MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “friends”

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.

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Live with a grateful heart

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We should be grateful for friends to whom we can turn and say “I’m gonna moan for 20 minutes straight” and they’ll just make you comfortable and listen to every complaint you make.  We should be grateful for people to whom talking feels like therapy. For the family we choose to support us when life turns upside down.

We should be grateful for so much more than we actually do.

Because we don’t realise the instability of the modern world. How things may change in an instant. How plans rarely work out and how we’re often forced to forge different paths ahead.

When we get too comfortable to move, alter, or evolve, life will usually find ways to push us out of it.

We may need to reassess our entire theory of the world, but it will probably be for the best. If we’re not obliged to exit our comfort zone, we will never realise the potential we have.

This social-media-driven world has manufactured a mentality where everyone – every single person out there – has a voice that they too often than not use to proclaim how perfect and outstanding they are. Yet, it is those who have nothing to say that usually shout the loudest, and those who have nothing to show for that proclaim their greatness. Others simply try to prove their worth in actions, not hollow speeches.

We live in a contemporary state of constant disappointment but not surprise. Because we’ve learned to expect the worst, despite fighting for the best.

Regardless, however, there are so many things to still be grateful for: our good health, the family around us, the friends who embrace us, and the love we receive from the people we truly cherish.

A decade of Whispers

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Every big thing starts with a simple moment of folly in which, upon taking that leap, you ask “why not” and “what if”. Because yes, in jumping, you may fall; but what if you fly?

We have a tendency in this modern fast-paced world of ours to consider the downside more than what we have to gain. But we sometimes fail to see that if we don’t dare to try, we won’t move to grow. Change won’t happen if we don’t go after it.

In the past years of pandemic lockdowns, political developments, climate change (floods, heatwaves, fires), and so much more that has made us question the very essence of our existence, it is perhaps our mental health and psychological state of being that has been affected the most.

We find that we are often competing with our own self simply to remain sane. We’re battling the voices in our hear that we wish were not ours. We whisper that we’re fine, when inside we’re bellowing that we’re not. And we realise that we need days off everything; hours to do absolutely nothing – to lie in bed staring at the ceiling,binge-watch series or movies, to walk silently along the beach, to read after going offline. We ought to give ourselves those instances to regroup, to recharge, and to relax above all. It’s an opportunity to reconsider everything we do – from the support circle around us, the social acquaintances, our relations with the ‘outside’ world, to our employment prospects, our professional ambitions, but also our personal dreams which we so often push aside.

I began writing this blog a decade ago – can you believe it’s been 10 years already? It was my way of expressing everything I cannot (or wish not) say aloud. It’s not easy for everyone to speak out and converse so easily with people. Some of us are lost in the chaos of our minds. We’ll speak to those who win our trust, who we feel comfortable and secure with; to those, we will blabber away for hours, so consider yourself lucky, for you are among the selected few. But don’t think we don’t have things to say. The pen, it is said, is often mightier than the sword. And if we can’t speak, we’ll write it.

That said, consider this in the rapid passing of time: We come into each other’s lives in a mere fragment of it. We meet each other without knowing what led the other to this moment, and (on each occasion) we are trying to catch up on the time we ‘lost’ when we did not know of each other’s existence. In an effort to replenish that time, we want to draw in as much information as possible about the other, often being subject to jealousy of the people who have managed to spend a greater period with this new person.

We have but a glimpse of our lives to set our mark on another person and ensure our role and part in their lives is maintained. In the dozens (or more) of people we meet throughout our passage, only a handful will stay long enough to see us grow, change, laugh and cry, evolve. But those are the people who matter. And it goes both ways.

So, the message I’ll close off with in this 10-year anniversary post is this: sometimes it’s good not to know where you’re going and where something you start off in a leap of faith will lead. Because you never know how wonderful or life-changing it may be.

Seeking advice

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We seek advice from others because it is often deafening to quarrel with the sound of your own voice inside your head. We feel the need for an exterior perspective, in case we’re missing something given that we’re so deep in the situation we’re experiencing.

Perhaps it is true that “advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t” (Erica Jong) or maybe it’s just that we look to others to help us find a solution we’re too blind to see.

Talking to others – to the right others – most times helps us clarify things that are fogging our own judgement. It makes us see a clearer picture by getting out of the circle of our own bias and viewing a more spherical perspective.

But there is a catch in turning to friends – or professionals – for help: they’re not you. And whatever they tell you, they’re not the ones who will have to live with the decisions you make.

Not all friends want what’s best for you, neither does everyone understand how you feel, how you react, your idiosyncrasies, needs or desires. But most importantly, no one really knows what you should do in any given situation; opinions are not facts; they’re merely a perspective of reality. And each person behaves differently, leading to a diverse outcome each time. There is no ‘one-shoe-fits-all’ solution to all of our problems. Plus not all ‘friends’ want what is best for you; jealousy is a vicious characteristic.

Remember this: “You are the expert on you and even if you don’t know something, nobody can know what’s best for you better than you. So start trusting your gut instincts more and listen to other so-called experts less”.

“The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm” (Joshua Miller)

The troubles of the world

It’s consoling to feel you are being heard. To know there is someone there who will allow you to lash out, to yell, to moan, to cry if needed. We need those air pockets once in a while to enable us to breathe. Because we can’t keep everything suffocating inside for too long”.

She paused and smiled. Marian could feel zia Giulia’s gentle gaze look right through her. She didn’t need to say much around her favourite aunt. It was as if she had a super-intuition through which she could perceive every emotion, every perplexing thought.

I’m glad you’re that person-to-go-to for your friends. But the problem arises when you allow all those problems you hear to drain into you and you add them onto your own”.

Marian sighed. Zia had struck spot on.

We need to listen, to comprehend, to offer advice, support, or even nothing more than our company and the reassurance that no one is alone. But you also need to know how to turn the tap off. That is how to allow the troubles of the world to slip off your shoulders. Each of us has enough of their own worries to carry those of others too. It’s not selfish. It’s self-care. And it does not mean you’re not being a good friend if you’re not constantly anguishing over the other’s hardships”.

She could sense the confusion, so she lightened the mood and added:

Even a camel will eventually shed you off when you become too heavy to carry. But that does not mean that it won’t accept to carry you back on again after a short while”.

Know your limits. And don’t be afraid to set them”.

A challenging heartfelt wish

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When the last day of a very strenuous year begins with ominous news, you begin to question the very essence of our existence. It’s not only about reviewing everything we’ve been through the past 365 days anymore, or the past two years with a global pandemic still hanging over us. It’s about rethinking our very take on life itself; our perspective on how we march ahead; of what we consider important and prioritise; of what we actually do to live a life; and what even constitutes a ‘life of plenty’, a ‘happy life’.

It’s easy to spread wishes here and there. It’s as simple as saying ‘good morning’ or asking ‘how are you?’. But is it heartfelt? How rarely do we nowadays mean what we say, especially when it has to do with wishing others the best?

We desire health and blessings, happiness and love, strength and success.

What we really want is serenity, someone to lift the mental exhaustion off our shoulders, the safety of having a family nearby – be it of relatives or friends; that secure feeling of knowing that whenever something – anything, no matter how big or small – happens, there is someone there to call. We want peace of mind and of heart, that tranquillity we are so lacking in this modern era, to be able to create the life we want, to pursue the targets we set, to be realistic about what we want to do in our lives, and to have the stamina to live it.

It’s challenging to give out wishes – heck, to even say anything at all – to those who face loss. But encouragement is vital, simply to rest assured that you are not alone; even at the darkest of times, there is always a hint of light somewhere, and true friends/family are there to remind you of it.

So, to lighten the mood on this day and for the sake of hopefully making this a much better year in all respects, here are some genuinely heartfelt wishes:

May all sorrows get locked, and you get showered with the best of the best blessings.

Try to relax in the new year… and don’t think about all of the resolutions you’re supposed to be starting!

Happy New Year! May the coming year be full of grand adventures and opportunities.

May this year be filled with new adventures, good fortunes and surprises for a better life.

May every moment of this year would be unique, filled with pure pleasure and each day comes out like exactly what you want…Happy New Year!

Quirk of Character

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Introverts have a higher threshold than average for letting people in. Be it in their reading lists, their diaries, their lives, their homes, their minds, their hearts. If an introvert starts babbling away to you, you should know that they trust you and feel safe enough to confide in you. It’s not an easy feat for most to achieve.

Call it trust issues if you may, but introverts believe that the people around you need to compliment your happiness, your self-appreciation, and your confidence. Well, it’s what we should all really expect of others anyway. For if someone doesn’t add value to your life, why keep them there if they’ll only make you feel worse?

The truth is, there are certain instances in life that make you reconsider your friendships; who you consider your friends to be; who really are. Because it’s the ones who stick there through the rough times; when you have nothing to say or don’t even want to; at the times it feels like the whole world is against you and you’re raging against ‘the system’. It’s those who seek you as much as you search for them. It’s those who are willing to stay around when you fall face down and will help pick you up; those who see you at your worse are also the ones who deserve to see you at your best. Because as this excellent article says, “friendships do not have to be transactional, but they should absolutely be reciprocal”. It’s not all about having fun. It’s about being there for each other in every situation.

Each person reacts to life’s problems differently. We are not all the same. We have varying idiosyncrasies, mentalities, responses. Some seek assistance anywhere they can; others prefer to close up in their own shells and wait out the storm alone. It has to do with a person’s character and that’s not easy to affect. Introverts need to be left alone. They’ll come to you for help when they’re ready. But they want to know that you’re still there until they do.

In the end it all comes down to the fact that we virtually befriend hundreds of people on social media, but choose to have only a handful around; the best ones – those who remain no matter how far you unwillingly push them out.

“Beware of those who seek constant crowds; they are nothing alone”. – Charles Bukowski

“I restore myself when I’m alone”. – Marilyn Monroe

The power of distance

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Distance has the power to show you the value of a person.

So does silence.

When you stop looking for them, who comes searching for you?

Friendship – and any type of relationship – is a two-way affair. You can’t be the one constantly chasing people. Heck, you shouldn’t be chasing anyone to begin with. We attract those we deserve, and the energy we emit is what returns to us. So relax. Whatever should, will come to you in time.

Don’t forget that the best stocktaking on life is made on the move – in trains, airplanes, and automobiles. It’s when you’re leaving that you realise what you miss most, who is looking for you, and to whom you want to return. The truest reflections come to you when you’re trying to escape life. It’s when you acknowledge what you’re longing to go back to.

Happy state of mind

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There are some things you just know; it’s that gut feeling that is almost never wrong. Some call it instinct, intuition, fate, destiny; name it as you wish, but that energy you receive from within actually helps direct your decisions, even unconsciously.

He felt it as soon as he shook her hand and she smiled brightly at him, her eyes sparkling like stars in the darkness of the room.

The music around them was loud, but they heard nothing. For that moment, it was just them. That’s how you block out the world. When you reach a true connection with someone.

It’s inexplicable how and why. How we meet these people during the ‘right’ time in our lives; how we never met them before even if we hang in the same circles and with the same people; and why we come across them when we’re ready to truly unite on all levels.

Be it a best friend who becomes your support, your shoulder to cry on, your harshest critic, but above all your family; or be it your soulmate (if there ever is one), the one who completes you, who makes your heart flutter, and who gets you smiling broadly at the single thought of them; people with whom we connect so deeply are invaluable. Because they become the light in our darkest hours, the people who lift us up when we’re crawling, who make us see our worth when we refuse to do so, who help us achieve our targets, who assist us on our path towards becoming the product of our dreams.

We need people like these in our life, however rare they may be. Because, ultimately, they are the ones who make us the better versions of ourselves. And that matters more than anything. For that is when we are at our most productive, most healthy, and most happy state of mind.

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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