What the BIG GUY TRULY wants for our lives and other things I learned about faith

You know, I’ve been on this train ride to nowhere for the longest time. I don’t know why I chose a train for this metaphor though. It could be 4×4 Jeep or a mustang for all I care, but that’s not the point. I’ve been lost in life for what seems like forever and I’ve been going on and on about how it feels like an eternal quarter life crisis, and I don’t know how to get back on track or perhaps which path to choose in order to get to where I need to be.

Ya ever felt like this at one point in your life? Good for those who never did. I for one, feel really, really stuck in this monumental crisis since I entered my twenties and I’ve been praying for answers or guidance, buying self help and inspirational books, talking to friends about it, however, I just keep on making the wrong decisions over and over.

Then I came across this book that has been sitting on my shelf for over a few months. It was dusty yet I was drawn to it more than a fly could ever be drawn to a poop on the street. Okay that’s not a good comparison, but you get what I mean. I never felt the need to read it until over a few days ago. It’s John Ortberg‘s “WHAT IS GOD’S WILL FOR MY LIFE?“. I got it in one of the bookstores here in Cebu that sells religious and inspirational books, OMFLIT.

I think I only needed to read the first few pages before I had the clarity I needed all this time. This book opened up my eyes as well as my mind to see the bigger picture that a lot of us fail to see.

You wanna know what the real answer to the question: What does God want for my life is? It’s this: God’s primary will for your life is not the circumstances you inhabit; it’s the person you become.Β  – Could I emphasize that more?

They say life is made of up of the choices that we make and in making these decisions, we face challenges, anxiety and responsibility which are all important ingredients for us to grow and mature, and that is what God’s will for our lives. He wants us to grow into mature individuals and to liken His image. Simple isn’t it? It all boils down to the basic rule of God.

It said in the book that it doesn’t matter who we marry, where to send our kids to school, which job to choose. We think very shallow and narrow this way. We fail to widen our perspective. Again, it’s not about the circumstances. God has given us FREE WILL (which btw is also one of the most basic things and foundation of our religion that we all learned in grade school!), and He did so we CAN MAKE the decisions for ourselves. If you ask for a sign from God, it’s as if you’re putting Him in charge of your life. It’s as if He is making the decision for us. What you want to do is to trust that whatever you decide for yourself, He will be there to go through it with you.

I remember this particular conversation I had with Dr. Dy, the only doctor that I can talk to about religion, among our many conversations on life. He said that in certain circumstances that we cannot decide for ourselves anymore and we eventually leave it up to Him, which a lot of us do, saying, “Lord Kayo na po ang bahala.“, doesn’t that give Him the power to decide for us? Then where is free will in that? Of course it’s different if you have decided on it and you’re surrendering to God whatever comes after that crucial moment in your life, saying “Kayo na po ang bahala!” and it’s different when you say it with an intention to actually wait for Him to say, “Sige anak, choose Payless noodles over Lucky Me Pancit Canton.” – Ang babaw pala naman ng pinagdadasal. Yan tayo eh! Kidding aside,Β it really got me thinking, THAT IS WEIRDLY AND CONFUSINGLY TRUE, ISN’T IT??!!!!!!!!

To cut it short, He wants us to decide for us. He wants us to make all the decisions, right or wrong, because either way, we LEARN and GROW.

The moment I read the first chapter, it felt as if my mind opened into a whole new world. It’s as if I’ve been living small when I could have been seeing it in this perspective all along. Then again, it’s never too late.

BIG PICTURE.

This was constantly brought up in my conversations with Doc. You know ever since I talked to him about faith and religion, it’s as if I’ve been able to open the closed doors in my mind.

He once told me that when we human beings don’t see things in a bigger picture. We are all so focused on being successful that sometimes, our only goal in life is to actually get that triwizard cup at the end of the maze and then what? Sit on your golden throne in glory? Sorry for the Harry Potter reference. Big fan here. So anyway, when we are faced with challenges, we fail to see that ALL (as in LAHAT haha) that’s happening in your life is a piece of the puzzle that when put together, becomes the big picture that is God’s plan for each one of us, like way before we were born.

I’ve also been reading Mark Manson‘s, “The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck“. In chapter 3, which happens to be my favorite because it’s the one I could relate to the most, “YOU ARE NOT SPECIAL“. He said that he finds it contradictory that we are part of a culture that wants to make us believe that we are ALL destined to be extraordinary. If that’s so, if everyone is EXTRAORDINARY then who the f*ck is EXTRAORDINARY still?! It’s as if to say that when everyone wants an aisle seat on a plane, then all our planes should have completely aisle seats alone. Anyway, my hands are itching to write about this on a different entry because I’m getting out of point here, but see, most of the time, we fail to see the bigger picture of things.

So anyway, here are some things this MD friend told me that got me thinking and pondering:

  1. It’s okay to question God – not in the way that You question His being or that you blame Him for the bad things that happen in your life, but on things that you want clarity with. Perhaps you want to know the reason behind you being put in a certain situation. Maybe you want to know what good will Cancer bring into your life.
  2. Does committing suicide give you a ticket straight to hell? – If this is so, then God must not be a merciful and forgiving God after all. Isn’t true that He died on the cross to save us all? So, are those who committed crimes and were not sorry for them or are those who killed themselves exempted?
  3. Is everything on the Bible true? – It has been passed on from generation to generation, are you sure that 101% of the book is translated correctly?
  4. BIG PICTURE – When you see the bigger picture of life, you see your purpose in this world and it wouldn’t matter if you die rich and successful or the opposite, what matters in the end isn’t the mundane problems we are all currently facing. It’s what comes after this life and how prepared you are for it today.

I know these all sound confusing, and you may have your own opinion on these things. I myself am not sure I can wrap my brain around all these, but to quote Dr. Dy, “the moment we finally get to understand the vast infinity that is God, then He wouldn’t be God anymore“. We are humans and our brains, although powerful can never be at par with God’s.Β We are never meant to understand everything about God, that’s why we only have our faith to rely on in this world. πŸ™‚

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Life Lately / Thank You, More Please!

Life sucks. It does. It’s not rainbows and butterflies, nor it is bound to have a perfectly happy ending.

W-w-wait! Before you move on to the next blog on your feed, I should say that this isn’t one of those rants that have become a regular on my blog for the past months. Believe me, it’s more beautiful than any of my feel good posts in the past!

So I have been spending my 3-day vacation procrastinating on work and just going on long, fast drives, which I should say, calm me and allow me to hear my mind think. –> weird. I know. I also got movies for days like today when I just plan on staying in at my apartment. I also got to the Church just in time for the Gospel and homily, just when I thought that I was too late.

I also got presents for my mom for Mother’s day and for my sister as a late birthday present, and since I don’t know when I’m going back, I got my titas, girl cousins, my brother’s girlfriend and my dad gifts too.

At the end of the day, I am about 6k poorer (half was probably spent for meself), but I’m happier.

I also did my own cards for everyone, and not just any card, embossed cards! Who would’ve thought I’d find a store here in Cebu which would make my heart flutter in all its art-craving valves and chambers?!

I went grocery shopping coz I wanted to cook in my apartment. I have red rice, so I went out to get food that can go with it.

I bought vegetables coz I am craving for healthy food. The lola that I am, IKR? I got asparagus and thought, boy it isn’t that expensive after all. I wish I could say the same for broccoli though.

At the cashier, my debit card acted up. My total grocery cost was about 1.5k, but I only got 1.2k cash so I had to return a plastic container and a 6-L drinking water. And I went home with almost empty pockets, but I got home.

Then I cleaned out my room/apartment, and just as the day was about to end, my neighbor, who’s also a colleague gave me her 4-rack shelf that came with the room. My room is now more spacious and more organized and not to mention, more livable. I like how I can put books and display a bit of my art on top of the shelf.

Then after cleaning up, I cleaned up for Church and even if it said 7:10pm on the clock, I didn’t lose hope. How dramatic, but I am always dramatic when it comes to God. Traffic was building up, but I was only about 10metres away from the church. I almost made a run for another church, coz I couldn’t hear the priest from where I was, windows down, but I went with my instincts and went for it. I got there at 7:30pm, and like what I said, just in time for the Gospel.

You know, I’ve been meaning to write for the longest time, or to write more often, but I found my old journal and I have been writing my thoughts in private lately. They say it’s therapeutic. I think so too, but these things are good enough to share so I’m putting it all out here.

Last night, after I got some goodies delivered to my brother, I went to get a copy of Pay It Forward, coz I wanted some positivity in life right now, but I got something better, at least I think it is, for now. I got “HAPPYTHANKYOUMOREPLEASE“. It’s a Sundance winner, which I only realized now, after looking at the dvd case.

It is a special movie that is now close to my heart. It’s set in NYC, only my fave city in the world and with twenty-something characters?!? Get out! It is a movie to die for! I am exaggerating, nonetheless, you should see it! We get as much good vibes as we can from the world, while we can, right?

I could relate to all the characters as I saw myself in all of them at different points in my life. I bet you will do to. We all go through our twenties unsure, undecided, lost. Some may pass that point in a bliss, others may take quite a while before they get back on track. *coughs* It doesn’t matter. What’s important is we move on, we live life the way we want, better than yesterday, if we can. Pursue a life that will pave way for others or for the next generation if we must.

One great takeaway from the movie though is it’s title. If you’re wondering, Malin’s character, Annie got in a cab and the driver just told her out of the blue that we should be thankful, all the time and then ask for “more please?” because the world is abundant because of it. Simple right, but it struck me and makes me want to make it a life mantra that I’ll add to my wall of weird/inspo wall/art wall.

cab driver: “Bliss is your birth right. You have great potential in this lifetime. The key to your life is gratitude, but you do not give enough thanks. Say Thank you all the time, then say, More Please! With gratitude, the universe is eternally abundant!”

If that didn’t make you want to watch it, then don’t. JK! Go see it for yourself!

As I’m typing this, I just finished another film, a local movie called “Mr. and Mrs. Cruz” which I also got last night as I was looking for “Pay It Forward”; and no, it’s not a local version of the Brangelina flick.

Like the other movie, I’m glad I got it because it isn’t the typical bitter film about break ups. It’s lighter than an airy cotton candy, which makes it my now go-to break up film in the future, if I’ll be needing it. I like the characters’ chemistry, the less heart-wrenching, dramatic scenes. There are a lot of hugot lines, but what makes it different is perhaps, the characters’ optimism and the fact that they didn’t end up together, or so I think. I loved how they managed to make the script less cringe-y, though there are still some scenes that are hard to watch. This movie makes soul-searching less dramatic and more exciting. It is a better “That Thing Called Tadhana”, especially when you’re already in that acceptance stage of loss and grief. You’ll appreciate it more!

You know when it’s all been said and done, what’s left to do is to think, to ponder, to relax.

I went through all of what’s happened for the past days and even if there were moments when I just wanted to disappear or perhaps just be an angel (seriously been haggling with God to just turn me into an angel to guide people even if I’m more sinner than saint), God always puts me back into the right path.

Yesterday, I took out my book, “365 Days of Wonder” and was looking for a quote for mama, then I got something for myself.

“Sometimes, rejection in life is really redirection.”

I realized, I have been through so many rejections in life, in love, in my career (if you call it that), in everything, but I have slowly learned to trust that whatever path I’m treading, it is a path that would lead me to where I need to be. Always believed in that shit, but that shit’s all I have, but God is all I have and with God are my family, my friends and loved ones.

I woke up extra early this morning as usual, probably because of my anxiety or I’m just really old now and old people wake up at 5 on the dot. I wanted to go back to sleep but my mind is too noisy, so I prayed. I wanted to relax so I picked up my Regina Brett book, “God is Always Hiring”, which I got when I was unemployed in 2016. I read lessons 26-30. Each of these “lessons” have real stories of people that have overcome hardships at work.

The last lesson said “There’s no whining on the yacht”. Basically it just said that if you’re currently going through a lot at work and sometimes, you get a little too over dramatic and plan to quit, you have to realize that you’re one of the few lucky ones who has a job to pay for the bills, to put a roof over your head and occasionally splurge on things you love. They mentioned http://www.waterislife.com and how they created a video of children from 3rd world countries reading on complaints of people from 1st world countries. I don’t have to see the video to realize what the point is, because I believe that what these children are going through are more traumatic and gut-wrenching than any of our “gee, my charger won’t reach my bed” problems. I am from a third-world country but I should be ashamed for all the complaints I have been putting out into the world, spreading negativity into a already sad world. First world problems are not problems.

I could go on and on on how one day, I am down and depressed and on other days, I’m back looking for the good in the bad.

Life sucks. It is what it is, but we can always make it better.

I want to share good vibes whenever I can because it is what I can do now to make others feel better. I may be failing a lot lately at what I do, but like anything in this world, it is not permanent. So try to make others smile when they no longer can. Who knows what change that can do for them.

I sure didn’t find myself a copy of “Pay It Forward”, but I hope with what I am doing now, I get to pay the good vibes forward to you all!

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Life is a wonder! Go live it meaningfully!

 

The Only Good Thing in My Life

We all know that FRIENDS episode when Ross was super whiney (I mean, whinier than usual) because someone at work ate his sandwich, right?

Well, he was having a difficult time with his second marriage at the time and he explained that the only good thing in his life then was the sandwich he brought to work; but then, a co-worker ate it so he came running to his friends and threw the biggest tantrum an adult could ever do.

That’s super painful to watch. Imagine this gigantic man screaming like a girl.

https://giphy.com/embed/jM2X9id0zJS0wvia GIPHY

That was before I got into a little mishap (or should I say, a couple of them) today.

My day was going fine, until the security alarm in the department store I went to today went off when I passed through it. As per routine, the security personnel asked to check my stuff, so I handed him my bag without hesitation. I was calm the whole time and they apologized when they learned that the alarm was triggered by the bar code sticker (of National Bookstore) at the back of the book in my bag.

With utter nonchalance, I went on with my business, which was just to go home after a long day, not caring about those who stopped to see what the commotion was about.

When I got inside my car, I texted my brother and one of my dearest friends here in Cebu about what happened, but then I couldn’t brush it off my head, remembering how one girl looked at me as if I did something wrong.

I was overthinking again. What if someone took my photo. What if those people judged me outright for something I did not do? Why did it have to happen to me? Did I honestly deserve to be put to shame like that? Was that karma for something I did in the past? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY DID I HAVE TO BE PUT IN THAT SITUATION?!

I let it go then off I went to get food for me and a friend. Unfortunately, all the odds weren’t in my favor as the food I got for myself spilled. I wasn’t going to cry, but then THAT WAS THE ONLY GOOD THING IN MY LIFE, but just like that, it was gone.

For the first time ever, I drove off with tears running uncontrollably down my eyes.

My hormones must be on fire as I couldn’t hold back my tears.

Suddenly, all my other worries came rushing in my mind. I was so sad, I wanted God to hug me.

When I was walking back up to my apartment, I thought, this must have been what Ross felt when someone ate the only good thing in his life, right?!!

Truly, things happen for a reason, but since I couldn’t think of what that may be and since I got to write about it here anyway, I’ll just let it go and let God.

I am sooo f*cking tired, emotional and saaaaaaaaaaad. I wish I could crawl back into my shell and never come out again.

Why did it have to happen to me? I was slaving my a** off helping people around all weekend, but that wasn’t enough to spare me that moment.

Have you ever considered that being kind doesn’t equate to a problem-free life? That’s why people often ask “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

I guess, we all need to be put in such situations in order to learn, to not take things for granted and to be more cautious in the choices that we make in life.

Happy Sunday everyone! Laban lang!

xoxo,

mars2

 

 

Every Blessing is a Gising!

Gotchar attention, didn’t I?

I didn’t mean to write that on purpose. I am just beaming with positive energy at the moment and I couldn’t get my fingers to type the expression correctly.

I love this saying. I used to hear that from Ogie Diaz on their morning show day in and day out and it made me smile every time because it did make sense, and it still does!

Every gising is a blessing!” only means “Every waking day is a blessing!“.

There aren’t a lot of good things happening in the world today as Toni’s husband, Paul said in one of her interviews (particularly on Bianca’s PBT show), “Life has its way of putting you down“.

Yesterday, I wasn’t in a very good position as I couldn’t really get to one of my targets ever since I started working for this current company, and it’s hard especially since I’m letting myself and those around me down.

What’s tougher is that some of those I count on in times like this, whom I have also constantly supported in their lowest points couldn’t do the same for me. It hurt me a lot, although I have to understand that they too are going through a lot.

Anyway, I went home all down and mad as bad vibes were apparently unleashed all in one day and that day was yesterday.

I woke up not feeling any better. I was looking for a way to turn things around and in prayer, I have found my solace. Thank God. -> always!

I am also grateful for Bianca Gonzalez-Intal‘s “Paano Ba ‘To?!“, which is sort of a mini online show to help those in need of solicited advice. Sort of like the Joe the Mango show of our times, except that this one goes beyond love problems.

If you have seen her series of interviews with these amazing people, good on ya! If not, you HAVE to!

So I have seen most if not all of her PBT videos, but the first and the topic I could relate to the most was this:

So, how to deal with difficult or toxic people as per Piolo Pascual himself? Putting yourself in the person’s shoes, do the sandwich technique, pray for the person and forget about pride raw. How to do all those things po?

Another favorite from this series is her interview with Anthony Pangilinan:

I loved this because I love learning from counselors, career advisers, life coaches etc. They have all these techniques that are applicable to businesses and life in general.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from this 7-minute interview is “Never separate the word purpose from opportunity” which Anthony quoted from Peter Drucker, the father of management. Any opportunity that isn’t connected with your purpose is considered a DISTRACTION. Cool eh?

and I know I should also include her interview with Karen Davila but I’m way past my fresh grad years and I could relate more to the concern of Mr. Kulang sa Kumpiyansa,Β a.k.a her interview with Iza Calzado.

I like her tips which I really have figured out before, but I just don’t always do:

  1. Always bring something to the table and must keep up with the times. – contribute to the conversation
  2. Everyone makes mistakes. – this one I have not really figured out yet, but thanks to Iza for reminding us.

So that’s it! I guess you could tell by my PBT choices how old I am, with the concerns I am focusing more on. Haha!

Oh, this just in, I also love her interview with Atom Araullo, a.k.a. the eternal question: Practical Job or Dream Job?

And his advice? I know I have heard this one before, ehem ehem paging NIN!!

Have a stable job to support your passion!” and lots of other things like “finding your passion in the job that you have” –which may not be as applicable to my line of work, but what the heck, it’s still pretty true.

P.S. this just made me realize, I’m still lucky I have a day job to support my passion and for me to be able to still do what I love on the side. πŸ™‚

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xoxo,

mars2

Time for Solitude

One thing I realized as I started working away from home is that I actually liked and appreciated being A-L-O-N-E.

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You know when you watch these coming of age movies and see this independent protagonist, who btw, also happens to be an outcast loser weave his way through the cafeteria only to be judged and mocked by all these other kids who are so full of themselves, and you think, “why wasn’t I as brave as this kid when I was in elementary (or HS even)?” Some would ask, “Why am I not still brave enough now that I’m freakin’ turning 100?”. Wehhh OA!

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I wasn’t an outcast loser back when I used to wear my checkered uniform, but I also wasn’t the popular kid, and I have to say, back then, I dreaded being alone.

I couldn’t go down to our school canteen without anyone to accompany me. I feared not having anyone to talk to on the way to our school gymnasium for first Friday masses with the entire school. Heck, I even feared going to the restroom alone, but for way scarier reasons, if you know what I mean! πŸ˜›

Like most people, I grew up caring so much about what others thought about me. I guess, it’s part of growing up. You have to look good, smell nice. You have to do well in class. You have to have Jansport backpacks. CHOS! And most importantly, you can’t be seen alone, because people will feel sorry for you. WRONG!!!!

I used to hate being alone, but no so much anymore.

When I broke up with my ex, it felt weird to be shopping alone or eating alone, but it wouldn’t take long before I got used to the feeling. I started feeling comfortable doing things on my own. I carried my gigantic bags. I sit in coffee shops alone. I go to church alone (although my eyes still well up at the sight of families holding hands and kissing in church). I even go on roadtrips alone!

I started enjoying the feeling of being able to go wherever because you don’t have to consider what your companion has in mind. All decisions are up to you. It doesn’t matter if you change your mind faster than you blink your eyes, you have no one else to blame but yourself, and it’s okay!

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I like being alone on most days. In fact, I enjoy being alone. It’s a breath of fresh air. It makes you think out loud, yet it also silences the mind. You get to clear your head, talk to God, be mindful of the beautiful things that you have taken for granted.

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You also get to be grateful for the chance to have time all to yourself. It’s time that can never be lived again. It’s time that you will crave for on chaotic days. It’s your escape on negativity. It’s your time to rest and set everything aside. It’s your time to spread your wings on top of a hill while feeling the breeze through your hair without caring what other people also on the same hill think about you. πŸ˜› Life doesn’t get any better than that, so cherish every moment that you’re alone. It’s a blessing in disguise.

Time alone also made me realize all thaaaaat! O diba? May kagandahan sa pag-e-emote! πŸ˜›

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With all these goodness spilling over from having that well-needed solitude, I am slowly learning to stop caring about what other people think of me. I can never have control over that. I try to focus instead on what God thinks of me, which is waaay more important than what anyone else thinks of me.

Plus, I also got to take lots of photos in my me-time!

 

xoxo,

mars2

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