Category Archives: Inspired

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For many months I waited. For countless weeks I prayed. For some days I tossed and turned in bed. And finally, for a few hours I couldn’t hide my excitement. The 7th of July was something very special to me. Do you know why? For 8 long months I worked at sea. And on this special day, I got the chance to go back to my family.

It was past 10 in the morning when our plane landed in NAIA. Despite the heavy weight of my 2 luggage, I didn’t know how I managed to walk as fast as I could the moment I saw my mom and sister waiting for me. And there was my uncle, too. Also my niece and 2 nephews who showered me with their sweet kisses and suffocated me with their super tight embrace. We didn’t waste a moment. We rode the van and went straight to Bulacan where we reside. It was a fun ride despite the heat and the heavy traffic. Stories never ended. 🙂 I had tales to tell and they had their own, too. It was indeed a fun exchange.

When we reached the house, the stories continued. This time with food I dreamt of eating while still on board. Authentic Pinoy dishes lovingly made by the hands of people who give me love, inspiration, and hope. And I made them happy, too. Well my huge bags made them happy actually. Hahaha!!! The gifts, chocolates, and other pasalubong inside. J Seeing them smile and feel grateful after getting a slice of the blessings I received was a priceless sight. It’s a feeling that will make me want to carry heavier luggage the next time around. Ayayay… Early that night I went to bed feeling thankful I’m finally home. And as I lay on bed, happy thoughts about tomorrow started parading in my head.

Then came the next day which I think was very important. On the first day, everything was so ideal. Things looked perfect. But the day that followed was when reality came in. What now??? I started making a list of things I needed to do. Oh boy, there were lots of them – document to updates, IDs to renew, training to take, friends to meet (exciting!!!), bills to pay (scary), items to buy. Just looking at the list made me feel tired. The post-it notes were a bit overwhelming. But I like it when my days are planned. I knew that I will tick those things off my list one at a time. And gradually I did. 🙂

While I was busy doing this, I felt an itch on my right arm. Naturally, just like most of us will do, I put ointment on it.  But then to no use. The itch continued, even grew worst. I noticed it turned red and it started getting bigger. I thought there’s something wrong. The itch was then becoming unbearable and the redness was a bit alarming. So I went to see the doctor and showed her my arm. She asked me “Why just now?” And I told her our schedules won’t meet and I thought it was just normal. So I was given medicines, soap and special ointment for it. She told me it must have been an insect bite and the ointment I used caused allergic reaction to my skin.

For many days I was stressed out. At first I thought, the medicines weren’t working. I was getting impatient. I want to make the itch and the pain go away instantly. There were times when I would just stay in my room and without me knowing the tears will fall from my eyes. (Ang drama.) I was asking myself why now? You got to be kidding me. I mean I waited so long for this. And now that I’m here I can’t do the things I want to do. I can’t leave the house and have a good time outside. Worst, I can’t eat the food I want to eat. Yes there were many things I was not allowed to eat, and to my dismay these are mostly food I fantasized about when I was still aboard the ship. I felt like a prisoner locked up in the house. My activities were limited because every time I’ll go outside (usually because I have some papers to fix) the heat will make me sweat which in turn will make the allergy itch all the more and even hurt. Also, it didn’t look very pleasant. People will stare and ask me what happened. And I would feel even more disappointed.

But then these past few days, I realized how I benefited a lot from this experience. Well, to be honest it took a really long time before this thought came. Maybe sometimes, certain things happen to make us pause and do some serious thinking. This way, new ideas are born or we get to revisit dreams that seemed to be momentarily forgotten.

I hate cleaning. I’m so not good at it. I get bored when I do chores. And it’s something I’m not very proud of. I remember on my first contract as a seafarer, we were given sidelines or jobs outside our line of work where we earn extra money. On turn around days (days when passengers will disembark and a new batch of cruisers will come), cabin stewards would hire helpers so they can finish preparing all the rooms. And right after that, usually in less than 2 hours they will pay. Since almost everyone in our department was doing it, I was pressured to join even though I know I’m not capable and I will noooooooooot enjoy it. So every turn around day, I will torture myself in exchange for the instant cash I will get after some hours of cleaning. There were many times I gave my cabin steward a headache for failing to do some things like checking the ref which is a big big crime. To cut the story short, I was fired. Well he didn’t tell me upfront but I sensed it so I stopped bothering him. Haha!!! So I think I made a point. Basically put, cleaning is not my one of my strongest suits. Homely tasks are not my passion. But then going back to my real story, since I was just at home waiting for my wounds to heal completely, I had no other choice but to do this. You see I don’t enjoy watching TV and I can’t stand being in front of my PC the whole day. Also, one thought was bugging me. Somehow I felt that things have changed at home since I left and I find it hard to adjust to them. So I embarked on this cleaning session which went on for days. I started with my room, our little altar and then our sala. The kitchen followed and then the dining room. I still need to do the toilet and the laundry area. But hey that can wait. Surprisingly as I engaged myself on this little adventure at home, I realized that I am enjoying it. I felt extremely exhausted (Thanks to mama for helping me J) but at the same time I felt really great. Not only did I have some bonding time with my mother (In an instant I was updated about the things that happened while I was away, the things she wants to do, how she feels the house will look better) somehow I was cleaning not only the house but also myself. Heavy? Ang drama but then true. Well it’s something I didn’t plan, something I didn’t expect to happen,  but then with what’s around me getting cleaner, I think my mind became sharper, my vision clearer. Things I intended to do before, plans I left here because I was called to work again, dreams that were delayed – all these started coming back. Divine spark? Maybe. Whatever it is, I’m happy to get acquainted with it. Then I began asking myself yes why did I leave all this behind and didn’t take them with me when I went away. I could have worked on them while at sea. Things would surely be difficult but then I know that I’d always find a way if I wanted it so badly. If I just remained focused and more disciplined. But then those were the days I could not get back anymore. So the resolution I made was to make the most of the time I have at hand. And I believe this is where the real adventure begins. 🙂 I know that if I get lost or find things so hard to understand, help will come.

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For sanity and inspiration.

My wounds are gone by the way, but the scars remain. And together with this not so good looking stains left on my skin are dreams at work and are ready to become real. 🙂 I’m home at last, back to where my true treasure is.

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“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Mirror, Mirror

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who ‘s the fairest of them all?

When I look in the mirror I want to see more than just a pretty face. I want to see a woman radiating with pleasantness because she has the following qualities.

I want to see a woman of confidence. It means she trusts herself and everything she has and she’s never embarrassed to share them with others. She can speak her thoughts not minding what other people will say. She can walk proud and tall despite the many odds going against her or the high level of pressure aiming to crush her spirit. She can smile to everyone even to strangers. She asks for help when needed because she believes that will not make her lesser.

I want to see a woman who’s happy. And they say that’s the best make up. One can have the reddest lipstick but when that happy curve is missing on her mouth, it won’t do the works. It’s the joy that comes from within. It’s being happy in everything she does and everything she sees that will give her peace which is really attractive. It’s the kind of beauty that won’t perish. It’s laughing at the simple things, laughing even at herself. It’s refreshing. It’s invigorating because it inspires other people to be happy as well.

R98 girls :)

Thank you Ms. Elsa for showing me in your own simple way what happiness means. Mishoo!!! 🙂

 

I want to see a woman of power. The power to lead. The power to give. The power to make sound decisions for the goodness of many. It’s being impartial. It’s being just. It means looking after the ones who are under her. It means supporting them and standing by their side. It means making allowance for their mistakes because she knows they will get better. It means passing on what she knows so that in time they can lead, too.

I want to see a strong woman. And with this I mean not only physically. It’s having the strength to keep going even the waves are going against her. She stands mighty and firm no matter how big and serious the adversities the world offers. Yes she stumbles and falls every now and then but then she doesn’t get discouraged. She stands up, puts herself together, and keeps moving. She doesn’t stop. She never gives up.

I want to see a woman of courage. The courage to do things even when she’s afraid, even when she’s doubting, even when success is uncertain. It’s having the guts to audition her dreams. It’s trying many different unexplored routes to fulfil her personal legend. The world belongs to the bold. I think that’s beautiful. 🙂

I want to see a woman who’s driven. It means working hard. It means being purposive. She sets goals and she meets them one by one as scheduled. It means doing serious stuff and doing it the right way. It means choosing to learn more and being open to commit mistakes in the process of learning. It means having dreams and being aggressive to make them within her reach. It means not leaving things to chance and not letting others steal your destiny.

I want to see a woman who’s honest. It means not allowing lies to slip from her mouth. It means not letting these lies ruin other people’s lives. It means she can be true to herself. It’s showing who she really is even when she’s flawed, despite her many weaknesses. It means being ready to admit wrongdoings even when it’s hard, even when it’s scary, even when she fears being ridiculed or laughed at.

I want to see a woman of service. She never lets an opportunity to help others pass. She offers her hands even when no one is asking for it. She has a heart for the needy and she is selfless. She helps without asking for anything in return. She helps because she can and she wants to. She helps because she wants to bring joy and hope to other people’s lives.

I want to see a woman who’s principled. She knows her truth and she values them. She has her own beliefs. She sticks to them and doesn’t wave them even when tempted. Her decisions may not always be the popular choice but then she fights for what she thinks is right. She knows what she can compromise. She knows what should remain untouched. She does not blur the line.

I want to see a woman who loves. Her heart is filled with it, overflowing in fact that she’s always ready to share it with others. She’s adorned by gentleness and a quiet spirit. Everything she does is worthy of praise because she does it with love. She chooses to do it even when it’s hard. She forgives. She is generous. She understands. She’s kind.

There are times when I look in the mirror and I don’t think I’m beautiful. There are moments when I feel unappreciated and small. But good thing You never fail to remind me I’m perfectly fine. That You look past my imperfections. That You see no blemish in me. 🙂  That my inner beauty won’t waste away. That I’m precious because I’m Yours. I pray that as I work on the many scars, insecurities, and shortcomings  I have You guide me and You show Your glowing face to me. This way I will never forget what I should strive to become like. Help me so that when I look in the mirror, I will see a woman radiating and smiling because of these qualities that no one can take away. As days go by, I know that this image I see will grow completely beautiful as it slowly yet surely takes Your image. 🙂

I believe that one day I will grow very old. My skin will dry. My hair will turn white. I claim that with the long, happy and fruitful life I will live, these few words will be enough to tell my story to others.

She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her; those who hold her fast are called blessed. (Proverbs 3:15-18

Brave

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Fate be changed,

Look inside.

Mend the bond,

Torn by pride.

Thanks Merida!!! :)

Thanks Merida!!! 🙂

Mothers can be the oddest people. They tell you things you wouldn’t understand. They can be complicated at times most of the time. They say they only want the best for you. You wonder how come they know what it is you really want. They share stories about lessons they say they learned as a child. Stories that you’d rather not hear about because they pressure you to grow up fast. They tell you you’re too young for love. But then when caught doing things they dislike, they’d scream that you’re old enough for that. They can be overprotective, sheltering you from all the storms of life. But sometimes they embrace you too tight you end up suffocating because of their caring hands. They have a say on almost everything – your hair, your clothes, your nails, your grades, your suitors, your friends, your dreams :(, etc. The list never stops. Certainly at some point in our lives there were moments we wished we can change our mothers just like Merida (pero wag naman bear :)). This way, we can change our fate, too. This way, we can shape our future based on our own liking.

We’re different from them. We have our own wants. We have our own plans. We have our own lives. With these bold thoughts in mind, we try to do things to prove to them we’re right. We know better. Their words don’t matter :(. And so the friction starts. The more we couldn’t understand. The more we refuse to understand. But then due to some unexplainable turn of events which is all part of growing up, we find ourselves wanting to mend the bond which is not an easy part. But nothing can get in the way of a determined heart. So we try and we don’t stop even if it’s hard. Until we get our much deserved reward.

I wish I’m back home again eating palabok with you. Looking for mocha flavoured cake with Joy. Telling you I love you not just over the phone. I thank you for the many things you did for us (a lifetime service). For the many things you didn’t do, too. You taught us how to be brave. That courage doesn’t have to be grand all the time. There is also a quiet kind. I’m sorry I hurt you many times. Maybe I was just too young. I long for your stories. I miss you when you laugh. We’ll window shop again and eat in Jollibee after 5 months. (Nyaaaayyy!!! Ang tagal naman.) I now know better. Your words do matter. Happy birthday! 🙂

Baby Janjan

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We love you and we miss you.

We love you and we miss you.

It’s been more than 4 years when we had you, and then lost you, too soon. 😦 Despite all the sad memories of yesteryears the very clear image I have of your innocent face still lingers in our hearts and heads. And together with that are the precious lessons, your very short life offered.

They say that our names have stories to tell. They proclaim to the world the life we are to live. I guess it’s true. You made me realized that when you were gone. Before, I couldn’t quite understand its meaning. I couldn’t put it together. I remember one scene in the cemetery while looking at your tomb. I was asked what all these had brought me? I was stunned. I didn’t know how to answer. I was caught flat footed. Or maybe I was too sad, too blinded by pain that I can’t think of a sensible reply. So I just kept quiet. Looking back though, after weathering a number of storms, I discovered the wisdom. I, together with the whole family received the many blessings your name carry.

God is gracious, God has brought me PEACE. This I’ll remember all days of my life. This I’ll never get tired of sharing to my future daughters and sons. How surreal that was. I was in pain and at peace at the same time. I was hurting but I felt being comforted by Your warm embrace. I was crying yet I heard Your soft voice telling me to pick up the missing pieces of my life and find the joy I once had.

God is gracious, God has brought me UNDERSTANDING. That everything has a purpose even the pain in our lives. No matter how trite this sounds, pain is there to make me stronger and wiser. It will sometimes hurt like hell, but then it won’t kill. Things will get better but I have to will it. As they say, You cannot steer a parked car. I should be intentional in learning the lessons of life and finding joy doing it.

God is gracious, God has brought me FORGIVENESS. The heart was made not to carry grudges but love that’s meant to be shared no matter how difficult it is. Life’s a total drag when there’s too much baggage. Travel light. Forgive and forget. Easier said than done, though. I continuously pray that I’ll get better doing this. After all, I fail and go astray every now and then just like everyone else. Yet despite the ugliness of my sins, I can always run back to You and be forgiven.

God is gracious, God has brought me STRENGTH. Truly, I am made of really good stuff. After all I came from God. But these inner resources I have will constantly be tested by life’s adversaries. Life will never run out of stumbling blocks and pitfalls. I will falter and fall but I can always dress my wounds and stand up again. I’ve hurdled many storms and I’m still alive. That’s something to be mighty proud about.

God is gracious, God has brought me DREAMS. And these are not dreams forever flying in wonderland. These are dreams that are meant to come true. These are dreams which God planted at the very depth of my heart. I have the blueprint now. I will make sure it won’t take me forever to have them realized.

God is gracious, God has brought me COURAGE. The courage to push forward, conquer territories I’ve never seen before, try things never in my life I thought I would be doing. The courage to change, to keep moving, to keep growing by doing things even when I am afraid.

God is gracious, God has brought me JOY. The kind that is not superficial. The one that comes from the very depth of my soul. The kind that can make me smile even in times of stress and trials knowing that I am truly, perfectly, and completely loved. The kind that makes me sing songs of joy and gratitude even when my knees are shaking not knowing what things may come.

God is gracious, God has brought me FAITH. And it’s not something that was just handed over to me by someone else. Not a second rate version. It’s something I discovered myself with God’s grace and love. It’s something that I decided to own because I felt it and discovered its beauty and wonders myself. And when I did, my whole life changed. I felt renewed. I felt like being born again. New beliefs, simpler yet stronger this time around.

God is gracious, God has brought me HOPE. Hope for better days ahead. Hope for brighter tomorrows. Hope for many more joys yet to claim. Hope for endless good things to come even in times of trouble, even when it’s all dark around, even when success is so elusive, even when truth is hard to find.

God is gracious, God has brought me LOVE. And because of this overflowing love I was purified. I felt clean. I felt beautiful. I felt ready to love again. I felt ready to love others but most importantly myself.

God is gracious, God has brought me YOU. You and the many lessons you gave. You helped me brought back my life. A life that’s filled with peace, understanding, forgiveness, strength, dreams, courage, joy, faith, hope, and love. A life that’s meant to be lived wisely, fruitfully and gratefully. A life that should not go to waste.

I can never thank you enough for being with us even for just a short while. I will thank God a million times for letting you live with us. I hugged you. I carried you. I kissed you even for just a short while. I’ll think of you when I’m happy. I’ll think of you when I’m sad. I’ll remember you in times of triumphs. I’ll remember you in times of drought. I will love you all days of my life. 🙂

If

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If you could see us right now, you will smile.

For we’re no longer the babies you once carried and lifted to the sky.

Your little girls are both grown up now.

Trying to get used to you not being around. Trying so hard but still not knowing how.

If you could see us right now, you will cry.

You will cry for not staying at our side when the tides were high.

For not being able to wipe the tears in our eyes.

For not saying goodbye.

If you could see us right now, you’ll be proud.

You will say raise your thumb and say “Good job!”

We struggled so hard but didn’t give up.

We stood firm and steadfast, we did not stop the fight.

If  you could see us right now, you will tell a story

Stories you eagerly wanted to share.

Stories we waited for so long to hear.

Stories that could have set us free.

If you could see us right now, you will sing.

But this time not only of songs about butterflies and kings.

Your songs will mirror life.

They will teach us how to move forward and journey with delight.

If you could see us right now, you will say “I’m sorry.”

For things you did and those you did not.

For many days and nights that you’re away, for not hearing our plea.

For things that stole the joy we once had.

If you could see us right now, you will say “I love you.”

You will say it many times until you get tired.

You will say it aloud it so everyone will hear.

And we will rejoice knowing you’re always there.

If we could see you right now we will smile…

and then cry.

We will say good job, too despite the odds.

We will tell many stories and not just one.
We will say “We’re sorry” for things we did and those left undone.

We will say “I love you” a few more times.

If.

Beauty from Chaos

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Happiness is a choice. Sometimes though, choosing it is not that easy especially when one has gotten used to being lonely. When there are just so much wounds to heal and more than enough bad memories to bury, finding joy can be quite a challenge.

These thoughts were plaguing my confused mind again. And no matter how hard I try to remind myself that “I am totally, completely, and perfectly loved” the words somehow lost its significance – which is a sad thing as well.

So the fight began again, the fight against all those ugly feelings and thoughts wandering in my head. And while this mental battle was on, an uninvited thought presented itself to me. Why not look for the article you wanted to read this morning in school? So I did and surprisingly I somehow found a treasure of help.

Title – Why I had to go through my Pain? Writer – Bo Sanchez. Talk about good timing. 🙂 Using this I got to know a woman preacher named Joyce Meyer. I discovered her struggles which led her to many years of loneliness. But the inspiring part there is that just like Bo, she emerged victorious in the end. She didn’t let painful episodes of abuse from her own father get in the way for her to succeed and to serve. She even mustered enough strength and courage to forgive. Yes beauty has risen from chaos! Interestingly, while her story amazed me I allowed myself to swim in the pool of great possibilities. Now with little excitement running in my head, I tried so hard to filter through my memory and search for even just one moment when I personally witnessed something glorious coming from a complete disaster. After some minutes of trying, this is what I found.

These pictures were taken a few years back (in the year 2009 if I’m not mistaken). This is something very special to me and I’ll forever thank Teacher Isbel for bringing us to this wonderful place. This is the summit crater lake of Mount Pinatubo which is located near the boundaries of Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales provinces. It was formed after its climactic eruption on June 15, 1991 which wreaked serious havoc to many people residing near the area. In those times, hope was nowhere to be found but then after many years, the very same thing that caused them pain and suffering is giving them a sense of pride and profit as well with the flock of tourists wanting to get a glimpse of its grandness. Seeing this astounding work of nature with my very own eyes brought too much joy to me. Never mind the long walk, the sun and its royal hotness, the dust, the sweat dripping profusely on our faces, the price is worth the climb. I could almost see and feel God’s hands. 🙂

And so gradually I began to realize that we actually have the skills to win over depression or any other sad memories pushing its way into our system. But then we have to try really hard. In some occasions, there’s even this kind of unhappy feeling that can hit you so bad you can almost touch it. It also has its way of affecting you physically so you just tend to feel lazy, wanting not to do anything other than to engage in a mental note of all the sad events that took place and even play it repeatedly in your mind.

These are some of the things I found useful to do or maybe wise not to do when down and feeling gloomy. It’s worked for me (and is still working) and you might want to try it, too.

1. Identify its roots. Recall the events that took place before you started feeling down. Writing them down helps a lot. Try to get a picture of how your day was spent. Who were the people you talked to? What did they tell you? At the very bottom if you dig some more, you will realize that there’s something that set it off. And the events that followed merely supported or worst highlighted that thing which started it. It’s never random at all.

2. Don’t wallow. Once you learned the cause, reverse the exercise. Make black white. Or maybe red, yellow, pink? This time catalogue all happy thoughts you can think of. No matter how bad your day has been, surely you can come up with a few simple things that somehow made you manage to give even just a faint smile. A cute baby seated next to you, a text from a friend, a compliment given randomly, a good meal maybe. Focus on that, and allow it to grow. Before you know it, a few more happy parts will be added to your picture. Be thankful for those simple joys you witnessed or experienced.

3. Find a creative outlet. Turn this negative energy into a positive energy. Squeeze all the creative juice in you. Draw a picture, play an instrument, sing, cook, eat if that’s creative enough for you. Get your mind busy with other things. Make yourself productive. I remember an art class I took when still in college. I learned about Picasso and his “Blue Period. ” From 1901 up to 1904, he produced essentially monochromatic paintings in shades of blue and blue-green, only occasionally warmed by other colors. His works depicted melancholy using models who were somber and cheerless. All these reflected the depression he underwent due to some sad events in his life including the death of his friend. During those years, he had a hard time selling his paintings because it did not command much interest and excitement from the crowd. These days, however, the very same paintings were among his popular works.

The Old Guitarist (1903)

It’s also good to know that this lonely period ended with the coming of more optimistic and vibrant masterpieces. The “Rose Period” began and from 1904 onwards, Picasso’s dark and downbeat colors were replaced by dazzling and vibrant hues together with happy subjects. So let’s take comfort in knowing that doleful phases in our lives also have expiry date. But then again it requires effort on our side.

4. Do something active. Studies show there’s a link between physical activity and feeling happy. Exercise promotes happiness and has an anti-depressant effect. It activates a special part in the brain that produces endorphin, the hormone which block pain and responsible in giving us feelings of pressure as well. So lace up your shoes even when you’re feeling down. Go for a walk or run around, drop by the gym, be happy and healthy at the same time.

5. Don’t stay inside your room. If you can’t help it, don’t lock your door. When we’re isolated, the more we feel depressed, the more we think we’re alone and unloved. Let others see you. Allow them to help you. Underneath all these ugly feelings is a person crying to be understood and to feel loved. Also, there’s an added pressure to fight sadness when you see people looking at you. The scary part with confined rooms is that the walls may whisper something bad to you – a shortcut to finding that evasive happiness??? a second rate version of happiness??? There are many destructive things you can try when no one is watching. These thoughts you shouldn’t entertain. They will only give you temporary fix. Leave your house if you must. This way, you see other things and other people and they’re all moving. You remove the attention from yourself and from your feelings. Let the surroundings entertain you.

6. Don’t open Facebook. Now this may sound weird. Sometimes no matter how much you wish to feel happy for others, you just can’t do it because you don’t have the happiness they have. While pictures of friends, relatives, and other familiar faces are proudly displayed on your wall with their big smiles that call for a celebration, you may start wondering how come they’re happy and you’re not. Instead of sharing their joy, you began to envy it. And the more you start feeling depressed because their happiness highlights your sadness.

7. Find good role models. Search for people who’ve been through the same situation and were able to turn their lives around. Let their stories inspire you. I remember one thing Brother Bo said in one of the Feast sessions. “If you don’t see good people around you, then you’re hanging out with the wrong crowd.” I was stunned. It makes sense actually. Look for good people, successful people, positive people. Widen your search and don’t just settle. If you can’t find real people just yet, then use the Internet. Read books, watch movies, listen to some talks. Don’t give in to the idea that you’re a victim of poor circumstance and bad people.

8. Journal your feeling. Write everything, the triggers and also the solutions if you’re able to help yourself. This can be of aid to you. Use this to study your patterns. What situations usually make you sad? Can you move away from them? Are there people pushing some painful buttons in you? Are there vampires sucking the joy in you? Is there a way for you to avoid them? Your journal will help you get to know yourself and your issues.

9. Talk to someone. Pour out your emotions. There’s someone out there who’ll find the time to listen. Join groups and engage in conversations. If your loneliness is too much to bear, then it’s time to seek professional help. Accept the fact that you can’t deal with it on your own just yet. That will not make you lesser of a person. If all else fails, remember there is always someone up there ready to listen. Talk to Him in prayers. Write a letter for Him if you can. Listen to the words He will tell You. You may not understand it at the moment but then in His own time you’ll make sense of it all. Pain is there for a reason. Loneliness is telling us something so just keep hoping. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”- Deuteronomy 31:6

Happiness is a choice but more than that it’s a conquest. It’s a territory that has to be fought over and conquered. You don’t just wish it. You work hard to get it. It’s a conscious decision you make even when you’re in a mess or you have been in a real mess and the residue of which still runs in your veins. You consciously decide to turn the tides in favor of you and not against you. So let’s all strive to be happy. Every day is a gift. Open it with a smile even when tears are falling from your eyes! 🙂

Lost and Found

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You will seek me and find me if you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:13

Good job Mathilde!

I’m on cloud nine. I’m once again taking a walk along the love avenue. Watching “A Very Long Engagement” left my senses in such a happy state. I wanted to see this movie many years ago. I don’t know what took me so long to find the time.

The plot was actually simple. The setting was France in the time of war against the Germans. There were 5 French soldiers who were sentenced to die for using self mutilation as a means to escape military service. One of these is a young man named Malech who just got engaged to his girlfriend Mathilde. It appears that all the convicted men were killed based on the stories of those who luckily survived the dreadful day. However, Mathilde refused to believe them. Trusting her heart, she went on a desperate search for the missing love of her life.

This quest lead her to a web of more mysteries, scandals, heartaches, and triumphs. With the help of a detective she hired, loving guardians, and also a touch of luck, she was able to discover the interesting stories of the other men who supposedly died with her fiancé. All these tiny bits of information were put together for her to get a better picture of Malech’s whereabouts.

Being glued to my seat for almost two hours is a bit challenging. I find it hard not doing anything when watching something. But I got hooked with this. I was completely charmed.  You see, I have a thing for search drama kind of film for I’ve been doing my own kind of “searching” as a kid. I’ve been looking for one thing person I thought would make my then sad life complete. I even tried cyberstalking for years. I was lucky technology was on my side, unlike Mathilde. But then she made it. She’s beaten the odds. While in my case, it took a really long time. But it doesn’t matter now. I still won in the end. 🙂

And with this small victory that changed the course of my life, I would like to share some steps, I believe will be useful to people engaged or is thinking about engaging in some form of “searching”. All leads are worth pursuing. So read on if you’re interested.

  1. Know what you’re looking for. Discern if it’s worth your time and effort. Will this lead to you becoming better or will you end up losing a part of yourself? What makes search operation exciting is that you don’t know how it’ll end. There’s no ironclad guarantee you will win. Are you ready to accept what this has to offer you even when it’s in stark contrast to the picture you painted in your head? If your answer is yes, read number 2.
  2. Take the challenge. If you feel ready and you’re open to getting hurt, go for it. This is not easy. You can take counsel from your family and friends. But sometimes, these people love you so much that they’d end up sheltering you from more heartaches. But then, the decision is always yours to make. When they frown at your choice, assure them you’re prepared for anything and you’re not willing to accept defeat. You are less likely to be blown apart by others’ judgment if you know you’re ready.
  3. Seek help. Help always comes. There are people who will come to our rescue but we have to ask first.  Also when we do this, the burden that we feel to be ours alone dissolves. A heavy weight is lifted off our shoulders. In Mathilde’s case, there was the detective. Then came the other characters like Biscuit’s wife, Tina Lombardi, and the farmer just to name a few. We have to tell them our stories and give them our trust. Weird as it may sound, we might be striving for the same end. Our needs and cries are interconnected. After all, our stories were written by the same hand. Sometimes even in the most unlikely situations, there’s a fountain of hope that springs. If all else fails, don’t forget that God’s line is always open. 🙂
  4. Celebrate small victories. Any kind of “searching” is hard. You will encounter many twists and turns. You will win as much as you will fail. Focus on the little triumphs you’ve accomplished. Remember you’re always in a much better position than the last. Any kind of result only means one thing. You are doing something. You are moving. Don’t get discouraged. Keep hoping and keep moving. Let your little victories inspire you to move ahead. These, after all are the branches by which you’ll catch and climb. Remind yourself there’s a bigger prize waiting in the end.
  5. Fight till the end. What’s inspiring about the film is the knowledge that truly a determined spirit is a strong human trait. When we are willing to run the race before us and finish it till the end, we will be rewarded. It may not always be the ending that we hope to get. But then, we’ll realize that the journey itself no matter how difficult it may be is our prize to claim. For by taking it, we’re able to discover untapped resources, strengths we never thought we have. So press on. Though you can’t see the finish line, there’s no reason to stop. Keep your optimism alive and afloat but always be ready for anything.
  6. Love prevails. No action is ever wasted when you do it with love. Search with a hopeful and loving heart. Any kind of atrocity is to be denounced. Let there be no grudges. Push hatred and prejudice aside. We are able to give more if we allow ourselves to. We are able to do more if we try. Let love inspire you to do the impossible. Love will guide us to knowing the next right step. And before we know it, the last step is right there before our very eyes.

I hope to live very long. In those many years to come, I’m certain that there will be many more things to look for. I wish to find them all. :)I know it’s not easy but I will persist. After all, I was once lost but then found. Only because You didn’t give up searching. You searched for me and You found me because You looked for me with all Your heart. 🙂

May we all find what we’re looking for. Cheers to all our dreams and hopes!