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Life or Something Like It

Lanie: Things happen. Things you never see coming. And you think afterward: if I’d known this, would I’ve change things? Would I’ve done more? What would I be thinking? I need more time.

Life or something like it

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These were lines from a 2002 romantic-comedy movie that I happily indulged myself to see the other night on MBC-2 Home of the Movies, starring Angelina Jolie and Edward Burns. Lanie Kerrigan ( played here by Jolie) – is a Seattle TV station feature reporter who thinks that she got it all – beauty, fame, a hunk of a football player/boyfriend, a high-end condo, luxury car and all that jazz. Until her life was shattered when the self-proclaimed prophet Jack whom she interviewed on the street to find out if his football predictions are true, made a predictions for her so she would believe him. He said that she would die in a week’s time and her superficial life will soon come to an end.

Well, still remaining in doubt about what he said, she just laughed it off. But when his football predictions came true, she panicked. She asked Jack for another prediction – an earthquake in San Francisco – that would prove him wrong about her death. And again, Jack was right. The rest of the week revolved around her attempts at introspection about her impending death.

She began to view life as glass half-empty just because of a prediction that filled her with loneliness, desperation and the thoughts about the failure of accomplishing a dream – From that moment on, everything for her spiraled down the drain and life almost came to a halt. She didn’t find the consolation she desperately needed from her boyfriend so she ended up confiding with her cameraman, Pete.

Lanie: Oh, and if you had a week to live, what would you do?
Pete: I would, you know – I’d have sex with you.
Lanie: See…
Pete: Look, you know what? I don’t know. If I was gonna die in a week, I would – I’d try and live every moment. I would go to see the people that mean the most to me, and I would try and memorize their face. And I would say to them all the things that I wanted to say, but have always been too afraid to.

Anybody can be like Lanie Kerrigan under the same circumstances. Death is a very serious matter of course. This may just be a movie but people also make a big deal out of any negativity around – a bad news, a hate speech or a fight with somebody over petty something. It’s not only about losing a precious life here, but also other stuff that make us worry, overthink or become depress over losing something – money,  a job or a girlfriend. Or it can be losing in a competition. Whatever. These things can also cause disruption or bring chaos to your once peaceful life but you don’t have to view it as complicated all the time.

Pete: Do you have another cameraman who can make her look like a natural blonde?
Lanie: I’m a TV personality. My hair is my trademark. Just like the “I don’t like to shower” look is your trademark.

Ego is such a bad company. Sometimes, things happened because you need see people from the other side of the fence. People always find negativity and  fault in other people or put a blame on somebody when things happened differently.

Losing something no matter how big or small can shake up our nice little world without warning. And instead of accepting what happens, people try to mess things up a little more. Grief comes in stages and going through these naturally will make things a bit easier instead of being in denial that pain exist,  that there is never a chance to be happy again.

So what if you only have seven days to live?

God made the world in seven days and He did accomplish a lot.  Maybe start doing little acts of kindness not only to yourself but to other people as well. There is time to grieve but there is also a time to go out and be a part of something worthwhile. There is still a chance to do something to your own benefit.

Lanie: Well, I hope you’re happy.
Pete: Define happiness
Lani: Your death

Every minute counts. Be mindful of your thoughts. So even if you might still be feeling bleh, uncomfortable and so Nega-Star, you can still do a lot of good stuff to make the most of each day. Things doesn’t have to grand or worthy of internet fame. It doesn’t necessarily mean to help the entire community. Little acts of kindness will make a lot of difference if you start with yourself and even just for one person.

Try singing happy birthday to a friend, soothing an injured puppy, bringing an old woman a flower you pick in the garden, or helping mom in carrying the groceries. Then, if you really can do great deeds then support a charity, or help renovate a church or support a kid’s operation or send an orphan to school. Nothing is wrong with that. Anything is possible and limitless. Just do what is closest to your heart.

Do something good for yourself ASAP. Write yourself a love letter, visit distant relatives and places you used to go and enjoy, eat in your favorite restaurant, draw a picture of things you like, write a journal for the remaining days on how you feel about doing all these things. Anything can happen.

Pete: Did you ever hear the saying ” A picture holds a thousand words”
Lanie: That’s only for people like you who don’t know a thousand words.
Pete: I know two and the first one begins with an F….

Enjoying the remaining days doesn’t necessarily mean grinning from ear to ear 24/7 nor literally jump with joy just to prove you don’t care about dying, or have the feeling that it’s okay to lose something from fire or thank the guy who breaks your heart. But looking at life on a different perspective gives you a better view of the situation and a good chance to face reality.

Pete : Look. I don’t want the opportunity to pass me by again. So I should have told you this a long time ago. But I’ve loved you since the first day I met you.
Lanie: Define love.
Pete: Lanie, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.

Like all good romantic movies, it was a happy ending. The only part that really died was the life that she didn’t live at all – the superficial life of beauty,fame and fortune, the so-called material things that doesn’t add up to her soul’s evolution.

True enough, the love of a simple guy proved more powerful than her negative thoughts and mind-blowing ego that she started to live and love fully again.

In life or something like it, sometimes going through pain is necessary to feel the beauty of the experiences and see the bright light that hides behind the dark clouds.

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Will you be there?

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If silver gray hair grow and wrinkles show
If love handles and cellulites get worse
If crow’s feet, laughlines or what have you
Will you be there to admire these too?

If dementia and alzheimers make me forget your name
And if my memory finally fails me
Will my loss hearing and failing eyesight ever be a burden
Will you learn to be patient with care?

Will my varicose veins ever put you in shame
When they show on my hands, legs and feet?
Will you still love the way i smile
Even if i lose some of my teeth?

Will you still touch my hair
Even when you see streaks of grey and white
Will you still look me in the eyes
And say dearly , “With you it feels so right.”

If my migraine attack gets frequent
If arthritis makes me stay all day in bed
Will you care for my needs on these moments
Will you be there beside me instead?

If my wider steps become smaller
And my usual fast moves slower
Will you just leave me alone in despair
Or will you reach out for my hand with care

If I feel my days are numbered
And if my restless breaths get weaker
Will you pray for my dear old soul
When the rays of sunlight get dimmer?

Will you be there to sing me a love song?
Will you be there to hold me tight?
Will your heart beats for me only?
When I finally say my last goodnight.

Anybody can say, I love you
Anybody can say, “I care”
But if all these trials and hardships come
My question is, ” My dearest, will you still be there?”

Just Stay

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Ah, there you are, and I realized it’s not a dream anymore. 

FINALLY.

We get to see the old, familiar face once again,
to hear the same voice and laughter,
to feel the very warm embrace and,
to have that same sense of security and belonging.

We finally begin to see  that,
life is created by moments like these.
Moments with people we love the most.
They are so precious, we want to make the time stop,
to paint the scenes and to freeze frame it in our minds, FOREVER.

FINALLY.

After so many months and years,
of endless days and nights of bitter longing,
seeing our beloved once again is such a wonderful time.
We think about the million mile gap created by the distance
and suddenly, it was all gone.

Our heart skips a beat, our feet flutter, our breath heave faster.
Our eyes are sad and yet happy for the same reasons why leaving needs to happen.
For God.
For ourselves.
For the family.
For our dreams.
For the future.
Whatever, it doesn’t really matter.
Because finally they are here with us.

Distance always put a hard toll on people.
But every homecoming is always a happy occasion
and a bit of heaven here on earth.

With each passing day, we wish this not to end ,  but for every joyful “Hello” there is also a sad ” Goodbye.”

Sad parting ways, yes, it always happen.
It is the one thing that is so hard to bear.
It is so much better to leave a place
because one can look forward
to a new beginning, and
a brand new life with great anticipation
or seeing an old one in a different light.

One can look forward to a new experience,
a new work environment,
a new way of doing,
and see new people or meet the old ones again.

Going away is hard for anybody too,
but for the person who is going on a different direction
it is like embarking on a great adventure.
the pure magic of not knowing where the path will lead you
makes the journey more exciting for people who travels to distant places.

Difficult, yet leaving is much better than staying.
It is a lot more bearable than the pain of being left behind.

Because for friends . . .

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Staying means….
hearing their voices everywhere,
their laughter in every chambers of our heart,
hearing them calling our name,
the sweet terms of endearment,
the funny way they tell their crazy jokes,
recalling the bitter arguments and the wholesome banter,
the happy times of togetherness and merriment,
remembering the bitter-sweet memories of the old days and the new ones we have just shared.

Because for families . . .

Staying means…
seeing their funny faces in old familiar places
in every nook and cranny of our memory.
In every space, in every corner
In the blank faces of people we meet down the street.

 

Staying is . . .

reliving the happy times with our parents and children
playing with kin and laughing with the kids,
the endless cooking and eating
During birthdays and anniversaries
and other special occassions.

We begin to cherish
the lost camaraderie with friends,
the cheery mornings with neighbors,
the long walks in the park and,
the short afternoon siestas and fun fiestas.

Separation from loved ones affect us all
which sometimes, makes loneliness such a bad company.
We indulge ourselves in old habits and crazy cravings,
in vices and wines or what have you.

We all do it just to drown our sorrow,
but like an old joke says,
“Sorrow knows how to swim.”

But then again . . .

We find joy in watching comedy films 
we also find our strength with family and friends,
in hobbies and sports and old photographs
We find solace in sleeping in our own bed
or when taking warm showers.

And listening to love songs that play on the radio.
We bury ourselves deep in work or reading books
or in singing our hearts out like crazy.
We find comfort in whatever that could make us happy
even with little things that seem superficial and even mushy.

And for couples . . .

Staying means…
going through the cold and lonely nights,
missing the long fights and the tight embraces,
the warm caress, the soft kisses that send shivers down the spine. . .
the sweet nothings and cuddling,
their lingering scent on the pillows, under the sheets,
the smell of the old worn out shirt and the musky taste of perfume
the salty tangy sweat that lingers on our body.

Times when we have filled each other with love
and both consumed with passion all through the night
till the break of dawn,
and reminisce the great pleasures
of expressing love and devotion,
till you find yourself
alone in bed again,
and wondering of what might tomorrow be.

We all know this feeling, and we always hated it
When we face ourselves in the mirror and
witness our own vulnerability
of losing our strength,
of crying ourselves to sleep at night
till our lungs are exhausted
till our eyes hurt
till our heart bleeds
till our mind space out
and counting each day that passes by
every second … every minute… every hour.
Till the days turn into months
and the months turn into years,
and the years into forever.

 

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Then, suddenly we realize all is not lost.

We rise ourselves up from the ashes
like a phoenix bird soaring to great heights.

We soon gather every tiny bit of strength
the is left in our body, mind and spirit.
We wake up from the  deep slumber
and force our will to stand up
to fight . . .
to keep going
to keep moving
to keep dreaming
to keep waiting for them to come back once again.

To keep hoping ,
not only for ourselves but also
for the ones we love,
and the special one who is far away.

At the end of each day, when love rules and life wins the battle
Only then we can have our wish granted.
When we can have the courage and find the words
for them not to ever leave us again and instead say,

. . . “just stay.”

 

picture source: slodive 35 romantic photographs

 

 

Two Fools Collide on the Fourteenth

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photo credit: step2loveblogcom

(An anniversary poem)

I am the Yin to his Yang
I am the lightning to his thunder
I am the black to his white
I am the wifey, he is the hubby.

He is my Greg and I am his Dharma
The hot chili sauce to my shawarma
He is the Gemini to my Sagittarius
He may be Fast but heck, I am Furious.

He is the Air to my Fire
The Mars to my Venus
He is the Sun to my Moon
Though I am No Mary and he’s NO Jesus

He’s the milk to my coffee
The Pacquiao to my Jinkee
We break up, we make up
Yeah I know LOVE is crazy and so are WE.

Some says our team is weird ‘coz
I am the blogger and he is the gaffer
So hear this, opposite charges attract and same charges repel
He’s the hot Pan de Sal bread to my cold Dari creme butter.

So, the Universe conspired, the planets aligned
On the 14th of February, When Harry met Sally
Now, he’s the SA to my BH
His habibi “Ana Hubbek Inti” to my habibti

He is not the “You complete me” kind of guy
Because I don’t believe in that movie line thingy
We  may not be perfect but we are not incomplete
And you know the truth of the matter is that . . .
After all these years, I am really the Jolie to his Pitt.

17 Ways To Find Love From Within

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photo credit: the BEAuty of BEATRICE

We are in a time when people always think and expect of finding love in the most unexpected places, just as the lyrics of the song goes.  People  crossed the deepest seas, walked the farthest places and conquered the highest mountains to find that elusive affection from another human being.

We even searched the wonderful worldwide web and added a thousand friends to our Facebook  and Twitter  accounts just for the simple reason – that maybe someday that one true love will show up and validate our sense of worth as a person.

But having said all these,  we can’t find the one we are searching for if we are not ready for it.  We can’t force people to love us. Life is not  going to be the way we want it to be, if we are staying in the same old, poor thinking. We need to deal with our own real enemy.

Ourselves.

There is a Universal Law that says, “As Within, So Without.” It is the mirror of our life. It means that we are reflecting in our outside world what we feel from inside.

How can we truly love a person when we don’t even know how to love ourselves. And vise versa. It works both ways. We can’t receive what we can’t give to other people. If we feel so miserable and hopeless about life, we will see sadness everywhere. If we think we are not worthy of love – you bet, that is so right.  It is the simple rule of life.

There is something in us that we need to change from within. If we don’t have the courage to leave a bad relationship, defend ourselves from all kinds of abuse or can’t stand our ground against people, then there is something wrong somewhere.

So, how can we empower and raise ourselves higher?

Here are the 17 bullet points to ponder:

  • forgetting the past mistakes and forgiving the people we hurt and who hurt us back.
  • not beating ourselves up for the bad decisions we have made in life.
  • putting our needs on top of our priorities
  • giving ourselves the needed respect and kindness
  • making our life better each passing day (not making it perfect)
  • taking care of ourselves and finding the ways to make us happy
  • cultivating creativity through hobbies and passions
  • being financially independent
  • controlling our emotions and not letting problems to weigh us down
  • not sacrificing for the sake of other people’s happiness
  • being more loving and compassionate
  • having more faith in God, ourselves and humanity
  • not pleasing other people
  • not taking things personally
  • trusting our own intuition in making decisions
  • not giving up on our own identity
  • finding our own HERO

In other words, we need to find the love and make changes from within – so we can start loving ourselves once again. Because, the more we put an effort in taking care of our own needs, the happier we become and the more we can radiate love to other people.

Self-love is not about being selfish or being a narcissist. It’s not about putting ourselves on a pedestal. It’s about giving us the importance that we rightly deserve. Because when we do, love will find its way back to us.

It always does.

 

Single Parents Do Matter

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Have you experienced the moment when your heart had been broken into a thousand bits and pieces? Have you ever felt that your world had crumbled down and made a sudden 360 degrees turn? Have you ever been driven over the edge by circumstances? That’s how a separation feels when a loved one has died or someone went away for reasons you can’t understand.

That’s how a separation feels when a loved one has died or someone went away for reasons you can’t understand.

That’s what it is.

Alone again, naturally. 

Now, the sad truth stares you in the face.You are scared and confused because you don’t know where to go, what to do and how to start your life anew. You asked yourself endless questions but have no answers.

But, like all other problems in this world, you need to remember one thing  . . .

This too shall past.

After bearing with sleepless and tearful nights for days, time will come that you need to STAND UP and FIGHT. Remember that you are facing a complicated task of raising your kids by yourself. You can’t let yourself be defeated without giving it a good fight.

Your might ask, “How will i do this alone, all by myself?” That is a good question. So, let’s talk about it, my friend.

First, give yourself the needed time to heal from the pain. That’s fine. But you also need to take action. Either you do it after the initial trauma of heartache has subsided or while you are still giving yourself  the time to go through the grieving process, there is one important thing that you need to do . . .

Get your POWER back.

If you have a job, good. Because you can still provide for your child’s needs. If you don’t, then that’s where it gets complicated. You need to find a job first, then find a support system like a family or friend to look after your kids while you’re looking for a job.

And finding a job is not that easy as well, because some companies are putting a social stigma to  single parents. A soon as you have written down those two words “single parent” on your resume , they are already setting themselves up for expectation that things will be difficult once they hire you.

Let’s all face the harsh reality that there are some companies which only care about their business profits, sales and all that jazz.  I am not generalizing here. Been there, done that. Life is tough. It’s hard enough to survive in this crazy concrete jungle life when you are a couple, let alone being a single parent.

If your child is sick, they will tell you straight in your face to do something about it, because it’s not their concern – and that the only thing they care about is your productivity. So choose if you want to work in a company, go abroad or set up a small store or any home-based business to jump-start your career while taking care of your children.

Then, there’s another challenge – the prejudices of the moral society, of your religion, people and life in general.  As a separated man or woman, sometimes, you are simply being defined by your past mistakes and circumstances. Period.

With all these complications that you are facing alone, you will feel like you are being thrown into the eye of a hurricane. Your world keeps on spinning round and round until you lose your wits.

But whatever hardships you will face as a single parent, your children’s emotional stability should be your top priority. Kids have the tendency to blame themselves for the separation.  They feel guilty about it. It’s important for them to know that it’s not their fault. Or if daddy died they think it happened because they are being bad kids.

When your child asks you the questions, “Why are you crying mommy?” “Why are you sad, Daddy?” “Did somebody hurt you?” Do you have to tell your child your feelings? It would be much better for your child if you put on a brave face. The truth is – you are being judged by your child at an early age – that if mommy cries, she is weak. And weakness scares the hell out of children. They are looking for a strong support system because they are also weak, vulnerable . . . and so scared. That’s why children love superheroes, magic, fantasy and teddy bears because they represent something brave and powerful.

If you have seen the movie, “Life Is Beautiful”, it’s about a father’s love to a child whom he shielded from the worries of pain and destruction of the World War II.

It’s not about lying to your child. It’s about protecting your children from the sad reality of your emotional state.  They are not an extension of your own emotional drama. You should not use them to gain sympathy and to make them hate the other partner who got away.

They don’t have a clear understanding of what’s going on. Kids only use their emotions to process what is happening in their world.  Children will still feel complete if there would be a strong support system like the extended family or friends to love and care for them. The structure of the traditional family have already changed over the years. They will still feel loved even without a father or a mother. Reasons why I admire all the men and women of strength who bring up their kids alone.

If the children are all grown up, then there should be a time to sit down and talk  about it so you can give them the real scenario of what their life could be now that you are a single parent. You need to set up their expectations so that they can easily adjust and  help you make life easier for all.

Your friends and family’s support is a great thing to have during this time of crisis. They can lessen the burden of going through life alone with all these unexpected responsibilities that fall into your hands.

Single parents are in their most vulnerable at the first few months and years of standing up on their own two feet. They need a solid rock to lean on. But you also have a responsibility for yourself to be brave in facing life alone. Challenges like separation from someone or if a loved one died, are the things that happen without an explanation.

They are called life’s curveballs,” because they are unexpected.

So we either need to change our game plan totally or check the other back up plans. If plan A failed, go to B and so on. But remember that when you are at the lowest and most  vulnerable time of life, when you are living at the darkest hour of the night, that is also the point that you need to hold on tighter – and pray to God to give you more strength to keep holding on, till the new ray of sunshine comes.

After sorting out your life in retrospect, after all things are in their proper places, allow yourself to find the true meaning of life and happiness, to learn the important lessons behind it and to find the reasons why things happen. Use all these for your self growth.

And when you do, just remember some of these things . . .

Be courageous. Life is complicated but it’s not a death sentence.

Be patient. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You can’t solve problems in one day.

Be glad for the opportunity to see your strong points.

Be thankful for finding your own hero.

Shout it out.

Rejoice.

Be happy.

BECAUSE IN THE EYES OF GOD, ALL SINGLE PARENTS DO MATTER.

 

Doors: The Gateway To Your Soul

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 (photo credit: claywginn.com)

Back in ancient times , doors were symbolized
as religious or magical structures
endowed with ritual purposes with great
access to something grand and powerful.

Today, I believe that metaphorically
life is still all about doors
and the meaning they represent in our lives
like closing old doors and opening new ones

Closing is …
preventing strong winds and rain
forgetting old lovers who walked right out of that door,
and leaving us empty and vulnerable,
or releasing pains from the past
that keep on tying us down…

putting an end to old habits and pessimistic thinking
forgiving our failures that are trapping us to the core
… and hating ourselves therein.

Opening is …
letting the breeze and the sunshine in
welcoming the smooth flow of ”chi” in our home and body
opening ourselves to new relationships
and forming close friendships,
having new goals and aspirations
or achieving divine faith and learning..

trekking on a different direction
and moving forward,
for the greater good and happiness of all,
not living up to other people’s expectations
but rather accepting ” us ” for the way we are
…and loving ourselves for it.

The only problem with doors is… they can’t stay closed forever.
yes, we need to stave off bad elements
like strong winds and violent storms,
or thieves and enemies
or old lovers who want to walk right back in asking for forgiveness

… but keeping it closed is unhealthy and confining.

Time will come that we need to change and open a new one
there is nothing more beautiful than a newly opened door
it presents us with new hopes and dreams …
and a new love to shine through
with a bright outlook of a new day ahead.

So, whatever trials life may throw at your doorstep
just make sure that you are tough enough to handle it
you can’t just slam it shut …
and deny yourself the chance
to prove your worth and achieve happiness.

Doors are there not only to act as a safe haven
from the outside forces
but also to remind you ..

that you have some growing up to do
and take life as it comes
no matter how hard it is.

Just be on guard always,
because, life is not about running away from tears and fears ,
or from the dark shadows that lurk outside that door…

it is all about having a brave heart ,
and facing the enemy head-on.