

At least, that’s what he told her.

It was a bit like taking the road and let it lead you places.

You never know what’s hiding round the bend.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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