MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “optimism”

The invisible battles

You know that cashier who was rude the other day at the supermarket? The salesperson who seemed uninteresting in helping you? The waiter who evidently ignored you no matter how politely you called numerous times? The person on the bus who took up the whole adjacent seat and did not allow you a space to sit, or the driver who broke out in rage at the morning traffic jam?

They all affect your mood somehow or other.

Because we allow ourselves to be unconsciously burdened by the other’s disposition.

Consider it: If you begin your morning with angered yells, noise from all around, impoliteness, offensive remarks and gestures, and a general irritation that has no apparent cause, won’t you too inadvertently adopt an agitation you cannot explain?

But what about if you started your day with a smile? A sweet good morning message from a loved one, an unexpected caring note, a smile with your take-away coffee, a ‘have a good day’ from the customer you assist, a polite wave from the driver you allow to insert the queue in front of you. Wouldn’t that instantly make you feel better? The satisfaction you receive is immense even from the slightest of things that may seem irrelevant to you.

That morning greeting may have made someone’s day. And it subconsciously also made yours too.

Be polite, always. There is no excuse for rudeness. Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

Courtesy costs nothing.

Passionate work

There is a saying that if you do what you love you won’t have to work a day in your life.

But it’s not that easy you know.

At it’s usually not as simple as that either.

Because often what we enjoy doing the most is not something that pays enough to sustain the constantly rising cost of living nowadays.

It’s nice to be able to begin the day joyfully, energised and motivated because you know you’re doing something that delights you, something you’re good at and you’re passionate about.

But we often need to pass through many stages before we create the circumstances that will enable us to do so.

We need to have experienced the ‘real world’, what it is like to be a simple employee, to be badly paid, exploited, and censored, in order to appreciate the ‘good ones’, those who are willing to offer you an opportunity to emerge, to bud, to develop your skills and to evolve into everything you aspire to be.

The fact that it’s not easy to do something doesn’t mean it is impossible. It just needs patience (which we very often lack), commitment, great optimism, believing you will succeed, and above all, never giving up.

Life’s Lighthouses

You know it’s true that you have to look where you’re going, because you will inevitably go where you’re looking.

You might as well shine a light on the path that’ll get you there.

When we’re settled in a situation and time flies without us realising it, we sort of feel that we’ve found our way. But the truth is, it’s in our human nature to want more. To desire better. To aim higher. At least, that’s how we evolve. Otherwise we’re just swamping, living a life without colour, satisfaction, or fulfilment.

There comes a time, however, when we feel lost. When our life lens becomes blurred and gloomy and all we see is disappointment and disdain.

It’s when we’re sulking the most that we need people to stir us up. To tell us truths we often don’t want to hear but serve to awaken us. To show us we deserve better and that we are worthy of it.

Those who love you are those who are most irritated when they see you wasting away, because they know your value and your ability to do more, be more, achieve better.

As Wayne Dyer said, “if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

We all need someone to act as a lighthouse, to shine the way when we’re feeling lost in the darkness. To make us believe that we’re destined for greatness, and to boost us into envisioning its realisation.

Live with a grateful heart

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We should be grateful for friends to whom we can turn and say “I’m gonna moan for 20 minutes straight” and they’ll just make you comfortable and listen to every complaint you make.  We should be grateful for people to whom talking feels like therapy. For the family we choose to support us when life turns upside down.

We should be grateful for so much more than we actually do.

Because we don’t realise the instability of the modern world. How things may change in an instant. How plans rarely work out and how we’re often forced to forge different paths ahead.

When we get too comfortable to move, alter, or evolve, life will usually find ways to push us out of it.

We may need to reassess our entire theory of the world, but it will probably be for the best. If we’re not obliged to exit our comfort zone, we will never realise the potential we have.

This social-media-driven world has manufactured a mentality where everyone – every single person out there – has a voice that they too often than not use to proclaim how perfect and outstanding they are. Yet, it is those who have nothing to say that usually shout the loudest, and those who have nothing to show for that proclaim their greatness. Others simply try to prove their worth in actions, not hollow speeches.

We live in a contemporary state of constant disappointment but not surprise. Because we’ve learned to expect the worst, despite fighting for the best.

Regardless, however, there are so many things to still be grateful for: our good health, the family around us, the friends who embrace us, and the love we receive from the people we truly cherish.

A Personal Note

It may be a Capricorn thing. Or a female issue. Or hormonal distress. A mood swing. Stress. The weather. The environment. The surroundings. The bad temper of the driver in front. The attitude of the cashier.

There may be a myriad of reasons why.

But I tend to cry a lot.

It is what it is. I can’t help it.

When the waterworks start – regardless why – let it pour.

If you know anything about me, you’ll know that my ways to de-stress are either writing or weeping. Sometimes both simultaneously.

I need my time. As all people do, we need time alone to process the new realities around us, to get things sorted in our minds in our own way. To ponder on how to come back stronger. We all have different manners of coping with the world. Please understand that it has nothing to do with you personally. It’s just how each of us functions.

We need a period to outburst. To let it all out so we can relieve the tension.

When that passes – and it will soon enough – we’ll get back to our regular (stubborn, often obnoxious, moaning, and irritating) selves.

Just allow it to happen.

We need some time to figure things out, to draw up a plan, and to garner the courage to proceed. We’re not giving up. Consider it a pause on life, when everything is just too much to bear.

It is said that salt water heals everything: so when we’re crying, take us to the beach for a swim, or let us sit in the rain. Both will drown out the tears.

But don’t worry, the frown will turn upside down soon enough and the smile will re-appear.

Be patient.

I know it’ll work out in the end.

Shine a light inside

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There are two types of people in the morning: the chirpy one, who chatters, sings, and is hyperactive from the moment they get out of bed; and the one who doesn’t want a single noise to interfere in the still sleeping zen phase they are painfully trying to get out of.

Miranda was the second type.

Alan was the first.

You can see the problem.

The worst was when the only chance they had to discuss about something was before going to work in the morning because often their shifts did not coincide and they could spend entire days without seeing each other. Despite living in the same house, they didn’t always have the energy after work to talk about anything.

This made it all the more complex.

Because she was also the type to keep everything inside. She restrained herself from expressing what bothered her, be it from the slightest of things – from their online presence, to his behaviour towards others, to her problems at work, or financial difficulties.

The body had a mind of its own, though, and it began to demonstrate its anguish and exhaustion in various forms. The signs were ignored and neglect led to stronger pain in every form.

He saw what she refused to.

How she faded her own light and began to personify that “what doesn’t transmit light creates its own darkness (Marcus Aurelius).

So he surprised her with a week away.

To a place she only dreamed of; where mice and ducks were favourite cartoon characters; where laughter was the only sound you could hear; where to feel the innocence and carefreeness of a child was mandatory.

A decade of Whispers

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Every big thing starts with a simple moment of folly in which, upon taking that leap, you ask “why not” and “what if”. Because yes, in jumping, you may fall; but what if you fly?

We have a tendency in this modern fast-paced world of ours to consider the downside more than what we have to gain. But we sometimes fail to see that if we don’t dare to try, we won’t move to grow. Change won’t happen if we don’t go after it.

In the past years of pandemic lockdowns, political developments, climate change (floods, heatwaves, fires), and so much more that has made us question the very essence of our existence, it is perhaps our mental health and psychological state of being that has been affected the most.

We find that we are often competing with our own self simply to remain sane. We’re battling the voices in our hear that we wish were not ours. We whisper that we’re fine, when inside we’re bellowing that we’re not. And we realise that we need days off everything; hours to do absolutely nothing – to lie in bed staring at the ceiling,binge-watch series or movies, to walk silently along the beach, to read after going offline. We ought to give ourselves those instances to regroup, to recharge, and to relax above all. It’s an opportunity to reconsider everything we do – from the support circle around us, the social acquaintances, our relations with the ‘outside’ world, to our employment prospects, our professional ambitions, but also our personal dreams which we so often push aside.

I began writing this blog a decade ago – can you believe it’s been 10 years already? It was my way of expressing everything I cannot (or wish not) say aloud. It’s not easy for everyone to speak out and converse so easily with people. Some of us are lost in the chaos of our minds. We’ll speak to those who win our trust, who we feel comfortable and secure with; to those, we will blabber away for hours, so consider yourself lucky, for you are among the selected few. But don’t think we don’t have things to say. The pen, it is said, is often mightier than the sword. And if we can’t speak, we’ll write it.

That said, consider this in the rapid passing of time: We come into each other’s lives in a mere fragment of it. We meet each other without knowing what led the other to this moment, and (on each occasion) we are trying to catch up on the time we ‘lost’ when we did not know of each other’s existence. In an effort to replenish that time, we want to draw in as much information as possible about the other, often being subject to jealousy of the people who have managed to spend a greater period with this new person.

We have but a glimpse of our lives to set our mark on another person and ensure our role and part in their lives is maintained. In the dozens (or more) of people we meet throughout our passage, only a handful will stay long enough to see us grow, change, laugh and cry, evolve. But those are the people who matter. And it goes both ways.

So, the message I’ll close off with in this 10-year anniversary post is this: sometimes it’s good not to know where you’re going and where something you start off in a leap of faith will lead. Because you never know how wonderful or life-changing it may be.

Learn to believe

Life is not like a fairy tale; if you lose your shoe at midnight you’re drunk!

Oh come on, you’re exaggerating”, she confuted. “Sometimes, we do meet a Prince Charming. Life can surprise us pleasantly”.

Sure, but how often does that really happen?” Her pessimism was disarming.

The teenage girl grinned and lowered her gaze.

We need to believe that wonderful things can happen. You’re never too old to dream”.

Hm, but like Eugene O’ Neill once said, ‘obsessed by a fairytale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a last kingdom of peace”.

What’s wrong with that?” she questioned as she turned on the Disney channel. “We become intelligent through the stories we read because we cultivate our imagination, we learn to dream, and we are convinced that dragons can be beaten. Isn’t that the point, after all? To believe that we are as strong and confident as we set our mind to entrust? And that nothing is as impossible as we think? If we don’t try, we’ll never know”.

She left her interlocutor speechless. So much, that all she could do was get the popcorn and share the couch as the movie began.

Round the bend

© Dale Rogerson

You should always change gear before the curve”.

Push the brake a little beforehand too”.

Don’t go rushing in full-speed”.

He was a good driving instructor. Aside from the fact that he would usually tell her all the things she shouldn’t do, rather than what she should.

Safety above all”, was his motto.

If she could drive safe, experience would allow her to follow her intuition when the time was right.

At least, that’s what he told her.

It was a bit like taking the road and let it lead you places.

You never know what’s hiding round the bend.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Choose your outlook

We’ve been through so much already,” the little girl said, tugging on her father’s coat. “If someone offers us help, I say we take it”.

He looked at her. It was true, leaving your homeland with only whatever you could carry was a torment in itself, and a heavy burden for any nine-year old to bear. The series of misfortunes that ensued was something refugees were prepared for. Particularly those violently expelled from their own country. 

They had just met someone who promised to get them to safety. But after a couple of failed attempts to believe people who vowed the same, the father was now distrustful.

Not everyone is good”, he told her.

Her mother soon arrived, her eyes drooping from exhaustion. She took the little girl’s hand and gently placed her arm around her husband.

There is still so much good out there”, she hummed. “But life is how you want to see it”. “If you want to find the good, you’ll find it. And if you’re constantly looking for the bad, it’ll catch up with you”.

They all breathed a little slower now. The realisation of this truth sinking in.

We need to acknowledge that practical optimism is a much better framework on life than default pessimism”.

Let’s choose to believe that everything will work out”.

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