MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “expectations”

Let’s make a pact

You know those New Year resolutions we already forget in the second week of the year? Well, what if we were consistent in keeping them? Or rather, what if we set more feasible goals that were easier and more plausible to implement?

We have this hope – or expectation if you please – that what we’re doing on the first day of the year is how we’ll spend the rest of the year too. So, we put on our most elegant clothes, choose the company of our most loved ones, and try to be as happy as possible having fun. But is that illusion realistic? That we can maintain this atmosphere and emotion all 365 days through?

Life has its ups and downs and that is a reality we cannot ignore.

Stress is inevitable, as a psychiatrist friend highlights, we’re bound to be thrown off balance, but the emotional anxiety it is accompanied with is something we can be trained to manage.

When we allow ourselves to fall into unprecedented bursts of anger it’s because we’ve been suppressing too many feelings for too long, of the sentiment that our viewpoint is not being understood no matter how hard we try to explain ourselves. Panic attacks set in because we’re not able to promptly manage the stress that surrounds us. But what if we could train our minds to be as happy, calm, and serene as on that very first day of the new year? It’s not easy. But it’s not impossible either.

When something goes wrong, we are bombarded with a myriad of thoughts, mostly negative. But what we most lament is the time we lost. We feel that we are in a constant race against time in life and when things go south it’s the first thing that comes to mind and causes additional anguish. The time we allow to pass without doing the things that help us grow, things that we enjoy, being in places that calm us, being embraced and pampered by the people we love.

When we’re having fun, we don’t pay attention to how quickly time passes. When we’re not, that’s when it becomes more obvious. Because we miss things. We miss the things that bring a smile to our face, the people who make us laugh, but most of all the person we are when we’re with them.

What if we made a resolution to be stronger this year? To tolerate more but also less, to set healthy boundaries (which is always not as easy as it sounds), to laugh more and sustain yourself as best as you can?

What if we made a pact to make the most of every single passing minute?

Advertisement

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.

Plant your energy

There is an experiment simple enough that children are even taught to carry out: you take two plants and water each of them equally, but to the one you speak lovingly with kind, encouraging words, while to the other you burst out your rage, anger and hatred. You watch them grow over time and soon realise that the first one blooms into a tall, sturdy, leafy plant, while the latter steadily withers away into misery.

Humans are like that too.

The words we receive affect us in every way.

We are told to be careful of the language we use to talk to ourselves. Those deafening voices inside our head and what they tell us. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to hear things we wouldn’t even tell our enemy. That being said, we shouldn’t tolerate such negativity neither from ourselves, neither from anyone around us.

We become what we constantly tell ourselves.

But have you ever considered that no one wants to be kicked at when they’re already down? When we’re having a bad day and someone else is having a great one, the aim is not to bring the latter down, but to lift the former up.

Friends are there to raise our spirits when we ourselves can’t talk ourselves out of a bad state. They need to realise when we require a pep talk, when we call for a reality check, or simply a few words of encouragement. There are days when life seems to suck. It’s just the way it is at that moment for some. And we need to help them deal with it. Not by showcasing all their negative traits, but by pinpointing all their positive ones so that they too can see how brilliant they are regardless if it doesn’t feel so at that time. We need people who can speak highly of us even in the midst of an argument. We don’t need people around us insensitive so as not to realise when they’re causing more trouble than they’re worth, overstaying their welcome and causing problems to an already tumultuous relationship. Friends respect our choices and the people we’re with, and they tolerate them even when they don’t agree with them. We desire friends who call to check up simply for the sake of it and who can sit with us in silence just for the company.

There is a time for being criticised and one for being consoled. Our people can distinguish between the two.

You can’t feed a plant with negativity and expect it to be the joy of life.

The same is true for people.

Treat them well, and they’ll give you even more of their heart.

It all comes down to how you make them feel.

Disappointed but not surprised

https://www.ketchum.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/bubbles.jpg.jpeg

Every new month we start with the hope that things will be better in the next 30 days. We garner all the optimism we sort of lost along the way during the previous month to start over.

Until it crashes over our head much sooner than we’d hoped for.

Perhaps we are living out a self-fulfilling prophecy in that we expect to be disappointed so we’re just waiting for it to happen. But what if this pattern is a recurring one? What if the circumstances around us simply lead up to that painful loss of optimism? Or maybe it’s just that we hope for a lot.

In the past few months (or even years) we’ve been through so much – so many ridiculous, unperceivable, irrational situations – that we’re no longer surprised by anything. Yet, we’re still left disappointed.

And that is the worst feeling of all.

Maya Angelou had said that “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

We desire the people closest to us – to whom we confide our deepest insecurities, thoughts, and dreams – to actually do what it is they proclaim.

Rhetoric is easy. You just tell the others what they want to hear. But it’s in the implementation that most are found wanting. It’s the actions that will prove who you are and how much you care. And it’s in the adversities – when you need a clan around you the most – that you’ll see who truly values and supports you. It’s all bright when you’re having fun, but when lightning hits and you’re called to confront the difficulties, who is by your side?

We rethink everything when the world overturns. It’s a push to awaken when we’re caught doing the same mistakes. When we still believe that everyone loves and cares the way we do; at times, prioritising others’ needs above our own because that’s just who we are.

We expect our people to support us in all our endeavours, professional efforts, and personal goals. To push us to be better and to help us maintain our sanity and serenity. Who will demonstrate their encouragement through the slightest of things: a virtual like on a social media post, a digital heart on our business page, an online follow to keep us going. It’s the people you can turn to at any time – be it in the middle of the day or at 2 am – because that’s when you want to speak your heart out. The people who will understand your burden and who will sit and listen to you despite having a great day themselves. The people who will try to soothe your distress because they respect, empathize, and acknowledge that that is what you need at the moment. Who will use a calming tone to communicate with you because criticism and patronisation won’t help.

Showing you care doesn’t mean moving mountains. Love is in the little things; it’s in the time you devote, the priorities you set, and the concern you show. It’s in making the other person feel safe and cherished, that they’re important and worth fighting for.

The more we mature and the more we experience certain things in life, the better we learn to appreciate the people who stand by us regardless. Unfortunately, we don’t always receive the support from the people we anticipate it the most. And we continue to realise it in a hard way. But we should be thankful that there is a handful who will help us pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and move ahead because that’s what we do best. Egoism is bad if it borders narcissism and arrogance, but it is often good if it helps you build confidence and makes you realise your value.

We keep telling ourselves to expect less to avoid disappointment, yet that too is on the list of things easier said than done.

Hearts apart

A good friend once advised me that in any relationship you should not give too much all at once and up front. It will prompt greed, because people always want more but are too selfish to admit it is so.

Unfortunately, some people can’t help being kind, and giving others their all, unconditionally, without asking for anything in return. Nothing other than acknowledgment and respect.

Some things that are obvious for some are not at all for others. But when you have to ask for even those common-sense issues, their value is automatically lost.

We grow irritated and angry when we feel we are not taken into account, when we are not prioritised as highly as we wish, when we witness that our voices are not heard.

Anger leads to rage, and as our hearts grow further apart we yell to cover the distance.

Have you noticed that? We shout when we’re angry even if we’re standing two feet apart, because we sense the other is not hearing us, not grasping what we’re saying, because we keep repeating the same things without any change, without progress. We speak simply for reiterating each one’s position. Not to discuss and resolve whatever issues arise for whatever reason.

We may presume someone else’s worries are petty. But that does not mean we should treat them as such. Respect is seeing the world through another’s eyes. Wondering how you would act in their shoes. And helping them settle the crisis.

Caring is demonstrating that you value the other regardless of what your prior actions may have proven to them. It is a simple as that: show it.

If love is the only way to soothe the yelling and reconnect our hearts, all we have to do is display it. Otherwise, there is no point in even trying.

Perhaps that was the problem in the first place; that we tried too hard; expected too much; and got disenchanted too soon.

A sign of caring

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

In an ideal happy-reality scenario, girls grow up to be their daddy’s princess. They then spend most of their mature lives seeking a prince who remotely resembles the king that raised them.

Perhaps that is a mistake, though.

We set off in life with high expectations. Which often lead to bitter disappointments.

But every so often, someone comes along who surprises us pleasantly. And in the very moment when you’ve given up hope, and surrendered to the belief that what you long for does not exist.

It’s the details that make the difference. Like a simple sign that you care.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Building patience

Patience is something we develop over time.

It’s not easy to build. Because just when you think you’ve got it all under control, something else happens to get you all worked up again. Life so happens to be constantly full of surprises, mishaps, misfortunes, and unexpected circumstances – both good and bad, that we need to always be prepared for any conditionality.

We are told to expect nothing to avoid disappointment. But even that is something that requires mastering. Because emotions are concerned, and they are the most difficult to harness. Excitement, above all, can get to your head. But so can disenchantment.

We need patience to allow life to play out before us. We can act on whatever we have control over, and everything else will develop per se.

Our lives seem better when we are mentally calm and relaxed. We can do that by building patience to develop that much-required serenity to deal with whatever comes our way.

And that is created progressively; brick by brick; day by day.

Clean Slate

© Na’ama Yehuda

Love stories of the past are like wilted flowers. Their time – and season – has ended. They were wonderful while they lasted, but they had a due date. And it has expired.

We need to let them go. Throw them out so that we have space to bring in new ones. Fresh, colourful, scented, alive. Ones that remind us that there is a bright future ahead and it’s up to us to make it prosperous.

We can remember, but it should not affect us. Perhaps that is the hardest to master.

Some flowers last forever; those we should nourish.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Magnificent ruins

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It’s not easy to be left wondering why. Racking your mind to find the reason something fell apart. Like a magnificent civilisation that crumbled into pieces and all that is left behind is the ruins we visit, as a sign of our glorious past.

We don’t seem to learn from history. And we keep repeating the same mistakes.

Because we somehow believe that this time things will be different. That we deserve better and we hope we’ve found it.

We forgive too easily because we long for something better.

We expect too much, because we are willing to offer more.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Protect your peace

There comes a time when you need to accept that your peace of mind is more important than anything else.

If we constantly place ourselves in a state where we feel we need to keep everyone else happy, sometimes even exceeding our own limits and sacrificing our own wants to please others, we will soon find that we’re losing ourselves. Let alone wrongly exploiting our time and energy.

We need a motive for everything we do. Subconsciously, that is how it all works. Even if it is simply feeling acknowledged, appreciated, respected, valued or love, we need to sense that there is a purpose in the efforts we make.

When things fall apart from the slightest misunderstandings, from things wrongly perceived, or merely from having too many expectations, the disappointment is usually too much to bear.

And that’s when it all comes crashing down.

Because for as long as you’re hyperactive, keeping everything in motion, the ball rolls smoothly. Once the slightest hiccup occurs and something stops – even if for a millisecond – you realise how much you’re coping with, trying to juggle so much more than you can withstand.

We need to learn to be done, not mad, not bothered, just done.

We need to protect our peace at all costs. It’s what matters most. For if we don’t have a healthy mental state, nothing else really matters.

Post Navigation