MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “nonfiction”

Learn, thrive, and grow together

It’s a skill knowing when to stop a tiff from developing into a full-grown quarrel. It takes patience and a lot of struggle to reach the point of constraint, of choosing to walk away and quieten down rather than engage in a fight not worth having.

It takes time to learn things. Any thing.

Like the fact that you cannot force people to change. No matter how much you love them or care for them. Regardless of how deeply you let them in, people will only understand what they want. And they will alter their ways only when they truly desire. But just like a selfish person cannot become more caring, an altruist cannot suddenly stop placing others first and only look out for their own benefit. It goes both ways.

It is a wonder, really: is there something in between either feeling everything so profoundly or hardly sensing anything at all?

We are so accustomed to the stories we tell ourselves, those deafening voices in our heads that convince us to try more, to talk more, to press more in the hope that we’ll put ourselves out there and people will finally see us for who we are, for what we’re worth, for the value we so long for them to acknowledge. Yet in this, we fail to see that what we intend as effort, as nurturing care, and affection, to others seems as a suffocating attempt to change their beliefs and attitudes. We judge ourselves on our intentions and not on how we make the other person feel. We act in the way we consider as ‘common sense’ and obvious, but it is not so for everyone, and we often fail to realise that people seldom think and act the same way. Our cheerful ramble confiding in another a portion of our day may be regarded as moaning and just noisy chatter. We feel disappointed and rejected because we’ve created an expectation in our head that is hardly ever met. We set out already knowing what we want to see, and are shattered when it doesn’t play out as such.

Perhaps the biggest mistake we make is taking everything too personally; even when that is how it seems, we are rarely the reason people act like they do. The real cause for people’s behaviour lies within themselves, their upbringing, their experiences, their fears, their influences, their social surroundings, or even just the noise in their own heads.

True relationships – of any sort – help us do three essential things: learn together, grow together, and thrive together. Having fun is just a bonus. Any relationship makes you better in every single way possible. That’s the point of it after all.

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Inner conflicts

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It sounds like a cliché but it’s true: Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. You are not aware of what is going on in other people’s lives. You only know what they allow you to. If you are not at the receiving end of a heartfelt conversation, you’ll never know. You won’t realise the depth of the people around you if they don’t open up to you.

People long to share their emotions. It’s a way of maximising the joy of success and good news, and a means of alleviating the suffering of pain and sadness. It’s not about making you feel jealous or burdening you with additional problems. It’s about trusting you enough to confide in you their intimate details.

Secrecy breeds pain. In all aspects. If we keep things inside of us, we’re suffering so much on our own that we’re causing our own destruction. And no one knows.

We let people in whom we can trust. Whom we believe won’t scare away. Who’ll comprehend that what we want is someone to sit by us in silence while we share our version of the world.

True, we all have different viewpoints, but it is only when we are given another’s lens that we begin to see the world differently.

Icebergs have the extraordinary ability to be able to majestically float when the majority of them is underwater, hidden from the naked eye. We sort of do the same when something is wrong. We hide it under the carpet, hoping nobody will see it and pretending it will go away.

There is so much more to what we see in others. You can discern it in their eyes, in the authenticity of their smile, in the sincerity of their laugh. Happiness comes in waves. But it’s at the lowest points that we need help getting back up. Even if asking for assistance may seem like the hardest thing to do.

Every person you meet is going through things you will never know.

Just like you share in your head thoughts you will never speak of.

Reboot

Let’s take a week off. We’ll call it a mental health week. Because a day is just not enough.

It’ll be a week when you promise yourself you won’t stress about things you can’t control and you won’t pressure yourself to do things you don’t enjoy simply because you have to. You’re only to do things you choose, that brighten your mood and lift your spirits.

Sleep in, get up and be lazy, binge-watch Netflix and Disney+, go for long walks listening to podcasts or music, get on the train without a destination in mind. Do whatever. Anything other than what has been draining you of energy for so long.

Burnout symptoms are not that hard to identify: inexplicable anger outbursts, constant irritation, inability to focus, sleep deprivation, constant agitation, and many more. But most of all it’s exhaustion; not just tiredness, but physical and mental drainage. Have you ever been so consumed that you feel tired before you even get out of bed in the morning?

Every machine once in a while needs to be switched off and on again to function properly, to declutter and reboot. Our bodies (and minds) work like that too. We need to reboot to revitalise ourselves to be able to serve our purpose better. If we cannot operate well – if we’re not even feeling well – we are of no benefit to neither ourselves nor to others.

We need those periods of taking a break from the world. Of deciding what we devote our attention to and to whom. Because life is short, and it’s a shame to waste days not feeling happy.

Plant your energy

There is an experiment simple enough that children are even taught to carry out: you take two plants and water each of them equally, but to the one you speak lovingly with kind, encouraging words, while to the other you burst out your rage, anger and hatred. You watch them grow over time and soon realise that the first one blooms into a tall, sturdy, leafy plant, while the latter steadily withers away into misery.

Humans are like that too.

The words we receive affect us in every way.

We are told to be careful of the language we use to talk to ourselves. Those deafening voices inside our head and what they tell us. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to hear things we wouldn’t even tell our enemy. That being said, we shouldn’t tolerate such negativity neither from ourselves, neither from anyone around us.

We become what we constantly tell ourselves.

But have you ever considered that no one wants to be kicked at when they’re already down? When we’re having a bad day and someone else is having a great one, the aim is not to bring the latter down, but to lift the former up.

Friends are there to raise our spirits when we ourselves can’t talk ourselves out of a bad state. They need to realise when we require a pep talk, when we call for a reality check, or simply a few words of encouragement. There are days when life seems to suck. It’s just the way it is at that moment for some. And we need to help them deal with it. Not by showcasing all their negative traits, but by pinpointing all their positive ones so that they too can see how brilliant they are regardless if it doesn’t feel so at that time. We need people who can speak highly of us even in the midst of an argument. We don’t need people around us insensitive so as not to realise when they’re causing more trouble than they’re worth, overstaying their welcome and causing problems to an already tumultuous relationship. Friends respect our choices and the people we’re with, and they tolerate them even when they don’t agree with them. We desire friends who call to check up simply for the sake of it and who can sit with us in silence just for the company.

There is a time for being criticised and one for being consoled. Our people can distinguish between the two.

You can’t feed a plant with negativity and expect it to be the joy of life.

The same is true for people.

Treat them well, and they’ll give you even more of their heart.

It all comes down to how you make them feel.

Natural retreat

© Bill Reynolds

The human body is like a machine. If it is treated and fed well, it works like a charm. But the minute you neglect it, something begins to malfunction. Be it bad nutrition, overworking, mental exhaustion, tiredness, or simply not dressing appropriately for the changing weather conditions, the minute your immune system is down, problems start to appear.

It’s how a flu with a name gets caught, causing an exaggerated delirium in others around you.

On days like these, you need a natural retreat. Somewhere to escape from it all, with people who care for you and calm you down.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

70,000 thoughts a day

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Experts estimate that we make around 70,000 thoughts a day. Most of them are obsessive-compulsive. And that incessant mental chatter steals our energy and drowns our focus. We’re pushed into creating scenarios about things that probably won’t even happen, interpretations that don’t stand, and events that aren’t true.

Yet, these are still thoughts that occupy our minds.

We have a tendency to gravitate towards the negative. If we hear ten positive things and one not-so-positive, we will automatically focus on the latter. Call it our innate instinct of survival, it’s what we feel threatens us and we need to act to fix it.

Perhaps the problem, however, is that we stick to how we think people should act. And that’s what makes us react so much to everything. Because we have in our head a whole list of actions that we are expecting others to make: to check up on us without any particular reason; to send a good morning text simply to show they’re thinking of us; to show up at our doorstep with a bowl of hot soup when we’re sick; to just sit with us when we’re not feeling well and all we want is some company to watch TV with. We long for things that others maybe don’t even think of: a goodnight call to make us feel loved before we end the day; attention when we’re upset; a smile when we’re frowning; the sharing of good news; a walk together to clear our minds. For us, we’re not asking for much. But nothing is obvious, and we shouldn’t expect others to act as we would. Perhaps that is the most difficult and troublesome thought of all: that we cannot expect others to behave in the way we would anticipate them to. We can’t compel people to change; they’ll do so if they truly want to.

We demand more of ourselves and oftentimes we force that upon others too.

We think too much and we perplex our minds with situations that sometimes don’t correspond to reality. But those thousands of thoughts soon take over our feelings. And that is the most dangerous of all. For we feel even when we sleep; when we spring awake from a nightmare, when we smile from the love we dream. We feel constantly. Some more than others. Not everyone can be as insensitive as not to realise when they’re causing trouble to others, or as empathetic that they carry the burden of others’ troubles. We need to find a balance. But the weight of our endless thoughts often hinder us from doing so.

We’re caught in an endless stream of thoughts that exasperates when we’re tired, stressed or worried. And this further adds to our exhaustion – both mental and physical. But like this article notes:

  • Just think how much energy and time you could have saved, if you could reduce the number of your thoughts.
  • Just think how much better focus you could possess, if thoughts did not bother you.
  • Just think how much inner peace, calmness and happiness you would have enjoyed, if there was a way to stop all these thoughts, which add nothing to your life.

Let me ask you, do you keep the engine of your car running after arriving at your destination? You certainly switch the engine off. So why not do so with your mind?

Some thoughts steal our peace, and in time, our lives too.

Rainpour

When everything seems to be going just fine, we innately have an inexplicable fear that the wheel will turn to upturn it all.

We end up with nightmares that terrify us in our sleep and various thoughts that haunt us during the day.

We become clingy, vulnerable, insecure, and upset. Easily irritated by the slightest of things. We give importance to issues that shouldn’t matter and we are affected by every little detail around us.

We seek attention to alleviate the burden of the world we feel on our shoulders.

We desire to feel prioritised and important so we can regain part of that self-confidence that was drowned in those disturbing contemplations we create in our heads.

What we want is a person’s time – our person’s time – but that goes beyond the moments we simply spend together. It’s those instances when there are no other distractions around, and they devote their presence to you completely. That’s what we want. The other’s attention and energy. The feeling that for those (few) moments, you are their utmost priority, and there is nothing that can change that.

We want to feel special and loved, particularly at our most vulnerable state. When it starts to rain and it pours. When we view life under a dark cloud and can’t decipher that light at the end of the tunnel.

We want a hug that will wipe it all away.

A few soft works that speak to the heart.

A caring gaze that relights the spark in our eyes.

We want to feel the loving care we sort of lost along the way, that got pushed aside by the fear that if it’s too good, something bad is lingering in the shadows.

We need the confidence to believe that everything will truly be all right, because that is what we deserve; we’ve worked for it and we’ll get there. Eventually.

We want to trust that we’re not alone on that path there.

But most of all, we need to transform ourselves from using our energy to worry and moan, to believing, creating, trusting, healing, manifesting, and growing.

It’s the only way to stop the rain and bring back the sun.

Dive head-on

We often lament that things change. But the truth is, they’re supposed to.  It’s how we improve, evolve, and grow.

Just think of the constant updates for all those apps that keep popping up every so often on your devices. It’s how they improve bugs and get the system working better.

We need the same for our lives too.

We need to be creating and choosing change for ourselves. To delve into challenges head-on so that we test ourselves and expand our limits.

Growth is always outside our comfort zone. It occurs when we dive into the unfamiliar, into unchartered waters, unprecedented situations, and the like. We will only find a different path if we tread into the unknown. And just maybe it will be the best decision we’ve ever made.

The comfort we seek

©MCD

There is a truth we inherently know. The comfort that we seek all around us is ultimately found in our homes. The home we go to for refuge. Where we feel safe and welcome no matter what. Where our people love us unconditionally. Where regardless of your state of mind, you’ll be loved no questions asked.

Home is where you run to when life just gets too much. When the thunderstorms become too loud and you’re unable to manage them on your own. When your bubble has burst because you were filled with too many expectations that were not realised.

We return home to feel comforted. Because here, you’ll never be left alone unless you request it. Because the only question you’ll be asked is what you want for dinner. Because it is a chance to reset and reprioritize everything you considered valid in your life. It’s a chance to renew yourself and change your mentality. To return stronger, more confident, and with the determined belief that things will work out well.

We need our homes to be our safe place. No judgement, no criticism, no yelling; only laughter, love, calmness, and security.

Wherever we make that home and with whomever we choose, we need to be certain we can run there whenever adversities strike. That we’re not left alone to weather the storm but we have our persons there to help us through it. Relationships all require hard work from both sides, nothing ever simply fits into place; we need to invest ourselves and our effort to making things work if they’re worth it. But to do that we need people who welcome us with open arms when we call and say we’re coming.

We find solace in a hug, in a family’s embrace, in a loved-filled home. And that is what helps us carry on.

Nothing fixed

©David Stewart

Bright sunny days energise you for a positive day ahead. They help you believe that good things are coming. So you’re motivated to do more. You vibe higher, and you smile more.

But nothing is fixed in life. Not even the sunshine.

So when clouds arrive and it starts to rain, plans change.

Do you have a plan B?

There are 26 words in the alphabet, you’d better have alternatives.

A closed mindset is a bad trait to have. It doesn’t help you adapt or be flexible to the ever-changing circumstances around you.

We need to be prepared for everything.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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