MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “helping hand”

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)

It’s not always fine

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The truth is noone cares about your problems.

Every person has something of their own their dealing with.

And everyone considers their own circumstance more special, more serious, more tragic.

It’s sometimes difficult to even find ways to help each other.

And more often than not we tire of repeating our problems; it feels that we’re constantly accentuating them. But sharing often helps lessen the load. It alleviates part of the burden simply by expressing how it’s all making you feel to someone else, someone you trust and feel safe with. That’s what (real) friends are for. To help you unload when hardship strikes. They’re there at your worse, and not only when it’s all fun and games. But it also depends on you and how much you let people in.

The truth is, no one can comprehend what you’re going through unless they’ve experienced something similar. And not everyone will deal with the same things in the same way with the same mentality.

But we need each other to get through things. To maintain our sanity, our peace of mind; to survive.

Life is not always fine. Sometimes neither are you. But it’s your choice to let others help restore that.

When we say we’re fine

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When people ask each other “how are you?”, the response is a reflex answer of “fine, and you?”. Rarely does the question delve deeper into how the other person actually is. We ask about our news, our novelties, our gossip, work, relationships etc, but hardly does anyone actually look into how we really are; how we feel, in what mental state we are in.

This year (2020) has been hard. Almost six months have passed, and we have but a few days in which things actually progressed and we have something to show for them. Otherwise, all we have done is stayed at home, explored our neighbourhoods, developed our cooking skills, irritated the people we live with, become depressed at being alone, and wasted an obscene amount of time on Netflix and social media.

Undeniably, even doing a bare minimum – or absolutely nothing – takes a toll on our mental health. We tell each other we’re fine to believe it is true. Because if we don’t overanalyze, we won’t have to admit to ourselves that deep down we are not as great as we want to appear. We are lacking security, the freedom of movement, the capacity to make plans again, having something to look forward to, the prospect that we will get to see our loved ones again soon in a scheduled time and date without the fear of risking a new lockdown or quarantine measures being imposed on you.

We’re only as fine as we believe ourselves to be. Yet, we prefer not to talk about what is bugging us in an attempt to override it. It’s like sweeping the dust under the carpet. Just because we can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Mood swings and mental breakdowns don’t necessarily need professional help to be overcome or healed. Sometimes all we really need is people around us who care enough to offer the help we don’t dare to ask for. It’s enough to know that there are friends and family there who can offer a hug, a random talk when needed, and a simple confirmation that we’re not facing things alone. Because in the end, what we all need is the sentiment that better days are coming no matter what, and the incentive to garner the patience to deal with it all.

The sound of gloom

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There was a poor person in the metro the other day playing a famous song on his guitar. He was dressed decently. Wasn’t begging really. His voice was imbued with feeling. He sounded almost professional. He sang from the heart and that was evident. It made you want to give him something. Some change to show your appreciation for the way he was striving to make a living.

Perhaps he could have searched for a ‘regular’ job. But everyone knows these are hard to find in a country where ‘crisis’ has become an everyday term.

At least he was giving melody to a train ride. And you could see the passengers actually stop looking at their phones for a minute and letting their mind wander at his tune.

You were almost mesmerised to give him spare change. Coins whose possession to you may not have made a difference. Perhaps it was the cost of your daily cup of coffee. But to him it was a measure of appreciation. Of the fact that there were people out there who liked what he offered and who were willing to grant a helping hand.

There are many people who leave aside their dignity and in their despair decided to ask strangers for help. There are the ones who feel outcast from society. Whom we look at demeaningly and most often choose simply to ignore. There are the ones who cause controversial discussions of whether they are worth our pity or our ignorance, of whether they are choosing the easy road of begging instead of searching for a ‘real job’.

Everyone we meet carries their own story, their own burdens, their own heavy loads. But it is people like these that make you realise all that you have and how little you appreciate how lucky you in fact are. Because what you perceive as obvious and ‘normal’ is not so for many others.

A helping paw

CatsPawThere are moments in your life when you need a helping hand to get you back on track. To support you and transmit to you the feeling that everything will be all right, even if at that moment it doesn’t appear to be so. To reach out into your heart and make you feel loved, supported and – most importantly – not alone. And there are moments when that helping hand does not come from those around you, but from the most unexpected sources.

To me that helping hand for seventeen years, was my beloved pet cat. She was the one who could bring you up when you were feeling down. Who would come and crawl under the blanket beside you, clinging onto you with her paws simply so you would feel her presence, signifying that you were not alone. She was the one that could look into my eyes with her two big shiny eyes and reach right into my soul. Who could understand how I felt, and what I was thinking without me needing to utter a word. She was the one that stretched out a helping hand (or paw) when I was depressed.

People who have no pets cannot understand the magic and wonder of sharing your life with these wonderful creatures. They can sense your mood, thoughts and feelings, as if through a sixth sense, and know exactly what to do to change it. Be it rolling off the bed by accident; sleeping upside down or in other weird positions; or chasing flies of all sorts across the room, they are a constant pick-me-up. And above all, they are always there when you need them.

Just look into the loving eyes of these beautiful animals and you will understand why this is one helping hand that will never let you down.

Also part of the Daily Prompt: Helping Hand

Also part of Daily Prompt: A Friend in Need

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