It’s all about US (The Value of Sacrifice)

AAEAAQAAAAAAAALNAAAAJGNjYTRmY2ZiLTY4OTUtNDk2ZC05NTgzLTg3MjE3NGNkMTU4Zg

In a classroom filled with 30 students a teacher asked them to make a big circle for an activity. Afterwards, the teacher put 30 items on the table; some were attractively good, some were seemingly good, and others were not so good. Then the teacher gave them an instruction, “okay class our activity is just simple. Each of you will get one item that you like here on this table. After you get the item of your choice, wait for my instruction, enjoy it, and hold it well. So let’s begin and we will start counter-clockwise”. Some students took the attractively good and seemingly good items. Unfortunately, others who were last ones to get the items acquire the poor ones. Those who were the last ones really hoped that they may be given a chance to acquire those attractively good or just those seemingly good items like with their classmates. When all of the items had been took, the teacher gave another instructions, “okay class, here’s the best part of our activity. Please sacrifice and share the items that you have to your classmate who wants it.” Everybody jeered, chortled, and hesitant. No one dared to let go and share their items.

Does this story make sense to you? Maybe you asked yourself while reading story, what is this story all about?  Actually,  It’s all about sacrifice which we are afraid or hesitant to talk about today. Apparently, the value of sacrifice is now diminishing its sense and significance to our day to day living. Facing our world today with the influx of “instants” occurring to our settings and lifestyles degrades our understanding and appreciation about the value of sacrifice which the very foundation of our lives. Why are we afraid of sacrifice? Because it’s painful, it tests our patience, it loses our own wants, and it challenges our desires. Forget about these! I would like to assure something that will make you recognize the value of sacrifice; there will be no true relationship without sacrifice. Every good and true relationship that is deeply rooted in love demands sacrifice. Hence, the most important thing in life is not all about your wants and desires, but it’s all about how you relate or involve yourself to the people that we tend to neglect and ignore but more valuable and precious than who we think. All these will be possible unless you value sacrifice because it’s not all about you, but it’s all about US.

Of Gossips and Men

W3YzxoH

Gossip is evil.  It kills not only us and also our capacity to relate, but also relationship itself.  Every time I hear gossips everywhere I easily become indignant about it because I am a victim of gossips.  What an irony to live a life with a lot of gossips everywhere.  I cannot but have the tendency to depreciate the quality of life nowadays.  Why gossip?  Is our life a showbiz?  There’s a need nowadays to check and balance the kind of trend that we are liking and following up to.  It’s really unpleasant and sickening to hear gossips which impedes what’s sincerely true and certainly honest.  Hence, correct me if I’m wrong, people nowadays are not fond anymore of validating and confirming what’s true and half true.  Gossips now are relatively true and tantamount to truth.  Sounds irritating, annoying, frustrating, and maddening, but this what’s happening now as we live this life controlled by the theatrics of several men known as ‘gossipers’.

Gossips are everywhere; in homes, offices, institutions, schools, media, social media, and even in churches.  Sometimes subtle, yet cunning.  Oftentimes constructive, yet deadly.  Worst scenario; it also serves as a cause for atrocity in cold blood, discrimination, rejection, hatred, confusion, and misinterpretation.  Life is so ironic to think about this; a gossip a day makes someone’s life in hell.  Well, no one cares about it so ‘damnations’ continue to rule in our lives.  Do we really understand about these consequences as we gossips our neighbors?

I said a while ago that I am a victim of gossips.  A portion of my life was ruined because of ‘constructive’ gossips.  Now, they are happy about it because I am shamed and belittled, but on my part I suffered a lot.  I experienced being mocked and scorned because of several ‘constructive’ gossips that became true and factual.  And worst, I was judged as a bad person.  I really feel so bad about it until now.  It’s really hard to move on in life when gossips hinder and manipulate you and your actuations.  It’s really disturbing, upsetting, and distressing to hear gossips far and wide.  In my experience, gossip is really the corruption of truth.  It is also a stumbling-block for attaining and realizing a sincere and mature relationship.  Before we judge a person through gossips, why not ask him/her first some questions for clarification about what we heard or witnessed, or about some issues that are seemingly related to his/her personality or actuations in a polite and respectful manner?  I think this is more courteous and  more dignified way of treating and considering a person with reverence and esteem rather than making fun of him/her, ridiculing him/her, and putting him/her down through gossips.  Remember; a single gossip is more surely and certainly kills a person instantly than a multiple stab of a knife or a single shot of a bullet in the head.  So, think and ponder first what we utter to others about a particular issue of a person before we judge him/her according to our own suppositions and presumptions.

 

Love Amidst Oppositions

We walk the same direction but different sides of the road...Ìû

I am loved, you are loved, and we are loved. This is who we are. This is our real identity as we venture the different paths of life. But, sometimes we cannot deny the fact that oppositions come in an unexpected moments. So, we fail to realize who we are. We forget that we are not just ‘individuals’ but ‘persons’ who are loved and being immersed in love. Hence, in our lives, love is really a freely-given gift. We received and continuously receiving this gift, but the problem is we tend or unintentionally disregard or ignore the value of this gift simply because we have the tendency to be too focus to so many oppositions that affect our lives. So, we give up loving. Instead of choosing to be happy realizing that we are being loved, we choose to be sad. We choose not to love anymore. We close our hearts on the mere fact that we could still be loved amidst oppositions. That’s why we stop loving and allow ourselves be loved.

We have the tendency to give up when loving is so impossible amidst opposition. But you know, I know a person that He does not give up on loving you. Do you know who He is? He’s God. Remember this; since we were still on our mother’s womb, God does not give up on loving us. Even though we stop loving others and even ourselves, God continues to love us. Even we are unlovable, He loves us without any hesitations, without any second thoughts, and without any doubts. In spite of our sins, shortcomings, and limitations in life, He remains patient with us because He cares for us, and that’s how God loves us. He is willing to offer even His life just we feel and recognize His love, mercy, and compassion for us. Wow what a fantastic God! If all of us is like Him, for sure it’s easy to love, it’s easy to be merciful, and it’s easy to recognize that we are being loved amidst oppositions.

Why I am saying this? I just realized that in the midst of my brokenness, I forget the most essential and non-negotiable thing in my life, i.e. I am being loved by God. But, realizing that being loved by God is not enough. It is also serves as an encouragement for me to love despite the many oppositions that hinders me to love. Moreover, I remember what Leo Buscaglia stressed in his book entitled Love which for me serves as a reminder that even though we are being loved by God we have still the responsibility to love although it hurts;

One cannot give love what he does not possess. To give love you must possess love.

One cannot teach what he does not understand. To teach love you must comprehend love.

One cannot know what he does not study. To study love you must live in love.

One cannot appreciate what he does not recognize. To recognize love you must receptive to love.

One cannot have doubt about that which he wishes to trust. To trust love you must be convinced of love. One cannot admit what he does not yield to. To yield to love you must be vulnerable to love.

One cannot live what he does not dedicate himself to. To dedicate yourself to love you must be forever growing in love.

Hence, Love is power that manifested to us through the Love of God. We will be able to have it and to do it unless we are willing to be subdued and to be overpowered by it in spite of its pains and demands.

The Goodness in Sadness

pixars-inside-out-is-a-surprisingly-accurate-look-at-human-psychology--heres-what-it-gets-right-and-wrong

After watching Inside Out I am astounded and stunned by the way how the character coped up with her emotional instability. Sadness saved her from a miserable situation which led her to open up with her mother and father of what’s going on with her life. It’s good to reflect on that there’s goodness in sadness most especially when there are conflicts that we can’t understand inside. Why sadness? What makes sadness unique and helpful in realizing the importance of openness and humility in life? While pondering on the movie, I am deeply touched when she stopped the bus, went back to her father and mother, and opened up her situation to them. For me, that is the most important part of the movie, and on that instance I became aware about the goodness in sadness. Sadness gives depth and deep connection with others especially to those whom we loved most (our family, friends, and loved ones). Only through sadness that makes a crucial connection transform into a significant encounter that will really make us understand how important to consider a relationship with depth.

We don’t like and want to be sad. When we speak about sadness we tend to stay away from it because we don’t want to. We like always to feel happy and enjoy life at its fullest. But, have we realized that we cannot be happy without sadness? Have we also realized that only in sadness that we may be able to recognize true happiness and enjoyment in life? It’s an irony indeed that the only thing will help us to be saved from emotional unsteadiness is sadness. It’s only through sadness that we may be able to fathom, appreciate, understand, and apprehend the deepness of our being. Sadness knows and also teaches us how to take care of our beings. When we feel sad, it’s not a type of curse or bitterness but an opportunity or a motivation for us to understand what’s going on in our lives and to open up those things to those who understand us and care for us most especially our family. Let us not be afraid to face sadness in life. Accept it and learn from it because it is through it that will make us a better person and a better “we” in life. Sadness is not an enemy, but a friend that will lead us to say hello and to befriend with Happiness.

Being-in-Relation

nirvanaSaying “let me do it by myself” is a worst decision for ourselves. We cannot isolate ourselves; everything is connected and relational. Just like a simple carbon atom in our bodies, it constituted as part of a molecule, which forms part of a cell, and also, as we all know, belongs to organ of my body. Hence, we are related because we are part of a family, a society, and a community composed of interrelated living creatures which could also be called the earth community interrelated with the Sun, the Milky Way, and the whole universe. So, we are interrelated, and our inter-relatedness characterizes reality to its very depths and core.

If we are related in everything that we encounter here on earth and everything that constitute us as being-in-relation, it’s the same case with God. If God’s being is completely relational, then this suggest that we are not born alone and we share in the “being-ness” of God. Thus, we are born related and we are constituted by relationships. We will never be alone, and saying “let me do it by myself” or “all by myself” contradicts, denies, and opposes our very own nature as relational beings.

What makes our being relational, interrelated, and interconnected to another? Love. Love is the source of connection and unity. It binds every creatures and every life forms that we see here on earth. Looking upon our existence, it’s undeniable that we are capable of loving. It is in loving that we enter into the realm of relationships and other forms of commitment. Loving encompasses everything. It is not something exclusive but inclusive. It is not selective and does not play favourites because it links, relates, and associates. Therefore, understanding and accepting our capacity to relate is not a matter of doing it all by ourselves but is a matter of connecting and involving which start with ourselves.

On Friendship and Break-ups

670px-Break-Up-with-Your-Friend-Step-02Is there breaking-up in friendship?

This question popped-up into my mind when I am experiencing the demands, hassles, and burdens of friendship nowadays.  What must be the real essence and nature of friendship, and why there’s a term in friendship called “breaking-up”?   We all know that friendship is our support system.  We need friends because it enhances and nurtures our identity as social beings.  But, when friendship gets rough, leads us to stress, and no longer serves as a support; we cannot but let go and break up to with our “friends”.

Just like in a romantic relationship, “breaking-up” is a possibility in friendship.  But, it doesn’t mean it’s over.  “Breaking-up” in friendship is different from breaking up in a romantic relationship.  It’s just a moment of accepting the fact that in friendship there’s a need for re-evaluation.  Yes it’s true that some friendship does not last forever so it ends in breaking-up dramatically.  When this occurs just continue to move on and start all over again.  I, myself, am not exempted in this kind of situation.  There were a lot of “breaking-ups” that I experienced in friendship simply because it does not anymore become healthy and sound.  But, I did not give up on reviving it and make it as more enhancing and nurturing means for my growth and maturity.  At first, I don’t understand why the reality called “breaking-up” in friendship is evident and existence.  After I experienced this several times I realized that it’s an indicator for me to ask myself how far I am doing my best to become honest, productive, sincere, and transparent in friendship without thinking, and should never be, that my friends are but just an object of my needs.

I could say friendship is the most serious kind of relationship than romantic relationship.  Just like what the most inspirational, and greatest Christmas film of all-time, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) about friendship; “No man is a failure who has friends”.  Hence, even though “breaking-up” in friendship is a reality in life; it does not guarantee us to end our capacity to enter in this kind of relationship.  It’s undeniable that it hurts, but how we will be able to gain friends if we avoid ourselves in this kind of reality.  “Breaking-up” in friendship is not a curse but an opportunity to re-think and straighten the crooked lines of this kind of relationship.  Yes, it’s not easy, but I always believe that the secret of effective relationship in friendship starts in pain; so “breaking-up” is necessary if and only if it seen in the vantage point of optimism and acceptance.

Dear Friend

broken-friendship-quote1I dedicate this write-up for those who abandoned by their friends and for those who continue to love and consider them as friends even though they’re already rejected and neglected by them.

 Dear Friend,

            In friendship, I believe in this philosophy which states; a friend is someone capable of perfecting my imperfections, fulfilling me, revealing to me who I am because you are my friend, because you love me, because you are my personal good and I am also your personal good, and because you make me conscious of loving and arouses within me a sense of wonder and admiration.  Hence, you are so important to me because you make my joy and my being complete.   This is how I consider you not just as a friend but a person who has capacities and uniqueness.  I trust you, I believe in you, and I respect you because you also did these to me.  Because of you everything has changed into my life.  You free me from my sorrows and sadness.  You help me to appreciate my uniqueness and also my weaknesses.  Indeed, you’re such a good friend to me and you’re always saying to me whenever we talk; when you feel down and troubled and you need a person to talk and to be your crying shoulder, just call out my name and I’ll be listening to you and I’ll be at your side as your crying shoulder.

Suddenly, as time goes by, I cannot but be amazed and surprised that these things will be just a part of happy memories inside my mind.  What happened?  Why things have changed in our friendship?  I thought everything will be okay and fine, but why there’s an abrupt amendment on our friendship?  Why you suddenly left me behind without any reason at all?  Have I hurt you that’s why you left me alone in my loneliness?  I cannot feel you anymore.  I cannot understand why all of a sudden you break my heart and confuse my mind into uncertainties.  Before, everything is overwhelming and wonderful when we are together as friends sharing our own insights about love and relationship; but now out of the blue you faded away without any manifestations.  This is a sad reality that unrecognizable and unacceptable.  I cannot but cry and ask the heavens why these things are happening to me?  Did I commit something wrong to you, my friend?

In this experience I realized that the most painful and hurting experience in the life of the person is to be left behind by a friend without any reason at all.  It’s more horrible than a break-up, and more horrifying and despairing than a simple rejection.  It’s like a slap on my innocence when you reject me and you left me suffering on my own grief and anxieties.  Why? This is the only question that my mind and my heart cried out when you now avoid me and consider me as nobody.

Even if you treat me as nobody or as an insignificant person I will still consider you and love you as a friend.  You’re still significant into my life.  Yes, I am in pain now, but I will never regret that you became an important part in my growth and in my existence.  You’ll always be in my heart no matter how excruciating the loneliness and sadness that you have given me.  You’ll always be a friend to me; capable  of perfecting my imperfections, fulfilling me, revealing to me who I am, my personal good, and a person who makes me conscious of loving and rouses within me a sense of wonder and admiration.  Though how many times you forget me and reject me as you friend, in my heart, I will always consider you as my friend; a special and unique friend to me.

Sincerely Yours,

 An Insignificant Friend of yours.

Love and Truth

Wise-Quotes-41773-statusmind.comLove embraces Truth.  It’s really hard to love when you are living in lies and falsehoods.  Love does not tell lies and at the same time it does not hide the Truth.  Without Truth, love will never be something significant in our lives.  When love is true, it encompasses everything that is good, pleasing, and unique despite the fact that there’s something into our lives that hinders us to embrace it.  Only love could testify what it means to be loved in truth if and only if we regard truth as the mirror of our identity which serves as our reminder and guide.

When love is not in Truth we are like blind guides that guide a blind person.  In life, you really feel that you’re not loved if you’re not living in Truth.  It’s better to be hurt because of being sincere in loving, than to be loved under the cloak of emptiness and lies.

Though sometimes truth hurts, we cannot but indulge ourselves by it because if love is not in truth, it is not love but falsehood.  Why love must be true?  It’s really impossible for us to love when it is not fully founded in Truth.  It casts out prejudices and doubts.  It walks what it talks.  It does not discriminate nor rejects.  It listens and shows compassion or mercy for those who are rejected or unloved.

Love cannot prevail without Truth.  It’s so sad that at the end of the day, all the opportunities are wasted for us to love with a sincere heart.  How could we love when life is filled with lies and falsehoods?  The only thing that we could do in order to love in Truth is just be true and sincere to ourselves; then loving in Truth will follow

LOVE > FEAR

Love-Greater-Than-Fear-mailer-frontLove casts out all fear.  Whenever we are afraid to continue our journey because of the different circumstances that pull us down and shaken our faith let us not panic.  Put on the armor of love into our lives.  We are loved by the One who is above us, merciful, and compassionate, so do not let our hearts be tremble.  These are the words of encouragement that I always entertain into my mind whenever I am being overcast by fear.  Fear really hinders me to see love as a protection and a consolation for my shortcomings and brokenness in life.  It’s really hard to move on in life when there’s fear.  To be true in your self is something burdensome when fear overwhelms you.  From this so called “horrifying conquerors” of life, I realized the significant value of love.  Love may be demanding for some, but it is always the best remedy for a fearful heart.  Love recognizes the beauty of courage and uplifts the brokenness inside of our hearts.  When love seems too hard to find and reach, I cannot but not to give up finding and reaching it because I believe love saves.  When there’s love, there’s nothing to be feared of.  Everything will be alright when we consider love as the sole reason of our daily struggles in life.  Why let our hearts be troubled when love is greater than fear?  Hence, life is full of goodness and glad tidings when love is the cause of our perseverance and courage here on earth.

#tidbitsforlife (LOVE+DEMANDS=TRUE LOVE)

love-hurts1Love until it hurts, Love until it hurts no more.  This is one of my favorite quotes of Mother Teresa of Calcutta which speaks about love.  As I reflect upon this quote, I realize that it is not so easy to love.  Pain is inevitable in the realm of love, but if we welcome it into our lives we will be able to understand that love is all about life-giving and not all about lip-service.  Love is sweet when we say it with rhythm and harmony, but it is also bitter in praxis or in the way we accept its challenge.  From this assertion, we should understand that love is demanding.  It always requires us to sacrifice something for the sake of truth and commitment.  But though it’s demanding when we let ourselves abide on its significance, it will never fail us to recognize the beauty of life.  Only love could lead us into the path of light.  Why love is hard to figure out?  Why words are insufficient in order to define, describe, and explain the immensity of love into our souls?  Why it’s hard to get and difficult to express?  It’s because love is not cheap.  It is something that we need to be serious about once we deal with it.  Love is a God-given gift for all of us and not a product of manipulation and of the world’s ideology.  It is something imprinted by God into our hearts which cannot forced or coerced.  So, we cannot fathom its real identity into our lives because it flows calmly and serenely.  That’s why love is demanding and we can only accept its demands unless we are at peace with ourselves.  Only in peace that we could love all the more in spite of the pains, discouragements, sufferings, and sacrifices that we encounter on it as we do our best to fulfill our duty to love with all our hearts, with all our soul, and with all our strength.