MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “expectations”

Disappointed but not surprised

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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.

Only half-way

©Ted Strutz

This boat trip will only take you half-way. You’ll have to carry on the rest of the journey yourself afterwards”. If only, simply to comprehend you’re capable of more than you credit yourself for.

Do you ever make plans in your head, fantasize stories and happy endings, simply to feel that fulfilling satisfying sensation of completeness; of genuine happiness and tranquillity?

It’s a dangerous thing to do.

Usually because nothing ever works out like the feel-good plans we make unilaterally. Destiny has too many parameters to be forged by us alone.

Regardless of the outcome of life, we continue forward.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Switch it off

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How do you switch it off? Your mind. How do you hinder the perplexities? How do you stop it from making scenarios, rushing to conclusions, dreaming ahead? How do you escape your own thoughts?

How is it that your entire mood can change by a single potential drawn up in your head? By that question or theory that wakes you up at night and haunts your sleep? How is it that what we fear most or anguish about is usually simply something concocted by our brain and not reality?

We fabricate our dreams, yet we cannot stop ourselves from cursing our own good fortune. And for that, we bring ourselves harm because we expect things to go wrong. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, we overthink everything and then anticipate it all to take the wrong turn.

But what if we silenced that part of our brain that cautions us so much it does not allow us to live; to enjoy even the simplest things of life?

What if we took the risk of tumbling upside down inside a sheet hanging off the ceiling, like we do in aerial yoga? What if we enabled ourselves to do something different – something out of the box and beyond our comfort zone? What if we enjoyed it so much that we could finally begin to acknowledge that life eventually gains the vivacity you send out to it?

It all begins inside that powerful organ – the brain. Don’t let it bring self-destruction for no apparent cause.

What if we were really ‘fine’?

We search for advice in self-help books, teachings, seminars, life coaches and gurus. As if a resonating, well-put phrase will magically heal us from all our troubles and problems. We search for a solution without even attempting to look for it within ourselves, because we want someone else to handle this burden for us.

We do the same in our relationships.

We expect too much from others, and blame them for not living up to our expectations.

But we also tire easily as we mature. We’ve been through the same vicious circle too many times to still be so tolerant of it. We decide faster and more critically of what we believe we can live with and give a chance to, and who/what not.

Yet in this insatiable quest for social completeness, we often find that what current relationships are lacking is depth. Actually depth. To be able to look at someone and see whatever it is they are trying to conceal. People are hardly ever what they (initially) seem or what they want to portray. And we may spend a lifetime trying to discover their true character and actually failing to. If a person won’t let you in, won’t let you past the limits they’ve set to the outer world, won’t allow you in-depth access, you’ll never really know who they are. And it’s a shame. Because you will never know how connected you can become to a person otherwise.

It’s not just about having fun and filling in the gaps of your social calendar. Relationships are much more. It’s about dancing till dawn drunk, but also about grabbing a coffee and hydrating the next morning; about chatting incessantly for days, yet sitting quietly enjoying a meal together; it’s about sharing your innermost fears without feeling criticised, and feeling safe that you’ll hear a truth that comes from a good-hearted place and is solely for your own benefit. The right relationships help empower you; they make you stronger, more confident, and happier.

And in the end, that’s what we’re all looking for: a reason to be ‘fine’ and genuinely mean it.

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