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Bigger Waves, Stronger Current, Colder Water

The problem with me is I got a lot of excuses. There are so many things that I would like to do and so many things that I would like to be. I would get really inspired and motivated one day and then lose all of it in a week or two. I always liked the word begin and start over because that’s the only thing I’m good at. You know how process is in the middle of all our beginnings and endings? And I suck at the process, I really am miserable. I probably mastered the art of inconsistency in being religious to the process.

I’ve been giving excuses too many times in my life that I got numbed in delivering a mediocre self. I feel like I got so much potential and it’s not coming out because I am either too lazy or too complacent or too comfortable. Actually, I’m a combination of all of the above. Haha this confession hurts my pride, ah. When someone (i.e. myself) delivers more excuse than the work, it’s hard to get anything done.

To be honest, when I was younger, I was full of dreams / goals / plans / ambitions / what-have-you. Lately when I’m thinking of my goal, I cannot resolve the fact that I am lost or that I simply lost sight of the goal I once had.

Long before, our younger selves dared to jump off a boat into an ocean of the unknown. We drowned a little, yes, but we managed to learn to swim. Then, we get so good in swimming this unknown ocean and it became a familiar water; our then-Courage Zone became a Comfort Zone. This happens as we dance through life, we get to collect a lot of Comfort Zones. The challenge is to continue to find places where there’s an opportunity to thrive into unfamiliarity. There are still a lot of oceans to swim on — bigger waves, stronger current, colder water. We got to explore new oceans, we got to unearth the brave younger selves that we are.

I’m twenty-five now and there are moments when I feel worthless because I keep failing. I keep writing about failure and then another failure and then another one; my goodness, it’s endless, when will I succeed? HAHAwhyyy lol. I’m getting tired of myself sometimes because I’m stuck at the beginning. It’s like I’m beginning forever (!!!) haha, who does that? #ME Somewhere in the middle of that, I will miss a shot, then later on I’ll give up just because I missed a shot. I spent longer times thinking of what I missed and I’m stuck with it, I can’t seem to move forward.

I get paralyzed in my own thoughts until I manage to let in a number of excuses:

  • I don’t have the skill
  • I’m not good enough
  • I don’t have the time
  • I don’t have the resources
  • I’m not smart
  • I made a mistake
  • I never finish anyway

So on, so forth…

Excuses are means of embracing the current comfortable state we are in. Grown-ups, they say, are quite jaded and easily gives up. However, real growth means taking on the full responsibility and consequences of our decisions: the good ones and the bad. We cannot grow tired of helping ourselves to get back up on our feet. We are our own excuse. We are our own limit.

I’m cringing at the thought that I am here again, confronting my failed attempt in becoming a better version of who I was, and pledging to carry through the Courage Zone no matter how ugly my current process is.

You notice we mess up so badly? That’s because humans are complex beings. When we are given a direction to go straight, we will always find a way to detour. We simply can’t follow as we are told. We are stubborn and we almost always wanted to learn from personal experience.

I am lost right now but I have an urge to craft my goals again (and believe that I’ll achieve them). In other words, I will start over. When I was thinking about these things the past few weeks, I really felt that it was only me who feel this way, that other people had already figured their life out. But when I talk to some friends, I get shocked because it’s like they’re going through the same dilemma that I’m going through. And it’s not that misery loves company, it’s just a reminder that we all go through same seasons of confusion. I mean, sometimes we think it’s just us who experience such and such, but then it’s not. It maybe the Lord’s way of making us accountable to another human. It maybe an opportunity to encourage another soul.

We all wanted to end well. I wanted to finish strong. Maybe the beginnings that we take are chances to make everything right. We are given countless beginnings. Maybe the failures that we experience are lessons to polish our diamonds. We are like gems that needed sharpening. Maybe the endings that we sought after are by-products of our beginnings and failures and it’s not always gonna go the way we plan. Some of our endings will be awful and some will turn out great. Maybe accepting sour endings is one ocean we will always struggle to swim into. And when there’s a struggle, there’s a huge room for growth, a big leap back into the Courage Zone!

We have to set sail, thread new oceans, and build that confidence to dive into peculiar waters.

***

With that, I just wanted to announce that this will be my last post in this blog. It took me sometime but I am now ready to abandon this ship. I will still be writing but it will all be under this blogsite. It’s currently under renovation but that will be my new home. Big chunk of my learning is because of everything that I wrote in this space; I’m all jej before but I grew and became more jeje-ier lolsz. I will not erase this blog, though, because it has been a big part of the brave me. It’s been wonderful, and if you’re a kind reader of mine, stay tuned for the new blog that’s coming. Keep smiling, I’ll see you around!

Emptying Our Hands

Conquer is my word for 2017. I got it from a song that pierced through my heart one Sunday at church:

In all things, we know that we are more than Conquerors.

I have always associated a certain year with a word that would be its banner all throughout its course. It’s like a theme for something that I would like to achieve or something that I would like to be. There are a number of things I wanted to face and win over this year: fear, doubt, laziness (haha yep), new adventures, excellence, stewardship, love, and letting go.

Lately, I’ve been really bugged by the idea of letting go. The Lord has been speaking to me about it because of ze emotional being that I always am.

Our February series at church is about Radical Love and we are discussing the Book of Jonah. If you don’t know the story, let me give a quick gist:

There was this prophet named Jonah and the Lord has commanded him to go to Nineveh so that the people there will know the love that the Lord has for them. Now, Jonah didn’t want to go because the people in Nineveh are unrighteous people and he felt that they didn’t deserve grace. Think of the Lord wanting Jonah to go to Fairview but instead he pushed his way to Parañaque – complete opposite. He didn’t want to obey.

But the Lord has His ways, He has caused Jonah to be thrown out to the ocean just so he can be swallowed by the-appointed-great-fish so he could be brought to where he needs to go in the first place. Jonah stayed three days in the stomach of the fish and when he was vomited out, voila, he was already in Nineveh.

We are so like Jonah: stubborn, disobedient, impatient, self-centered. When we hear the Lord speaks and His Word is clear but we don’t want what He’s saying, we have a tendency to shut Him off, drift away, and make our own path. We are creatures seeking for what we feel is easy to do. We have become enslaved by what we feel so much that logic has gone out to the island of Somewhere Else.

And like Jonah, we have plans. These plans are not necessarily bad, but sometimes, it doesn’t align to what the Lord has initially planned out for us. Our plans may be good but that of the Lord’s is best and perfect; yet, we fail to see it. But then, the Lord would never ever give up on us that even if we go the wrong way, He will not make us succeed being in the wrong path. He will cause discipline, if it needs be; tough love, if it needs be.

The hope in the Book of Jonah was the fact that Jonah came to his senses. He admitted what he was running away from and the truth that no matter where he goes, no matter where he hides, he will get found. Jonah recognized his shortcomings. Jonah acknowledged that his self-will is his own idol. Jonah resolved to finally obey in the end.

Letting go is conceding. Letting go is opening and emptying our hands from all the good things that we possess and placing them to the Hands of the Almighty – trusting that our faith in Him to make all things beautiful is never void. It ain’t gonna be easy, though Letting go hurts.

We encounter different seasons of letting go in our lives: maybe it’s about our favorite toy when we were kids; or maybe it’s about our bestest friends in our adolescent years; maybe it’s about that one argument that we so wanted to win from; maybe it’s about that dream job that we wanted ourselves to land on; maybe it’s about a broken passion, or maybe a broken heart. Letting go is losing hold, releasing grip, allowing space to be present in between us and the ones that we value. It has never been easy.

If I were to be honest, there’s this one area of my life where I am struggling to let go of again because feelings and logic doesn’t seem to go hand in hand. This already happened long before, I’m bargaining with the Lord if, you know, He could somehow allow this particular thing that I wanted. And boy, was I repeating history. The Heart has always been the greatest deceiver of all time. It’s amazing how we compromise so we can satisfy the desires of our unguarded hearts.

The best is yet to come.

We know this assurance like the back of our hands. Good is only good. Good will never be the best. We have to fully believe that the only way to get the best in this lifetime is if we are willing to wait and let go of all the good. It sux, yes. But if we placed our faith to the Big Guy, we will see that everything happened because we needed this journey to build our character. It will take all the struggle in letting go’s in order to learn how to warmly welcome this fragile thing called graceful surrender.

It’s gonna be scary but it is also gonna be worth it.

***

On other Letting Go episodes of my life, it has taken me forever but I am now decided that I will be leaving the blog. This has been my home for almost six years and it’s now time to go. I will be writing more about this on my last entry that I’ll be posting soon. After all, I hate leaving without saying goodbye.

Until then,

To My Future Padawan

 

This world is cruel, some people around you will be disappointing, and you – no matter how hard you try – will get tired of fighting.

One day, you’ll find a cause to carry: an advocacy. Something that pierces deep within your soul that it burdens you to take action, to find your own voice, and to make a stand. You will hear it in your heartbeat, you will feel it in your trembling knees, you will see how it will change you as a person — how it can grow your character and fuel your passion. But, my little one, remember that truth is exclusive. Sincerity and faith are two good things but when it is anchored in something other than the truth, it is wrong. Truth is truth and it cannot be one or the other. Seek to know that which is true and glue your heart in fighting for it.

Should you find the urge to bring your advocacy to the streets, let it be known to you that your father and I will be there to support you. Like how the parents of my friend gave her words of advice on what to expect during street protests, I will also give you mine. Some people will say that it is a waste of time and it is disgusting, but listen to me love, it is never a waste of time and it is never disgusting. There’s nothing wrong with using your voice to speak up against injustice, violence, corruption, human rights or anything that’s in the core of your being. Learn from every people you will meet in this experience and be very observant in your surroundings. Notice the street children who are bewildered on what’s happening because this is their first time to encounter a sea of people chanting, raising placards, and uniting for a single purpose. Notice how one of them will tell the other that the people were doing the protests for the country, doing the protests for them. Notice how your heart will respond to that and cherish that moment forever.

And yes, of course, your mother is one emotional being who’s sometimes (or mostly) sensitive when people go against or get critical towards what she believes in. But your father, he is a wise man, he weighs and opens his mind to listen. Please forgive and have patience with your mother, she’s trying her hardest. Be like your father and find the balance.

It is a reality that people will agree and disagree with you. But even if they go for or against you, do not shut the door in front of their face and lose a relationship in the process. Somebody once told me that instead of drawing the line, we should blur the line so as to restore a relationship – makes sense?

You see, I’ve lived through a time where people burn each other down and/or throw mud on each other’s faces because we think that’s the way we should go, that’s how we could convince those who were outside of the fence. I don’t know what the future will look like for you, my love, but what I do know (and what I was reminded of) is that we should always love one another despite of our differences. Jesus was not kidding when He said: Love your enemies and do good to those who persecute you. Love your neighbor as you have loved yourself. Believe me, I know how hard loving one another could be like. It’s no joke.

When humans have different sets of beliefs and they become difficult, we have a tendency to hurt each other with words. When you have cause hurt to someone or when you did something wrong, apologize. Humility can be rare but let it run through your veins, apologize when necessary – say your sorry and mean it. Continue to love radically, still. Be gentle and shower your arguments with grace.

Sometimes you will find your voice in the minority and you will doubt if everything’s worth fighting for. If you will face darkness, I hope that it would be extremely dark for you so you would know that we can only do so much with the strength that we’re given. Remember what I said? This world is cruel, some people around you will be disappointing, and you – no matter how hard you try – will get tired of fighting. I hope you reach that point of desperation that you cry everything out to the Lord and be so dependent to Him more than ever. We have little control over anything, my love. Just commit to do your part and let it rest to the hands of our good Lord. He is Sovereign, remember that. He is Just and He is Love. He is always Good.

When you grew tired of the fight, when cynicism is glancing at the doors of your optimism, when everything continues to break you, I will hold your hand so tight to remind you that you are not fighting this alone. Look up, my child, and see how the moon and stars lit up an entire night sky. We are an army. Let your light saber glow.

Juan Miguel Severo: Sampung Bagay Naituro sa Akin ng Pag-ibig

Una, MAGBIGAY. Ang mga kamay ng mga umiibig ay hindi basta mga kamay, kundi, mga puno na nakatirik sa matabang lupa — patuloy ang pamumunga para lamang sakanya. At sa paghahandog at pagsasakripisyo lalo itong lalago pa. Ang tunay na umiibig hindi basta nalalanta.

Pangalawa, MAGTIIS. Yakapin ang ligaya maging ang kakambal netong hinagpis. Umiibig tayong kay lambot pero sa pagnanais na wag gumuho ay nagiging bato. Hayaan mo, dahil walang madali sa pag-ibig kundi ang mahulog; lahat ng kasunod, paghihirapan mo.

Kaya’t pangatlo, MAKIPAGLABAN. Ang hamakin ang lahat makapiling ka lamang. Sa laro ng pag-ibig, hindi na bago ang masaktan, pero ang nagtatagumpay ay ang naniniwalang kaya itong lagpasan.

Pang-apat, ikaw ay may karapatang MAGDAMDAM, MAGHINANAKIT, MAGHANGAD ng kahit kaunting pagtugon o kapalit.

Pero, pang-lima, ang tunay na pag-ibig ay hindi takot MAGPAKUMBABA. Handa ang mga palad neto na hawakan ang sintas sa kanyang mukha: aminin ang kanyang kahinaan at pagkakamali. At kung ang nagmamahal ay nagmamahal pa rin…

Ang pang-anim ay magagawa hindi man ito maging madali: MAGPATAWAD. Patawarin mo siya. Iluklok ang pag-ibig na higit sa pagkukulang ninyong dalawa. At kung ang lahat ng nabanggit ay hindi na magawa pa…

Gawin ang pang-pito: MAGPARAYA. Isuko ang langit na minsang nilipad mo. Hindi ka mahina, hindi ka duwag. Ang mapagpalayang pag-ibig ay kuntentong makita siya sa alapaap.

Maging handa sa pang-walo, MAGHINTAY. Maghintay ka — may bago mang dumating o bumalik man siya sayo dahil,

Pang-siyam, MAGBABALIK SIYA SAYO. Dahil ang nagmamahal ay laging magbabalik sayo.

At pagsapit ng tagpong ito, gawing araw-araw ang pang-sampu, MANINDIGAN KA. At hangga’t iniibig mo siya at iniibig ka niya, umibig parati nang higit sa anumang sakit at hagupit. Walang dahilan para bumitiw ka.

Maligayang pagdating sa iyong tahanan. Liparin ang langit ng magkasama. Alam kong kay layo ng iyong nilakbay pero ngayong nagmahal at minahal ka, sa wakas, nakauwi na.

******

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Transcribed this from the last episode of On the Wings of Love. Sharing this with everyone because Poetry is such a strong art of the heart. Thank you, Gege, for these beautiful words 💘

You Will Put the Star in Starting Over

The universe – or the people living in it, rather – will be kind of cruel at you sometimes. And it’s gonna be really painful no matter how you try to smile away the discomfort that you feel everytime they make you remember the mistake that you did, the details you forget, and the explanations they can’t accept. You will feel less of your worth and more of a great disappointment. It’s gonna eat up your confidence – no wait, change that – “eat” is not the right word, “swallow” would be more appropriate. You will be swallowed and chewed on until your scars are so visible for everyone to see. It will never stop until your soul is blue from all the beating. It’s gonna be one of your glorious dark days and you’ll feel as if you haven’t done anything good at all.

I promise you, this is just the beginning, you will have more dark days ahead of you. And did I tell you about the Hurt? You will be hurt and it will suckerpunch your heart until it leave you with nothing but emptiness. I promise you, the Hurt will grow deep: your silent cries will never hide them; your eyes will always reveal them. I promise you, you will be fully consumed with all these blurring emotions until you can’t take it any longer. Promise, you will be broken. And when all these things happen, then my love, congratulations and welcome to the human experience!

You are human, my friend, flesh and bones. You are not invincible. You fall down straight to your face. You bleed. You struggle to get back up. You dwell with pain. You get wounded. You break.

Circumstances can get crazy, accept it. Dark days are there for a reason (or a season) and there are consequences from our actions (or inaction). We need those days and we need those consequences to understand that humility is something that we continuously learn. We learn. We move forward. We are not our mistakes. We are more than our choices.

You will put the star in starting over and over. | Sarah Kay

You are a star and I believe in you. So do the great poets from the All-American Rejects :)

And even when you’re hope is gone, they say, move along. You’ll make it through.