MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “choices”

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

Choose your outlook

We’ve been through so much already,” the little girl said, tugging on her father’s coat. “If someone offers us help, I say we take it”.

He looked at her. It was true, leaving your homeland with only whatever you could carry was a torment in itself, and a heavy burden for any nine-year old to bear. The series of misfortunes that ensued was something refugees were prepared for. Particularly those violently expelled from their own country. 

They had just met someone who promised to get them to safety. But after a couple of failed attempts to believe people who vowed the same, the father was now distrustful.

Not everyone is good”, he told her.

Her mother soon arrived, her eyes drooping from exhaustion. She took the little girl’s hand and gently placed her arm around her husband.

There is still so much good out there”, she hummed. “But life is how you want to see it”. “If you want to find the good, you’ll find it. And if you’re constantly looking for the bad, it’ll catch up with you”.

They all breathed a little slower now. The realisation of this truth sinking in.

We need to acknowledge that practical optimism is a much better framework on life than default pessimism”.

Let’s choose to believe that everything will work out”.

Luck and what we make of it

https://www.ikea.cn/cn/en/images/products/dracaena-plant-lucky-bamboo-spiral__0908921_pe594507_s5.jpg?f=xs

It was a seemingly ordinary day. Whatever ‘ordinary’ may be defined as. Because, although he had everything perfectly planned to the minute the night before, the next morning everything capsized. It took him seven snoozed alarms to finally crawl out of bed. There was no milk in the fridge for his breakfast, and when he reached the bus stop, he had to wait half an hour in the scorching heat, as there was an error in the schedule.

When he eventually reached his appointment location about an hour later, the person he was supposed to meet was herself running late due to an unprecedented occurrence (health-related). He could only wait. For another half hour. In the developing heatwave.

The day only slightly improved after the meeting (set to last for 15 minutes but turned into a 2-hour visit) ended and he rushed to see his girl. Lunch together appeared to alleviate things.

They even bought a lucky bamboo together, in the hope that their fortune would change hereafter.

There was a spare penny after the payment, which he decided to pass on.

During the evening, he rushed to the supermarket before heading home for some urgent work. The cash in his wallet was one penny short of the bill he had to pay.

The penny from the bamboo.

His eye twitched as he counted the coins.

Luck, they say, is something you make. But is it so? Is it the choices we make or the circumstances that occur? And how much do we impact everything around us in the end?

He sulked home, hoping the lucky bamboo would do a better job as of tomorrow.

Sleep on it

There are many reasons to list as to what keeps you up at night. Environmental factors, too much stress, over-exposure to screens, jet lag, heavy food, medicine, or uncomfortable conditions are among them.

Romanticists claim you lie awake because you appear in someone else’s dream.

But in essence, we can’t sleep because we subconsciously burden ourselves with too many thoughts. We won’t allow ourselves to let go of everything that troubles our brains during the day. Consequently, we can’t find that much required peace to relax, to breathe out and alleviate the pressure we exert on ourselves.

We need constructive outlets to enable our minds to wander. To stop thinking for a while. To simply get lost in the moment.

Some would suggest meditation, but that’s not as easy as it sounds, and it requires great effort.

A more feasible solution is a walk on the beach, or even a dive into the sea. Salty water helps in washing away the problems, which we often create ourselves. It will get us feeling refreshed, relaxed, and revived. An essential process in assisting us to gather the courage to face everything that is causing us the initial stress.

We need to find time to escape our worries, if we are to find the strength to effectively deal with them. We can’t sleep on the decisions we need to make, if we can’t fall asleep to begin with.

The choice of a day

Beautiful days are a matter of choice. Each day is what it comes and what we make of them. Be it bright or rainy, cloudy or sunny, dull or exciting, monotonous or overwhelming, we are the ones who ultimately decide how we pass those hours we have.

Unfortunately, we waste most of them. We use up time by overthinking too much, by stressing about trivial stuff, by creating scenarios that will never play out. And we fail to see the beauty of what lies before us in every single moment.

Life is but a series of fleeting instances. And if we’re not too careful, we may just miss out on most of them because we’re too worried about what might happen instead of what is occurring right there, in this very minute.

In the end, we are the ones who choose our own state of mind, the thoughts we allow to override us, and the extent to which we enjoy each moment.

Keep calm and sail on

It’s scary when everything seems to flow in order.

It feels like you’re waiting for the storm to arrive.

As if you’re in a canoe blissfully sailing calmly in a river, birds chirping all around, sun shining above, and a cool breeze complementing the ride, but all of a sudden you reach the end of a cliff and a steep waterfall awaits, where – like in movies – you have nowhere to hold on to and you end up falling off, screaming at the top of your lungs, before diving into the water below.

Yes, it might be an exaggeration, or an overreaction, or maybe both.

But nothing lasts forever – neither good nor bad times – and perhaps that is what is most terrifying when it’s all good.

There is not much you can do though, other than what most motivational speakers, life gurus and the like prompt you to: take each day as it comes. Live the moment and you’ll soon see that in creating and indulging in every instant, you build a life, one you’re happy and proud of, and which fulfills every essence of your being.

And that’s all that matters.

Seeking advice

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We seek advice from others because it is often deafening to quarrel with the sound of your own voice inside your head. We feel the need for an exterior perspective, in case we’re missing something given that we’re so deep in the situation we’re experiencing.

Perhaps it is true that “advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t” (Erica Jong) or maybe it’s just that we look to others to help us find a solution we’re too blind to see.

Talking to others – to the right others – most times helps us clarify things that are fogging our own judgement. It makes us see a clearer picture by getting out of the circle of our own bias and viewing a more spherical perspective.

But there is a catch in turning to friends – or professionals – for help: they’re not you. And whatever they tell you, they’re not the ones who will have to live with the decisions you make.

Not all friends want what’s best for you, neither does everyone understand how you feel, how you react, your idiosyncrasies, needs or desires. But most importantly, no one really knows what you should do in any given situation; opinions are not facts; they’re merely a perspective of reality. And each person behaves differently, leading to a diverse outcome each time. There is no ‘one-shoe-fits-all’ solution to all of our problems. Plus not all ‘friends’ want what is best for you; jealousy is a vicious characteristic.

Remember this: “You are the expert on you and even if you don’t know something, nobody can know what’s best for you better than you. So start trusting your gut instincts more and listen to other so-called experts less”.

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm” (Joshua Miller)

Level up

There is a belief that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. That’s why we need to choose those around us wisely. Because they affect the way we think, act, behave, live.

It’s interesting how when you cut yourself off from the toxic people in your life – those who did you more bad than good and who made you feel worse rather than better – you actually improve in every aspect. Once you withdraw from what is bringing you down, you level up.

This is often obvious from the way you behave, you talk, you walk, you hold yourself up, to the mood you radiate and the aura you emit.

One of the main and most fundamental reason of stress and the psychosomatic symptoms it causes is the fact that we are forced to associate ourselves with people we often don’t even like, let alone match with or share common perspectives, among others. The mere fact that we are doing something we detest is a cause of tension that we bring upon ourselves. Just imagine the strength of the contrary: engaging in something you love and are passionate about. Can you sense the difference?

We are responsible for the choices we make and the people around us, and can change this at any time.

And most significantly: when you can’t’ control what is happening, challenge yourself to control the way you react to it. The way you respond to external occurrences is where your strength lies. Rise up to it.

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