1000 Words

They say, “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” But sometimes, a thousand words is exactly what is needed in order to capture the picture that a digital camera can’t hold. Oftentimes, it doesn’t do the celebration or event justice if you just capture images. Most of the times, it is indeed better to just sit and soak in the image that is in front of you and relate them in words to someone else later, instead of trying to capture everything in a single shot. When you focus more on that one picture or recording, you miss out on the actual show that is taking place right in front of you.

These days, if you go to any major events such as a concert or a wedding or a graduation, you will notice almost everyone is watching the event through their camera lenses rather than enjoying the program. I mean, what is the point of that? Is it to relive the moment later or to go back and scrutinize it all? As a society, we have become so deeply attached to our personal electronic devices that we are almost unable to operate without their constant aids. We need them for our words (i.e. emojis), for our memory lands, our eyes, and everything else that the device can do, and we don’t wanna do for ourselves anymore.

What happened to us? Why don’t we use words anymore to express ourselves? Let’s be big boys and girls and use our words, shall we!?

Being Single

Sometimes you just want to be touched by another human being. You just want to be held, to be told that you matter; not that you don’t know it already, but because you want to hear the echo.

Sometimes you wonder, “Where’s my happily ever after? Has God forgotten about me”?

We are social creatures, we were not meant to live isolated lives. It is totally normal and natural and acceptable to feel the need to be in the company of others, or with someone dear to our hearts. These sentiments must not be frown upon because they are innate.

In Genesis 2:18, we read, “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make an help meet for him’” (Genesis 2:18 KJV).

So there you have it, God puts it in our hearts to feel the need to be loved, to be longed for, to feel wanted…

So, what better person is there to ask for your ‘happily-ever-after’ than the One who implanted this desire in you, even before you were born?

And don’t think it’s just an adult thing to feel the need to be in relationships; it’s an every living creature thing; man and beast, even plants if you care to go that far.

So, next time you’re feeling down because of your single life, remember that you are not truly alone and that the person that God has for you will be for you no matter what life throws at you. It is okay to feel down some days, just don’t stay down there…Get up, show up, show out, and ask God for strength to wait for what you deserve.

Self-Abandonment

I do not claim to be an expert on DEPRESSION nor a victim of its tantalizing grip. But I have seen DEPRESSION; I met her four years ago, one night in the month of March. It was a few days after the dry Winter of Florida, and Spring was just around the corner. I had just returned from my afternoon class, and it was well after 8 pm.

I stopped by my next door neighbor to see how she was doing. Usually, she would sit outside on the porch and we would talk for a few minutes before I make my way to my own apartment. However, that night which was not quite Spring, she was already inside and invited me in when she heard my knocking.

That was when I came face to face with DEPRESSION: her eyes were red and puffy from weeping. She held her hands, finger to finger, and despite it not being too cold, she was trembling like leaves. She seemed so small and fragile and just downright frightened.

I couldn’t believe my eyes nor my ears as DEPRESSION  sat there and recounted to me how she has been living with this kind-hearted woman–my neighbor–for the past 26 years if not longer. She said that it started when she was still a teenage girl and her mother passed away after years of sickness and other mental illness. Then she lost her first husband after giving birth to their baby girl. Not long after that, her father passed away and subsequently her fiancé died. She said, “He [The fiancé] was the moon of my midnight sky. And when he suddenly died of a heart attack, my whole world plunged into complete darkness.”

I was all ears; I offered my sympathy, my prayers. She was so happy to see me because she said, “I was at my wit’s end. I didn’t know who to call…”

I want to emphasize once more that I am not claiming to know anything about DEPRESSION but it is my humble belief that DEPRESSION  stems from abandonment of the Self; yes, abandoning the Self in the past, at a place, and a time which exist no longer. The present Self either keeps visiting that same place over and over or it just abandons Itself there.

When this happens, the present Self cannot properly deal with the day-to-day of life. Something always seems to be lacking. DEPRESSION neglects the Self, thinking that this present Self is not deserving of life or of anything which brings joy and pleasure, sometimes even blaming the present Self for the things that took place in the past.

DEPRESSION  has a low-level of Self love; believing that everyone deserves to be loved, to be cherished, to be needed and wanted, except for her. DEPRESSION believes that any bad thing that happens to her is well deserved…

…but it is not so. You cannot abandon Yourself in the past while living in the present. It’s not even living if you’re stuck somewhere in the forgotten and distant past.

Living with DEPRESSION (as I came to find out from my neighbor that night) is no simple matter, and should not be taken lightly.

You have to be strict with DEPRESSION  and cast her out far from you. It is not an easy fight but it can be WON!

Reclaim Yourself from the past, come back to the present where a life full of joy and hope and love awaits YOU.

 

P.S. If you know someone living with depression, be a listening ear. Sometimes, that is all that is needed.

Depreciation

Google defines depreciation as “a reduction in the value of an asset over time, due in particular to wear and tear” (Google.com). I thought about this word when last week, I walked into the hospital cafeteria and realized–to my own amazement–that I no longer view this cafeteria as the stunning place that it once were when I first set foot in it, about two months before. The polished red chairs and marble-like tables no longer appeal to me; the papier-mâché decorations hanging from the ceiling have lost their glow (in my eyes at least). I felt that way and I hated it.

…but that is not the worst part…the worst part is that we sometimes treat people–especially those we love–like cars or houses that depreciate over time. It’s like when they [those people]  first come into our lives, we think that they are the best thing since HDTV. We love them, we admire them and in our eyes they can do no wrong. And as time passes by, we forget to keep on appreciating them day in and day out; and that we do not do consciously. We sometimes become so used, so attached, so comfortable with them that we start taking them for granted. We begin to believe that they are always going to be around, that we can always make up for lost time, we forget to keep on loving them, and this is where we are wrong. We don’t mean to stop appreciating them, we just forget to keep on doing it.

People are not like objects that come with a price tag and thus decrease in value over time. No. We are more than that…GOD THINKS SO! WE ARE WORTH A LIFE, THE LIFE OF HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON JESUS CHRIST.

We ought to treat the people that God has placed in our lives with care and diligence and love for as long as we live, much more than we do with the things that we purchase with money. I understand that some days it might be hard to love, but we can’t let those temporary feelings obstruct our deep love and appreciation for those people who are dear to our hearts.

And it starts with the little things, like saying, “Thank you! Please, I love you, I appreciate you, I’m praying for you…” And it ought to stay with the little things, for they are the building blocks of long-lasting relationships. These little things will keep us from looking at our loved ones like assets which lose their value over time…

O Yah!

O Yah Your Word is golden;

Your ways are impeccable,

Your statutes, they are altogether righteous,

Your wisdom, none can fathom.

 

O Yah Your love is immeasurable;

Your patience is incomparable,

Your precepts are forever holy,

Your justice is perfect.

 

O Yah You have no equal;

Your righteousness is higher than the highest heavens,

Your laws are life-giving,

Your commandments are better than life itself.

 

O Yah You have no rival;

None can compare to You,

You are the Pillar of my life,

Apart from You, I am NOTHING.

 

O Yah may Your holy Name be forever praised!

May Your kingdom come, Your will be done!

 

Broken Hearts

How do you count broken hearts?

Is it by the number of times it has been used, misused, and abused?

How do you count broken hearts?

Is it by the many mishaps and misfortunes and mistakes?

How do you count broken hearts?

Is it by the countless times it was given away but never taken?

But, how do you count broken hearts?

Is it by the many occasions it was received but got trampled underfoot?

How do you count broken hearts though?

Is it by the many pieces it was broken into or

the number of times it was punctured and violated?

But, how do you count broken hearts?

 

The heart is so fragile, we’re so fragile;

I’m as fragile as an egg.

 

But my God has been good!

He has been putting me together piece by piece.

He has never broken my heart, He never will.

He has a proven record!

You can always trust your heart to His care.

You don’t have to count broken hearts,

You just have to pick it up and start back up.

Truth & Love

Two things that are as rare as diamond in this world. Sometimes, you wonder where does one begin and the other ends. Truth and love are like siamese twins; like two paints that a painter mixes in order to create a beautiful painting; each one disappears into the other. Truth cannot exist apart from love and neither can love exists apart from truth. You cannot take hold of one and not grab the other. They work in concert with one another.

If you care deeply about someone, in other words, you love that person; then you have an obligation to be truthful to that person because that is how love operates. Yet, we’ve been told over and over that the truth hurts; does it really? Jesus says, “And you will shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32 KJV). Is there pain in freedom? Yes. History taught us that. All the revolutions and wars that were ever fought in the name of freedom came with a huge price tag. These brave souls give their all for freedom, for truth. They wanted to be set free because they have found the truth. Truth is like a sneeze, no matter how hard you try to suppress it, it will come out. Once you know the truth, you cannot help but to pry the chains of lies and deception and oppression free/loose.

The truth hurts at first, but then it will always perform the necessary healing that the soul needs. My dear readers, be truthful in love, be loving in the truth so that you can be free, so that you can set someone else free.

 

Saying Goodbye

No matter how many times we say goodbye, we seem to always bypass the ‘good’ thereof. We just can’t get used to it, can we? Each time it happens, it’s like a new phenomenon. Yet, saying goodbye is nothing new. It has been said so many times, by so many people, in so many different ways. And yet, we still find it shocking, distasteful even, to say goodbye.

The good old Internet tells us that goodbye is actually a “late 16th century contraction of ‘God be with you!’” (Google.com). So, I guess it’s not a bad thing after all.

Not all goodbyes are equal: some are pretty fitting for the time being, others just can’t quite mold into the situation. Whether we are saying goodbye temporarily or permanently, there is always this discomfort that sometimes you can’t even understand. But why do we find it so heavy on our conscience to say goodbye? Could it be because we are social creatures and we like to be near each other most of the times? Or is it this subconscious belief that the goodbye might be permanent, never to see that person again for the rest of our lives? Whatever the reason may be, saying goodbye will undoubtedly remain unsettling.

I have had my shares of goodbyes in my 23 years on this Earth. Some were painful, others joyful, and still there are those that remain untitled. I’m not done with saying goodbye, I have a couple more to go. Today I am saying goodbye temporarily, I hope. I am not saying goodbye to my blog which is my life in essence. I am saying goodbye to this particular chapter of life. It’s time to start a new one, to embark on a new journey halfway across the world. There are a lot of blank pages in my book that demand to be engaged to ink.

What can we say? Saying goodbye is a part of life. It is to be expected, never to be feared. And it’s true, we will never become good at it; there is no one out there who is an expert in saying goodbye. We are all amateurs, doing the absolute best that we can. So, don’t fear goodbye, embrace it rather because without it there exists no new beginnings. And remember it is ‘God be with you’, not goodbye. He is that ONE Person that will NEVER say goodbye to you. Embrace Him, and He will make all your byes good.

So many Modes of Communication, So little Communication

We have so many means to communicate, but are we communicating? In this day and age, there is no reason for losing touch with somebody; the technology just won’t let you. There are basically four modes of communication: face-to-face, video, audio, and text [mailing will fall under that]. Yet it is alarming how we are communicating less today than we did, let’s say 10 years ago. Those of us who are older can attest to this. You don’t need to read a Wall Street Journal article to realize that we have become–as a society–less sociable as a result of technology.

While it is easier now to stay in touch with family and friends through social media and cell phones, we have become disconnected from our surroundings. Think about it: when was the last time you were in a waiting area, and instead of people being on their mobile devices, they were communicating with each other? Or you were on a public transportation, and people were talking to the person sitting next to them? Just think about it. These sights are rarely seen nowadays. About 3 years ago, I was on the bus, and an older lady commented saying, “It’s like the cell phone has become a part of their body, like another organ; they just can’t do without it.” I smiled and nodded because I knew it was the truth. It is true: everyone is on his/her cell phone, not taking the time to connect with the rest of the world. I won’t say the real world, because the technological world is as real as a heart attack.

Sometimes, I just put the phone down and strike a conversation with a stranger. The connection is almost always exceptional, and the result extremely rewarding. Just try it sometimes; it will make your day, but more importantly, you will make another person smile. We are social beings, we need to socialize with those around us. If you are out with friends or family or on a date, put the phone down and have a normal conversation; it’s only right, it’s only fair. I have this rule that I live by: if we are out on a date or what not, I put the phone down because if there is an emergency, I won’t be the first person they call; they would dial 9-1-1. I will find out later.

Try it, take the time to talk to someone next to you. Sometimes, you feel more at ease telling a stranger your secrets, your fears, your problems than you do if you were talking to a familiar face. And you will be amazed by what you learn from that person. There is a lot of people out there who are lonely and just want a lending ear, be that ear to someone today.

There is a vast knowledge out there, and most of it is hidden in people like gold in a minefield.

So, don’t go another day without taking the opportunity to talk to someone other than the people on your phone. Sometimes, a smile is all that is needed. That too is a mode of communication. It requires much less effort, but the feeling is grandiose.

Now, I am not against technology, I think it’s wonderful. But we should not  let technology gets in the way of our lives. We all need someone, and sometimes it’s a stranger that makes all the difference.

 

Down by the River

I went down by the river to listen to the sounds of life.

Down by the river I heard life calling my name,

begging me to drop what once was and now is not and to follow life.

I set my heart to the side and followed life.

Down by the river is where I want to be:

Where the river is free, and the rocks are fierce yet gentle;

Down by the river where the pelican seems

to walk on the water just like our Lord did;

Down by the river where lightnings dance in a clear blue sky so free.

Down by the river is where life calls,

Begging one to forget time and space

for a moment which seems like forever.

Down by the river I heard music of nature

Carried on by a wind so concrete it can be grasped by the hand.

Down by the river is where thunder roars faintly yet powerfully.

Down by the river is where I find peace:

Peace within myself, peace with nature.

Down by the river is where life wants me to be.

My First Love

The time doesn’t matter,

Age is of no importance.

What matters is that

We love(d) each other:

We love(d) the only way we knew how.

He did his best, I did even better.

We love(d) until the times change,

The circumstances became different,

And we fell apart;

I fell first.

I fell first because I love(d) best,

I love(d) strongest, purest, I did my best.

Love never change, but people do.