MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “patience”

Wait…and then wait some more

https://images.intelligentinvestor.com.au/w827-h465-cfill/Blog_patience.jpgYou can’t force yourself to be inspired. Whatever you’re trying to do, be it to write an article, find a choreography, make a cake, or even go for a walk. If you can’t feel it, you won’t do it.

It’s simply really. Because the more you don’t really want to do something – the more uncertain you feel about it – the less inspired – or rather enthused – about it you will be.

The point is to allow yourself to find that time when you’ll do something not because you have to, but because you want to. There is a difference.

Sometimes you just have to be patient. And then be patient some more.

Things will come when the time is right. And it will all fall into place.

The paper boat that wouldn’t sail

https://dolunaylaben.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/paper_boat_by_eckhartmc-d2scr1c.jpgThe little boy placed the origami-paper boat into the lake and waited eagerly. In his mind, the little boat’s voyage would be tremendous. It would set sail immediately once its surface hit the water and would skid across the lake as if motor-powered.

He waited, but nothing happened.

There was no wind that day and that didn’t help.

He gave it a couple of minutes. Still nothing.

He then poked it a little with his finger. Maybe it just needed a prodding to get going.

Still nothing. The boat remained still, firm in place exactly where he had strategically positioned it at the edge of the lake.

He tried blowing at it, but that didn’t seem to work either.

He looked at the boat perplexed. What was going wrong? The water was calm, ideal, in his opinion, for a smooth sail. The weather was perfect – no clouds, sunny with a very faint breeze. The boat was masterly crafted, having calculated all the angles at which the boat would achieve optimum sailing conditions.  Yet nothing seemed to work.

The more the boy pushed and spurred the boat, the more it crumpled and sunk in the water. It still did not achieve its purpose though.

The boy despaired and gave up trying.

Then something happened. The faint breeze transformed into a gentle wind that softly pulled the paper boat inwards, giving it the stimulus it needed to start its sail.

The boy leaped with joy, clapping his hands.

Sometimes, you just need to relax, let things take their course and have some patience that it will all work out in the end. Not everything needs pressure or force to function. Often all it takes is some breathing space.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Perplexed

The opposite limits

opposite arrowsHer name was Patience, which was ironic because she had none. She was the type of person who wanted things done in a specific way, quite swiftly too. It was the consequence of being a perfectionist with a high dose of OCD. And the very fact that she was so meticulous and thorough with whatever she did, meant that she would be irritated by anything of lesser quality. But what was worse of all, was how she reacted to unjustified pressure.

Because often, people work harder when under pressure, as they feel the knife’s edge closing in. But Patience disliked being forced to do something she was going to see to either way. In her mind, it was a useless paradox that was simply unproductive.

So whenever her grandmother forced her to “eat all her peas”, Patience would not touch a single one. The same happened when her parents asked her to “clean up her room”. Or when her supervisor “demanded” a draft copy on his desk “by no later than midday”. She was the person who would eat her peas, clean up her room and get the report done on time, regardless. For this reason, she saw it as demeaning to be pressured so strongly to perform these actions.

As such, her family and colleagues soon realized that just like her name implied, Patience required that very trait, and in fact, the opposite treatment. So, they would tell her she didn’t have to eat all her peas if she didn’t want to. Or that her room seemed clean enough as it was. Or that the report could be handed in as soon as it was done. Left on her own terms, Patience was happy to prove that she could be better than what anyone expected. She gained a sense of satisfaction in that. In proving how disciplined and productive she could be, even without the added pressure. Because she believed that sometimes, that is all we really need. To be allowed to demonstrate your true capabilities without feeling that you are constantly being judged. Sure, it is good and necessary to have some kind of timeline and order in life, but just like everything, there needs to be a limit to it all.

The boundaries of sanity

https://lessonsfromtheendofamarriage.files.wordpress.com/2015/09/tennis-court-443267_1280.jpgIt is a line, mostly a mental one, that marks the limits of a person’s capacity, tolerance, sanity. It’s called setting boundaries.

There are boundaries and maximum (and minimum) limits to just about everything: from fixed prices, to metrics, to country borders, to endurance, even to one’s patience. There is a reason for it. Boundaries keep us sane. They keep things under order, otherwise chaos would ensue and we would all end up psycho wrecks.

Boundaries may be seen as a recognition of personal space. They are normal and necessary. They are part of the process of self-care and maintaining ourselves calm and healthy.

We all often dangle on borders. It’s a natural thing. “Boundaries are to protect life, not to limit pleasures” (Edwin Louis Cole). Certainly: there is a time to play and a time to work. When we are able to distinguish between the two, we will be both mentally healthier and more productive.

You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce” – Tony Gaskins

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Healthy

The avalanche mounting behind the door

http://www.snowcollegenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/avalanche.fraktik.com_.jpegOn the nights he slept over at his grandmother’s, Seth was always tucked into bed with the goodnight wish that “the brightest things would come to him when he least expected them.” His grandmother explained that that is when he would appreciate them the most. Seth never did understand what she meant. Until he grew up and turned 34.

Seth had become close friends with Murphy. This guy had a global law named after him, which was the embodiment of the phrase “when it rains, it pours”. Seth knew it well. Despite wanting to believe what his grandmother had insisted on instilling in him – that all the proper things come and find you at the right time – he refused to believe that nothing good ever stayed with him.

At 27, he was still living with his parents, scraping by, working as a waiter at a nearby café because he could not find any paying work in his university-degree sector of engineering.

At 29, he broke up with his long-term girlfriend because she could no longer take his uncertainty, his pessimism and his lack of ambition. She was the type who believed there was nothing wrong with trying to reach further than you could see. Seth was the type who needed glasses to see the end of his fingertips.

At 32, a major crisis struck. Seth was going through what most people experience at some point in their lives – reminiscing of how everything used to be simpler when we were younger, of how nothing turned out the way you expected, and of how the future looks so bleak, you don’t see anything worth fighting for anymore.

But that is when things began to change.

When he thought that everything would simply continue downhill.

An executive officer of a multinational corporation walked into the aforementioned café one day. Seth was the one to serve him, but having seen him numerous times there, he suggested exactly what the businessman wanted to order. Frequent customers usually have fixed preferences. The businessman was having a rough day, and was encouraged by the smile on Seth’s face and the kindness with which he was approached. The small talk while the coffee was being prepared turned into an invite to an interview, which two days later became a work offer.

Two years later, it was Seth who was in charge of his own department, drinking coffee with the businessman, instead of serving him.

And that was when he remembered his grandmother’s words. Because he had settled the career issue, but what about the relationships phase? He had met all sorts of women during the years: the crazy ones who checked your phone when you went to the bathroom; the really crazy ones who also checked your pockets and bags; the insane ones who would freak out if they saw you with another woman; the ones who didn’t really care because they were already cheating on you; and, of course, the right ones at the wrong time, who were already in other relationships. He would return home and feel alone. Even Heather, his Siamese cat had befriended the Tomcat from next door. His mind ran back to Esther. She was for him “the one that got away”. He believed everyone had one such person. But come night, he would remember a story his grandmother used to tell him, that when souls were created, they split in half when they fell to Earth, and ever since people spend their entire lives trying to find their other half. Seth was overcome by grief and longing for Esther, but could not sum up the courage to call her. So many years had passed, she would certainly have moved on.

There are times when in life, nothing happens, and then when you finally find the door to open, events come pouring onto you like an avalanche.

That is what happened with Seth. When one night the phone rang, and the answer to his curious “hello?” was a soft trembling voice he knew too well, stating “it’s me”.

The breaking point

11146-broken-pencil-tip-1680x1050-photography-wallpaperHarold was a man with exceptional patience. He possessed the remarkable ability of retaining his calm even in situations where it was most likely to lose all control and begin to scream, either out of panic or of agitation. Yet, he managed to radiate a tranquility that was truly rare in such times of increasing uncertainty and turbulence.

That was until one Friday. It was also the 13th.

Things started out badly that day when he broke the mug he had been drinking coffee in for the past few years and which had become his favourite. He should have seen it coming then, the streak of bad luck, but he chose to ignore it. Optimism was always the best course of action. He convinced himself there was no use worrying over anything he could not change, and especially a mug, which could easily be replaced.

But then he went to work. And that is where it all fell apart.

On his desk he found an invoice charging him an extravagant amount for services that supposedly were provided, but he recalled very well how last week he had a row with that specific manager for not delivering the agreed services, forcing Harold to in the end do all the work himself. Why was he expected now to actually pay for work he himself did?

Harold began to fidget nervously, feeling his heart beat increase significantly.

The next blow came when he realized that he was literally robbed of cash from his bank account because his Internet provider had on a whim decided to increase the cost of services three-fold.

But the real “icing on the cake” came when his boss stormed into his office infuriated, blaming Harold for something he had not done. Or rather something Harold had advised not to do, yet no-one listened to him, and now a major client had withdrawn investment. Someone always had to be blamed. And it was usually the calmest and quietest one that gets chosen as the scapegoat.

Harold erupted.

That was when he began to constantly feel angry and irritated. About everything. It took even the slightest of sounds to tick him off. He was fuming about the injustices that always fell upon him; how he was always blamed for things that went wrong, even when it was not his fault. He was annoyed at how nobody ever did their job or at least what they proclaimed they would do but always wanted to be paid the full amount no matter the quality or quantity of what they delivered. He was livid about how others always wanted you to adhere to your part of the agreement but never lived up to their own. But most of all he was enraged about how corrupt the human soul really is, having no qualm or remorse whatsoever in outright stealing, cheating and deceiving the other.

Harold had changed over the course of just a week.

He could no longer sleep at night, haunted by these thoughts that swarmed his mind like Erinyes. Even when he did manage to doze off for a while, he would wake up drowning in his own sweat with his heart racing, suffering panic attacks in his very sleep.

Nothing could offer any consolation any more. It was the curse of realizing no matter how good you are the bad somehow always end up getting their own way. He was tormented by things he was wronged about and, although he knew nothing could be done to change them, for some reason he could not let go or forget about them.

He had to move on.

All it really takes, is to find one person who will demonstrate that not everybody is the same. To be able to restore your confidence in humanity, your faith in kindness, and bring back the smile on your face.

For Harold that would arrive a month later. At a bar a few blocks from his house. In the form of a beautiful brunette who had also suffered many injustices in her life and who described herself as “walking bad luck”. Combined, they would change their destinies.

Common sense should be rated as a superpower

They say common sense is actually a curse because you have to deal with all those who don’t have it. Indeed common sense is not as common as we may think. What strikes you as obvious may not be so for someone else. Indeed “nonsense is so good only because common sense is so limited” (George Santayana).

Things like looking both ways before you cross the street; not parking on a turn or on a sidewalk that pedestrians should use; editing before printing; counting your change; and simply paying attention to what you do and where you’re going, may be justly classified as common sense. Not to everyone though. Some people take things for granted. Like the fact that your change will always be the right amount. Or the fact that if there is no other place to park, leaving your car in the middle of the road is an acceptable practice. It’s the things that can tick a person off. That can irritate you and ruin your mood for the day. But it is also things that we simply should learn to accept, for the fact alone that human nature and its mentality are very difficult to change.

Common sense is defined as “sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts” or even as “the basic level of practical knowledge and judgment that we all need to help us live in a reasonable and safe way”. Common sense is based on a person’s rationale. His/her ability to rationalise situations and decide the appropriate form of action, simply based on what is obvious. For example, walking around a street lamp in the street and not climbing up it and down the other side; or even keeping your hand away from the fire. It is this ability to rationalise that supposedly gives humans their superior character. But what is obvious to one person doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be viewed the same way by another. That is why communication is intrinsic. It actually enables people to understand each other and one another’s perspective, and hence, their rationale on certain situations.

The only problem with common sense is that everyone thinks they possess it and this can lead to arrogance and the determined belief that “my way is more right than yours”. In such situations, however, it is important to remain calm and use justified arguments for your case. Patience, after all, is a virtue…

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