MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “life lessons”

Avoiding the silence

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Many people start their day with the sound of the alarm clock buzzing in their ears. From that moment, our entire day is filled with noise – running water, the kettle singing, the phone ringing, email alerts, cars honking, doors slamming, music, trains on rails, voices of all pitches and intensities and so much more.

If you just sit still for a minute and breathe, you may even hear your own heart beat. Had it not been for all those noises that constantly surround us.

If you’re a person who easily gets lost in your thoughts, who drifts off in daydream or allows their mind to wander, every once in a while – perhaps more often than most people – you need the silence. You want to be able to enter public transportation without the hubbub, the clamour, the commotion. You don’t understand why people feel the constant urge to talk all the time. Some simply talk for the sake of talking. They are not really saying anything of substance; sometimes even nothing that makes sense. Perhaps sitting on the bus and talking on the phone to someone during the entire duration of your trip makes you feel important, that you’re not ‘wasting time’, or it is a way of keeping others astray. Because, yes, there are those types of people too, who want to talk so much that they will approach you and try to start a conversation out of nowhere, without your consent. Even if you kindly try to avoid it, it will turn into a monologue on their part, which you are obliged to listen. Unless you want to get off on the next stop and risk facing a worse situation on the next public transport you board.

People don’t appreciate the silence enough. It is as though they are avoiding their own thoughts. As if they are afraid of staying alone with themselves for a while. Of emptying their minds. Of discovering what their own perceptions on life are. Of even listening to the sound of their own heartbeat.

It is a shame. Because if we learned to be more mindful of our own well-being, of the rhythm of our breaths, of the ticking of our hearts, we wouldn’t be so agitated and stressed all the time, complaining about the world and everything in it.

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Second chances

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If life gave you a second chance, would you take it? Would you choose a different path? Would you do things differently? Would you take an alternate life course?

Sometimes destiny throws back something from our past to make us rethink everything. Not so much to despair or regret about the path we took, but rather to acknowledge how far we’ve actually come. How many things have happened since then, how much we’ve achieved and how much more we can accomplish because of all those experiences.

We are given a chance to review our lives in order to regain our lost confidence. To realise that we are worth and capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for. Something we usually only understand if we view ourselves from someone else’s point of view.

We chose the course we did for a reason. Perhaps it was not obvious then, perhaps it is not obvious not even now. But there is one. We become stronger from what we go through, what we are called to deal with, the difficulties, the challenges, the fights. Our successes also arise from our failures.

So, in reality, we should live a life not regretting of the past but being grateful that we managed to survive everything that was thrown our way.

We are not supposed to start over, even if given the chance. Because we are not supposed to quit in the first place.

Not what you’re expecting

©Ronda Del Boccio

Life is full of surprises”. It was the phrase that he remembered most from the first book he read as a child.

They weren’t always good ones, but something unexpected always happened.

Just when you think you’ve got things straightened out. Just when you think you can finally take a breath and relax. Just when you’re calm. Right then something happens to remind you that there is nothing routine about life. You can never plan anything.

And just anything can happen. At anytime.

Like that fire that broke out in the middle of the night and burnt the forest down.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Movie threads

©Sandra Crook

Movies have the purpose of showing you something you wouldn’t otherwise see. Of making you travel. Of getting your mind to work”.

Grandpa Jo worked in the movie industry ever since he could remember. He always had interesting stories to tell.

But it was Grandma Jemma who had the wisest words to share.

Movies are like threads,” she said spinning her wheel. “They need a beginning, a middle, and an end. No matter how short or long, they all have it”.

And if you follow the thread from start to finish, you’re bound to find yourself in a different place!

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

The world through a lens

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We all have a magnifying glass through which we view the world. The events, the circumstances, the people that surround us. But the thing is, we all have the illusion that we all view the world in the same way, because “our view” automatically means it is the “norm”. We each have a different lens, and thus a different view of the world, a different interpretation to life events and a different perspective on all experiences and people.

What we don’t understand or don’t agree with is usually feared. But because fear is a feeling that contradicts our egoisms, we tend to demean everything different to our own view. We treat it with contempt, spite, even anger and dislike simply because we have a different “rulebook” of how the world should work.

When it comes to people, we become hypocritical, showing a positive attitude on the exterior but inside boiling with rage against them. This is often the source of our negative behaviour towards people we dislike, disagree with, or simply cannot communicate well with. it is the reason why respect is not something that can be demanded but rather it is earned. We tend to reciprocate the attitude and behaviour we receive.

Unfortunately, though, not everyone has the same heart as us. Not even the same mind. Thus, it is unrealistic to expect that we’ll get back what we send out. Because not all people have the same lens. And if it is blurred, the world seems a little foggy and more pessimistic than we hoped.

We all get what we deserve in the end. So let’s try and be kind even to the people we dislike or who treat us badly. Karma will take care of them.

Trying to unwind

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How many times have you found yourself in a situation in which you are forced to hide your true feelings? It has happened to us all. Either because you don’t agree with the rest of the opinions expressed and don’t want to elaborate; either because the conversation bores you; or you dislike the people around you; or worse yet because you’re in pain and want to hide it.

It is not easy when you’re suffering to pretend everything is OK. But most of us do so on a daily basis.

From the millions of things roaming in our minds, we only express a couple of them, not even half of what we truly think.

As a result, we suppress everything else leading our body to suffer from the toxicity of unexpressed thoughts, feelings, opinions. This in turn results in psychosomatic symptoms – the tendency to experience psychological distress in the form of physical symptoms. These may include chest pain, fatigue, dizziness, headache, oedema, back pain, shortness of breath, insomnia, abdominal pain, numbness, impotence, weight loss, cough, and constipation. This demonstrates that our minds and body are interlinked, entwined to the extent that the one affects the other. Emotional disturbances are often translated into physical symptoms, mostly evident in the effects we experience when we’re stressed, upset, scared, excited.

We often seek treatments in fast remedies – usually painkillers. We are advised patience and above all relaxation and calm. But the latter seem almost impossible when you’re in pain. In reality, we need the courage to seek the source of the distress, so we can change what provokes it. Only then will we truly be able to unwind.

A piano simile

©Anshu Bhojnagarwala

When we come into this world, we are the centre of attention for months, maybe years. Everything and everyone focuses around us. The same is true for new objects that come into our possession.

Like a piano for a musical enthusiast.

It is placed in a dominant position in the room for all to admire. Beautiful melodies sound out of its keys.

Until it grows old and the fascination for it passes with time.

It is considered a given now.

Until one day, neglected for so long, it is dumped.

The same is often unfortunately true for our old people.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Prejudiced thieves

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Even for days before, Emma was suffering a panic attack. At the thought alone of what was to come, her breathing became faster, her stomach felt tied in a knot and she had an unbearable pain pounding on her chest. Her head felt almost too much to carry on her shoulders, and she was very often dizzy.

Stress was a bad companion.

More so when it was accompanied by prejudices.

We all carry them with us. Our own perspectives and beliefs on how things will be. They are shaped by past experiences, our mentality, our notions of reality, of what we’ve already seen and felt. We have an apt for predicting the future, for irrationally wanting it to pan out the way it’s forecast in our heads, so that we can pat ourselves on the back later on and confirm our worst fears, telling ourselves we were right. It is one of the paradoxes of human nature. Of wishing things don’t turn out to be the prejudice we have in mind, but of deeply hoping they do so we can verify ourselves.

The day before the event, Emma broke down. She couldn’t concentrate enough to do anything. The thoughts in her mind were too much to bear. She could almost hear a cacophony of voices trying to persuade her that whatever can go wrong will.

Jonathan found her on the couch, curled up as if willing the world to go away.

He touched her shoulder and she sprung upright, the tension having made her uptight.

You wouldn’t invite a thief into your house, so why do you allow thoughts in your head that steal your joy?” he asked.

If your prejudiced things will go wrong, and you adopt a negative attitude because of it, then things are bound to turn into what you fear. If it is true that we attract what we believe and feel, it is all the more important to maintain an open-mind and a positive attitude. Life may surprise us in the end.

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.

The option of retaliation

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The wind howled waking her up almost constantly. It was hard to sleep soundly when you were constantly worried that your entire house would be blown down. For a person already overcome by anxiety and stress, this was almost too much to bear.

The morning began with rain in addition to the gale. It was ice cold outside.

She had promised to meet him at their usual café. She was comforted by the fact that it was almost certain the fireplace would be on today.

He was already waiting for her when she arrived. But, following the gentleman’s rulebook, he hadn’t ordered yet.

He smiled widely upon laying eyes on her. His whole face brightened immediately, bringing out the sun in an otherwise freezing day. She was still reserved. It wasn’t easy to let things go so abruptly. To forget. Overthinkers have this disadvantage. They remember everything. Especially the bad things.

He reached out to grab her hand but she pulled back using the cold as an excuse.

He was seeking another chance. A fresh start. A new beginning. Hope.

In her head, a million things were gushing through. Thoughts of retaliation, of payback, of making him experience the same, of handing him too the same absolute demands and the ultimatum he so carelessly gave her back then. She could feel the anger steaming up inside her. Her head suddenly felt all too hot and it wasn’t because of the fireplace.

She took a deep breath, trying to quieten down the yelling inside of her.

It wouldn’t lead anywhere. She tried to console herself. If she acted in the same way, if she wronged him as he had once done to her, there was no point in even trying to be there together.  Ghandi had said “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. He was right. There is a reason why one person must always maintain a superior level. Because if you too retaliate in the same way, you are no better in the end. Perhaps you’re even worse, because you knew of an alternative way and did not take it.

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