MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “strength”

Humor me

https://cdn.timelab.se/nyaledarskapet/20180329181038/Laughter1-1024x605.jpg

Having a sense of humor is a trait not many are able to master. Because it requires intelligence to be able to spark a wit with effect at the right time.

People with a sense of humor are the ones you see laughing most often, even if only by themselves.

They are the ones with the greatest self-acceptance, because they have come to terms with who they are and what life has handed to them, and are brave enough to not only overcome the challenges but even to make fun of them.

They are creative – after all, it takes a lot of mental energy to come up with quick-witted jokes that put a smile on everyone else’s face. It is thus also associated with wisdom and love of learning.

People with humor understand the difference between laughing at someone and with them. They are conscientious in that they don’t need to hurt anyone’s feelings in order to make a joke.

Laughing is a state of life and it also keeps you fit physically and emotionally. 

It could be true that “a sense of humor is God’s antidote for anger and frustration” (Rick Warren).

Humor is one of our fundamental character strengths and an important survival tool. It helps gain intimacy, build connections and often buffer stress. But it is also what helps us remain optimistic. And like Elbert Hubbard said, “do not take life too seriously, you’ll never get out of it alive”.

That feeling of being at home

©MCD

There is a serenity in finding a place you can call home. Because no matter how many buses, trains, airplanes you need to get there, it is all worth the tiredness when you finally reach it. It is a place you hold dear in your heart because you know it will always welcome you back, no matter how far you go or how long it takes for you to return.

It is even greater if you have friends who will always be waiting for you and who will get out of their way to make you feel like home, because that is exactly where you feel you are. A family is one that extends beyond blood ties. And those friends who are geographically distant from you are sometimes the ones who are the closest. You will talk for hours about everything and always be up to date with each others’ lives. They will always have some wise advice to share and that optimism that everything will be all right and life will find its way to give you want you deserve.

There are places that mark our lives. Places where we wished we could live forever, as long or short a period that word connotes. There are places that don’t really change with time, but that is perfectly OK with us because you don’t want them to change (only if it is for the better). There are places other people tell you they visited on a travel streak and you are proud to say, ‘I know it, I lived there, it is like home’.

There are places where no matter your absence, whenever you return, you know exactly where everything is and where to go, where the hidden gems are, and where to find the best views. As if coming back home.

And if you are lucky enough to find such a place with friends who have become family, you are blessed with having a home away from home, one that will offer you peace and tranquillity, a place to crash (literally and metaphorically) and the strength to regroup yourself so you can return to ‘normality’ stronger and more optimistic.

Social norms

We live in a society that even inexplicitly wants us to follow rules. Unwritten regulations that are the norm. If you go against them, it is not only frowned upon, but you are seen as a reactionary, even an outcast. Simply because you don’t conform.

But it is not those who follow the path of the masses who ever accomplished anything. It is those who don’t fear to find a way of their own. Who have the courage to be different.

But until you find the strength to do something out of the ordinary, most of the time you are forced to live in hypocrisy. To socialise and be polite to people you are not even fond of, to behave “appropriately” according to context, to press “like” on social networks even if you don’t, to make positive comments even when you don’t believe them, to act constantly out of the character you know you are, simply because this is what is “socially acceptable”.

 We live our lives in fear of “what others will think or say” of us. And as such we end up suppressing our potential, hiding our true feelings and at times even dumbing ourselves down because the level of those surrounding us is so much lower.

What if we didn’t do all of this? What if we didn’t oppress ourselves the way we do? What if we didn’t care what others would say? What if we simply did what would make us happy and make us feel satisfied and proud of who we are? The world would definitely seem a better place, if only because we would feel more comfortable in it.

Nature’s work

sandras-shells

© Sandra Crook

Look at the pretty seashells and corals over here”. The little girl approached the so-called “Nature Table” barely tall enough to look over it. She stared at the natural sponge, the hardened corals and the various sized- and shaped- seashells. She looked perplexed.

Under the water they look more alive”.

The museum guide suddenly felt helpless for words.

Well,” he began, desperately trying to say something positive.

Water is their natural habitat. But out here, we can observe them better, right?

Strange,” the little girl said.

Despite the waves and the water pressure look how pretty and strong they are”.

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Two goats on a bridge

https://blog.cancaonova.com/seguidoresdocaminho/files/2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gif?file=2011/12/fabula-duas-cabras.gifThere is a story we are told as children about two goats fighting over a narrow bridge.  The story goes that “One day a goat was crossing the bridge. He saw another goat crossing the bridge in the opposite direction. The bridge was so narrow that there was no space for both of them to pass. Both of the goats didn’t want to go back. One goat said to the other goat “You should go back since I am stronger than you”. The other goat denied saying it’s stronger. Both of them argued for a while. Later, one goat put down his horns to fight to show it is stronger than the other. They fight furiously and both of them lost their balance and fell into the stream below. The swift current of the stream carried them away in deep water and both of them were drowned.” The story continues that a while later, two other goats approached the bridge and started quarrelling for the same reason. However, this time one told the other that to save them both from drowning, it would lie down and  the other would walk over it. “Then the wise goat lay down on the bridge, and the other goat walked over him. So they passed each other, and went on their ways”. The moral of the story is that “anger leads to sorrow and please leads to joy”.

But there is more to that.

We often become so stubborn we don’t want to be the one who withdraws from a quarrel no matter how big or insignificant it may be. We feel that we would be seen as weak if we back down, if we compromise, if we admit to the fact that our view is not the only one and not the only right one.

Yet, we make it a matter of strength, of vigour, of status, to be the goat that marches ahead and does not allow any other to move ahead of us.

We end up drowning ourselves and taking others down with us. When all we need to do is look around us and perceive the other side of things too. Allowing others to walk past, does not always mean that we are left behind. It just means that we are wise enough to allow others to co-exist and that sometimes trying to prove yourself all the time is just not worth it.

Quiet People – Loudest Minds

https://www.cartoonmovement.com/depot/cartoons/2018/03/14/stephen_hawking_1942_2018__stephff.jpegLife would be tragic if it weren’t funny”. It is one of the inspirational quotes by renowned physicist Stephen Hawking who passed away today.

Having lived to the age of 76, more than 50 years older than the age doctors told him he could expect to reach after being diagnosed in 1963 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, Hawking was an awe-inspiring human apart from an innovative scientist. He was the person who truly proved that “however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at”.

In tribute, here are some of his most inspiring quotes / lessons:

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.

The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people.

Quiet people have the loudest minds.

One of the basic rules of the universe is that nothing is perfect. Perfection simply doesn’t exist…..Without imperfection, neither you nor I would exist.

Keeping an active mind has been vital to my survival, as has been maintaining a sense of humor.

One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious, and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. It matters that you don’t just give up.”

Told you so

http://www.funny-emoticons.com/view/433/It’s a phrase no-one really likes to hear. From anyone really. But it is also one kids grow up to fear. Especially if it is uttered by a parent. It is also one that often makes us refuse to acknowledge reality or the real state of being of certain circumstances. Because we fear that three-worded phrase. And the satisfaction that lies with the person who says it.

Told you so” is a phrase that hides within it so much more than its literal sense. It signifies that we were wrong, that we didn’t listen to the advice we were given, that we often act irrationally, that we failed at something we believed we could accomplish. And it also entails an underlying feeling of defeat for the person at whom it is said.

Told you so” is a phrase usually uttered by elders. Those who have the life experience that allows them to say it so ruthlessly at times and at others even apologetically. Because in essence no-one really wants to point out a loved one has erred, let alone rub it in their faces. But sometimes, the truth hurts and love pains. That is how we grow. To acknowledge a wrong decision or action and to gather the strength to move on.

That is how we gain the scars so we too can later be entitled to use this phrase to someone as stubborn and naïve as we once were.

When forgiveness is a privilege

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/51a04613e4b0007c06d7c81a/t/57a0f0f8197aea59d470b83f/1470165244816/There is a man on the street, sitting at the same spot on the pavement each day with almost the same clothes, clean and ironed, and a small bag on his side. He sits there watching people pass him by. He holds a sign that reads, “Please forgive me. I’m hungry”. He stays there all day. Every day.

There are others too. They get on buses and trains asking to be forgiven for the intrusion. Asking not to be seen as beggars. Asking for the understanding that their need to survive is greater than their own dignity. They sometimes sell something: a pen, a notebook, a pack of handkerchiefs; solely for the purpose of giving something back in exchange for any money they would receive from anyone who pities them.

Some even have a dog with them. One that sits next to them trembling in the cold, wagging its tail miserably once someone comes a little closer in the hope that they will throw something edible at it. One whose eyes have lost that glow it has as a puppy when it enters the world full of excitement.

Sorrow has many faces. So does despair.

People are brought to the brink of their tolerance, of their ability to survive, that they decide to do what they perhaps vowed never to do: to ask strangers for help.

But they do so without abandoning their dignity. They sometimes are stronger than us, because they acknowledge their inability, the fact that they have nothing to lose because they have already lost it all. They are asking for forgiveness from a world that has cast them aside. They are demonstrating to the society we live in that it has no dignity, no empathy, no respect, if it ignores them and hopes this problem will solve itself.

Forgiveness, they say, is an attribute of the strong.

Yet, instead of requesting our forgiveness, we should be the ones apologising to these people. For disappointing them, for letting them down, for allowing them to see only the ruthless and dark side of life.

Anyone with even the slightest sense of emotion feels ashamed when passing by these people. Because we have food, warm clothes and a roof to go back to. Contrary to them, we still are part of this society, no matter how much we blame it for all the difficulties we have to face. But they have something we lack: the acknowledgement that the reality we live in is fragile. Yet, they are the ones who can better manage happiness and fortune when it comes to them. Because we take these things for granted. And do not appreciate them enough.

Everyone you meet has something they fear, something they love, something they lost, something they are missing, and something they need. It is in the silent ones that you acknowledge everything you have and realise what it is you are missing.

Resisting the mind

roger-bultot-flower

©Roger Bultot

“It all begins and ends in your mind,” she once told him. “What you give power to, has power over you”.

Right now, he was fighting not to call her. To tell her how much he missed her and wanted her back.

There was still snow on the porch outside. She would have been thrilled by it.

And her orchid by the window was waiting for her too.

He stared at the dials on the phone; Ralph Waldo Emerson had said, “we gain the strength of the temptation we resist”. But he did not feel any stronger. Quite the contrary.

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

Also part of Daily Prompt: Resist

Crash landing

http://media.gettyimages.com/videos/dark-clouds-silhouetted-by-orange-sunset-grenadines-available-in-hd-video-id1B65074_0063?s=640x640Can you see it? That black cloud rapidly approaching. The one you think will bring a shower of rain and will quickly pass. Do you see it? Do you see it turning into a dark blanket covering the valley? It’s the one that won’t go away as quickly as you believe. The one that will stay for days, pouring down and affecting every atom of your being. It’s the same one that will make you feel as if you’ve crash-landed face down after a prolonged period of flying high.

Such clouds usually mark the day after you return from a holiday. When you’ve had the chance to relax, to forget about everything for a while, to turn off phones and social media and just…be. To try and appreciate the nature surrounding us, and connect with people you may hardly see during your hectic daily routine. But just as you’ve grown into this new, calmer and more tranquil, habit, suddenly you have to return to reality.

And that’s when the clouds come along too.

But they become darker once you realise that your expectations of your return are nothing at all like what you actually encounter.

Because life is sometimes too complicated for our own good. It’s filled with questions that will never be answered. With “whys” whose explanation will come when it no longer matters. With dilemmas of whether it is better to have something or not, to painfully know or live in naïve ignorance. They are things we simply can’t control but are forced to deal with and move on.

And that is when the post-holiday blues settle in. It’s when you don’t feel like doing anything. When you master procrastination and postponement taking them to other levels. When you’re overcome with a desire to flee again, because you feel suffocated to have returned so abruptly.

You know that you need to wait out the storm. Because it will all pass. You just need to be patient and show the strength you hide inside of you. We are all much stronger than we know. It usually takes a few dark clouds to make us see that.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Complicated

 

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