Reflection Session

 

Today’s gospel reading was from Luke 16. It was the story of The Rich Man and Lazarus. In my quest of having my cup be filled, I was led to the realization that – THERE IS A REASON WHY I STILL EXIST. Cliché it may sound but these past few days I was seeking for validation, I was searching for assurance, I was hungry for affirmation.

God used the rich man and Lazarus for us to be able to reflect with life, literally, those with little and those with plenty. With a lot of people ignored by others, knowing that it is the will of God that nobody must be hungry, God calls us “personally” to respond and act on this calling.

As the saying goes, “No Man Is An Island” proves to be true, we all co-exist. In addition, we do not need to hear from the dead to know Jesus. We’re surrounded by God’s instrument in our space for us to listen, for us to reflect as the way they have been called. The voice of those who have little might be Jesus calling us (I am not only speaking literally but figuratively also).

As Timothy said, God uses us as His witnesses for the eternal life that we were called for so other people, might see and believe that there is a reason why they still exist, that they are cared for, that they are loved, may be lacking but not neglected. At the same time, their circumstance might be God’s instruments for other people to learn like how I did.

I recalled years back how I responded to my calling in becoming a blessing to other people. My heart was captured with people who are visually impaired and blind. So, I was involved with the Christmas activities of this organization called, Resources for the blind. If my memory serves me right, they cover visually impaired and blind kids from Regions 11 – 13. I have always been telling as to the reason why they play a special place in heart. It was because they taught me 3 things that the academe and anyone failed to penetrate: 1) Gratefulness 2) Humility 3) Contentment; and as I always say, contentment is difficult but it can be learned.

Prior to that, I spent my emancipation with the street kids of San Pedro. I asked my friends, new found friends and other people through publicly posting it in Facebook that I am planning to execute an activity and thanksgiving for them. I asked them if they have clothes which they no longer use or clothes which they feel can be given away; they can just instead give it to me for a cause. I also prepared an activity for them and meals. I just had a budget of 600 pesos back then and for a working scholar, that was a whooping price. Thankfully, a friend of mine shouldered the excess amount.

I underlined thanksgiving because at that time, I was feeling neglected. I felt that I lack the emotional love as I came from a broken family. I was hurting. Nonetheless, I told myself, not because I lack it, so I would hold back. If that’s the case, then, I do not think the world is a beautiful place to be in.  Not because I was lacking so I shall be even; they don’t deserve it as we all have different individual paths to traverse. To me, giving love helps us in the process of being healed.

I have always carried this verse even in my body of work – Luke 16:10-12

10 Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12and if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?

Thought it was not mentioned that the rich man was not good as a person but it was clear that the rich man knew Lazarus, then what could have had led him to be in hell? Indifference – his lack of concern.

This hit me home. Why? I was very aggressive with God’s calling before until I was bombarded with aspirations for my family, confronted with reality, and tasted the successes of my stepping stones. I was too far away that I can barely sense the calling. I was too full of myself and I was too focused of myself.

Lately, I became aloof. I deliberately detached myself from my partner, friends and other people because I want to think, to reflect, to think again, and reflect. I was so consumed of despair and anxiousness that it weighed me down. I didn’t care of other people’s circumstance as I have my own dramas in life. I just stopped caring.

Evil will most likely succeed if those people who have been called would deliberately be silent.

As Timothy said, pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith. Take hold of the eternal life which you were called when you made a good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

God has blessed us incredibly. We may be wanting more but we have more than what we need. Thus, God expects us to bless others too be it financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually. His desire for us is for us to become a blessing to other people for He knows we can be trusted with bigger things.

#6 Lost.

We have all heard of a mid-life crisis. It’s that stage that our dads go through when they want to lose a lot of weight and buy a new sports car. I, like many people my age, thought they were…

Source: #6 Lost.

Just Read Through

As for Stats, no one is reading my blog posts but I’ve also mentioned that blogging relieves me from the heartaches of this journey. Lately, a lot happened. Let me drop the theatrics:
  1. I received a miracle. Yes, you read it correctly. I was bothered and was reading a lot about FORGIVENESS AND FORGETTING. Let me share with you what I read and learned. I stumbled upon a chapter title, Does Forgiving Equal Forgetting?
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety to him because he cares for you”
There is a difference between forgiving and forgetting. FORGIVENESS does not destroy our memory, does not remove the hurts and tears for scientifically, our brains record every event we experience be it good and/or bad. Alongside with this, the bad ones may bring back the FEELINGS of pain.
But, forgiveness is NOT a feeling. Forgiveness is a promise to NO LONGER HOLD THE SIN AGAINST THE OTHER PERSON.
Then, I knew it was God. Sometimes in life, the strongest conviction is the conviction that is only between you and God and it felt so right at that moment. Tears gushed down because I denied releasing the ill feelings I have had to my relatives. It is rather a complicated story to tell but it has something to do with my father’s marriage to his second wife which I disapproved of.
I prayed fervently, for a miracle that my Aunt would send me a message as I did not have the courage to do so. And she did, and I utilized the miracle to be healed. I was honest; no holds barred in letting her know how I truly felt at that time.
And I made my peace. It was not an easy journey. Seeking peace of mind is a difficult path to traverse because we will be confronted by our psychological inferiorities and it is not a pleasant feeling.
I learned more how to process my emotions. I was hurt because the relatives I’ve had ill feelings with are the closest to me. I grew up with them in my space yet, the very same people who failed to protect me from unpleasant emotions. I learned how firm I was with the beliefs I take hold of – it was a good fight. It was worth it.
It may have taken some time to get my closure, but I got there. There’s always a way for redemption, there’s always the possibility of being happy again. Follow what God tells you to do, do what needs to be done, and continue to live.
2. I am going to Singapore. In relation to item 1, my sister and I will be spending our 2016 holidays in Singapore. We’ll be spending time with my relatives there, hoping to patch things. Leave, Learn and Live through.
3. Job Rejections. Yes, you got it right. Surprised? Me too. I slowly learned the personality I have in this quest of job search. I am ambitious. I am Results Oriented. Functionally Organized. Intense. Driven. I work fast. Goal Getter. Very Panther? Yes, that’s my animal profile without a doubt.
My previous job applications did not really embody my personality type. That could have been one of the reasons why recruiters who interviewed me ditched my profile. I’ve had a lot of job offers in Manila from Big Firms but I declined all of those as I have another responsibility to take care of, my sister and the business.
Regarding the business, I have 4 lives to take care of. I can’t forgive myself if I would be egocentric. It’s their livelihood. I cannot just take it from them. They were valuable as they were with us for more than 3 years. More than that, I still meet my 20% target every week. For 16 years now, we have patrons. I cannot just throw it away for it to thrive that long.
Regarding my sister, at her age, my physical presence, guidance, discipline and decision are salient. I can’t just leave her to my nanny who was with us since I was in pampers.
***You don’t have any idea perhaps how many times I cried as those were some of dream firms.
I started to lose confidence. So, I read Carl Rogers and Carl Jung’s Theory. Good thing I was a psychology graduate so having references is not an issue for me.
The picture I had for myself once is nowhere to be found. It’s hard.. when you are starting to doubt yourself. If this is part of my growth as I was not used, it is painful. But nothing perhaps is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.
On the brighter side of things, I realized how committed I am when given a responsibility wherein none of which were my choices. HUGE Responsibility if I may add.
4. I feel so insecure. Now, let me discuss this. I feel so insecure over a girl my partner courted for almost 3 years. Surprised? Certainly! I understand. *sigh*
This girl is pretty and charming so, a number of guys are truly admiring her chinita beauty plus, I learned she works in the government of which I have been wanting to be in!
Ever since I was young, I have been told that I am good looking but not much of the guys chased me the way guys chased her including my partner who deliberately pursued her for 3 years despite being rejected. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be pursued as I am in a 5-year relationship but I don’t have that many compliments as she have.
So, I rationalized why:
Self Image – how we see ourselves which includes:
  1. social roles – wherein our behavior are shaped to some extent by the roles we play
  2. personal traits
  3. Existential Trait
Now, I’m a panther and so, social roles play a significant part of my self-image. I am aware of items b and c however, part of item b includes item as it is where my body of work exists. Get it?
Self Esteem – extent to which we value ourselves; the extent to which we ACCEPT or APPROVE ourselves. Self Esteem includes:
  1. Reaction of the society – I learned that whether we like it or not, the reactions of other people will really affect us as we are social beings in nature. We usually base our self-image on the approval or disapproval of others.
  2. Comparison with a Reference Group – Now, I am part of a reference group which is disapproved by the society – UNEMPLOYED – and for me to do away with this unpleasant feeing, I need to explain myself most of the time.
  3. Social roles – social roles is a reference group itself, and I don’t play one
  4. Identification – we identify ourselves from the roles we play which we are part of the group and what I have now is disapproved.
Truth is, self-esteem fluctuates and that is where perseverance effect comes in. we want to feel good about ourselves and believe it though the evidence contradicts.
And she has the positive approval of the society and I do not have.
Too long. Yes I know. That’s it for now.

Things Making Sense Now

​It’s been very evident how I really struggled over the past months. But, I trust God’s goodness. 

I now have the answer to my crisis: I lost my “very” necessary why – my mama. 

I lost my necessary why and so the vision and so my necessary how (by product) to achieve my true goal.

Days from now, we will be celebrating her supposedly 46th birthday on earth (God called her back at 45). 

My father left us when I was still on my first year highschool and since then, I had an on and off relationship with my mother since I was not close to her growing up. 

We became NPA’s to some point (No permanent address) jumping from a relative’s house to carwash space to an apartment until we landed to another relative’s house and it was at that time that I saw the pain in my mother’s eyes – she lost her house (for practical reasons when my father left). 

I told myself of this: To get a decent job after w/ a good salary from a stable company so I can loan for PAGIBIG and give my mother a house which she can call.home even without my father. 

I had it when I was 23. I bought it a month before she passed away unexpectedly and there – my crisis started. Slowly, I lost vision of and for myself, I started to question a lot of things in addition to a lot of whirlwind happenings in my life. And to add, my younger sister is insured, she will be leaving for London in 2 -3 years time now as she was petitioned by my father. 

The journey was tough, really. But having the answers now, ever since I realized the sense of responsibility I had, I never learned to dream for myself.

I learned PROFOUNDLY that we live not for our own but for others and we live with each other. We cannot isolate ourselves from others. The least, we can only speculate but we cannot add or remove things the way life revolves around us. 

Also, this feeling is kinda new to me. It’s just now that I am starting to explore my desires and opportunities with decisions not really anchored much on bigger responsbilities as I was used to, but this time, for myself. 

I trust God’s goodness. Everything has its own season be it good or bad. 

And it is in my own hands as to what battlefield will I be choosing. 

Dirty Job for “King” in the making

For months now, I struggle with family and business issues, career crisis or shall I say calling, & over all self esteem. Everything’s on my previous posts.
I was praying tonight and God hit me hard, truly about humility. I read about Samuel annointing David. Who would have thought that the little one who was tending the sheep was going to be the one who’s gonna lead a nation? It is a dirty job for a “King” in the making. It is a lowly task but it may be yet, David’s character was surely refined.
Like us, in the fields of everyday life, the world and even I at one point was.programmed that lowly task as much as possible do not stand a chance to success but this, as humility hit me hard tonight, is a preparation for a greater calling and being grateful for who God is, not just on what He’s done.
and even in every compromise, there is training, character building, attitude training and soul defining.
Like David, even God himself said, He did not consider David’s outer appearance but He looked at David’s heart.
God’s word will not return to him empty even in the face of affliction (Isaiah 48:10).

Love and Decisions

Recently, despair weighed me down due to circumstances of which I did not understand. As I was expressing my emotions to God during my devotions, certain thoughts came about:
  1. I have rejected a number of job offers “good job offers”. All of which were Manila based. I subscribe to the view that the pressure and learning will be different as I’ll be totally outside of my comfort zone. For me, all of those offers will serve as a launching pad for my career. HOWEVER, I can’t just “immediately” leave the business that we had for 16 years now to someone else; I can’t just have it assumed and leave the employees who worked for more than 8 years for us; I am undecided as I am still earning 20% of the weekly revenue (sometimes it even exceeds).
  1. I have rejected a number of job offers “good job offers”. All of which were Manila based. I subscribe to the view that the pressure and learning will be different as I’ll be totally outside of my comfort zone. For me, all of those offers will serve as a launching pad for my career. HOWEVER, I can’t just leave my sister’s welfare to our Yaya who has been with us since I was in pampers. The perspective is just very different and I do not want her to experience what I experienced before. Besides, my sister is just 12 years old. She did not grow up in a normal family set-up as my parents got separated when she was still almost 2 years of age. So, having been blessed to experience the best and worst of both worlds, I feel the weight, the huge responsibility is on me in ensuring that I do all the things I could to guide her, as I was always saying even in my previous posts, I can only do so much.
  1. I got rejected, if not, I did not hear any feedback from my “dream” institutions.
  1. I can’t pursue Law school yet because of Nos. 1 and 2. Time will be very demanding for law school and the business itself consumes my time plus employment.
  1. Because of Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 4, I felt hopeless of having a vision for myself. I don’t even have one. Well, I’m pertaining to my career and law school dreams. Part of discovering my vision for myself is investing for me to know whether or not, the path is really for me. Time and again, I hate regrets that’s why.
I thought, “Lord, it’s too much. I feel that I was born to be the sacrificial lady always”
During my devotion tonight, I feel so blessed. I uttered a few nights ago, “Lord, I am at the end of my resources” and I was reminded of what I read “My child, you are just at the beginning of mine”. I learned tonight profoundly about decisions on a larger scale though. I’ve reflected that, I’ve been involved in big decisions a lot of times and I recalled when Jesus said, if I can be trusted with small things, I can be trusted with greater things. I told myself then, “God must have given me big heart!” but, again, hopelessness weighed me down.
As you can perhaps think, as much as possible, I want to do things my way without fully realizing that getting my way done gets in the way of some relationships I am involved in and that includes items 1, 2 and 4.
I reflected how Eve at the Garden of Eden decided she knew better than God. It was after God telling her not to yet she still did so and even influence Adam to follow her own ways and not trusting enough. And because of that, I had my first conflict with God, with His will.
Then, I gained wisdom. . with all of these happening in my life right now. The wisdom behind the waiting season.
I’ve lain down my “own’ will; it’s not that I was not making my case, it’s just that I don’t insist on ALL decisions going my way.
The action of laying aside my desires for another person’s certainty undoubtedly made me realize, how much love I can give and how much love Jesus has given me for His grace to keep me.
For me, this also means, profoundly, learning to trust God’s will, fully out of reverence FOR Christ – The art of letting go.
And I read Philippians 2:3-4 in the same way John 15.
I reflected, Jesus Christ could have just given up when He was carrying the cross to Calvary. That’s very awful to know that your friend betrayed you and painful  to have all of the physical aches He went through YET He chose to set aside those desires for my certainty and Yours too because He chose me, You and us.
Isaiah 41:9 “… You are my servant; I have chosen you and have not rejected you”
John 15: 16 “…You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you..”
Without the shedding of Christ’s blood, there’ll be no salvation, there’ll be no forgiveness of my sins and yours too!
In the same way, they did not choose me but I have lives under my decisions. I’d like to believe that He is the Alpha and Omega and He knows full well what He is doing in my life.. I gotta trust Him on this!13445288_1140443269331219_5592976217259875519_n

Wisdom and Revelation

Today, as I was praying, I vented out to God the following things:

  1. Why am I still unemployed up until now? (I knew my skills and experience. I knew I did well with my interviews and exams).
  2. Was it a disadvantage that I came recently from a BPO Company? (This was my observation every interview. There was always this “certain reaction” every time I would paint them a picture of my job and that of a BPO Company).

I was holistically tired and weary which were few of the many reasons why I left my recent job. I felt that the work environment that I was part of was not healthy –  not healthy in a sense that it was not fruitful, ethics was not reinforced and observed and a whole lot more of which I chose not to divulge. It was because of those reasons that I found myself losing my character and compromising my core. Don’t get me wrong, as I have mentioned in my previous blog posts, I talked to a lot of people of different professions just for me to gather their experiences and share their learned perspectives.

I was disheartened of not having a job yet, however, I wanted to rest and think, and re-think of the vision I have for myself.

He is a God after all and as He mentioned in the book of Isaiah “I, the Lord – with the first of them and with the last – I am he” which assured me that indeed, He is control. And so –

Work is a noble endeavor but working too hard is a different thing. Since I was in high school, I worked so hard and then when I graduated I immediately jumped into a job with the purpose of earning right away, mainly for practical reasons and that be able to save up for a house.

Today, God reminded me that though work is a noble thing, worldly success should be weighed with spiritual success (Matthew 16:26)

Is vocational success worth losing one’s character? No.

Life’s meaning is not found in things but in relationships – first with God, second with family and third, with others.

This is a step backward to me but it’s a good launching pad for me to re-organize, think of the priorities I “genuinely’ have and praying for courage to be able to act on them.

Wedding Insights

Yesterday, I attended my decade old friend’s wedding. We’ve been friends since we were in high school and I still couldn’t believe up until now that she’s married. Maybe because she’s that kind of girl who’s happy go lucky type. Agshjbcabcaincai aaaah! Still couldn’t believe it! And to make you even more startled.. she’s the first and last of the man she married.
I realized that we’ve entered into a different kind of friendship. A bond that’s tainted with blue and red yet sticks together ‘til the end. I realized of how God moves in each of us, far from how I expected it to happen. Indeed, His thoughts are higher than us. After all, He is God.
I couldn’t contain my words up until now but my friend has grown so much over the years.
I’m still trying to understand what Fr. Ben shared during his homily. Love is not enough. Because sometimes, love can be abused in one way or another. – that I am still trying to digest fully.
And that.. the person beside you will be your partner for a lifetime. Kung sa binisaya pa, “kung kinsa imohang pakasalan, mao na jud na siya and wala’y lain”
We have a new member in the group by the way and that’s my friend’s husband! Weee! The more the merrier!
Who do you think will be next?

A Season for Everything

Ola! Hello There! I’ve been imperceptible for a month now and I literally don’t have an idea what to write. It gives me a big relief though every time I do so regardless of what my ideas are. Nonetheless, a lot of things happened.
I went to Sohoton, Surigao Del Norte as a birthday treat to myself. I’ve been wanting to go there since the first time I heard about it however there were some priorities I had to put first in line but what’s good is that, FINALLY!
On the other hand..
My father left for London, for good. I now act as a full-time guardian to my younger sister. I got rejected from my dream job “s”. I was not able enroll for law school. And I felt completely lost.
Good thing, I am not employed, yet, so I get to focus on the things I need to learn and master afterwards.
I literally run the house (of my aunt – that’s where we currently live), run the house of my father (long story), (Name it from groceries to bills and the rest), run our business, acting as mother/father (the best Ate I could be with God’s help.. oh! please Lord, have mercy and let me be the Ate you desired me to be for my younger sister).. and we-wait? Where’s my space for career life there? NONE
Still on crisis, do not know whether I would want to pursue law school, government, corporate sector. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of what my potentials are however, I am completely clueless where to channel them.
Now, I’ve profoundly learned to master the art of crossing the bridge and getting there. As what’s written in the Bible, Lei, don’t be anxious about anything or everything yet in prayer and petition, present your requests to the Lord. I am now exercising how to aggressively thankful and grateful.
I learned that as you get older, you learn what to keep and what to let go and that regardless of your decisions, God will always go before you and after you.
Small steps. Small steps. I’m back by the way to exercising yet not enrolling to the gym though as we have some gym equipment at home. The said stuffs were purchased by my mother as she was fond of healthy living and healthy lifestyle. By the way, as I’m writing these juggled letters now, I am manning the business. I’m really not a business person yet, fate brought me here. We have this business for 16 years now. I admit there were a lot of instances wherein I thought of selling it yet whenever I would think of the people who stayed with us for 8 years, 2 years, 3 years and so on.
Loyalty is a luxury to every entrepreneur. Good thing I manned the business today and I’m able to appreciate it wonderfully. I realized how Mama had been good to them for the carwash boys to stay even after Mama’s death and still gives the quality service every customer deserves.
See? Small Steps. Small Steps. By the way back to my career, I really have nothing much to say about it yet as I don’t have a vision for myself yet as to where will I see myself.
I also ventured to what I’ve always wanted. Cooking and Baking! But then, I  haven’t tried baking yet as we don’t have an oven at home. My carbonara tastes good! And I discovered how I’m obsessed with herbs! If only I can put herbs to desserts then I would have done so.
That’s it.. I think for today.