Full Life?

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I was attending a funeral when I heard someone claim that the dead person in front of us was able to live a full life. The statement brought me into trance. For a few minutes, my mind wandered into the enigmatic world of confusion. How can we tell that someone lived a full life? How about me? Can I say that I am living towards the fullness of my life? Did someone live a full life because he/she held a high status or rank in the society? Or is it when you accumulated a great amount of wealth? Or maybe when you had an intact family? Or maybe when you are a successful entrepreneur? What about if you die poor and you were not successful in sending your children to school? How is the fullness of life being measured?

Months passed of reading and listening and praying. I cannot sleep without finding the right answer…at least according to my faith. You might think it’s bullshit for me to be seriously thinking about this but hey! I lived more than a quarter of my life and I do not want to spend my remaining years in vain.

The quest for the answer ended (for now, and I hope I will not be brought in trance again…) and I can pretty well summarize it in these words: you lived a full life if you’re brave enough to say “I’m ready, Lord!” not out of pain and suffering but out of divine certainty that you lived a life of purpose according to God’s holy will.

Yes, a life of purpose. A life that is lavishly shared to others. A life that is blessed with love from the people around us because we generously gave love as gift to others.

Being wealthy is not necessary but the wealth can work to our advantage if we share them with others.
Being wise is not compulsary but it will make us a better person if we were able to teach and inspire.
Being a person of high rank is not required but we will benefit more if we will use this to lead others toward personal growth and development.

It is only in this act of sharing that we can bravely say that we are ready to die…not because we are proud to say that we have something to brag about when we face God but because ironically, we will never die…because we will continuously live among the people whose hearts we touched and lives we inspired.

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Work and Life…Unbalanced.

I used to be the darling of the crowd…

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My childhood taught me one great thing: do what is best in the right way and you will be abundantly rewarded. Of course, I did not live in a perfect environment. Bullies and “human animals” existed but I saw how unloved they were. I love the feeling of being given attention and being recognized so I followed every rule and did my best in my character-formation years. I became everyone’s favorite. I was the model of a perfect child: kind, obedient, responsible, loving, happy, contented, honor student, talented, respectful…i had it made!

 

Favorite no more…

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After college, life presented to me a different environment. It was late for me to realize that there exists another world that can be VERY unfair. It is a harsh reality that any one must learn early in their lives most especially if they want to survive in the “most-of-the-time-hellish” corporate world.

I never knew that there are real villains in work life.

I never knew that being kind and humble can bring me too much trouble.

I never knew that titles and money can distort human character.

I did my best. I was kind. I was conforming to what is right. But I was persecuted. I was not the favorite anymore. I learned that being at my best can sometimes be threatening to my life. That being kind can mean I am weak. That being right can be wrong.

And I wasn’t prepared for those screwed up truths.

I experienced unfair judgment, unfair favoritism, unfair treatment.

Never did I realize that I can be judged based on family and school background; that I can be defeated in a battle even without a fight just because I don’t drive a car or I don’t patronize luxury brands.

 

So now what?

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I might have learned the painful way but I learned my lesson well. Work life can be very unfair but I can always choose to be happy and still do great things, whatever other people might say.

You can conclude that I was unlucky or it was my fault to be painfully taught through harsh realities but I learned more than I was hurt; so I guess I am blessed. Fortunately, the pains made me stronger to pursue rightful non-conformity (which is another topic and is worthy of another blog post, I think…).

The hell with bad bosses and “animalistic” colleagues. They both belong to the office and not in my life.

Because in my world and in my life, I believe that great character is more important than professional status, fame and money and that love and concern for others are as vital as clean air and water.

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My playlist and me

I am melodramatic.

Some people find it boring. Some intoxicating. Some romantic. Some human. Some interesting.

My music collection tells it somehow. I always go for relaxing tunes, mostly about love, heart ache, triumph or happiness. Music with profane languages and ear drum-breaking rocking hard rock seldom stay in my playlist.

As what my makeup teacher (yes, makeup, not music) once told me, music is very personal. It reflects the kind of person you are; the evil and the good within you.

What’s in your playlist right now? I wonder…

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4 Reasons to Not Quit…EVER!

My thoughts, exactly and this blogger wrote it perfectly!

Everyday Power Blog

In today’s world, where everyone wants instant results – it is easier than ever to quit. It is easy to think that if it doesn’t come easy to you, it is not for you. It is easy to try something, and then if it doesn’t work out immediately, we can talk our selves out of the importance or the significance of it.  With that said, if you were to ask any person you admire based on what they have given, gained or done, they will all have a very similar formula for success – they never quit.

Here are four reasons why YOU should never quit!

1. Let’s be honest, did you really commit to the result? Did you really go all the way in? One of my favorite quotes from Les Brown is, “even if you have all the right keys, the key will not work if you only…

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On Being a Mom…

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I love being a mother! Whatever people may say. Wherever I may be. Whoever I may be.

Being a mother gives me a perspective that I will never ever see if I’m alone and single.

Being a mother makes me happy. Who wouldn’t be? I have a healthy, pretty and smart daughter who makes me smile and laugh every single day.

Being a mother is a humbling experience that keeps my feet on the ground. Imagine, I eat leftovers she cannot eat. I cook even though I don’t like, just so she’ll have a decent meal to eat. I do the laundry just to ensure she’ll have clean and spotless uniform for school. I clean the house because I want her to have an orderly and clean environment at home. I prevent myself from buying too expensive stuff because I want to set the money aside for her “wants”.

Being a mother reminds me to be kind to all because I want everybody to return the favor and treat her well. I fear that to be a human devil will bring her closer to all other evils that I might create.

Being a mother brings me closer to God and deepens my faith. I pray the rosary just to ensure that she’ll be protected every day.

Being a mother forces me to take care of myself. I cannot imagine my daughter suffering from emotional pain because her mom is sick and is dying too soon.

Being a mother encourages me to always do my best. I want her to look up to me and be proud of me.

Oh Motherhood! My greatest purpose, my destiny, my ME.

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The Moment I Wake Up

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Over coffee, I’m humming the song “Say a Little Prayer for You” from “My Best Friend’s Wedding” like a pirated cd repeating just the first few lines over and over my head…

The minute I wake up is most of the times the most bothering yet the most interesting time of my life.

It is when internal solitude could possibly be felt or deep dark emotions could possibly overcome sanity.

Coming from dreamworld could be very sulkening, or blissful, or dangerous. The first minute of my day is very critical on how I will live my life the entire day. Sometimes, I wake up, realizing I wanna die. Sometimes, I want to jump for joy and spread the happiness. Sometimes, I feel terrified and shocked that a hug will be required from my partner. And there are also times that I wake up feeling a holy intervention that I burst with praise and honor to my God.

How about you? Do you feel the same too? Or I am just the only one finding meaning in the first 60 seconds of my day?

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A Nomad’s Journey

Silence is a part of the journey.  It’s an opportunity to genuinely see the things around you. It’s an opportunity to understand your existence and your link to anything and everything.

I did not blog for a while.

I decided to stop talking.

I decided to start listening.

Life-changing moments happened.

Death profoundly defined living.

Commitment and patience questioned love.

Love debated need.

Guilt summoned pleasure.

More questions left unanswered.

For a nomad at travel, it is triumphant to keep walking; with eyes and heart still open; with faith still burning; with optimism still in place.

These may not answer all the questions along the way but we need them to sustain the journey; to continue wandering until we find truth; until we find meaning; until we reach our destiny.

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“Sacrifice shouldn’t be seen as…”

I was in awe when I saw this. Thank you for sharing!

Everyday Power Blog

“Sacrifice shouldn’t be seen as losing something. Sacrifice should be seen as letting go of something small, so you can allow something great into your life” -Jeff Moore

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When a Man Loves(?) a Woman

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“Why isn’t he affected when I am sad? Why can’t he find joy in my happiness? It’s obvious, he doesn’t exert effort to make me smile…but it’s so weird he can say “i love you” without blinking an eye.

My friend was so disappointed with herself. I saw tears and felt heartache over dinner. Tsk! tsk! tsk! I should have invited her for a booze instead… After years of being with her husband, she still feels that she chose a man who didn’t really love her. Knowing my friend, I believe her when she said she have tried so many times to discuss the issue properly with her husband.

Confronted with this kind of problem, I didn’t know what to say…
Should have I said, “if you feel that way, talk to him again and make him understand how you feel” (oh…wouldn’t I look stupid? She clearly emphasized that she did this a hundred times!)
or
“if you think he’s hopeless, then leave him and move on!” (I don’t know but it’s easier thought than said)
Ah well, what can I do? My sad face gave me away but I did not have enough courage to share my thoughts….

If men cannot understand women, oh well…I guess women can’t understand men too.

Looking at the situation of my friend…
– How can a man say he loves his woman when he’s not willing to think and exert efforts to make her smile and to make her delighted?
– How can a man say he loves his woman when he’s not alarmed when he sees her woman lonely or shedding tears?
– how can a man say he loves his woman when he can’t even take a heart-to-heart conversation seriously and not even show that he learned a thing or two?

This is just one aspect of a lifetime relationship but if this is happening again and again and again, I believe my friend deserves an award for being a saint.

What do you guys think?

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Super Hero

We were perfect for each other: asar siya, pikon ako. And he found pleasure with my raised eyebrows and smirks and screams. This is how I made him smile…

In the Beginning

We started as high school classmates who ignored each other intentionally as we do not like each other’s attitude.

But I met his adorable family…

His father, mother and aunt brought me closer to God. My mother loves his family too and I was eventually opened up to the idea that a great family like his’ will never bear the fruit that I initially saw in him.

The Calling

To my surprise, he left our hometown to answer God’s noble calling. I did not mind until his first vacation happened.  I met a different person: he suddenly became kind and pala-kwento.  His father constantly brought him to church activities where I was also involved and we learned to like each other’s company.  When he went back to the seminary, we started writing letters to be updated of each other’s whereabouts.  Those were the times where he used to call me names like “Ate Helen” and “My Adviser”.  We looked forward to summer vacations because that is where we can talk a lot.  And even though we normally ended our days na pikon na pikon ako sa mga biro nya, I can clearly recall that I still looked forward to talking to him again.

He quit priesthood during college days. I knew long before through his letters that he doubted about his calling but I never expected that he will entertain the thought and eventually leave the seminary.

We lost touch and found…

A couple of years passed. His father got sick so I felt the need to visit their house in Caloocan. We did not talk much but that paved the way for us to get back to communicating through beeper. We occasionally met with friends to hang out. There were times that we talk but it wasn’t as insightful as we were in Sibuyan. Puro lang asaran.
We had constant occasional communication; only when he was down and was in trouble. As a friend, I took the absence of his beeps and calls as a sign that he was okay.
Then texting became a trend. We never lost track of each other. Then there came a time that the absence of his text would mean he was with a “girlfriend” and I must not disturb… but as usual, he never fails to text if he has problems and issues he cannot resolve on his own.

The Curve

Time passed and a life-changing moment hit me.  I learned I was pregnant. After knowing about my situation, I suddenly felt I needed a friend who will not judge me but will help me take my situation lightly.  And it was him.  I was right.  He never judged and he never made me feel bad.  He helped me cope by pretending to be the father of my child until the time I was ready to be honest with everybody.  He was there when I gave birth.  He became the god father of my daughter.

The Test

The same with others’, our friendship was put to test but we failed. I even came to the point of hating him and swearing not to talk to him ever again. We endured years without communication.

One more time…

Then one day, he texted me with a “Hello” coupled with a “Sorry” and with the news that he was getting married and he wanted me to be there.  I never attended his wedding and told him I had a commitment at work.  I lied.  I did not attend because my pride was still on top of my head.
After that, every moment where we saw each other became awkward. We found ways of pretending that we don’t miss talking.

Until came another text. He told me that he has brain tumor…

His situation changed our hearts and opened our minds. We kept on texting. We started telling each other how much we actually cared and laughed at ourselves for wasting most of our time ignoring each other.

I was so happy and proud when he started addressing me as “Bes” in his texts, meaning his Best Friend.  Eventually, after so many years of disagreements and “snob” moments, we were  finally honest about our appreciation of each other.

With his texts, he never failed to ask for prayers.  He never stopped dreaming and hoping to get well and eventually to do more.  He kept on informing me of even the slightest improvements he had been observing with himself.  He kept on telling me how blessed he was with his family and how sorry he felt for his wife for not being able to give her a life that she deserves. As with other husbands, he wanted to provide and he wanted to give everything to his wife.

Super Heroes

Looking back, what made our friendship special is the fact that we were like super heroes for each other. We showed up only in times of need. We never celebrated birthdays or any occasions in our lives together (which we both realized end of January 2012) but we’ve been there for each other during the most difficult moments of our lives ; even though it’s mostly through letters, telephone calls, beeps and text messages.

If there’s one guilt I have as a super hero, it is the fact that I ignored his stress call  two weeks before he passed away…

To my dear friend…

Happy birthday, Francis!  Have a blast there in heaven!

I definitely miss you but I am moving on with a happy heart knowing that you are now with our Creator. I am sorry for ignoring your last stress call. I believe you know how guilty I am until now.

Thank you for showing up from time to time. I appreciate that you are doing it in a very subtle way. You know me so well.  You know that I’ll have a heart attack if you’ll make it real!

Forget about the things that you were not able to do, maybe they were not meant for you to accomplish. As what we all know, God has better plans, way better than ours.

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