No matter how calm a person you may be, and how in order you may have everything in your life, there comes a time when you too erupt. It is simple human character. It’s impossible to be fine all the time. He knew it well.
She, on the other hand, was easily subjected to panic attacks and nervous crises. She was just more vulnerable to them. She stressed too much, overthought everything, and felt too deeply. She became too emotionally attached too fast, and it usually brought heartache and unpleasant thoughts. Thus leading to the aforementioned breakouts.
That day, was one such occasion.
He could see the storm coming in her eyes that morning. She was still trying to suppress the torrent that was in turmoil inside of her.
“What would you like to do today?”
He knew she was undecisive, yet always offered her the option. She valued that in him.
“Let’s go somewhere extraordinary”, she replied.
He smiled widely. Their sense of adventure and their passion for devouring every moment of life, filling their moments with unforgettable experiences, was what had brought them together in the first place. And he fell in love with her for that. Because she was different.
He knew just the place to go.
Somewhere to calm her storm.
It was more than enough. For when she viewed the mountaintop view of the sea and city in the background, she fell silent, in awe of the beauty of nature.
It felt as if they were standing on the edge of heaven.
And right there, it was impossible to think about anything that was troubling your soul. Nothing mattered. It was so vastly magnificent, that everything else – including your stress – seemed negligible.
Nature has its own way of soothing and healing you, placing your senses in order and restoring your hope.
There is a difference between saying too much and not
enough. Just as there is a difference in knowing when to speak and when not.
It is Plato who said it best: “wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they
have to say something”.
In an age where self-promotion is the norm, people speak
more than ever. The problem though, is that they do not know when to pause.
A Zen saying goes “do
not speak unless you can improve the silence”. Unfortunately, nowadays few
can do that.
We observe it daily: in the ride to and from work, people
are stuck in trafficking and feel the constant need to talk to someone – co-passengers,
on the phone, to random strangers, salespersons, anyone they bump into – simply
to consume the words they cannot suppress inside.
It may be seen as an insecurity, wanting to constantly draw
attention onto oneself by speaking endlessly. But people need to realise when this
becomes tiresome for others more than for themselves.
Those who speak limitlessly also tend to be those who are
in their own silence, and who subsequently try to find ways to avoid it. As
such, though, they lose out on the healing process some minutes of quiet offers
not only to others but to their own soul as well.
Humans have a strange characteristic: they can either talk for hours or sit in silence. Sometimes we need to alternate between the two.
A good, long, talk – and sometimes a good cry – is often the best cure for anything that is bothering you. It works best if there is a recipient. A friend who understands you and can soothe your aching soul.Someone who was with you before a crisis, now during it, and will remain even after it is gone. Talking about our problems alleviates our sense of burden,the pressure we feel because of them. But it has an even greater effect when you know that you’re talking to someone who may not be able to relate, but certainly comprehends your troubles. They don’t need to offer solutions. Just to be there and listen. Often, that is more important. Because most people don’t listen. They only hear what they want, all the while preparing their response for when it is their turn to enter the discussion.
Perhaps that is also the reason why it is difficult to have intellectual conversations nowadays. That ability to just sit and talk, about anything and everything. To speak without fear or regrets or limitations. To talk for hours about life and all is challenges and what makes it all worthwhile.
There is a very valid saying related to this: “Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people”. Consider what the talk is about next time you socialise. You’ll better realise your level of interaction.Of course, we’ve all found ourselves discuss all three at some point or other. But it is the time you devote to each that matters.
Talking helps us to externalise what we’re hiding inside. It also helps us better understand ourselves and our own needs. What we’re feeling and what we want to do about it. Most of the time we don’t talk so that others can offer solutions, we talk so that we better acknowledge our problem and find the way to solve it ourselves and help us heal. Support, however, is always welcome.
The thing is, to choose to talk. For whenever we say “I can’t”, “it is not my fault”, “I’m not responsible”, “there is no other way”, we are merely lying to ourselves. There is always a choice. And it is one made by us.
No matter how strong you are or feel you ought to be, there comes a time when you too feel vulnerable and weak and just need someone to come over and give you a bear hug. You know, that tight hug, were the other wraps their arms around you, almost immobilizing you. That powerful embrace that makes you feel you’re not alone because you can feel the other person’s heart beating on your chest. It’s that cuddle we all need to feel warm inside. The one where you seem to be holding the other person in your grasp, but you are really touching their soul.
We all need a hug once in a while. For more reasons than the simple pleasure of feeling closer to someone dear to us.
When we hug someone, that nurturing touch enhances our sense of trust and safety. But it also allows oxytocin to be released into our bodies by our pituitary gland, lowering both our heart rates and our cortisol levels, helping us soothe feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
Holding a hug for an extended time also increases our serotonin levels, elevating mood and creating happiness.
Hugging boosts self-esteem because it is associated with the feeling that we are loved and special.
Hugging relaxes muscles and releases tension in the body. Hugs can take away pain, as they soothe aches by increasing circulation into the soft tissues.
Perhaps most importantly, however, “hugs are so much like meditation and laughter. They teach us to let go and be present in the moment. They encourage us to flow with the energy of life. Hugs get you out of your circular thinking patterns and connect you with your heart and your feelings and your breath”.
So no matter your age, your state or occupation, give hugs freely and receive them just as openly. They are vital for our survival and will certainly make your day.
It is the one thing we all complain of constantly. Of not having enough. Of passing by too quickly. Of not moving along quickly enough. It is what we anxiously count down with, what we nostalgically look back to, and what we constantly fear will run out too soon.
Time is both a friend and a foe. For the latter it is obvious – it is always the one to betray you. It is never enough to do all the things you want; to enjoy all the hobbies you keep yourself occupied with; to saturate your memories and your heart with the people you love. Time will always take something away from you.
But on the other hand, time is your friend. There are people who state that all they have is time. Moaning that days never pass, that everything seems endless. In unpleasant situations, this is the predominant feeling. For if you are having fun, time indeed seems to fly.
Sometimes you need time to yourself. To simply sit in silence and be. To, in a sense, meditate. To listen to what it is you truly desire at the moment. To heal. Even if they do say time heals all wounds, it is not always true. For some wounds never truly heal. People don’t wound you. They leave marks, memories, imprints, maybe even scars on your soul and these cannot be washed away with the passing of time. They may be pushed back into the distant drawers of your mind, but they are never truly forgotten. These are the moments that you cannot explain with words. Not because you lack the vocabulary. But because the words to adequately capture your sensations for them do not yet exist. It is moments like this when you feel a flood of emotions stream through your veins, when all you can do is stand still and surrender to the trickling of tears down your flushed cheeks. It is moments like these, however, that you will remember forever, because these are the ones that feel like an infinity in a predetermined expiration date.
Time is not to blame for the mistakes we make. For the relationships that end, for the choices we didn’t take. We may blame the circumstances, the synergies, the timing, the lighting, or anything that we may easily accuse. But like Cassius says in Act I, Scene II of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…”
We live in a shattered world. One from which we constantly try to hide. In the illusions that things are not so bad as they seem; in the allusions that people are better than we deem them to be; in the desperate need to believe that everything will be all right in the end. Even if we are racing against a ticking clock.
Because sooner or later we will learn that nothing lasts forever. People leave like ocean currents. There is no truth. There is no time. All there is, is now. And what we chose to do with it.
They say that one of the steps to healing is practicing a ritual where you place every physical object that reminds you of a story that ended into a box. Out of sight, out of mind. Maybe it will work. But this ritual is much harder than it seems.
You can place things in a box. Like photographs, notes, letters, soft toys, books, memorabilia, even clothes. But how can you put away memories, experiences, feelings, hopes and dreams? How can you erase from your mind events that happened and made you stronger? How can you simply forget the feeling of carefree happiness? How can you simply chose not to remember?
It takes the slightest thing to associate with a memory – a song, a quote, a book, a movie, a TV series, a perfume, a game, a car, a dish – random everyday things that will get your eyes all welled up. Because no matter however much you try, a life cannot fit into a box.
And even if you do attempt to place as much as you can into a four-sided cardboard to stick at the back of your closet or under your bed, you will always have to face a single fact – that one box is never enough.