When Silence Becomes Muteness: How Coping Mechanisms Can Accidentally Make Us Less Human

Life challenges us from every direction, and often leaves insufficient adjustment time space between any two respective problems. We are left to ourselves to find solutions to multiple problems at the same time.  With that in mind, consider how little we are taught about life and being human, so we create coping mechanisms as we go along. This coping mechanisms affect us, what follows are some of the ways we are affected.

If you are silent about your problems, you may learn resilience, but if you are silent too long, your silence becomes muteness, you may lose your capacity to speak about your problems, and  with that your ability to speak about good things as well, about how you felt alive after a certain experience or how love is a miracle.

If you close your eyes from your problems, you may learn gratitude, but if you close your eyes too long, closed eyes become blindness, you may lose your capacity to see your problems, and with that your ability to see the beauty and wonders of life.

If you cover your ears from your problems, you may learn positivity, but if you close your ears too long, covered ears become deafness, you may lose your ability to hear your problems and their negativity, and with that your general ability to hear all the great music, inspiring poems and stories of hope. Yes you may hear them with your ears but your human element won’t hear a thing.

If you cover your skin from your problems, you may learn warmth, but if you cover your skin too long, you may lose your ability to feel your problems, and with that your general ability to feel the care, support and love from others.

If you sleep to avoid your problems, you may get respite from them, but if you sleep too long, you may be less conscious of your problems, and become less alive as well, find yourself reduced to a breathing animal with no mental life.

If you build a wall to keep your problems out, you may get freedom, but if you stay behind walls too long, you may lose your ability to move freely because walls are restrictive, and walls keep both the good and the bad out and you will be empty and alone.

Sometimes silence becomes muteness, looking away blindness, not listening deafness, anything taken to the extreme becomes a disorder or disability.

Sometimes our coping mechanisms make us less and less human, chopping off human attributes bit by bit. While I don’t know much about best ways to cope or how to live life, I know that we should at least review our coping mechanism lest they be chopping mechanisms that chop our lives to pieces.

By : Lawrance Khotso

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10 Things That Will Change How You Handle Your Quarter Life Crisis

1. At one point or another, we’re all treading water. We’d rather exhaust ourselves to death than sink. But what’s funny about that fear is that after you sink, you naturally float to the surface again. And that’s what happens with the things that we are most affected by, the things that haunt us for the longest time.

2. There is not as much mystery in life as we like to think. We often predict things long before they happen, and pieces of who we will become are always showing themselves to us. Feeling lost is only a matter of not looking around. We’re never too far gone, no matter how much it may seem that way.

3. Pain does not last very long at all– no matter how profound an event is in your life. It is the implications that we assume the event will create that affect us more than anything. We must learn to disassociate the different parts of our lives for the sake of understanding that when one fails, we have not failed completely.

4. You will become who you are after you have been lost and recovered time and time again– you will turn up without pieces that needed to be shredded and with new discoveries that will give you a stepping stone to move forward on.

5. Sometimes the most beautiful thing that can happen to us is completely and utterly losing it. Dropping everything we once knew and rediscovering it all again. Losing the person, job, experience we thought would make us happier than anything. There is something far better that you are supposed to find– that truth never fails.

6. Nobody is going to save you. That is something only you can do for yourself. You can wait for another love, another job, another whatever to come along and ease the burden but if and when that falls through as well, you’ll be hurt even worse. Learn to hold your own hand. Be your own best friend. Learn how to make yourself happy.

7. If something moves you very deeply, be grateful… no matter which way it affects you. Nobody ever promised that life would be painless and easy, because it won’t be. Having something that has affected you so much is infinitely better than being in an abyss of nothingness.

8. Everybody is experiencing what you are at some level, for some reason, in some way.

9. Things are not innately positive and negative– those are values we assign to them. Learn to reassign, and you’ll watch your entire life change.

10. Many things will seem unfair until we’re far enough away from them to see just how much the universe was working in our favor. Learn to have a little faith in the power of what surrounds you. I promise you, there are far better things waiting for you than the ones you’re suffering to let go of. Just find the few minutes of courage it takes to swim past the shallow end.

By : Brianna Weist

18 (Real) Rules For Living

by Rupert Aquino

1. Greatness only comes from great risks or great work.

Failing after taking a risk is nothing to regret doing. You should have pride in the fact that you were strong enough and believed in something enough to risk so much. It not working out is seldom more than just the reality of what is best for you in the long run. Likewise, hardly anything great will just fall into your lap. Waiting for an opportunity will most likely not yield for you many of them. You must seek.

2. All living things and beings deserve love, respect and reverence, even when you feel compelled to withhold it.

I mean all living things– animals, the earth, your enemies. Just as you are worthy, as are they. It can sometimes be tricky to not value ourselves as greater than another and then subsequently act on that, but it’s nothing that some mindfulness can’t fix.

3. You must be aware of your actions as they affect other people.

You do have the right to do as you please, until it affects somebody else. Because then it is no longer just your life that you are controlling. We are interconnected in ways that are invisible and striking once uncovered, and it’s crucial to remember that even the small, seemingly insignificant things we do to others can have a great impact on them. One of the greatest principles of being alive is learn to be kind to others.

4. Learning to apologize is good. Learning to apologize when an apology is due is what really matters.

To pretend that we are flawless and just ignore our mistakes will be debilitating and crippling, especially in relationships. However, apologizing only for the sake of doing so is not the same as apologizing when you have genuinely done wrong. There is something that really softens people when you admit that you are wrong: they release their defenses, and realize that you are, in some ways, holding up the white flag of truce.

5. One of the most important things you will do is learn to be alone with yourself… happily.

You are all that you have. People can be terrified of doing things alone, but it’s important to get over that hurdle because nothing is certain in life and nobody is bound to you but yourself. You may argue that family, spouses, friends are, but as has been proven time and time again, that just isn’t so.

6. The only thing you can be sure of in the future is change.

We really must move past our hangups with being attached to what is. It is a recipe for suffering. There are few things I can guarantee that will happen in your life other than the fact that things will change: rapidly, unexpectedly, beautifully, tragically and slowly. Sometimes bit by bit, sometimes all at once. There is no use in doing anything but embracing this.

7. Family is optional and not necessarily nuclear.

Sure you’re biologically related to some people, but really, the “family” that matters are the people you love and choose to surround yourself with everyday. By traditional definition, family is a group consisting of parents and children living together, but I would vouch to disagree with that. You need not have children to have a family. What you do need, however, is a group of people, regardless of how big or small, who love, support, nurture, cherish and care for one another unconditionally.

8. Nothing is real but right now.

The past is obsolete and the future is pending. You may attach yourself to these concepts, they are just figments of your imagination. It is a false comfort you get from them. Learn to be comforted and even astounded at what you have right now, and how beautiful it is.

9. You have not failed until you stop trying.

You are not a failure because things haven’t worked out yet. You are a failure when you decide you’re not going to try to work on them anymore. You can spend years and years resolving or working toward something, and the day that your work pays off, you have succeeded. Until then, you’re still working on it.

10. You need the yin and yang.

Nothing would be beautiful if you didn’t know the opposite. You wouldn’t know it was daytime if it never became night. You wouldn’t know what you have unless you did not at one point. Simply put, you would not enjoy life unless you didn’t enjoy it. Live each of these phases completely, they are equally important. They are the yin and yang of your existence, and if you ask me, the only thing worth doing is being present in your existence.

11. “An ounce of appearance is equal to a pound of substance.”

People are more dynamic than the concepts we use to categorize them by. What they appear to be externally, no matter how much we like to stereotype, says next to nothing about who they are as people.

12. Imperfect is an idea that only we have devised. Everything and everybody just is. We have just made up what is right and wrong about ourselves and others.

It’s only bad if you make it bad, you are only wrong when somebody tells you or you are otherwise led to believe so. Otherwise, you would carry on without considering it. The truth of the matter is that the extent at which people judge themselves and others is largely rooted in what they have been taught. Not necessarily what is true or isn’t.

13. If you want change, change.

Complaining will not change anything. Thinking that you want change won’t do it either. You have to be ready to ease out of your comfort zone a bit. You will live the same life and face the same problems and woes until you do something about it/them.

14. No one owes you anything.

Not your parents, not your lover, not those who have wronged you. Not the government, not life in general. Although we all deserve the best, it is not necessarily anybody else’s responsibility to ensure that it happens.

15. Long term purpose and short term goals.

I’ve spoken about this before, and I must reiterate, that we’re are always in an equilibrium between what we want now and what will be best for the long-term. You need to have a bigger vision, but know that the way to get there is through the little things that add up.

16. Happiness will largely depend on your ability to stay interested and engaged.

This obviously excludes cases such as mental illness. Happiness is not a perpetual state of sustaining joy. If that were the case, there would be nothing stimulating about joyousness. It is just always having something new to delight and fascinate yourself with and by.

17. It is okay to not be okay.

Resisting being okay is actually what will affect you more than what you are resisting will. Let yourself be who you are. Let yourself feel what you feel. Be okay with not being okay. Once you can accept even the unfortunate things your life becomes a succession of experiences rather than just a series of fortunate and unfortunate events.

18. Happy people are not the ones who have it all and do not suffer.

Happy people are not, and never will be, the ones who don’t face challenges or suffer or become depressed or have dealt with serious trauma in their lives. They are the ones who know how terrible things can be, so they appreciate every little thing for what it is.

by Brianna Weist

Our hearts are like children and our brains are like adults.

They must work together,

and strike an equilibrium of responsibility and love.

Too much power either which way is never good.

Your Life is Art

by Rocio Montoya

There is the darkness you know and the darkness you lose and both of them have something to prove
These teachers dressed in black, stars for eyes, moon-shaped roadmaps
I have never known myself as well as when I was all there was to know
Every question rising and falling at the same rate, the same place
A pound of feathers and a pound of doubt weighs the same but one is lighter to carry
Lightly, lightly,
Everything comes together with time
Which I’m not entirely sure exists.
You see, time is an illusion, a man-made substitution for control and yet
And yet
And yet
I follow it through. Mark my life off in boxes with a permanent marker, square away all my hurt into journal entries and gratitude lists that I read through like recipes when I don’t know what to make
When sad, remember that going to the park made you grateful,
When angry, remember to find the lesson that might make you better,
When lonely, remember the way it felt to hold yourself together, how it felt like there was something else holding you, too – and remember there weren’t enough words to explain Thank You so you smiled in silence
Remember how brave you were when you didn’t know you would need to be and remember
How scared you were
Take these experiences, these little pieces
This life, a pointillism painting – you see dots up close, the heartbreaks big and small equal in size to the greatest moments of your life
Step away and see the painting
Your life is art
Your life is art
Your life is art
You do not have to make something of yourself to be beautiful. You get to be something beautiful regardless.

By : Katie Marshall