MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “feelings”

The red lines we cross

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We all have them. But it’s only when we cross them that we perceive their significance.

Red lines are like raising the alarm; that something is wrong.

We all seemingly know at what point something becomes unacceptable to us. But you never really believe you’ll reach that point, or surpass your limits in an often dangerous manner.

We dream of life to be perfect, with as few problems as possible, with disagreements being restricted to a minimum with our colleagues, partner, friends, or even strangers. Hoping whatever row we have may be trivial five minutes later, when we eventually cross those red lines of ours and tensions rise and voice levels increase, we are stunned ourselves. Because this point of no return was never our intention. And it usually becomes so obvious in how it leaves you drained, emotionally exhausted, and psychologically unable to think straight.

We exceed our limits when we accumulate emotions and thoughts for too long without expressing them; when we’re fighting a battle on our own and trying to conceal it from everyone else; when we’re pressing ourselves too hard to appear that everything is fine when it’s really not; when we want someone to stand by but are too proud to ask.

When our mind is too clouded to be able to think clearly, we can only see problems rather than solutions to them. That is when we need a support circle the most. To help us restore reason in that chaos-creating head of ours. It’s not easy. Nothing of value ever is. It would be too boring otherwise. We sometimes need to transcend our own limits – and our comfort zone – to awaken to everything else that can happen if we rattle ourselves up a bit.

For the record and as an interesting fact: The origin of the phrase ‘red line’ in English traces back to the “Red Line Agreement” in 1928 between largest oil companies of Britain, the USA and France at the time of the end of the Ottoman Empire. At the time of signature, the borders of the former empire were not clear, and to remedy the problem an Armenian businessman named Calouste Gulbenkian, took a red pencil to draw in an arbitrary manner the borders of the divided empire. The expression remained significant to global diplomacy and was reused during the UN’s founding after the WWII, especially in the English-speaking world.

The way we feel about it all

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We tend to associate people with events, circumstances, and above all emotions. It’s the feeling they evoke when we first meet. That aura they radiate. The vibes they emit. You know you click with someone from the first instance you set eyes on each other. And your intuition is often never wrong.

The thing is, if we encounter people at a negative condition, it’s very difficult to revoke that prejudice about them that we’ve already created. We may forget the event, or what actually happened, but what remains is how it made us feel. And feelings are an important part of who we are. They affect every single thing – from our attitude, our words our perspective, to our appetite.

It’s true that the chaos and irrationality that govern our everyday lives certainly do not help calm our often inexplicable nerves and agitation. But we try. We invest effort constantly to maintain a mental serenity that will help us get through the day, the week, the month, and so forth. It’s not always easy. And we certainly require some assistance in changing the way we feel. Perhaps we think too much about it all. Because our experience of life is seamless and smooth until the moment we stop to rationalise it all, to overthink, overanalyse and often overreact about it.

Poems of sentiments

Poems don’t have to rhyme, or make much sense.

They just need to speak to you, and reflect what is meant to be said or heard.

It is through these words that we express what we feel, and how deep that sentiment goes.

Perhaps you haven’t felt it so, perhaps that is why you never said anything of the sort.

You compressed those feelings together with the words, lest they escaped and found their way towards me.

But I was never scared of showing you, of allowing my joy to be shared with you.

Perhaps I should have been. Perhaps I should have constrained those sentiments tighter.

For I believed that you would appreciate it all more; you would acknowledge the value of what we had, if you heard it too, if you saw in words the positivity our togetherness reflected.

But you did not.

And that is where it was all lost.

Perhaps I cared too much, much more than you were willing to.

Perhaps you didn’t feel as strong. Or simply refused to admit it.

But I cannot press you to care. You either do it fully or not at all.

There will come a time when you will want to say it all in your own words.

Yet, I cannot promise you that I’ll still be here to listen.

On the occasion of World Poetry Day.

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.

More than walls

© Brenda Cox

When we finally arrived, it was all there just like in that picture we had created in our minds after so many descriptions we had heard.

It was standing there, frozen in time, as if waiting for its owners to return.

Homes too have a soul. They encompass the feelings and memories their residents confide and build in them. The life we experience, the persons we shape ourselves to be, the laughter and tears we express, they all seep into the walls and are cautiously guarded like a well-kept secret.

It only takes a single breath to remember it all.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Languishing

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Do you feel it too? It’s quite common nowadays. That sense of not moving forward, of being underproductive, of aimlessly drifting in life. There is a term coined for it: it’s called languishing. Quite the opposite of flourishing, it’s the sensation of feeling empty and stagnant. Of feeling “blah” and “meh”. It’s the loss of purpose that two years in a pandemic have caused. That absence of meaning for anything we do.

As this NY Times article explains: “Languishing is the neglected middle child of mental health. It’s the void between depression and flourishing — the absence of well-being. You don’t have symptoms of mental illness, but you’re not the picture of mental health either. You’re not functioning at full capacity. Languishing dulls your motivation, disrupts your ability to focus, and triples the odds that you’ll cut back on work. It appears to be more common than major depression — and in some ways it may be a bigger risk factor for mental illness”.

People worldwide have been affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic to a level they cannot explain. Hence, the term invented for this inexplicable feeling. We are dispirited, discouraged to do more. It often appears that we’ve lost the will to do something astounding because we see no point in it anymore. Our mental health is perhaps our most valuable asset and what has been most severely affected by this pandemic. Yet, we usually don’t recognise it, sometimes because we don’t want to admit it, and most times because we can’t really explain what it is that’s wrong.

We’re angry more often than usually. We become irritated by the slightest of things – by the tone of a person’s voice, the queues at the supermarket, the agitation in traffic jams, the high prices, the stalling of public transport, the inefficiency of the public service… anything can spark a distress that is difficult to mentally control. And then it becomes a domino effect of things going wrong, adding to the existing stress and the thoughts about the futility of it all.

Counsellors advise you to name your emotions, to get in touch with your inner self through mindfulness, to take it easy and give yourself time to go through the process, to relax and enjoy things as much as possible, to generally ‘be present’. We are told to focus on small goals because they are more easily achievable and bring satisfaction all the same. To transcend this feeling we need to start small, acknowledging, however, what we’re dealing with. Managing mental challenges is a feat in itself. Immerse yourself in what you do, be it a project of any kind, or a Netflix marathon; if it absorbs your uninterrupted attention it will help keep your mind off existential questions. It also helps to speak to like-minded people, who keep you calm and optimistic about life. Changing the scenery also helps, from redesigning a room to travelling abroad.

Languishing is not a disease that can be healed. It is a state – of mind, of psyche, whatever you may call it – that is greatly affected by the circumstance in which we live. Perhaps not everything is in our hands to control, but the way we react is. What we can do is realise that the best way to defeat whatever is bringing us down is to face it head on, and simply not let it. Whatever disrupts our mind, is what overpowers it and guides it too.

Making and breaking

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The problem with loving too much is that you don’t realise that while you’re elevating others, they’re breaking you.

You allow people to smuggle you around, as if ashamed of you’re there, instead of being proud of your presence.

We want to believe that karma will compensate our sacrifices and goodness will be returned.

But often we just need to see reality for what it is.

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #239

The things you shouldn’t know

You know that saying, “it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt”? Well, it’s true for every age, and all contexts.

Happiness comes in waves. But like love and pain, it comes unexpectedly and leaves the same way.

The key to being happy – and most of all serene – is acknowledging that you yourself and you alone are responsible for that precious feeling. You’re the only one who can control your feelings even if most times it doesn’t seem so easy or plausible to do.

It’s a magical and refreshing sensation to allow yourself to get carried away in the moments. Those instances that take your breath away, that have you tearing with laughter so much that your abs hurt. Those glimpses of time you look back on and smile nostalgically.

But there is always that inexplicable – demonic – hunch that nothing is so perfect; and it won’t last.

So what do you do when you see something you shouldn’t have? What if you notice a message you shouldn’t be aware of? Or overhear a conversation you weren’t meant to? How do you “un-know” things you shouldn’t know? How do you press “undo” on life events?

It’s mindblowing how emotions can change in a millisecond. How your entire perspective can alter by knowing something you shouldn’t. How everything moves from one extreme to another simply because of a differentiation of facts. It’s as quickly as clouds of rain form in a clear blue sky and hail begins to pour.

But that you can’t really control.

Can you?

Or is it there to show you something? Because often things happen to remind you what you deserve and to rethink where you are and what you’re devoting your energy and time on. Is it worth it if you’re not feeling happy, appreciated and valued?

Glow joy

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When you first meet a person, you receive a vibe from them; it’s that initial instinct – that hunch – that gives you a sense of what kind of person they are. It’s the aura each person emits that introduces them before they utter a single word.

Auras are in essence the energy field that surrounds us. Because everything is made up of energy, we both emit and receive energy. But that can be either negative or positive, good or bad, depending on our mood, sentimental state, stress, as well as exogenous factors. It’s really a vicious circle: the more vulnerable we feel, the weaker the aura we emit, and the more perceptible it is to negative factors (more stress, anger, bitterness, resentment, sadness etc), that leads to a deterioration of our emotions and consequently further psychosomatic problems.

What we need to realise is that we ourselves are responsible for the energy we put out to the world, and thus our own happiness; but we first need to acknowledge that the meaning of our happiness is something defined by us.

We decide on what we ‘waste’ our energy on, what we devote our time and emotions to, what we allow ourselves to feel and express. The best thing would be to surround ourselves with loving feelings, ones that make us feel worthy, important, and alive. It is said that when you are loved you gain strength, but when you love, you gain courage. And that fills your aura with colour and optimism. And it shows. Because you glow joy. Without even speaking.

Sentimental blue

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She wore it round her neck always. A mesmerising necklace like a lost symbol.

A blue in which you could easily lose yourself in; that made you feel all the sentiments you kept confined with an inexplicable euphoria.

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #236

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