Holding On and Letting Go

I woke up late that day because I slept late from watching the last full show of Eclipse. I was still confident that I won’t be late for work but I was worried about the unpredictable traffic jam along my route to school. Lo and behold, there was another maddening traffic jam because there was no traffic enforcer around. I was already on a jeepney and didn’t notice that we’ve been stuck for more than five minutes already… when I realized that we weren’t moving at all, I just sat there and waited patiently. I even get to say my prayers but I got agitated suddenly and followed some passengers who got off to walk to the next block to cross the jammed and unmoving vehicles. I made my way in between cars and motorcycles faced in different direction located at the intersection. After walking 20 feet, I looked back at the commotion. I was so disheartened when after a minute, the intersection cleared out and the jeepney I was on before passed us by (I was already on another jeepney). That incident made me think on making decisions…

There are some things and events in our life that we relish as we hold on patiently waiting for a more pleasing outcome. What I just experienced is one of those situations where you were patient at first but got edgy from waiting and decided to let go of what we held on only to find out that we were close to getting what we want.

Being Honest Hurts

this reflection is now published in "Mission Magazine". The link is as follows and hope you enjoy it...


because of pride...

... i refuse to accept my shortcomings and faults when situations get sticky. i give reasons and alibis and tries to put the blame on others.

... i lie to satisfy my ego. when things are hard for me to alter according to my desires, i find faults and give negative projections about it.

... i place myself higher than other people. even in my own family, i revel in the attention they are giving to me as if I’m the boss.

... i try to do everything as much as i can by myself. if possible, i want no assistance or whatsoever just to bother my line of thinking.

... i give too much meaning to almost everything, scientifically or psychologically. i enjoy the feeling of being able to explain things other people doesn't care about.

... it's hard to accept that i'm just an ordinary person. living in this world where each person seems just like a speck in a canvas, i want be taken notice and be appreciated.

This is my dark side…

Lessons I have learned from Boys Over Flowers (Korean version)

Image courtesy of:
Even if I'm so behind the Korean's hit drama series remake of the F4, I'm finally done watching it after 3 days. I was so indifferent about it while it was aired on TV because I was thinking that all the commotion is mostly due to the good-looking actors and actresses. However, even if it's just out of boredom, I actually liked this adaptation more than the original Hana Yori Dango in Japan and that of the ever famous Meteor Garden in Taiwan.

I got interested in watching it because of Kim Hyun Joong who portrayed as Yun Ji Hoo. He is really getting on my nerves with all those good looks and strange personality... :) Asian TV drama series proved to be worth more than what it seems. Behind those stars acting a character and woven series of events, lies a lot of lessons in everyday life. BOF (boys over flowers) made me think over of those life's challenges and events which may not be experienced by everyone.

1. Loving someone with all one's heart can change us.
If you have admitted to yourself that you love a person and that you can't go on living without him/her, you will have an amazing strength and determination to go through lengths to make them happy. You will even have the courage to change your ways, your habits and your lifestyle to gain your partners approval and praise. And with this euphoric feeling, it might even seem so easy to neglect your friends.

2. Falling in love with the same person your friend likes is tragic.
I had a friend who actually experienced this kind of situation. Hearing the the things that has happened to her and her friend made me conclude that it's such a disaster. It is a disaster because of all the things your heart and mind has endure. Your heart will be under an intense pressure because of the love you have for your friend and for that special someone that fills the other corners of your heart which will never be satisfied with just friends. Your mind will be exhausted with all the situations and projections you have to carefully wiegh before making a decision. One has to endure the pain of choosing between two important persons, the suffering of feeling your heart bleeding slowly, the lies you have to live out to convince yourself everything is okay, and the love that is overflowing which leaves your heart empty.

3. You can't order your heart who to love.
We are always given choices in terms of making decisions, but matters of the heart clouds our clear judgment most of the time. If it happens that you think there are two persons which makes your heart race, one of them rises above the other in the end. If it happens that the one which affects you the most has not diligently pursued you, it is a bit difficult to trasfer all our affections to the second person in our list. I have heard a lot stories about the tragedy of the first love but that person will always remain special one way or another even if the two of you didn't end up together.

4. Even if everything feels like putting us down, someone out there is meant to pull us up on our feet.
I consider myself as a pious Catholic so i believe that God reveals his messages and helping hand through others. Miracles are those instances that God reveals himself to a person. I hope that most of us considers that everything in life happens to make us stronger for our future journeys and that it is also known as spices which adds some flavor and adventure in our life. We are not left here on earth to do evrything on our own but is expected to live with others, one way or another. When we feel that somehow, all the bad luck in the world has been placed on our shoulder, just look around you and you will discover people who is actually suffering with us. We will also be surprised that the most unexpected persons comes along during those moments.

5. If it's your time, there's nothing you can do about it. You only have to make the best out of it.
You can take this statement as destiny or fate. However, I believe that there is such a thing as God's time. Our lives has been carefully laid out even before we knew how to stand and walk. It just changes its path to the main goal because of the decisions we make. When the Maker says that it's time for us to fulfill a duty, if it is a suffering or a pleasant experience, we just have to surrender when all our selfish efforts are not working.

a lesson from a "missing brick"

"...how often, for the lack of one brick, we completely distort the original plan of our lives..."

- an excerpt of "The Missing Brick" from the compilation
of Paulo Coelho in "Like the Flowing River"

This entry recounts an encounter of Paulo Coelho and his wife during renovations in their house. It said that their secretary called to inform them that the lay-out can't be done because the materials lack one brick. They were then offered another lay-out plan which was not so appealing to them. Thus he concluded his story with the line i quoted above.

Upon reading the line, I then tried to think of instances in my life where i was in similar situation of changing the direction of my life to fulfill a void. I think i did when i was in high school, but none so close recently when i found my second family. However, a lot of encounters from people i know flashed in my mind.

I remembered my friend who got rejected by a girl who wallowed in introspection and retrospection who is now madly devoting his time in pampering his new found special someone. This friend was special to me before because we do share a lot of similar interests but ever since the incident, he has withdrawn himself and rebuilt the walls around his ideals and principles. It is really sad but it is also one reality that convinced me of the diversity of each and everyone.

This friend has a serious void in his life which I think he is trying to fill. He is missing a "brick" for his life's blueprint. I have seen him working to pave the way for his desired future and i know that he is capable of living his dreams. I had a glimpsed once of his plans and he is aware that he is just looking the that particular "brick" which would complete his design. I also saw him trying to acquire a "brick" which he thought, is a perfect piece only to meet his biggest frustration. I was hopeful that he might find what he was looking for. He moved on and found another "brick". He is now slowly making his blueprint come to life. However, as it is unfolding, i realized how different it was from what I had seen before.

I was scanning the recent Facebook updates of my friends when another friend caught my attention. Her updates sounded bitter and sad for me, (i don't know how it seemed to others), and they usually contain the impression of being lost. I say, that she's stuck. She is also desperately trying to find a "missing brick" in her life. The problem is, I think she doesn't have a concrete idea what she's truly missing. She's been looking for things other people have and she tries to acquire the same things for herself. However, each of us is meant to have something while others don't and we will also have instances to accept that some things are not just meant for us. Because of her constant search for the "missing brick", I guess that she also missed to organize her life plans. She wasn't able to go through what she already has because she was intent for searching for something that she thinks is missing.

Gosh... I know that i sound like a prying person who gives so much meaning to stuff. I might have also overlooked the other "missing brick" in my life which redirects me unknowingly. But for now, I am quite sure that I am aware of my little "missing bricks" which I had intentionally not included in my own "Plan de Vida".

How about you? Are you aware of the "missing bricks?"

Reflections on a Maundy Thursday

"If you are bored with life, if you don't get up every morning with a burning desire to do things - you don't have enough goals."
- Lou Holtz -

This line struck me because this is what really describes my restlessness for the past months. Imagine that, it's been months... However, this only refers to how i feel to my work as of the moment. Could this be a sign that i should look for another opportunity in another environment or shift career? Maybe. Or could it be that i just don't have enough goals which is in line for my profession? Or could it be that my employer isn't giving us enough room for growth and relaxation needed? It depends i guess..

My maundy thursday of the holy week was spent in trying to encounter my inner self and look for what i really desire. And i have come across with Bo Sanchez book on "How to Conquer Your Goliaths" which gave a link to an eBook on "How to Know if your Dreams are God's Dreams". It gave just what i needed to look closer to what i really wanted which might also lead me to my life's purpose. (You should check it out at www.BoSanchez.ph) I was saddened by the realization that i was so engrossed in doing what was expected of me in the workplace that i lost sight of who i really am.

Last summer, i was able to identify some of my strengths, weaknesses and the top values in my life. When the school year began, i was so eager to triumph over my weaknesses which lead me to my depression. I learned from the book i read that we are supposed to perfect what we are and not dwell over our weaknesses. However, i have this gut feeling that in my workplace, weakness is a nuisance, you should shine brightly wherever you are assigned and whatever is asked of you and do more of what is asked. I was one of the unfortunate few who were given tasks where i am most lousy at.

I was sucked deep in the competition of being good and i failed to remind myself what really matters to me. With that, i thought, how many people in this world had been in my situation and never woke up from the nightmare? And how many people, have triumphed over their weakness and found satisfaction only to lose themselves? I can't believe that I have wasted months of trying to please my superiors and forgot to get in touch with myself.

There are times that i do feel good in being able to deliver a good work but the happiness is so shallow that i ask myself, "am i still sane?". There were also times that i ask myself, "what are you doing in thee middle of all this? You are not even compensated well." And the worst times i had was when i realized i am just a mere puppet of my superiors, blindly following their orders even if against my values because i want to give them a good impression, killing my impulses of getting what i want. For months, i can't believe i lived through it.

What shall i do now? Taking action takes a lot of courage. I still have a few days left to get in touch with inner self. For now, it is enough that i have shed tears over my wasted time and that i was able to get back on track. It is time to move on and focus on what i do best. Taking a radical course in my journey...

40 Tips for a Better Life

I'm sharing to you this e-mail message i have received from my Aunt. You might find most of the items useful ans somewhat interestingly familiar.
  1. Take a 10-30 minute walk every day. And while you walk, smile. It is the ultimate anti-depressant.
  2. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day.
  3. Buy a DVD and tape your late night shows and get more sleep.
  4. When you wake up in the morning complete the following statement, 'My purpose is to __________ today.'
  5. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy.
  6. Play more games and read more books than you did in 2008.
  7. Make time to practice meditation and prayer. They provide us with daily fuel for our busy lives.
  8. Spend time with people over the age of 70 and under the age of six.
  9. Dream more while you are awake.
  10. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants. Eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
  11. Drink green tea and plenty of water. Eat blueberries, wild Alaskan salmon, broccoli, almonds & walnuts.
  12. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
  13. Clear clutter from your house, your car, your desk and let new and flowing energy into your life.
  14. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, or issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
  15. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime .
  16. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
  17. Smile and laugh more. It will keep the NEGATIVE BLUES away.
  18. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
  19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
  20. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
  21. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
  22. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
  23. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
  24. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
  25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
  26. Forgive everyone for everything.
  27. What other people think of you is none of your business.
  28. REMEMBER GOD heals everything.
  29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change
  30. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.
  31. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
  32. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
  33. The best is yet to come.
  34. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
  35. Do the right thing!
  36. Call your family often. (Or email them to death!!!)
  37. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements: I am thankful for __________. Today I accomplished _________.
  38. Remember that you are too blessed to be stressed.
  39. Enjoy the ride. Remember this is not Disney World and you certainly don't want a fast pass. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy the ride.
  40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about. I just did.

Fired from Work

“Show me someone who does a good job, and I will show you someone who is better than most and worthy of the company of kings.” –Proverbs 22:29-

From my two years experience on the teaching field together with my confidence in my scientific field, it never occurred to my mind that I would experience being fired from work. Well, I had the surprise of my life when I was asked to leave my part-time job as a tutor of a 5th grader. Everyone have their firsts, and this one is mine.

I had been giving up some of my precious time in the evening to do sideline job aside from my permanent work for reasons I now forgot. I enjoyed it along the way, and I received extra money which I used to invest for a “notebook”. After a few months of leisure work with great benefits, here I am now, pondering on my faults for taking it for granted. I won’t hold grudges against my employer because I saw my deficiencies. What would one do if they paid for something and that they are not satisfied with it? I can sympathize since I’m also one of the nit-picker types of person.

I’m partly at fault because I let my tutee have her own way during our sessions. I wasn’t able to motivate her to study for herself and I fell short on meeting the expectations of her parents. Guess I wasn’t motivated too. I felt frustrated too for being blamed at their child's performance. I was her tutor for around 3 months before but I left for a month for a Quiz bowl preparation. I just got back and continued for two weeks which is exam week already. Its a little unfair for them to be disaapointed at me just because i'm a science teacher and my tutee failed in science (only that subject, the rest, so far so good). My only regret is that I wasn't able to prove that i had my part and that their child hasn't meet the expectation. (sighs...)

“Lazy people who refuse to work are only killing themselves; all they do is think about what they would like to have. The righteous, however, can give, and give generously.” –Proverbs 21:25-

This reminded me of how uncertain tomorrows are. One decision leads to another possibility of doing another decision. It’s like our whole life and future depends on the decisions we are making. We can decide to be on time at work or be late. It’s up to us to do the best of what we can or just doodle and be a mediocre. We are left to choose between good or evil, right or wrong, truth and deceits. It’s a harsh life, but then, all of us go through hard times. If not for the storms in life, we can never fully appreciate the calm and peace. Without darkness, one wouldn’t know what radiance is.