MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “life decisions”

Frames intact

© Mikhael Sublett

“What do you see?”

He took the picture and examined it.

“Destruction”.

“Why?” she pressed.

“Just look at the ruins on the floor. The crumbled wall, the pieces apart. Broken fragments of what they once were.”

“What do you think that represents?”

“Human relationships”, he uttered. “They break in an instant and it’s both frightening and tragic that someone you once couldn’t imagine your life without can become a complete stranger”.

He pushed away a tear.

“But look closer. Don’t you see the frame lying almost intact? It’s simply upside-down but unscratched. Life is what we chose to focus on”.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Travelling stories to tell

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When things got rough, they used to just leave. Together. They would travel to someplace new, to fill their hearts with adventure and their minds with enthrallment at how vast our world truly is. They believed that travelling – by car, motorbike, train, airplane, boat, whatever means available according to the destination – opened a person’s heart, broadened their minds and filled them with stories to tell. And they had many.

But lately, they became alienated from each other. And consequently from all the things they did together.

She was always excited when travelling with him, because he became almost a different person; someone more relaxed, more serious, yet thoughtful at the same time. He became the person she fell in love with. As if breaking the bonds that held him captive to his daily routine liberated him into becoming a better version of himself.

He loved travelling with her because it lit up a spark in her eyes; she let out a childish enthusiasm and reminded him all over why he fell in love with her in the first place.

Now, they travelled in different directions.

She went to places that were new to her, where they had never been before together.

He, on the contrary, went to all the same, where they had.

Because one wanted to forget. And the other to always remember.

Roundabout questions

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So, what do you feel like doing tonight?

It’s a question that entails the freedom of decision, the willingness to abide by it, while also placing the ‘burden’ of finding something to do on the other person.

For indecisive people, this is a challenge.

“I don’t know, perhaps see a movie? We can either go to the cinema or order in and watch one at home”.

He smiled. She wasn’t finished. So he held back his reply a little longer.

What do you prefer?

The question-bounce-back, that returns the responsibility of choosing an activity to the original question-setter. Like a boomerang returning to the one who threw it.

If the person who initiated the conversation continues the questioning of the type, “whatever you want” or, even worse, poses another option, their indecisive interlocutor becomes lost and even more agitated by the daunting task of having to pick an entertainment. And doing something fun suddenly becomes a chore.

Let’s go out. I know you want to see the latest blockbuster and go for a stroll around town tonight”.

And just like that, peace is restored, tranquillity reigns and the smile returns to her face.

He was used to reading her mind even when she herself couldn’t.

If you left…

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You told me that if you left, it would be because something made you; some higher force pushed you through the door. But I don’t believe that is possible. I am convinced that the actions we do are the result of our conscious decisions. We are the ones controlling what we do. Our behaviour stems from ourselves, our thoughts and our inner peace.

You told me you were suffocating. That you couldn’t continue like this. I held you in my arms and assured you I was here, I wasn’t going to go anywhere, we would get through things together and everything would be alright.

You seemed like you believed me. Then. When you fell asleep in my arms and you woke up the next day telling me that it was the calmest sleep you had had for days.

You smiled and the whole room lit up.

I missed your smile. I still do. That cheeky, childish smile that transferred the glow into your eyes. You were genuinely happy with me once. We were genuinely happy.

I always thought ‘together’ would be our happy ending. I never saw anything different. In the planning I made for future endeavours, everything in my life included you. I thought the same was true for you. How could I have been so wrong?

And then you just left. And you took the pieces you broke my heart into with you. I never understood how people could behave so coldly. Perhaps because I could never bring myself to act as such.

And then I sat there blaming myself. I couldn’t understand if the problem was not doing enough for you or rather caring too much.

A few days passed and you returned as if nothing happened. As if you hadn’t broken me. You never told me what happened inside you, if anything. What had occurred during that time. What you were thinking of now.

But I can’t return to how things were. Because it is not the same anymore. Now I’m the one who feels suffocated by my own thoughts, my own unanswered questions. And you still refuse to say anything.

I never understood how someone could just get up and leave. Until now. Sometimes to save yourself you need to let go of everything dragging you down. I gave you my heart and you shred it to pieces. I can no longer feign that did not happen.

I’d never thought I would be the one to leave. But there seems to be nothing else left for me to do.

He left the note on her nightstand and walked out the door.

Tired Souls

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Techniques to fight insomnia or to ensure you get “a good night’s sleep” are usually similar with techniques to relax. It’s the things ‘life coaches’/’instructors’ and the likes fill your mind with and they very often center around one thing: letting go of whatever thoughts are troubling your mind.

The idea is to focus on something else if on nothing at all is not possible.

To stare into the star-filled sky, take a long walk, absorb your attention into something different that will also get you tired, and steadily push aside what is causing your anxiety to skyrocket.

Fix your posture.

Breathe.

Relax.

For all of us, there are some nights when falling – and staying – asleep is difficult. The mind is not an easy thing to control. It remembers things at random moments and shoves them right in front of you when you least want them to appear. And it wakes up when all you desire is to shut down.

Just remember, sleep doesn’t help if it’s your soul that’s tired.

And that’s when you need to take care of you first and foremost.

Know your value

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In a packed lecture class, a professor held up a €20 note and asked his students who wanted it. Everyone in the room lifted up their hand. The professor then crumpled it and asked again: “is there anyone who still wants this bill?” Everyone in the room raised their hand again. He then threw the note on the floor and began to kick it, jump on it and make it as dirty as he could with his shoes. He then picked it up, crinkled, muddy and stained. He asked again: “Who wants this crinkled, muddy and stained €20 bill?” Every single student again raised their hand.

“My friends”, he said, “today you will receive a great lesson. No matter what I did to this bill, you still wanted it because it hasn’t lost its value. It is still worth €20!”.

“Many times in our lives, we are trampled upon, struck hard, thrown down and stepped upon…by both people and circumstances”.

“Do you believe that this reduces your value?”

“Your true worth does not change in the eyes of those who really care about you”.

“Even at our worse, our value remains intact…as long as we ourselves don’t forget it during both our good times and our hard”.

Know your worth. Stop giving yourself to people and situations that don’t deserve you, that don’t chose you and place you as a priority always. If you don’t appreciate your value, no one else will.

Emotions in action

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Don’t believe those who tell you they love you. Believe those who show you they do.

Because as cliché as it is, actions do speak louder than words. And we are fallible creatures, who need proof.

We need to feel loved and cared for. That we have the attention we seek and the respect and acknowledgement we strive for.

But we need to see it too, to believe it.

Otherwise, we feed our insecurities. We begin to doubt everything and everyone, even ourselves. And that is where the trouble begins.

Because insecurities deprive us of joy, as they become tension, irritation and anger. And the latter is simply an externalisation of the fear that we are not loved enough.

Leading to the vicious circle binding care with the actions to prove it.

If you don’t state what you want, you may never receive it. It’s sort of the same thing. If you don’t show what you feel, you may not have it reciprocated. And in the end, you’re the one at loss.

The depths of love

How do you know its real love? And that it’ll last?” Jennifer asked her godmother that question as she was putting on the veil of her wedding dress.

Her godmother smiled at her and wrapped her arms around her. “I asked that very question too on my wedding day”.

There is no single answer. It depends on the things you are willing to do for the person you love. Acts that go beyond yourself. That demonstrate you value something more than your own person”.

Jennifer looked at her godmother, her thoughts wandering.

I’ll tell you a story,” her godmother began.

There was an emerging photographer who was out on a photoshoot session one day. A beautiful young girl walked through his set at the very moment he clicked and captured her on film. He couldn’t get her image out of his mind. He was fixated on her gaze as she wondered off in a hurry. It penetrated him and remained with him so strongly he desperately needed to see her again. He searched and found her later that week in the hair salon where she worked. He conveniently forgot his cap there, so she in turn found his studio in order to return it to him. He asked her to pose for him for a few shots. She didn’t know it at the time, but he published her photos in a well-known magazine that brought him further recognition for his work.

Their encounter was brief but it changed their lives forever.

She was happy by his side. He made her laugh and she loved him for it.

She loved playing in front of his camera. And he always managed to capture the perfect pose, enclosing her beauty and charm in a single shot.

But one day, when she went into the dark room to get some film which he needed, a bottle of developing agent fell onto her head and into her eyes. She was rushed to the hospital.

He ran by her side, sweating with agony at the thought of losing her. At the thought that something might happen to her.

The doctors said her pupils were destroyed irreparably and the only way to see again was if she got an eye transplant.

Would you give up your eyes for someone else? Would you forsake ever seeing anything ever again, simply so the person you love can spend their life viewing the world? Could you feel a love so strong and profound that you would voluntarily hand over one of your main senses to someone else?

He never even thought about it. To him there was no need to discuss it either. It was a conscious decision it took just seconds to make.

In the operation room, he was lying next to her, holding her hand. His eyes wide open, his last memory was flashing before him. It was his last adrenaline-rush ride at full throttle on his cherished motorcycle before he handed over its keys to a random caretaker. He was giving up one love to save another. Tears were streaming down his face. The doctor told him to take his time. He needed to stop crying for the operation to continue.

He said he was OK. He turned around to look at her one last time. To capture her figure, her lines, her face, so that he could remember her forever. Just before the anesthetic kicked in, his gaze turned towards her, imprinting in his mind her image to last an eternity.

She woke up and saw light. After days in the darkness, the glimmers of sunrays hurt her eyes. But she could make out the people standing in front of her. Family and friends who came to wish her well.

He wasn’t among them.

She thought he had abandoned her.

She didn’t know that he had condemned himself to darkness in order to give her light.

She wasn’t aware that he loved her so much, he gave up his eyes for her. That it mattered more to him to make her happy even if it meant losing something he valued.

Can you imagine a love so great and perfect that it would mean more to you to see your partner happy regardless of if it destroyed you? That would make the other’s happiness your priority? That would erase every trace of egoism from your actions?

What if there was one person like that for each of us? And we spend our whole lives searching for them? Someone who would love us so deeply they would literally give up a part of them for our own wellbeing? Selflessly and unconditionally”.

Jennifer was fighting back the tears. She was deeply moved by her godmother’s story, which was interrupted by the sound of her godfather’s white cane sounding at the door.

She had been told he was left blind after an accident.

Only now did she realise he wasn’t the one who had suffered the accident. Her godmother was.

He gave up her eyes for her. And in doing so gave her the world.

The wrong battles

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Palmer was a farm boy. He was born and raised in the countryside, learning how to grow his own food, how to take care of cattle stock, how to survive without technology. He didn’t feel he was lacking anything. Mainly because he had never had it in the first place to miss it.

He loved being outside, in the fresh air and the unlimited possibilities nature could offer.

But one season, the family’s seeds all perished from a severe draught. The parents were too old to start over and they sent Palmer into town to find a solution, at least to get new seeds so they could salvage their land.

Palmer was soon lured by the town’s marvels. He was won over by the easy life, the quick money, the superficial ties. To him, it was a different world.

He soon forgot why he was there.

He was drawn into gangs and betting games. Fell into the entrapment of women who seduced him and he immediately lost his initial money and any sums he succeeded in gaining thereafter.

But there was one woman who realised he was being played. Alice approached him in order to set his mind straight.

He was mesmerised at her sight. And he tried to grope her like all the rest asked for. But she turned and slapped him instead.

It made his head spin. But at least it opened his eyes.

Palmer soon returned to his good, old self. Alice helped him find good quality seeds that would help his family revive the farm. And they returned to the countryside together.

Alice had asked him years later what it was that finally awoke him from his trance in the city. He replied it was something she told him:

You are fighting the wrong battles. Stop looking that way; it’s not where you’re going”.

Right People, Wrong Times

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“Is it possible to meet the right person at the wrong time?”

“That depends. What makes this the right person and why is it the wrong time?”

She sighed. Unfortunately, not everyone is a mind reader and the things we find it hard to express are usually what we need to communicate the most.

Julie was sitting on the porch gazing at the sunset.

She couldn’t erase from her mind that person she met the other night. They had spent hours talking about anything, everything and nothing. They had shared life experiences, thoughts, ambitions, goals, dreams, all in one night. And she had felt she was falling in love with him, while they were talking.

He had captured her brain and soul and her heart would surely follow.

He made her feel comfortable. Without any fear of judgement or criticism. She felt assured that there was someone on the other end waiting to listen.

As the stars lit up the sky that night, she could see his eyes gleaming. She couldn’t tell if they were radiated by the full moon or his happiness at seeing her smile.

She didn’t know that he felt the same and more. That he had been waiting for her, to get to know her – just how amazing she is – and to do whatever he could to win her over.

All he could think about was holding her tight in his arms and continuing their talk throughout the night until it evolved into the lovers’ stage.

She looked at him with a broken gaze. He understood something was wrong.

“This can’t happen,” she told him. She wouldn’t explain more, not even when he begged her, when he promised that things would be better and nothing would end.

She cried but resisted.

She cried more because she did.

She refused to speak to him, not even when he called or dropped by.

She didn’t want to ruin his life too. That’s what she told her aunt.

“Don’t be silly,” her aunt refuted. “Life is to live it to the last second. Don’t keep wasting it”.

Julie was not to live beyond the summer.

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