The Magic in a Love That Stops

Nini Mappo
Posted February 14, 2021 from Kenya

 

For a world in a hurry, it’s hard to stop. Even the all of two minutes it takes to nuke our dinners seem a lengthy wait. We can’t stop. We must keep going so as not to miss out.

But what if by stopping, your love can make magic, transforming into a lifeline that pulls a loved one out of despair?

Beyond our immediate relationships, the internet is also awash with stories of people’s traumas. Their brokenness and hope for better. There are all these stories of people crying out when emotional pain closes in, strangulating their gusto for life. Dismissed as unworthy of friendship, they grow cold in isolation, reaching for a connectedness blockaded by distrust.

We may dismiss them as stories of people out there, and miss seeing the reflections of ourselves or our loved ones in the uncomfortable descriptions.

We read of many misjudged prisoners of misunderstandings weighed down by pangs of guilt that ought to have never found them. Some become magnets of imaginary failure, blind to their untapped capacity to add value. Some face rejection, character assassination, abandonment, other, and self-neglect — cycles of trauma. They live in fear of vibrant hope and yet are too terrified of total despair. So, they reach out, ‘Can anyone hear me? Does anyone see me? Will anyone stop? For me?’

‘Will anyone stop? For me?’, could also be ourselves or our loved ones calling out. But if we don’t stop it’s hard to hear and respond. Life is noisy, and fast.

 

In the past, people maintained a stoic elegance about their traumas. It was their cross to carry because everyone had to cope. To be otherwise was a weakness that invited ridicule. Thankfully, that has changed because among other factors, the development of motion pictures might have helped change individual and societal perceptions of trauma.

 

The motion pictures invited people out into the open to view all the traumas occupying rent-free suites in their minds. Thespians demonstrated our traumas on screen. Opening up their imaginary lives, they thrust us into real parts of ours we had suppressed or dismissed. Their roles beckoned us to re-immerse ourselves in our trauma. To investigate it, letting all the negative experiences buried deep within afflict our souls afresh.

 

We said some scenes were triggering, and they were. But the power of seeing other humans immersed in our trauma gave it form. Hearing of it from outside of ourselves invited us to observe it, re-live it, and acknowledge it so that we could speak of it. It was now in the light, no longer a dark secret shrouded in shame. It was now shared, which lightened the burden of carrying it alone.

 

"We stopped to dispossess the trauma of its voice — its very power– so that we could chart a new, life-filled course for our lives".

 

And so, we became bold. We found the words. We began to speak out.

 

As we spelled our trauma, weaving its fragile threads of sorrow into the world-wide-web, we posed a question in the megabytes; ‘Will anyone stop? For me?’

 

Little did we know that would be the incredible thing: that when we spelled out our trauma, we stopped for ourselves. We stopped owning the trauma, beating ourselves up, and justifying its free occupancy of our minds. We stopped to take a fresh inventory of what the trauma was, what it had done in us, what it had given or taken away, how it had changed us.

 

We stopped using trauma as a shield to hide behind whenever healing beckoned us. We stopped to check the trajectory our life had taken, propelled by this trauma. We stopped to dispossess the trauma of its voice — its very power– so that we could chart a new, life-filled course for our lives.

 

We spat out our trauma with every word we spoke, every paragraph we penned. But still, there were the moments of doubt, relapses into self-pity, because the wounds etched onto our identity by trauma had not yet healed. They still hurt.

 

And so, still, we asked, “Will anyone stop? For me?”

Stop to see the essence of my being despite the trauma. Stop to see my innocence, and my rise above victimhood. Stop to see my beauty, peering from amidst the scars. Stop to help me silence the lies, my truths are not enough. 

Stop to uncover who I am, past the façade of charisma. Stop to invite me in, and help me subdue rejection. Stop to offer comfort, and get me through today. Stop to embrace my soul, it has been cold for some time. Stop to pause with me, in reassuring silence.

 

We stop in our thoughts, our to-do lists, our media consumption. We stop in our pursuit of money, our fear of missing out, our unbridled consumerism. We stop the discontentment, the comparing, and the cravings. We stop the ads.

 

We stop the apathy, the dismissiveness, the entitlement, the victimhood, the complaining, and trade our confusion for clarity. We stop long enough to see the real people in the stories we read. And realize that even on the internet, we’re immersed in a community.

 

"Even if it feels as if you have nothing to offer, I hope that you still stop and say, “I have nothing but time, for you.” "

 

We stop to hear, to understand, to empathize, to reassure, to comfort, and relish the camaraderie of commiserating together. We stop to be strong for, to care, to include, to embrace.

 

We stop with a memory, a word, a look, a phone call, a message, an invitation. We stop with acknowledgment, affirmation, celebration, input. We stop with service, a gift, a smile, and presence. We stop with love, hope, intention, sacrifice.

 

We stop with courage because it’s never easy to stop.

 

We stop to notice, to apologize, to forgive, to heal, to enrich relationships. We stop to give form to offense and reshape it into beauty.

 

We stop to connect, to enjoy, to laugh, to cry, to create. We stop to absorb life so we can let it flow out.

 

There is so much we can do when we stop, and see, and reach out. But first, we must stop. That is the hardest part.

 

Who will you stop for, today? What will you offer them when you do?

I hope you offer encouragement. I hope you offer presence. Even if it feels as if you have nothing to offer, I hope that you still stop and say, “I have nothing, but time for you.”

 

Turn your love into magic. Stop for someone today. Share a love that stops.

 

 

This story was submitted in response to Stronger Together.

Comments 23

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Adriana Greenblatt
Feb 14
Feb 14

Nini, my brilliant star, I stop, to connect with you. And this moves me: "We stop to hear, to understand, to empathize, to reassure, to comfort, and relish the camaraderie of commiserating together. We stop to be strong for, to care, to include, to embrace." I stop to say, congratulations to you for your storyteller award, this is a journey now you are on of sharing your voice, loud and strong, it needs to be shared, your healing writing needs to be shared, and I am honoured to be a witness! I send you love today, love as we define it, love as we know it, love that is radical, empowering, embodied in validating riteous anger, and I hear you and see you, and send you, as always, a sparkle and a huge hug, today, and everyday.

Adriana

Nini Mappo
Feb 18
Feb 18

Awww my supportive, supper hugger, Adriana :)
Thank you, muchly! I hope we can exchange a real hug one day ;)
Congratulations to you too Adriana!! I did a little jiggle to see your name there(Claps excitedly)
Okay, since virtual hugs is all we've got, I hope that you feel our joint celebratory/congratulatory hug shared through the bytes!

ikirimat
Feb 15
Feb 15

This is a nice one Nini
A reminder never to take love for granted but spread it. It does not have to be to those we know but to humanity. Indeed love heals the world. Thank you for sharing and making a call to love

Nini Mappo
Feb 18
Feb 18

Hello Ikirimat,
Thank you for letting my story leave you with a gem to inspire, and for reading my story.

maeann
Feb 15
Feb 15

Hi Nini,

Same as Christmas and New Year celebration, not all celebrates Valentines because of a loss of a love one. But life must go on, whatever happen. Love is the greatest of all. Today, love is a commodity - we barter it to get the things we want. Rarely, if ever, is our giving free, unmotivated or total. We constantly seek our joy through the external world, through objects, possessions or to other people. And yeah, let's stop! and try to see what LOVE really is. The Love is in us.

Nini Mappo
Feb 18
Feb 18

Ha, Maeann! Love is in us! Because Love has a Name, and He lives in us. How true, how empowering, how liberating, but oh how we forget, and resort to all those terrible ways in which we violate love.
Love is in us! I will think on that as I stop. It is a comforting thought. Thank you for it.

maeann
Feb 19
Feb 19

Thanks Nini, may the power of love goes to you...

Nice read Nini,
I have learnt a lot. Everyone has something they can offer in this life. Even if you think you have nothing to offer. Just stop and listen. Because stopping to listen to someone is also an act of giving. You have given them your time unknowingly.
Kudos.

Nini Mappo
Feb 18
Feb 18

Hello Felister,
Those are true words my sister. When we commercialise everything, we forget that basics like what you said, that in listening, we give. and that gift is more valuable than the material things, because it is a gift that heals.
May God equip us with grace and peace as we stop more to bring His healing to a broken world.
Shalom, my sister, it's lovely to read from you :)

Hello, dear Nini, Aurora Borealis,

I am so happy you wrote this post. The first time I heard you say, "Will anyone stop? For me?" was at the PWN Encourager Party, and this phrase has been lingering in my thoughts up to now. In fact, it gave birth to an idea: Stop, Look, and Listen to respond to that question. I have been praying for army of encouragers to step up and say, "I'm listening", encouragers who are willing to stop, look, and listen to another woman's pain.

Keep writing, love. Thank you for stopping and listening. We appreciate you!

Nini Mappo
Feb 18
Feb 18

Hello dear Kayemo,
( shortened to see if you'll still laugh ha ha)
Yes let us keep praying to the Lord of the harvest to send laborer's of compassion to the wounded and broken-hearted. One by one, may the Lord answer, equip and send, until we are a vibrant, unstoppable (by hurt, discouragement, and brokenness) army!!
I give thanks to God who daily bares me up, and arms me for battle, filling me with peace that is beyond understanding.
Stay in that shelter, love :)

Marie Abanga
Feb 16
Feb 16

Dear Nini,

Awwwwwwwwww rafiki you got dem words woven. Beautifully written straight to the soul.
This Year I STOP for MAG that is for me, it's a year I make myself priority in my own life. Does that sound selfish? I don't know and honestly can't be bothered. In the process, and from a great place of self care and self love, I am able to STOP for others. It gives me thrills to see many emulate this model of taking time to just STOP...for themselves and for others and yes because we are Stronger Together
In deep sisterhood and solidarity
Marie

Nini Mappo
Feb 18
Feb 18

Aww ahsante sana Marie. Well, as you say, the model for love is to love the Lord with all our hearts and love others as we love ourselves. So if we don't love ourselves, it is hard to love others. And in the same vein, if we don't stop for ourselves, we can't stop for others. We stop to refuel so that wehn we stop for others we've energy to expend towards their healing. So nope girl, not selfish! Stopping for MAG is stopping for others too.
For the record, your work is fragrant with selfless care and dedication to the wellbeing of others. So if some people think you are selfish, they've missed a whole lot of you, so they literally don't know what (who) they are talking about, which means their opinion doesn't count haha

jmostert
Feb 16
Feb 16

This gave me goosebumps. Thank you for writing such lovely words. There are so many that haven't had trauma that are fine with superficial knowledge of others. They don't understand pain when they see it in someone's eyes. To them, it looks like something that will pull them away from themselves and they don't want to deal with the drama. Then, there are those of us who see hurt and can't help ourselves but to stop and ask the one simple question most of need to hear: "Are you ok?" Meeting people where they are is so important. Not wanting anything from them, but wanting to give them an outlet for their pain so they can breathe, and carry on for another day. It's so simple, but for some so hard.

Lots of love to you, and I'll be praying for the wounds to heal. Until they do, please remember your value. There will never be another you. You're priceless.

Nini Mappo
Feb 18
Feb 18

Hello Jmostert,
Thank you for your insightful and compassionate comment, and for reading my story. Indeed many people are intimidated by pain, even their own. There is never a friendly confrontation with trauma, whether ours or that of others, which is why it takes courage to stop. Because even increasing the other awareness that you mention in your comment requires us to stop being apathetic, dismissive of those experiences, or self-absorbed. It can be both wonderful and terrifying when we stop, but oh so healing!

Thank you for stopping with compassion and value, with understanding, and prayers. This story was inspired by the trauma of a friend, there has not been many people stopping for him. Like you, I pray that his wounds are touched by the Great Physician, and that Love reminds him who he is. I pray too, that we stop more for others, linger with them in their hurt, so that they know that their worth is not n the vibrancy or abundance of their merits. There is a pandemic of that sort going on, sadly, which is why I am thankful to be in the company of people like you, who stop.

More peace and grace to you as you stop.

Beth Lacey
Feb 16
Feb 16

Nini, congratulations on The Storyteller Grand Prize Award! You are such an inspiring light for the World Pulse Community!
XXOO

Meredith Kaknevicius

Nini,
This is a lovely piece.
"Even if it feels as if you have nothing to offer, I hope that you still stop and say, “I have nothing but time, for you.”"
I think one of the consequences of the pressure to never stop is that we view accomplishment and learning by something we can demonstrate or hold. Education is so often foucssed on transferring knowledge from teacher to student, and then student proving their proficiency by speaking or showing it back. I had a teacher in grade 4 or 5 who ran a unit on active listening. The student was evalutated in a different way, in how they engaged with another, how they stopped to give time to the other's ideas, and their ability to reflect it back. It's the only time I was taught how to listen, and it is a skill that I practice to this day. I often think about how active listening is such an important part of how we form and maintain fulfilling relationships. Thanks for the reminder that stopping and making time is a way to listen and connect.
Meredith

Nini Mappo
Feb 18
Feb 18

Thank you for this insightful, affirming observation, Meredith. Indeed, the education system drills have not helped much with skills that build community, focused as they are on individualistic output. It is wonderful that you were immersed in an environment where active listening literacy was encouraged and nurtured. It is very rare and getting even more scarce the more individualistic the society becomes. But we can stop for one person, and teach our kids to do the same. Maybe they'll teach their friends and start a movement. It's a dream, but world pulse stopped for women. And it was once a dream. Thank you for being a human who stops.

jomarieb.earth
Feb 17
Feb 17

Dearest Nini,
You have presented to us the Magna Carta for caring. I pictured you on a stage with an audience in awe, jaws dropped and you can hear a pin drop, because of the mesmerizing silence, while your voice reverberates and dominates every air current and brain cell in your midst. This is an amazing statement so beautifully and intentionally put together for great use. It hit me between my eyes. I just put a period at the end of sentence on a peice I have to share with the same subject matter, on Sunday zoom with the Buddhist Center. I needed a break afterwards, so I came here and I came across this, searching for a post to parooze. Wow girl! You stopped me in my tracks!
Stop begins great songs. Stop, look, listen to my heart, hear what it's saying...Stop, in the name of love...Stop, collaborate and listen. Stop is a real effort and soulful command.
Stopping for someone is such an effort today. I feel it in my own family, how we don't stop for one another. And when we do, because it's so rare, I anticipate it ending too soon. So we try to pack 10 lbs of sharing into a 1 lb bag. Stopping for someone today is an artform. A truly rare intention, no matter the outcome.
This brings me to stop and think of how grateful I am for all the times that you stopped for me. Because it was always well intended. The space and time was always well filled with your warmth and best delicacies of diction. The signoff was always with love. And I always walked away with my heart filled, mended and/or relieved. I will always stop for you. And because I am an imperfect human, if I am out of sync or sorts, and you need me, "just holla out at your girl"...and I will stop for you! I stop right now to express appreciation, gratitude and love.
Bravo sister...as always...you did it again! Above and beyond anything prior by anyone, including yourself. I'm so glad I stopped by sis.
Major and Massive hugs...JoMarie

Nini Mappo
Feb 18
Feb 18

My sister-blister,
I love the insight and creativity in your twist of the word blister (insert 'why couldn't I think of that' moment of pride and wonder!)
I smile again to read your poetry and play with words. It is lovely anticipating the unique flavour of your replies and the gems I will definitely find there. Today, my favorited gem is that you identified something I had never considered before, that we can always outshine our previous effort. There is always scope to outdo ourselves, especially when we're not trying. Like babies, we grow best when we are not watching, and the people outside of us get to notice, and tell us! oh, and no baby is trying to outgrow another baby. Each does its growing without any reference to any other baby, or adult, and it is beautiful, and magical. How liberating that sounds. Thanking you for sharing that wisdom ;)

Thank you for the invitation to holla, and for all the ways you stop for me. You are my WP camaraderie! Thank you sister blister! And Viva la World Pulse. Because World Pulse stopped for us, we can stop for each other, and for others!!
I stop to receive and send back hugssss

Honorine Ngenwi
Feb 21
Feb 21

Hi Nini I enjoy and love the write up. Biblically you are saying "love your neighbour as yourself" I thank you so much dear for these words of encouragement for it gladdens my heart so much. I will join Karen to pray for this wonderful one.
Hugs sis

Kiran Fatima Zaidi
Feb 24
Feb 24

I love the concept you shared! Let me add to it that stopping for ourselves is also so necessary! It gives us a chance to look at the overall experience and recognise a pattern that helps us move forward with lessons. With that we can then see how we missed out in stopping for others as well, and remember to stop in the life ahead

OGA PRECIOUS
Feb 26
Feb 26

This story pictures love. You are indeed doing it write. I read every line with affection, I saw love all through the write up. This one got me, even if you can't offer anything, I have nothing but time for you.
Love
Precious