MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “life lessons”

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.

Words left unsaid

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He had walked out a month ago, but still had his keys. The keys to the home they built together, the one that would house their common dreams.

They hadn’t spoken since.

She didn’t know what he was doing, where he was, what he worked on, how he was feeling. She only had her viewpoint. And that was biased.

It was pitch black outside when she got up. Even the lights had all been turned off. It was the usual hour she felt forced out of bed, too tormented by nightmares to remain lying there trying to sleep.

She took a pen and paper, rarely nowadays abandoning her keyboard, and this meant it was too important to type. It had to be handwritten to reflect the emotion it contained.

At night, when I can’t sleep, I write to you. Letters, I’ll never send and you’ll probably never read. But it helps me calm down during the nights I’m tortured by the thoughts in my head. When the chaos inside me overwhelms and devours me. I write to tell you what you can’t seem to hear from me. I write in an effort to make you understand. To make you see that even a dragon hides a frightened mouse inside. That sometimes all you need is the reassurance and certainty of having someone next to you at all times, no matter what and above everything and everyone else. I thought that was you. Not to heal me. You wouldn’t do that. But to help me heal myself. Love won’t heal wounds. The feeling of safety and being loved no matter what, who and when, is what makes a person stronger. What helps them heal themselves.

You were supposed to stick around for the hard times too, not just the good ones.

We were supposed to grow stronger together, to grow with each other, helping one another to develop into the best person they can be. We were supposed to form a unit as one – a force to reckon with, a single corps against the world. We were supposed to be ‘us’. A power couple. We were supposed to be allies to one another. Not to demolish each other, ripping ourselves apart from the inside. We were supposed to close each other’s scars, not create new ones.

Yet despite everything – all the words said, all the actions done (or not) – I still wait for you. In the sounds of daily life, in the phone calls that ring, the doors that knock, I longingly hope it will be you. I see you in every single thing that reminds me of you. I still hope you’ll come into my darkness and turn on the light. The light that faded and is now lost. My light that I allowed to be extinguished.

Yet you never do.

That itself should be a sign. Just like all those things we didn’t do: the trips we never went on, the plans we never followed through. All signs. An answer to all the ‘whys’ that won’t let my mind rest.

Yet I still wait. Hoping even now for something to change. Because hope is all we have left.

In the morning, she booked a plane ticket and left. That same afternoon, he used his keys again.

People like handcrafted plates

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“Sit. Take this plate. Look at it closely. Examine it. What do you see?”

“It’s decorated,” Jill replied, her young age obstructing her perspective.

“What more?” her aunt pressed.

“It’s colourful. Artfully decorated. It seems handcrafted. And there are so many details. You need to look closely to see them. To appreciate them”.

“Good. Now throw it down”.

Jill glared at her aunt.

“What?”

“Throw the plate down”.

“But…but, it will break”, she uttered, scared.

“That’s the point”.

Jill let the plate go, reluctantly. It fell onto the ground and broke into numerous pieces of all sizes.

“Pick it up and try to place the pieces back together”.

Jill tried, but there were many smaller pieces that had fractured and were too small to find or stick back together.

“Now what do you see?”

“It’s broken,” Jill sighed, genuinely saddened.

“It’s not the same. It’s not as beautiful. You can see the cracks and even if it is glued, they will still be evident. And the colour seems almost faded because of it”.

“Isn’t it still the same plate, though?”

“I guess”. The little girl seemed perplexed.

“People are like this handcrafted plate,” her aunt finally explained the meaning of this exercise. Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way. You need to look closely to see all those details that make each person special. But people, contrary to objects, have feelings. If they are pushed aside for too long, like a plate on the edge of a counter, they will fall and break. And once they do, they will carry the scars within them. No matter how much they try to pull themselves back together, to survive and go on, the scars will remain, perhaps faded, but they are still there. Time won’t heal them; it will just make it easier to live with them”.

Jill stared, listening attentively to every word.

“Always be kind to everyone you meet. You don’t know what scars each person hides. And treat people as softly and sympathetically as you would want to be treated. Not everyone sees the world the same way, but kindness is universal”.

The Scrooges of this world

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His favourite character was Scrooge. Either McDuck or Ebenezer, it didn’t really matter. It was the trait he admired. That of being stingy, a cold-hearted miser and filthy rich because of it.

He wanted to have it all. But all was never enough. There was always more.

He lost friends as quickly as he acquired them, because his arrogant style that undermined everyone else around him immediately became evident.

Yet, he didn’t care. People like that seldom do. Arrogance, it is said, is a camouflage for insecurity. People adopt a conceited attitude and raise their voice to be heard, no matter if they’re wrong. They try to dominate every situation to show they’re in control. But what they try to hide is their fears that they cannot conquer.

People cheat and steal from each other, attempting to demonstrate they’re cleverer and more astute. Paraphrasing what the ghost said in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”, they wear the chains they forge in life. Yet, in the end, all they achieve is to create a society in which the truly smart people want to escape from, because they are the ones that see through the corruption and lies. They are the ones that read beyond the deceits and the feinted arrogance. They are the ones who distinguish between arrogance and confidence and the ones who understand when it is right to stand up for what you believe and when it is just necessary to go with the flow.  As long as the flowing river is one that leads to an ocean – a greater good – and not one that drowns everything along the way.

“The world is your oyster. It is up to you to find the pearls” – Chris Gardner

Conserving the summer vibes

©MCD

It isn’t really the return that hurts the most. It’s the crash landing that you feel you subject yourself to when the holiday ends. Because now you have to return to everything you were trying to escape from, to hide from, to pretend they don’t exist. You have to garner the strength to face it all. The reality, the routine, the “normality” you allowed to fade away while you were enjoying the sun, the sea, the fun, the new relationships and experiences the season brings.

We easily fall into depression when the summer ends and we are forced to return to our “ordinary” lives with whatever that entails. Because “normal” has a different definition to each person.  And we strive, at least for the first couple of days, to maintain that optimism and joy the sunlit weeks brought upon us. We struggle to maintain not only the memories of the most enjoyable season of the year, but the mood it brings along. We hope it won’t fade as soon as our tan-line does.

But the thing is, every season has its perks. There is something to enjoy every month of the year – every day, even. We simply need to have the determination to put all those dreams we make when we’re relaxed into concrete actions at any time. Our goals aren’t really seasonally. We can dream and make plans and set targets all year round. And if we’re decisive and courageous enough to take the risk, we can make them happen. We may even be able to conserve that summer optimism and cheerful mood.

The difficulties of detachment

The reality is this: even when on holiday, on a leave, on a short getaway, we feel the need to be connected with the world digitally. We fear we’ll miss out otherwise. That something life-shattering will occur and we won’t know about it and we’ll be the only ones feeling we’ve been living under a rock simply because we don’t know of the latest trending topics.

So we spend our entire lives – without break – constantly attached to a digital world we are paradoxically trying to escape from.

We can’t turn it all off and disappear, although we know that would be the ideal.

We are unable to disengage, to discharge from the social media stress because we’re constantly thinking of our next post, our reaction to someone else’s post and so forth.

We’re caught up in an unhealthy antagonism of who’s having the most fun in the better place, and we waste time like this instead of actually having that fun and enjoying ourselves with the people physically next to us.

We find it almost impossible to distract our minds, to unplug from it all and simply relax. It’s as if we can’t not do anything. By now, due to the radical rhythms in which we live our lives, something still and tranquil is considered by our systems as abnormal. As something we are almost physically incapable of doing.

We are so dependent on our devices, we cannot enjoy the reality of doing things without flaunting them.

And in the end, we forget to chase our dreams because we’re busy chasing after the acceptance of people we hardly even know. For no apparent or useful reason.

It’s good to – at least try – to detach from it all for a while. To remember what it was like without the intrusion of social media in our lives. When everything – even our relationships – were so much simpler. And we weren’t all so constantly agitated and stressed that we are perpetually on the verge of a burnout.

Holding Hands

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Love means never letting go of each other’s hand no matter what,” read the note he left her that morning.

They had spent the entire night in the park watching the stars sparkling under a full moon.

In an outpour of romance then, she had told him an observation she had, that the spaces between her fingers were created so that his could fill them.

As a child, she usually disliked when her parents or relatives or caretakers held her hand. She felt constrained, as if they were limiting her actions or her room for movement. They were holding her hand to keep her close.

But as she grew older, she began to seek the intimacy of this physical gesture. She saw more into it. That it made her feel safe and loved.

Couples hold hands to show each other off. To make each other feel secure and demonstrate that they are there for one another.

Holding hands releases oxytocin in your brains, boosting that special, romantic bond you share with your partner.

In times of need, we want someone to hold our hand. To make us feel that we are not alone. To diffuse some of their strength into us when we’re lacking it.

Like and Love

©Randy Mazie

The outer part of their house wasn’t very appealing, to keep the ‘bad eye’ out.

Their relationship was almost perfect. At first sight, they didn’t really seem compatible, yet, opposites attract. You don’t always choose who you’ll fall in love with, but sometimes you just fall with full force. And it lasts forever.

At their wedding, she remembered a phrase from her grandma: “you like someone because of some of their qualities, and you love them despite some of their qualities”.

Buddha said: “when you like a flower, you pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily”.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Whisper it Seven

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Seven is a special number. It is considered lucky because we have an affinity for it: most people consider seven their favourite number or choose it when asked to pick a number between one and ten.

Seven is prevalent in our daily lives too: seven days in a week, seven continents, seven oceans, seven vertebrae in the neck, seven colours in a rainbow, seven wonders of the ancient world, seven deadly sins. In fact, some researchers argue that human memory works best if it remembers up to seven items.

Seven also features strongly in the religions of the world: in the creation story of the Bible, God made the world in six days and rested on the seven, thus scholars believe it represents perfection or completeness. In Judaism, there are seven heavens. In the Islam’s holy book, the Koran, Muslims making the pilgrimage to Mecca walk around the Kaaba seven times. In Chinese culture, seven represents Yin and Yang combined with the Five Elements (water, fire, earth, wood and metal), while in Confucianism this combination is believed to represent harmony.

Seven is, therefore, an important number and most often a lucky one.

Seven years pass by in a flash.

I have written a lot during these seven years (794 posts on this blog) and a lot has happened. It is enough time to reflect, to grow, to mature, to experience new things, to change the way you react to situations, to learn how to deal with life especially when things don’t come the way you plan or hoped they would. It is time that allows you to become stronger and more resilient. And one way of doing this – for me – is through writing, right here. By making my own experiences and observations into fictional stories. By writing motivational stories that I would really like someone else to tell me. By drawing optimism and positivity from the words that fill a page on a screen.

Seven years may be many or few, depending on how you look at it. But they are part of what makes us who we are and a chance to reflect on where we are, according to where we want to be.

So here’s to many more, with the wish to never run dry of inspiration and creativity!

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.

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