Last election is probably the most divisive and toxic so far. It was that intense that I, someone who is not so much involved in politics before, found myself eroded by the campaign. I had sleepless nights because of anxiousness and research. I heard of friends unfriending and unfollowing each other in social media. My officemate told us he decided to unfollow her mother who is a rabid supporter of a certain candidate (but hopefully he is now friends in FB with his mom again). So much hate and negativity spread like wildfire, we became too consumed and fiery. I had my fair share of not so healthy debates with my own father and I tell you, debating with my father is like stating your case to a robot. He is programmed to think he alone is correct and would counter every argument you had with all his might. You never win. A cousin who is also a fervent supporter of one candidate would post irritating statements against a candidate I support that I was at the brink of replying to her posts. It took much, much pause and prayer. The struggle is real. I have somehow mastered the art of choosing your own battles. And to put relationships first.
One thing I realized though, through all these word war and circus-like politics is not so much to persuade other people to like your candidate or be against one, but to guard your own heart. Letting go of things that rob us of peace. Letting go of matters we have minimal control. Different people will always have differing preferences and opinions and that is the result of his environment, his upbringing, and the things he allowed himself to focus on. May kanya kanya tayong pinaglalaban dahil may kanya kanya tayong pinagdaanan. I maintained an open mind during the election campaign and I tried my best to understand people with different views. I discovered it is sometimes because we are too zealous to support the person that we are too blinded to see his weaknesses and all. That we rationalize his actions although we knew in the depths of our heart he might be really wrong in this area. No one is flawless, anyway. It can also go the other way. We are sometimes too occupied by the thought of hating a certain personality that his efforts, though laudable and impressive, may seem too “epal” or worthless to us. It really depends on what we focus on.
We live in a broken world. The enemy will always cause confusion and division. Personally, I refrain from posting statements that would further cement animosity. The least I can do for my country is to contribute to unity and nation-building. Respect opinions. Follow new rules and laws. Submit to authorities. Voice out constructive criticisms directly to persons concerned. Facebook posts can’t do so much. Take action. Refrain from sharing unverified news and fake information. And most importantly, throw your garbage in the garbage bag. (Emphasis on this because it is my pet peeve :D ) If there is no garbage bag available, put it in your pocket or bag until you see one.
We all want a better country. Progress is a collective effort. Let’s do our share. :)
I just realized my blog entries for the past years were mainly two – reflection of the past year and expectations for the new year. What happened to my promise to blog once a month? Hehe. My bad. Perhaps it was the work that took its toll on me. Perhaps it was lack of inspiration. Or simply put, it could just be plain laziness on my part. After all, you can always give time to things you prioritize, right? So here I am, struggling to pound the keyboard and contribute something worthwhile and worth reading in this web of online stuff. And hoping to keep that promise.
So for the month of May, I decided I will blog about – lessons and leanings for the first half of the year. (Just few days left and it’s the middle of the year already!)
Last two weeks ago I found myself crying, no bawling hard that I think it was my most intense crying time for years already (Last time I cried like that was when I’m still in SGV. Hehe) I have been working like a horse day in and day out even on weekends. The saddest part was, I wasn’t able to go home for the much anticipated birthday celebration of my lola which is like an annual reunion for our family. My only question during that time was “God,why?” He did not answer but gave me the needed strength and skills. You know how sometimes a few days can accelerate how mature you are better than months and months of “stress-free” life? Looking back, gems of wisdom are within those two weeks that I thought I’ve aged (not physically!) quite fast. I remembered the words of Rica Peralejo while contemplating on my recent struggle. It’s just amazing how God prepares you for another level of battle with words of comfort and encouragement like this one:
So here’s a little bike anatomy from a newbie, hehe. I have something to adjust my gears with on the left hand part of the handle bar and also the right. The left is for my front wheel, and right for my rear. Whenever I click, it changes something in my chains that gives a different resistance for pedaling my bike. Naturally the higher the resistance will mean the heavier or the more effort it requires to push the bike forward. It is especially harder on inclined ground, of course.
Nevertheless I noticed something. Lower resistance means lighter pedaling and at the onset I thought this was going to be my staple riding speed and yet I was wrong. As it appears, when the resistance is higher, there is more power in my over all performance on the bike and more distance is covered, as well as speed accelerates faster with a few heavy pushes. On the other hand, lighter resistance doesn’t get me very far even when I seemed to have been pedaling forever.
I marveled at the thought that even life is like that. The more challenging it is, it usually gives us much growth in such a short amount of time.
I actually remember a story I once read from a magazine, about this lady who went with her friend to ride a helicopter and found herself all tubed in the hospital in the same day. Apparently, something went wrong that the propeller hit her and almost chopped her body into pieces. From that point on, almost every part had to be reconstructed after ensuring that she’s out of the woods. And then she said that although it was a very depressing experience, her psychiatrist told her that her emotional growth has accelerated to a point that she is wiser than all women her age by about 10 years or more.
The moral of my biking thoughts and challenges in life is that hardships really can be painful to us, yet they really do good in helping us move forward faster in life. Of course it depends on the way we see things and how receptive me are of the good side that comes with the challenging experience, but if we are open to it, heavy pushes on the bike and in life can really get us very far.
Ahhhh. Such comfort. Those challenging weeks had me striving for excellence and realizing I can still give so much passion to my work that I thought was gone before. It had me to discover I am able to work under pressure with quality. It had me compare myself with the bests in the field of accountancy in a good way – and the beautiful discovery that I can solve problems I thought were wayyyy too difficult for my ability. Oh, how I belittled myself before. It had me looking forward for the day the “busy season” will end and I can rest with my family. It had me trust that this is part of something grander, that this is a preparation for something God wanted me to do. But more than the result, I appreciate how God molded my character through this painful process. How God aged me through a few weeks.
May this words bring comfort to you today.
“Behold, you are beautiful, my love, behold, you are beautiful!”
– Song of Solomon 4:1
If there is one bible verse that more or less captures my 2015 journey it would be:
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” – Proverbs 19:21, ESV
I began 2015 with audacious and enthusiastic goals. (Please refer to What I’ believing for in 2015). I resolved to do my best to achieve those goals but during the first quarter of the year, an inevitable event crushed my spirit. I learned that my mother was hiding from us huge sums of liability to various debtors. It accumulated through the years and we also found out that our house, lot and tricycle are already pledged for those debts. It was a very difficult time for the family that I feared my parents will separate. It was also a challenging time for me for I heard in my prayers that God wants me to help my mother. I can still vividly remember that night I learned of that truth, I cried really hard and told God, “I know this is not a problem but an opportunity for growth.” It was God’s assurance that kept me. I had a very strong resolve to finish off all debts and gave myself a deadline. I pulled out my stock market investment and I was left with zero savings. I even have to obtain bank loans so I can finish them off. By the grace of God, it was paid off by August 2015. Yes, I did not achieve my personal finance goals but God worked through my life and I won’t forget the lesson it brought and taught me. It was a recurring problem in the family and was always the source of fights between our parents. I knew it had to end. And I was very grateful that it’s over. I think the best thing about it is that I now have a more loving relationship with my mother. Praise God for trials. :)
I wanted to achieve so much last year that I forgot I must focus first on what matters most – relationships. I was already stepping out to grab my personal goals but God halted my steps, telling me to slow down and focus on resolving relationship matters first. While writing this, I read my journal entries during those dark times and I am amazed how confused I was, how inadequate I felt, how terrified of the future I previously was, but how trusting my heart became. I can only look back in wonder.
“Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left.” – Isaiah 30:21,NASB
Just turned 26 last October 28 so I decided to dedicate this post to fellow 26-ish (and those who can relate).
Lessons turning 26 has taught me, so far:
- I get in life what I set my mind to
- I realize it’s okay to pamper myself once in while (I once felt guilty doing this)
- People will always have differences. Respect.
- I find out that comparison kills happiness and gratitude
- I can be an ambassador of beauty and positivity. Yes, even if I’m not a celebrity or beauty queen
- The easiest way to be someone you want is to hang out (or stalk online!) the people who are now living the life you aim to have. My women life pegs are Rissa Singson-Kawpeng (on faith), Me-an Tee (on Church service), Hassie Manuel (on being peaceful), Emma Watson (on wisdom), Patty Laurel (on fashion and lifestyle), and Tara Cabullo (on blogging). But I admire them on other aspects of their lives. They simply radiate beauty, goodness and empowerment that I wanted to have without losing my personality
- It pays to delay gratification
- It’s okay not to find all answers or explanations. It’s okay not to attain clarity at this stage. The important factor is trust
- When in doubt, ask God
- Emergency fund is a necessity at this stage
- It’s priceless to give without expecting anything in return
- Ask, ask, ask. I saved time, heartache and resources just by asking (Google is a very informative and helpful friend)
- Prayer saves time. Prayer is underrated.
- Spending too much time on social media robs you of quality time with people
- Green tea does wonders to my health
- Finally, at the end of the day, God is the ultimate source of everything
The list is not exhaustive. These are just some things I have as I write now, but truly, daily life gives a lot of meaningful lessons.
Cheers to a purposeful and fantastic life!