It’s the quiet ones you should fear. Because they have a whirlwind of thoughts howling in their minds.
They won’t always tell you what they’re thinking, but you can see their emotions reflected in their eyes.
They are the ones who will look out for you no matter what. They’ll be there whenever you ask for help, and will go out of their way to please you. They’re the ones you want to have as friends because you take for granted that they’ll do their utmost for you. But they’re also the ones you fail to appreciate. Yet, they stay. Because that is the type of person they are. They don’t measure or count what they do for you, they do things because they feel them in their heart.
The quiet ones are the ones who also need others the most, regardless how much they say otherwise.
They would ideally like to have people around who care as much as they do. People who during a crisis will show up without having been asked to simply to check in on them. We all want friends around us who every once in a while ask if we’re OK, if we need anything, or simply to be there for a walk, a chat, and a hug. People who are present and make it all seem manageable because we don’t feel like we’re fighting against the world alone.
It’s the quiet rivers that lead to the loudest streams. But when they’re calm, they offer the most refreshing waters.
It is said that the problem with the modern world is that we become too attached to things and give them more importance than we do to people. Or perhaps the problem is that we become too attached in general.
The truth is, we become attached to things and people in which and whom we seek to find ourselves. It is the memories we become attached to, the things we reminisce when looking at a thing, or when being with a person. It’s that feeling that revives inside of us when we are around them.
My laptop crashed suddenly yesterday evening. It only took a second to happen, but it changed everything. My laptop is both my work and my pleasure. So you can imagine there is a lifetime building on it every single day. It’s as if having a best friend in the form of an object. And it just…crashed, leaving a feeling of having ripped out a part of me.
It’s not the object itself we become so tightly bound to. It is everything it represents for us, all the things it got us through when there was no one else around, all the aspects of our character that we forged around it and through it, the hopes and dreams we invested in it, and all the moments it represents for us.
So in essence, it is not the things we are really attached to. It is that part of ourselves that we found through them.
Tom was frequently likened to a cat. Mainly because, whenever he could, he slept for most of the day.
He didn’t mind being compared to a clever feline. He rather saw it as a compliment.
Cats are perhaps the most independent pets around. They can take care of themselves and act as if you’re living in their house rather than the other way around. They are the beings for whom the problem during lockdown is that everyone else is staying home with them. But they can also teach you so many things on how to manage self-confinement. They know how to adopt a slower pace of life as the norm; to seek out the sunny spots in the house; take stretch breaks; stay curious and always discover new things making each day exciting; contact a human every so often; keep a tidy space and clean yourself often.
Cats are the embodiment that life is easier when you’re not too busy with what others are doing.
The problem with people like Tom is that they can’t be like cats for too long. Everything in life requires a measure, a balance to be complete. And even though it is healthy to spend time alone; to know how to be alone and not be defined by another person, happiness has greater value when it is shared.
And in order to be able to live fully, we need more people (or animals) in our life. People who share our concerns, and who will seek us out whenever we choose to disappear in the most incredible hideaways.
We will meet again soon. For the time being, choose to shine; it’ll soon become a habit.
So we’ve spent perhaps one of the strangest Easters of our time. But we managed to celebrate it as much as possible, with people who are far yet near with the aid of technology, with love and wishes that know no borders, and with optimism and positive vibes that everything will pass and we will meet again soon.
The truth is that if you’re not in hospital, if you’re not sick, if you’re “stuck” at home with your family, if you even have a home, if you’re not entirely alone in a house away from your loved ones, this Easter in quarantine was not your worst Easter. In fact, it may even be your most memorable one. Because it taught you lessons you so far failed to see.
How to spend time with the people you share your home and life with; who matters and who cares enough to be around even if they can’t see you in person; the importance of exchanging wishes and words of encouragement even if no physical interaction may be involved. But most importantly, it revealed the reinvigoration of going outside for fresh air, for a walk in the park, or around your neighbourhood – parts of which you just recently discovered. How to spend time slowly, relishing every moment of it, to pause, to breathe, to enjoy things that we missed or didn’t have time for.
The lockdown is actually forcing us to slow down our pace of life and in the process to actually live our life.
And as we relax, inhaling the cleaner air around, we wonder why we haven’t lived like this for so long. Why this wasn’t the normal we are all longing to return to.
There will come a time when we will reminisce the weeks we were forced to stay home, learning to value the time we have and appreciating the small things that we miss, despite our constant moaning about our confinement.
Wouldn’t it be great if we would have learnt something out of all this and changed some of our habits?
“In the rush to return back to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to” – Dave Hollis
She never really asked him what he wanted. Because she knew how to distinguish between wanting something and needing it. We tend to have in mind things that we want, but if we ponder on them a bit longer, we realise that we don’t really need them. Because in reality, we have a lot. We’re just not grateful enough.
He didn’t answer immediately.
His gaze wandered out of the window to the spring sun that filled the back garden. Everything was illuminated. It seemed so much more positive than the last time he was here. He himself felt brighter, more optimistic.
“I need a hug that lasts more than a deep breath. A long walk on the beach. And a late night talk, the soul-curing kind. That’s what I miss the most. Being able to connect mentally as well as physically. People being real”.
She felt a wave of cynicism camouflaged into pessimism approaching. So she quickly shielded it off.
“You’ve made a lot of progress in healing yourself. In realising how to separate your wants and needs and how to comprehend what is more important. You should be proud of yourself for that”.
He tried to smile, still staring outside. Something was still troubling him.
“In life, there are two types of people,” she began. “The optimists and the pessimists. The pessimists are usually right. But humanity’s progress is due to the optimists. Remember that when choosing what you allow to drain your energy. If you can’t control or change something, there is no point in allowing it to affect your mood”.
With our “normalcy” ruptured, our minds are daily overwhelmed with a conflict of thoughts. It’s not easy trying to maintain a positive attitude in a midst of negative news. When you are constantly bombarded with statistics about new Covid-19 / Coronavirus cases, deaths, ventilated patients, those recovered, restrictive measures, fines for violation, increased risks, etc., our minds become a battlefield between optimism and pessimism.
But in order to maintain even a trace of sanity, we need to regain control.
The energy you store inside you and the one you radiate are equally important as the food you nurture your body with. Energy is contagious; if you hang around with negative energy, if you allow it to infiltrate you, you will eventually start to absorb it. Seek out positive company, like-minded people, good news, feel-good things to watch and read. As cliché as it might sound: be the energy you want to attract. And you’ll see your mood change.
Negativity can only affect you if you allow it to; if you’re on the same frequency. So vibrate higher. Shine brighter. And choose to believe that better days are coming.