MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “confidence”

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”.

A peacock’s strut

meep-by-the-window

©Jean L. Hays

It was one of those days, when you look out of the window lost in your thoughts. A strange bird caught her attention. It reminded her of a saying her grandfather used to tell her: “be a peacock in a world full of blackbirds”. It was a prompt to refuse to be ordinary.

But in our world today, everyone believes they’re a peacock. Strutting along, gleaming and boasting of their supposed abilities and good looks. “Appearance is deceiving”, she pondered.

She looked closer at the bird. It seemed ordinary. “A peacock that rests on its feathers is just another turkey”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

A shining star in a dim sky

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GV1XqVMta2c/V9OWt2dc12I/AAAAAAAAE2k/FynYSq2JkNMytbviNilB41CD2JSBpt7JgCLcB/s1600/shining-star.jpgThere is a story an elderly monk used to tell his young novices:

“There was a star born one night in the darkness. Its light was dim and it could hardly be seen in the night sky. No-one really even knew it was there. It existed unnoticed. The star was upset and disappointed. It felt invisible. But as time passed it was growing in size. Disheartened as it was with life, its shine was still absent. A dim star is one that hardly exists. Other stars gathered beside it, bigger or smaller, they were certainly brighter. The star – that was no longer little – became even more upset. It was discouraged by the competition. One night it heard a little girl point to the sky and shout in amazement “look at all the bright lights!”. The star felt for the first time noticed. And for this,  it wanted to make its presence even more prominent. So it tried with all its heart to shine the brightest. And suddenly the entire sky lit up. The sky was hiding its glow within it; over the years it had gathered so much light but failed to find a way to transmit it. Or rather, a reason to do so. It’s difficult to be a shining star in a dim sky. But you should never allow the fear of glowing too brightly from dimming the shine you have within you. And knowing that you’re bright all alone. No need to be compared with anyone else.”

Also part of Daily Prompt: Dim

The loudness of insecurity

girl-umbrellaIt was the first time Max had found himself in a psychologist’s office. He was postponing it for too long; he needed someone to listen to all the things that had accumulated inside him and were causing him stomach aches. The main problem he had to face was that he cared too much – he over-thought and over-worried about anything. Maybe this doctor would be able to show him how to care less, or at least how to not allow things to affect him as much.

Outside in the waiting room was a sign on the wall, a blue canvas with the inscription “Confidence is silent. Insecurities are loud.” It resonated with Max, as he thought about all the people in his life who annoyed him the most and who he wrongly permitted to distress him – they were all people who claimed center stage, those who thought that everything should be about them, who adopted an attitude close to that of a bully, and who pretended to mask their low self-esteem in (often overly) socialization.

For an hour, Max poured out his feelings to the person he had just met sitting across him in the small, yet cozy, room. He found himself telling him stories and emotions that he had never even admitted to himself. Psychologists, he realised, have a way of making you feel comfortable enough to share your inner most thoughts without dwelling too much on what you’re saying.

When the psychologist’s turn to talk came, Max took out a small notebook to write certain things down. They may have been just phrases, but they would help him in changing his own attitude and facing the situations he was forced to deal with on a daily basis.

“Insecurity is an ugly thing. It makes you hate people you don’t even know. More so, insults are the last resort of insecure people with a crumbling position trying to appear confident. Insecure people seek approval. They try to talk everyone down so that can feel superior. Don’t allow yourself to fall into that trap. Try, as much as you can to ignore them. Just don’t interfere in their lives so that they won’t interfere in yours. Remember, you only give them more power the more attention you devote to them. So simply turn the other way. Demonstrate your own confidence by shying away from the spotlight; let it chase you, not the other way round. Do something different instead: build people up, remind them they’re worthy, tell them they’re incredible; be a light in an often too dim world”.

Max left the office feeling uplifted. Sometimes, all it takes is some words of encouragement to view the situation in a different aspect.

Feisty, Bitchy, Sassy, Ethereal

Fashionable Women SilhouettesTo say all women are bitches is a very broad generalization. And we shouldn’t generalize as much. Because women can also be kittens, cats, tigers, even lionesses at times. It is safe to say, however, that all women have an animal inside.

There have been many many things said about women. Ever since the beginning of time, a woman is considered “the weaker sex”, but at the same time the complicated one, the controversial one, and the emotional one (exhibited in every sense). In modern times, women have become all the more empowered, emancipated and confident. Something that leads to the derogatory term that originated in the 14th century and suggested high sexual desire in a woman, comparable to a (female) dog in heat. However, today, the range of meanings has expanded in modern usage and in a feminist context, it can indicate a strong or assertive woman. It is also reminiscent of the fact that if you treat a woman right, you’ll have an angel for life, but be warned “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”.

It is is a common saying that behind every successful man, there is a brilliant woman, or as John Lennon put it “there is a great woman behind every idiot”. The Ancient Greeks described the world’s three evils as being “fire, women and the sea”. It is no wonder why women are seen as such diverse creatures (being one I can testify first-hand). Women have to fight with mood swings that catch everyone by surprise, even themselves at times. They have to bleed once a month and deal with the consequent PMS that comes along with this. They are more jealous than the queen of the alley cats and are willing to get into extremes simply to mark their own territory. Women rarely embroil in “cat fights”, however, preferring the more effective sarcastic and fake compliment-offering instead. In fact, this is also a huge difference with men – how often have you heard of men quarrelling being described as a “dog fight”? Men actually pride of being called a “dog”, contrasting the equivalent situation for the female gender.

Women bedazzle men and other women because more often than not they do not know what they want, but they expect others to know. They want you to understand without them having to explain. You need to know and anticipate their every move and desire, and most times you will never get it right either way, whatever it is you do. Perhaps this is why men discovered the phrase “Yes, dear”, most effectively said with a condescending nod.

Females of all species are indeed hard to understand. They need constant courting and attention, unless they don’t. So go figure. They are too hard to understand, almost impossible. But at the same time it is this constant mystery that enwraps them that makes them so attractive, so provocatively intoxicating and so difficult to live without.

Let’s face it, Adam could not live alone without Eve, even if she was the reason they both got expelled from Paradise. So let her complain, let her moan and nag, let her shout and cry, it will all pass. Wouldn’t you want to be there for the good times? The sweetness, the generosity, the surprises? She will definitely make it all worth it. Women have that ability. To make up for everything in the end.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Unsung Heroes

Indebted to the future

DSC05826“We live in a Europe of mistrust”. This is what European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schulz stated yesterday Monday 4 November speaking at a very interesting conference in Athens. Organised by the EP Information Offices in Greece, Cyprus, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain – the countries worst hit by the crisis and forced to implement austerity measures – the first of its kind international conference entitled “South for Growth” aims to address the challenges and prospects faced by the countries on the south of the European map in managing the crisis.

In a densely packed room at the Athens Concert Hall, keynote speaker Schulz uttered “it is time to come to an end with the rhetoric of crisis and start a new debate – the rhetoric of hope”. He outlined four proposals which he said are the key points in forging a strategy that will help the south exit the crisis.

Calling on personal experiences, Schulz stated that during the post-WWII period governments asked parents to make sacrifices, with the promise that this would bring a better future for their children.
“These promises were kept,” he said, noting that his generation lived a better life with unprecedented opportunities. “Europe was a promise”. But now, how can we ask parents to make all the more sacrifices, when their children are unemployed, desperate and have lost hope in their future? It is for this reason, Schulz said that youth unemployment must be the first step in promoting growth.

In a passionate and dynamic speech, the EP president stressed that it is unacceptable that the European Central Bank (ECB) maintains interest rates at such a low  figure (0.5%), but Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) do not have access to liquidity. This money is not injected into the real economy, he said, and for this we need a strategy to overcome the credit crunch and help realize the SMEs’ projects. This in turn, he added, will help with employment opportunities.

“We are not bold enough,” he stated. “Let’s dare more, be more imaginative, let’s seize the potential of the resources and geostrategy of the Mediterranean”. Greater economic cooperation in this region will lead to a stronger south and as a result to a more powerful Union.

But “for all these proposals to be realized we need to regain confidence between north and south, between citizens, politics and institutions”. Using the word “trust” over ten times, Schulz was striving to pass the message that without the trust of its people in the EU and the principles of the EU forefathers, the EU structure cannot move forward.

Himself a probable candidate for the post of European Commission President, Schulz delivered a speech that by far responded to the expectations of all those people from all over Europe, mainly young, who filled the room for this conference. It is unknown as to whether the EU officials’ persistence on immediate actions that deliver results is actually due to the campaigning that has already begun ahead of the 2014 EU elections. Because it is widely acknowledged that to stay on board, you need to have achievements to show in your favour.

“The trust of citizens cannot be gained by speeches. It can only be gained when we deliver solutions,” said Schulz with MEP Thodoros Skylakakis (ALDE) adding that “we are just talking heads…we do not realize the extent of the problems, and for that citizens don’t listen to us”.

We live in a Europe of mistrust and of debt. And as EP Vice President Anni Podimata said, “we are indebted”. Not only because of the money we owe, but because of the hope and future we promised to provide to the next generation.

 

Also part of NaBloPoMo (November 2013)

Truth found from a kid…or a nut

mafalda-with-friends-21814It is actually funny how there is a saying that you will only learn the truth from a crazy person and a child. After all it is no coincidence that the best comic or satire strips have kids as their protagonists: Peanuts and Charlie Brown by Charles M. Schulz, Mafalda by Joaquín Salvador Lavado (Quino), Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, and even the Scooby Doo characters, to name but a few. And it is indeed amazing how the creators of all these use the innocence, sometimes even naivety, of kids to tackle issues that concern us all, in the most honest and truthful way possible. And that is what basically makes it funny – the fact that it is so true you don’t know whether to laugh or to cry! But it is always better to laugh!

People usually think they can move the world if they so wish. That is how strong everyone wants to feel. So confident and cocksure.  That is until something comes along and breaks them. Like a tonne-weighing elephant before the sight of a tiny little mouse (at least that is how cartoons depict it!). It is when a virus, or an illness of some sort, gets you down that you lose all that certainty in yourself and become vulnerable again. Helpless and in need of care and support. It is when you are shattered, almost collapsed, crawling from bed to couch to chair, even Roman wrestling the dog for his fuzzy pillow in his little dog house that you realise all it takes is a moment of feeling unwell. And that is when you understand that nothing is more precious than life itself. Like the moments when you were a kid and you lavished in all new things you discovered. And were so blunt about asking questions about the world simply because your innocence and inexperience allowed you to.

People revert to being kids not just in the bad times but also in the good. I don’t think any adult in Disneyland doesn’t enjoy the fun that awakens the child inside of him/her. Especially if they’ve never been there before. And something that excites you or makes you extremely happy seems to revitalise that inner child. Full of excitement, and lust for life. Just like it should be. Not caring about what anyone else thinks.

So I guess it is true that honesty is best learnt from a child. As for the crazy person, well, the way the world is going, I suppose we will all find out soon enough!

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