MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “feelings”

Letter to Santa

http://www.shieldhealthcare.com/community/grow/2017/12/21/dear-santa-letter-from-a-special-needs-parent/

As a Christmas birthday child, this season is magical for so many reasons. Mainly because it’s filled with hope, anticipation, laughter, cheer, love, and so much joy. It’s the period when it’s OK to act like a child and feel like one too. Perhaps more so than children themselves. We feel everything so intensely and the emotions that fill the air during this most wonderful time of the year are no exception.

You never get too old to rejoice in the magic of this season. The fact that it brings people together. It fills your heart with excitement, optimism, happiness, and so much love. Particularly if you get to spend it with people who mean the most to you. Because in essence, that’s what we spend all year waiting for. To celebrate the best part of it (and for some, a birthday too) with those we cherish.

We’re comfortable with being vulnerable and letting it show. Of how happy we are when we enter an elf factory, or stand under a huge lighted-up Christmas tree for a selfie, or get lost in all the seasonal decorations of a store. We don’t mind to demonstrate that side of us, because it’s a part of who we are, and it’s contagious too. Admit it, you can’t not smile at a (small-sized) Christmas-obsessed person camouflaged as an elf among large decorations and rejoicing so much that everything else seems trivial.

Christmas makes us all kids at heart. So, it doesn’t matter how many we’ve experienced, we seize the opportunity to write a letter to Santa. It’s just that we don’t ask for toys anymore. We ask for moments, people, and emotions. We ask that nothing be taken away from us. We express the urge for love, serenity, and happiness. For things to work out as we deserve. For our heart’s desires to be fulfilled.

When we start writing “Dear Santa”, it all magically becomes clear; what it is that we truly want, what matters most, and what’s important for us.

Writing a letter to Santa brings back that innocence we lose as we grow up, that belief that we have that the world will be as magical as we dream it. It reminds us that what we dream we can create, and what we imagine we can be, as long we have an open heart and mind…and just believe.

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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.

Genuine Smiles

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There was a difference between when she smiled wholeheartedly and when she simply forced it. Her aunt knew how to read her. She was just like her. The fake smile caused more muscles to tense. It was strained and didn’t seem natural.

We all have moments like that. When we feel obligated to smile and be courteous when in fact we feel nothing like it at all.

Charlotte saw so much of herself in her niece. Joy lived up to her name most times. But when her aura clouded, it could be sensed a mile away.

“The secret to maintaining that smile is to keep the child inside you alive”, Charlotte said.

Joy tilted her face like a cat in awe.

Think about it: when we’re simply living in that moment, blurring everything around us to the point that nothing else exists beyond what we’re doing and who we’re with at the present time, aren’t we happier? We shift all our focus to that precise period of time that we don’t care about past or future or anything else that causes us concern and stress. We feel relaxed, playful, carefree, and genuinely happy. Your heart is open to love and…well, joy, and your mind is thinking positively by default. You view the world brighter because you’ve turned the mood switch to that direction”.

Joy smiled, her head turned back straight. The smile was authentic this time.

She didn’t need to say much. Charlotte understood anyway. She gave her a hug. One of those long ones where you wait for the other person to let go first and so you stay entangled for what seems like hours, laughing while you feel each other’s heart vibrate. The embrace was so tight, Charlotte could actually feel the crack that had marked Joy’s emotions.

We’re all loving people the way we wish we were loved and hurting them the way we wish we were not hurt”.

How different the world would be if we could – even for an instance – see things from another’s point of view, step in their shoes and view their perspective. How much better everything would be, if we could just let our pride aside for a minute and show some empathy to the people around us, particularly to those we say we care for the most”.

Sometimes, love has a way of coming back to you”, Charlotte added, loosening the squeeze.

If it’s meant to be, it won’t miss you. There is always a way if we truly want it”.

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.

The comfort we seek

©MCD

There is a truth we inherently know. The comfort that we seek all around us is ultimately found in our homes. The home we go to for refuge. Where we feel safe and welcome no matter what. Where our people love us unconditionally. Where regardless of your state of mind, you’ll be loved no questions asked.

Home is where you run to when life just gets too much. When the thunderstorms become too loud and you’re unable to manage them on your own. When your bubble has burst because you were filled with too many expectations that were not realised.

We return home to feel comforted. Because here, you’ll never be left alone unless you request it. Because the only question you’ll be asked is what you want for dinner. Because it is a chance to reset and reprioritize everything you considered valid in your life. It’s a chance to renew yourself and change your mentality. To return stronger, more confident, and with the determined belief that things will work out well.

We need our homes to be our safe place. No judgement, no criticism, no yelling; only laughter, love, calmness, and security.

Wherever we make that home and with whomever we choose, we need to be certain we can run there whenever adversities strike. That we’re not left alone to weather the storm but we have our persons there to help us through it. Relationships all require hard work from both sides, nothing ever simply fits into place; we need to invest ourselves and our effort to making things work if they’re worth it. But to do that we need people who welcome us with open arms when we call and say we’re coming.

We find solace in a hug, in a family’s embrace, in a loved-filled home. And that is what helps us carry on.

Life-changing flares

It takes courage to get up in the morning and convince yourself that today will be the day when something so wonderfully extraordinary happens that life will never be the same.

It takes guts to be so cheerful before you’ve barely opened your eyes.

Leo was one of those guys.

He was that person who sang as he shaved before going to work. Who made breakfast for the family on weekends. Who hardly complained about anything, because ‘what good would that do?’ He was the one who could literally turn your frown upside down because when you saw him, you wished there were more of him in the world.

Linda was a girl with mood swings. Like any female, she was easily affected by hormonal changes, to the extent that days of laughter would be preceded by spurs of inexplicable irritation or followed by moments of melancholic sobbing. There was no real explanation for any of it. She was, however, a person who would wear her heart on her sleeve; she would do anything she could and more to take care of the people she loved. She would organise surprises and be happier for the emotion felt rather than the gift itself. She was a person who would go all out, and despite what she said, she secretly hoped someone would do something similar for her too.

When they met, the flare lit up inside both instantly.

Leo asked her if she believed in fate. “What if everything we lived was precisely to lead us to this very moment, so that we could meet right here, right now?

What if we’re one connection away from changing our entire lives?” was her response.

She smiled and his entire world lit up. His heart fluttered and she blushed, her eyes glistening with happiness.

It wasn’t always easy. But they tried. Together. It required finding the middle line. Making compromises and retreating when fighting would not lead anywhere.

I need you to be happy, because we can’t be sad together,” he told her when she felt blue.

If you laugh, I’ll smile,” she would reply.

And step-by-step they would make each other better.

In life we don’t need extravagance; just one person to turn on the light. Everything else will follow.

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.

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.

Offline

There is a reason why many meditation and life-seizing coaches recommend you go offline for as much as you possibly can.

Scrolling on a screen all day steals your energy and mental clarity.

But most of all, it takes you away from life itself.

Because be it as it may, life is what is that blur that is happening around your screen. Just lift your head up long enough to devour it.

We go outdoors to breathe in fresh air; to socialise with real people; to view greener fields, bluer waters, and clearer skies; to marvel at the beauty of the world we live in.

Yet we do nothing of that.

Because even out there, we’re stuck on a screen. We’re so invested in what everyone else is doing and showing off online that we hardly exploit our ‘free’ time. As if a photo for a social post is enough to have said that we’ve done something different. Sure, photos are the concrete remnants of our memories. But there’s so much more to that. It’s all the moments we spend talking, laughing, doing things, hugging, and simply being around our loved ones that make the difference. It’s the feelings we create in those moments that cannot be captured or properly portrayed in a photograph.

So next time you’re out and about, around your favourite people (or not), put down your phone and observe the world around you.

You might just be amazed by it.

Shine a light inside

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There are two types of people in the morning: the chirpy one, who chatters, sings, and is hyperactive from the moment they get out of bed; and the one who doesn’t want a single noise to interfere in the still sleeping zen phase they are painfully trying to get out of.

Miranda was the second type.

Alan was the first.

You can see the problem.

The worst was when the only chance they had to discuss about something was before going to work in the morning because often their shifts did not coincide and they could spend entire days without seeing each other. Despite living in the same house, they didn’t always have the energy after work to talk about anything.

This made it all the more complex.

Because she was also the type to keep everything inside. She restrained herself from expressing what bothered her, be it from the slightest of things – from their online presence, to his behaviour towards others, to her problems at work, or financial difficulties.

The body had a mind of its own, though, and it began to demonstrate its anguish and exhaustion in various forms. The signs were ignored and neglect led to stronger pain in every form.

He saw what she refused to.

How she faded her own light and began to personify that “what doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness (Marcus Aurelius).

So he surprised her with a week away.

To a place she only dreamed of; where mice and ducks were favourite cartoon characters; where laughter was the only sound you could hear; where to feel the innocence and carefreeness of a child was mandatory.

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