The Greatest Joy in our Sufferings

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An old man is silently dying to his hospital bed, but the weird thing about him is he smiles whenever he feels the pain. his attending nurse noticed it and asked him; “why are you so silent in your suffering? Are you not afraid of dying?” The old man answered with a smile on his face; “when I was a child, whenever I fall down and my knees get wounded, I groan and cry a lot. When I was a teenager, whenever I experienced failures in exams, broken-relationships, being reprimanded, bullying, and unfair decisions for my life, I complain. When I reached adulthood, whenever I feel like a loser, inferior and worthless I rebel, grumble, and hid grudges. Now I am old and dying does I still need to complain? Absolutely not! From all those experiences I realized the value of suffering in silence. It is in silence that I feel the presence of God, and that’s the greatest joy that I found in my sufferings. Thus, God is with me and through this pain I feel his love for me despite the many shortcomings and failures that I have in my life. So, I am prepared to die because God is with me and I am happy about it. Hence, suffering is inevitable, but the love of God in the midst of our agony will always be the same forever and ever.”

The Farthest Journey in Life

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A great traveler was asked by a curious young man who also aspires to travel the world, “Sir, you’re such an inspiration for me. You’ve been traveling the different wonderful parts of the world, and I am really amaze every time I read your post on your blog and articles, or watch your documentaries on TV”. “Oh thanks! Nice to hear that. ”, the accomplished man retorted. The curious young man continued, “But is there a place that you haven’t been to?” “Oh a tough question”, the traveler responded with a smile on his face. “You know in my entire escapades, there are two places that is difficult to visit” “What is that sir”, the young man replied. “Its heart and the mind”, the traveler said with a smile. The young man responded, “What do you mean, sir?” The experienced man explained “For almost a decade of travelling around the world, lately I realized that the farthest journey in life is the travel between the heart and the mind. When we look upon our physical build-up the distance between the heart and the mind is just near, right? But when we speak about life and love and when we engage ourselves on its incredible journey it’s really challenging and demanding. I have been to the places people called ‘paradise’, but it never satisfy my soul to see the ‘paradise’ that is intended and planned for my life. However, when I started to engage myself traveling towards my heart and mind, I realized that there’s more to life which it can give than my journey to the beautiful places. From that experience, I saw and become in touch with the greatest fulfillment in my life which I never encounter from seeing the world. Yes, it’s really hard to engage yourself in the travel within the heart and mind because it’s too far, tiring, arduous, tough, and difficult. But that travel satisfies my deepest longings in life, such as LOVE, UNDERSTANDING, HEALING, and ACCEPTANCE about myself.”

Failures on the Wall

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A well-known public attorney was fond of framing his failures during his elementary days, high school days, and even when he took up law in college, like failed test papers, low-grades, low quizzes, and his failed 1st attempt to bar exam, and posting it on the wall of his office. Suddenly, a client noticed them all and asked him; “Sir, why do you need to display your failures from the past? It’s absurd and ridiculous! Are you belittling yourself sir? “No, I am proud of it”, the attorney responded that made his client puzzled. The attorney noticed his reaction so he added, “Actually, these failures posted on my wall reminds me of three words; NEVER GIVE UP! I have so many failures in life as you can see on the wall but it is just a representation of the whole picture of my failures in life. But, those failures did not hinder me to move on. Failures are inescapable realities in life. However, I believe they serve as bridges and ladders for success. Now, I am successful because of my failures. But, do you know one of the lessons that I have learned from these failures and the many failures that I encountered and experienced in life?” What’s that? His client responded. “Its humility my dear! The more I experience failures in life, the more it reminds me to humble myself, and the more it helps me to go on towards success. So, never disregard your failures in life. Never remorse your failures, but make it as your means to embrace fulfilment and success in life.” His client was inspired and amazed on what the attorney have said to him about the failures on the wall.

What matters most in life is you love

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A chief executive of a prestigious and well-founded company was suffering of a colon cancer in a hospital bed. Together with him was his personal assistant who worked for him for 25 years. On one of their conversation, the loyal assistant asked, “Sir, you’re a good-looking, rich, and influential man, but why you never had a wife? You are in your old age already, who will inherit all your wealth since you don’t have children or family of your own? You focused too much on your career, but have you also tried to fall in love with a woman?”

The sickly old man smiled and chuckled to what he said, with worriness and regret, He said, “My dearest, I am also a normal being.  I fell in love for so many times. I had been with so many failed relationships because they rejected me. I did not meet their standards, that’s what they said. Though I’ve tried, still nothing happened. However, I still managed to be happy and fulfilled even though I was never loved. It is because I love. Do you understand all those things?”

“I don’t understand.” The assistant said. For so many years I’ve seen who you are. I believe you will surpass all the challenges about love because of your status in life, but I asked myself, why? Why are you so different?” The assistant added.

“Here take this letter. Don’t open it yet. Open and read this on my eulogical service beside my coffin. By that time you will understand why. May this letter enlighten your mind and heart about me.”  The chief executive uttered with a smile on his face.  After three days, he passed away. Many mourned, others were shocked, and some felt saddened of his death.

On the last wake of his remains, a necrological service and eulogical ceremony was held simultaneously. Many gave their condolences, prayers, and sympathies to the remaining relatives of what to be considered a very influential man. It was the personal assistant’s turn to give his eulogy, “Three days before his death we argued about his hopeless romantic situation”.  He began as people laughed.  He continued, “Then, I asked myself, what made him happy despite of being alone in life. He possessed traits and characteristics of a man that every woman would want. But still, he remained single despite of being the right man. In the middle of our argument, he handed me this letter. He asked me to open and read it only at the last wake of his remains. And so today, I will read his letter which for him is something personal and humbling.”

Dear folks, colleagues, and my friend and very loyal personal assistant,

I asked myself why I am a hopeless romantic person. Even I complained many times to God why falling in love with a woman has been aloof to me. I really do my very best that I can in loving but it always end up as a failure. I have been with so many failed relationships, rejections, embarrassments, and disappointments. And, after all those things, I became hopeless. I thought it was the end, but it’s not.  From that miserable fate, I found my real vocation in life. I realized that God let those things happened in my life in order that I may be deeper in love. God introduced to me a wonderful vocation called singlehood. People may say or think that to remain single forever is a wrong choice. But for me, to be single forever is a wonderful adventure. I love more, I dedicate my whole life in sharing my blessings to those people who are not being loved and being rejected especially the poor and the orphans, I listen to people’s life stories of joys, struggles, and success, and I also shared my life’s stories too, but one of the best things that I cherished most in my life is being contended of who I am. That is why I’ve learned the power of happiness and contentment in spite of my disposition. Now at my death bed I could say that I lived my life to the fullest even though there are so many setbacks. I am ready to die happily and in peace. I am not worried about the company. I know there’s a good person who will really manage it. I will give it to my personal assistant who served me for 25 years with so much patience, understanding, and love. Half of my possessions will be given to the orphanage and the shares of the company will be equally distributed to every employees and workers. Why am I doing this? Simply, I love you all and what I learned about my experiences IS this; love as you can though it hurts because what matters most in life is you love. Folks, colleague, and my dear personal assistant thank you for being a part of my life.

Sincerely yours,

Your bachelor chief executive.

After hearing the message everyone stunned and paused for a moment. The personal assistant was surprised on what he had read and burst into tears. After a moment of silent, a round of applause was resound at the funeral; and after reading, the personal assistant just said: “Oh God!” and sob into tears.

Where Do Broken Hearts Go Whitney?

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I don’t like to spoil this Valentine’s Day with bitter aphorisms and insights about love. However, what does the title of my reflection for this wonderful event wants to pertain? Obviously it’s the title of the late Whitney Houston’s song for broken-hearts. This song is like a potion or a spell that every time we hear it we cannot but emote and say; “truly, love is demanding!” Where Do Broken Hearts Go Whitney? A question that continuously boggling my mind while listening to this song, writing this reflection and pondering this occasion. We all know that Valentine’s Day for the broken-hearted people is a day of remorse. Seriously, where do broken hearts really go? Some prefer to just stay at home, have a long nap during the day. Others just enjoy BY doing so many work-related preoccupations. But I know some who prefer to spend heart’s day watching Japanese horror movies, enjoying me time #loveyourself, some are die-hard advocates of Banned Feb 14 because they want to believe that Feb 14 does not exists in the calendar. Why? Because of the undeniable fact that they are sensitive enough to be affected seeing lovers happily spending the most romantic day of the year. Sounds ridiculous right?! But there’s a reality called broken-heartedness in love.

Is heart meant to be broken when it found the right love? But, is there really such terms called right love, wrong love? For me, our hearts are also meant to be broken. Perhaps you disagree about this, but why do I say so? Love does not do and go wrong. We are the ones labeling it whether it falls on the right or wrong depending on our wants and needs. We control to feel the love and I think there’s something wrong about it. Because from there, we are afraid of what we think “unnecessary pain” may cause our hearts to be broken in loving. Indeed, there’s a need for our hearts to experience broken-heartedness. Why? The right kind of love accepts pain. Every heart aches allow us to experience and realize how to love more deeply and maturely. Every wound creates spaces and better opportunities for love. And so, letting ourselves to experience broken-heartedness in love is essential. It make us realize that love is all about growing-up and allowing yourself to mold by the promptings of it. Henceforth, where do broken hearts go? For me, broken hearts must go to place that is suitable for calm and serenity. A refuge for instance, a place where broken hearts may be able to mend their selves through acceptance and growth. So, when love persists grow up, move on, and let go in order to start all over again because love brings infinite avenues of possibilities of loving with persistence and perseverance once again.

The Potter’s Hand

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A famous pot maker artist was interviewed in a talk show. The host asked him, “Your works are really impressive, unique, creative, and aesthetic. Indeed, I am convinced that your pots are really world-class masterpiece. To inspire our audience and tele-viewers by your success, I would like to ask this question, what’s your secret in making such artistic pots?” The pot maker artist smiled at the host and said, “Every time I make pots I always consider myself as a clay.” “C’mon you’re kidding!” the host said with a vibrant laugh. The pot maker artist responded, “Yes it’s true. A clay is filthy, dirty, and muddy. Sometimes it has a foul smell too. But, once I started to use it for pot-making I don’t mind those things anymore. In spite of its filthiness, dirtiness, muddiness, and foul smell I see to it that the best, artistic, and world-class pot will come out. Just like me for instance. Yes, today I might be a well-known successful and prominent artist because of my works but behind my success, were a lot of failures, rejections, and oppositions in life. However, I chose to move forward despite of my limitations and shortcomings. Every time I persevere on my passion in life I started too realized not to focus on my inadequacy, but to the positive traits, talents and the goodness within me instead. Hence, the secret is TO let failures, shortcomings, limitations, rejections, and oppositions be the potter’s hands of your life. Accept it. Because it makes you humble, and it molds you to be the best, artistic, and world-class version of yourself just like the works of arts.” The audience and the host were stunned and gave him a warm of applause by his inspiring words.

 

Stories from the Heart (True love prioritizes even the insignificant person in our lives)

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A famous preacher shared a parable about love to his avid audience: A hesitant lover went out to visit his beloved. He knocked at her office door and somebody opened it. He noticed that she was too busy in editing the works of her students so he just greeted her “hi” and “how are you”. His beloved smiled at him and asked; “Aren’t you busy today?” “Yes, I just dropped by to greet you. He replied. “I will be going back to my duties in a while to meet the deadline.” He added. She looked at him with eagerness and said; “Are you willing to wait for me? I really need to talk to you.” Hesitantly, he paused for a moment and said indecisively; “I…do don’….don’t know if I can and may be able to wait for you because I am also too busy just like you.” But, his beloved insisted; “Please wait for me. I really need to talk to you. I will meet you downstairs when I’m done.” “Will see” he replied and immediately went back to do his duties. As he walked down the stairs, he accidentally met a very familiar man. He knew him of course. That man is her first love. They exchanged look as they passed each other. While he was doing his work he suddenly stopped and pondered, asking himself quietly; “Do I really need to wait and to talk to her? After she rejected me and inflicted me with pain and anguish, now she is willing to talk to me. Do I really have to?” As these thoughts continuously boggling his mind, he stopped from what he was doing and decided to wait for her anyway. One…Two…Three hours of waiting, no signs of her presence until he received an SMS from her, he read; “I am sorry if I wasn’t able to talk to you. I needed to go home”. He went away with a heavy heart, feeling dejected. He knew the reason behind. She won’t tell but he knew why. “LIAR!” was what his mind was shouting.

“Who loved much, the hesitant lover or his beloved?” The avid audience responded in silence for they didn’t understand what the preacher was talking about. The preacher exclaimed his words vibrantly and with conviction; “I know you can’t relate and understand the essence of love on the parable that I’ve shared with you today because it’s just an ordinary parable; typical and nothing new. But, I would like to reveal something about that each and every one always ignore, True love prioritizes even the insignificant person in our lives. If you’re really convinced to love, you really prioritize others even though you feel uneasy and perturbed on them because you care. To say “I don’t care” to someone is tantamount to rejection. The hesitant lover loves more than the beloved. Even though he was busy he was still willing to talk to her, he chose to wait because he cares and still loves her despite of the hopelessness of loving her. On the contrary, we are sometimes like the beloved. We sometimes tend to forget to fulfill our word of honor for others because we easily fall on the trap on prioritizing of what we think is more convenient and important. We don’t prioritize to love those whom we labeled as insignificant, and unimportant into our lives. Remember this my dear audience; if you want to consider Love as a priority, don’t discard and reject others whom you consider as insignificant, and unimportant in your lives. There are too like you, struggling to love and longing to be loved. The more you reject others, the more you reject yourself”.