MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “relationships”

Being where you are

In a culture of constant consumerism, incessant competition, and individualism, the paradox of social distancing has depreciated even the most common-sense norms of cultural etiquette.

We are now dubious and suspicious of everyone and anyone, as they could be a potential virus-carrier or transmitter. We have become even more isolated in our homes, opening our door only to those we know well and failing to make any new acquaintances.

We have a routine that, albeit different to the one we used to have several months ago, is still something that keeps our life somewhat normal.

Yet, the entire way that our lives have changed this year has highlighted the fact that in essence very few people are happy and/or satisfied with the life they have.

Self-isolation, quarantine and lockdown has raised the curtain to everything we hid under the carpet and failed to acknowledge for so long. It has lifted the veil from our eyes and cleared our vision on the relationships we have, the people we surround ourselves with, but most importantly, who we truly are.

It has also exacerbated our sense of longing to be somewhere else – anywhere else – than our current location. Removing someone the choice of doing something, automatically makes that option desirable and spurs a reaction.

But the honest truth is this: No-one wants to live where they are. Everyone wants to live in a fantasy.

But the fact that even our futures no longer seem certain, let alone, controllable, makes even that fantasy world appear bleak.

The trick is to create your own circumstances, realising your fantasy by exploiting where you are at each precise moment.

Not easy, but very possibly worth it.  

The safety of true friends

What does it take to feel safe?

Is a lockdown enough? Is staying away from everyone and everything? How do we feel safe without raising walls and keeping everyone out? How do we stay safe if we simply don’t live, don’t allow ourselves to experience anything?

There is a story about a woman living in India sometime in the Middle Ages who owned a pet snake, which she loved. The snake was four metres long and seemed healthy until one day it stopped eating. The snake’s fasting continued for the next weeks and the woman, now desperate that she could not get the snake to eat, rushed to the vet as an ultimate solution. The vet carefully listened to the woman and then asked: “Does the snake sleep with you at night and wraps itself around you?” “Yes!” the woman replied surprised at how spot on the vet’s speculation was. She expressed her sorrow that she could not help her friend. The vet then told her, “Madam, your snake is not ill; it is preparing to eat you. Every day it comes around you and you think it is hugging you, it is simply measuring you up and preparing to attack. It is not feeding so as to have enough room to digest you more easily”.

The moral of this story: not every person you consider a friend has true intentions. You may have people around you who seem to care and with whom you share everything, whom you love and care for and believe that they feel the same. But, some think otherwise. They are snake-friends. Because kindness and hugs aren’t always honest and genuine. Consider that everyone who betrays you are people you know, people you’ve sat with and shared your innermost thoughts, who you gave a part of your soul to, because these are the people whom you gave the key to hurting you.

No matter how much they hurt, such experiences serve to teach us to read people better. To measure up who we consider worthy of our attention, time, energy, and friendship. Not everyone is bad. But not everyone is good either.

We are the ones who choose the people to accompany us in our life’s journey. The ones with whom we feel safe under any circumstance. And those who are worthy of sharing our most important moments are really the ones who prove to be so without even being asked.  

Sharing a world

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

You know how social media applications remind you of what you posted this day a year or more ago?

Yes, it’s like the memories you didn’t know you had”.

Exactly. Well, here’s what I found”.

She showed him a picture of a shopping street in the Middle East.

Do you remember this?

They had gone together a few years back.

He hardly recalled the occasion the photo was taken.

But she couldn’t forget.

It was the day they realised the world was vast and different.

But it was also when she realised she only wanted to share it with him.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Inn of Hearts

People choose to stay at an inn to escape reality.  So it should be a place where they feel welcome and comfortable. But it should also transfer them to somewhere else. A place that only exists in their dreams. Until they come here”.

It was how her grandmother described the inn she managed, ever since Hazel could remember.

Hazel, named so because of her distinctive brown-coloured eyes, spent most of her summers at her grandma’s inn in the New Zealand countryside.

It was a place that combined nature, green valleys, mountains and beautiful beaches. The summers there were memorable. She would always find something adventurous and exciting to do, be it from simple gardening to trekking, gliding and rock-diving, so that by the time she entered adulthood she was already saturated with experiences.

But then, her career-driven self got carried away by city life and the business routine that meant having a leave but never actually taking it, and working incessantly.

It was only after her grandma passed away and she inherited the inn she loved, that she returned to it after years of neglect.

From the minute she stepped back on the porch, Hazel could feel her grandmother’s presence and all her childhood memories rushing back. She could feel it all in the air around her.

She decided to renovate the inn to its former glory, fixing what was broken and treasuring what was worth saving, while using eco-friendly resources to give back to nature that had nourished her childhood so well.

And in this she had found help. As if sent along deliberately by a higher force to remind her of all that she had forgotten so abruptly growing up.

Roger was a man who returned to his roots when he discovered that fixing old things helped him restore the broken parts of his soul.

It was inevitable that they would fall in love.

The inn brought them together into constructing a dream home they never knew they shared.

They kept its former name: “The Inn of Hearts”.

A battle of histrionics

He had been accustomed to tantrums since he was a child.

His histrionics were the key to getting his own way.

They continued as he got older.

People would give him what he wanted to simply stop the wailing.

Until she came along.

He had met his match.

Also part of Weekend Writing Prompt #181

Life secrets from a cat

Have you ever observed a cat? No, not just seen one, but actually studied how it behaves, its features and characteristics, its every move?

Cats are amazing creatures. There’s a reason they were worshipped as a deity and considered sacred in Ancient Egypt. They are free in every sense of the word. They have their own attitude, and are subject to no-one. Even though you think you own them as your pet, it is you who actually has the privilege of living with a cat. Cats choose who they’ll devote their attention to, when they would like to play, where they want to sleep and how much they feel like eating. Yet, they’ll be there for you whenever you need them, even when you don’t know you need someone, they’ll sit by you (or on you), transmitting their warmth and soothing purr, thus healing you. Cats are true friends.

That is why so much has been said about them. And even more can be learnt from them.

Stéphane Garnier learnt so much from living with a cat that he wrote two best-selling books on how to live and think like one. He acknowledges that cats are calm, observant, wise, elegant, charismatic and proud. In fact, he argues that they have found the secret of how we should all live, regardless of our species, and through his books, diffuses the knowledge drawn from cats into leading a better life.

Cats never give up. And that is perhaps the most important lesson of all.

They understand that fear serves no real purpose, and they believe in themselves and their power to achieve whatever they set their minds on.

They know how to be authentic, maintain their superiority at all times, and how to love themselves.

They can maintain their calm no matter what life (or anyone else) throws at them, are prudent and know how to have fun, even on their own.

They are kind-hearted, simple and communicate what they want.

They’ll forgive you and themselves too for making mistakes, accepting what has passed, while being well aware of how to pursue the lives they want.

Cats can teach us to respect the choices we – and others make – be it what we choose to eat, wear, occupy ourselves with, or believe. Everyone is free to make their own choices. We should respect and stand by them if this would lead us to tranquillity and happiness.

Above all though, cats appreciate how to love with all their hearts, because everything is temporary and we should enjoy every single breathing minute we have.

Perhaps our best life coach would be a cat. If only we too could be more like them.

The fall of an angel

What is it that I do so wrong?” she asked her godmother with a voice that was drowning out tears.

She didn’t know that somewhere else, he was wondering the same, but chose to keep it for himself, pretending everything was perfectly fine.

The godmother smiled and sighed. It was a question almost everyone had posed at least once in their lifetime. It usually came after a painful experience. When you elevated too high with euphoria and abruptly crashed to the ground, claiming you never saw the collision drawing near. It was after the fall of an angel.

You know, even the devil was once an angel. People don’t show their true face immediately. Some may feign so well that it takes a very long time to see through them – if ever”.

So we should just never trust anyone? Ever?” She sounded so innocent, so naïve.

You should tread cautiously, drawing lessons from your previous experience. But you should not shut down your heart and stop being you”.

There was silence. She was contemplating what that meant and how it could be achieved.

Even angels find their wings too heavy sometimes”, the godmother continued, aware that the angels’ allegory always worked. After all, she was the one who had imbued it on her.

Sometimes we need to fall to be able to look up. To take a wrong turn so that we eventually get to the right place. We need the darkness to see the stars. Just remember the lessons you learn on your journey through life. But most of all, accept that some things just happen because something greater is waiting for you. It wasn’t where you were meant to be. Stop thinking too much about it. You’ll be grateful you moved on later”.

And then she said this that served as a wake-up call:

We consume ourselves where we’re not meant to be and become blind to all that awaits us”.

Those mornings

©Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

It was mornings like those that made all the difference.

Laying out the table looking into the garden. Feeling the calmness infuse inside you. Happily joining forces to cook up breakfast and willingly decorating and serving it as if you’re up for a Michelin star at a world-renowned restaurant.

Sitting down for a meal as if it’s the most important thing you’ll do all day. Savouring every moment of it. Because you know what matters is here and now. Being in that precise moment and nowhere else.

Preparing for the rest of the day with a simple process as this.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

One bright day

©C.E.Ayr

It was the first day in over a week that they woke up with sunshine streaming through their windows.

“We need to exploit this brightness!” she said all perky, jumping out of bed to draw the curtains so more light can get in.

“I know exactly how!” he replied.

He revealed a bicycle for her with a basket in front, just as she had coquettishly requested when she saw his own bicycle about a month ago.

They cycled to the marina, where he had prepared another surprise: a boat ride along the calm waters of the canal. Just for them.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Staying afloat

https://www.eikojonesphotography.com/wp-content/gallery/rivers-and-lakes/maple-leaf-floating-in-river.JPG

When you fall into a river you’re besieged with an innate instinct for survival and you search for ways to keep afloat and to get out. It’s natural. If you stop trying to swim, you’ll sink, and ultimately drown.

This is somewhat true in how you survive in your daily life as well. In the relationships you build and maintain. What holds you down is what makes you drown. And that can range from the negative thoughts in your head, your problems, your stress, the prejudices you carry around, even past traumatic experiences from failed relationships that have left a bitter aftertaste.

When you exit the river, you’re never the same person as the one who entered. Something has washed over you and infiltrated you even if you can’t see it. You’re changed by every experience you have, every person who walks in – and out – of your life. There is a lesson to be gained from everything. As long as we want to acknowledge it.

Seminars on self-help and self-growth are abundant. This was an excerpt from one of them. She was drawn into it because the metaphor was cunning. But, this was nothing new. Theories are so easy to develop. They’re easy to state, even to ourselves. Acting upon them is what is necessary and means something. And that is the hardest to do. Because accepting reality and that some things just happen, is the most difficult of all.

She would give herself completely in someone she felt was worthwhile. She would fall head over heels from the start. And perhaps that was her mistake. That she would put herself on offer willingly, without being asked. Her friend told her that this made the other person greedy, thus provoking his insatiable attitude. But she would do things because she wanted to and felt pleasure in doing them. Because happiness entails making others smile. Because we love the way we want to be loved. It’s the only way she knew.

But when things snapped in an instant for no rational reason, she was the one left heartbroken, wondering why others don’t treat her the same way she would. Why they wouldn’t run to surprise her and make things right. Why they wouldn’t even call to talk and solve the dispute that so abruptly and harshly erased their laughter.

They say “we accept the love we think we deserve”, but that’s not true. Because we don’t always attract what we want, but rather what we need at certain periods in time. We learn something out of every incident we face, regardless of how good or bad it is. We don’t always end up with what we crave. But sometimes we realise that maybe it’s for the best. Sometimes pain is meant to be felt, so we can appreciate serenity when it finally arrives.

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