Thursday, December 18, 2014

LIFE IS BOTH THE SMILES AND THE TEARS





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This morning good friend, Mr. Quote Man, sent me this quote. And I liked it. Because I know that it would ring a bell in many hearts out there. It speaks to your memories of how life happened to you then and as it continues now.

That's what I have learned, too. Back then, I was waiting to be happy because I thought that life was meant to be lived happy. And it did not begin until I felt happy. But I was proven wrong many times. Then I finally got it.. That the pain, hurt, fear, confusion, disappointment, frustration, anxiety, weariness, defeat, and even so much more which made my heart cry ----- were also called life.

Here's the quote:

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin.....
But there was always some obstacle in the way,
something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business,
time still to be served, a debt to be paid.
Then life would begin.
At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

---- Alfred Souza

Beautiful, isn't it?
Remember, folks..... Smile and the world smiles with you.





Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BILLY IS A PLANT



Today I have a little story for you............


Billy is a plant. A tiny one built close to the ground. It has no stalk, no branches but just a tuft of spike-like leaves of green and white. It looks like a dwarf sitting there in its tiny corner of the garden kingdom which other residents are tall leafy branch-y plants, one hedge, a bush, and a towering tree.

Sometimes I wonder just what goes on in the mind of Billy

What’s it like being small and growing in a place of giants and not getting equal chance or opportunity to shine or be noticed. Always there will be some other plant bigger and stronger. They get more of the water, more of the sun, more of the touch, more of the beautifying. They get to see more of what’s outside the garden kingdom. It makes me think that even in the plant kingdom there also is competition, struggle, and survival.

There was a time when I thought Billy gave up. It withered, shriveled, and almost was reduced to nothing. Almost gone, I thought to myself. So I mentally took note to find a replacement soonest I could get to the plant market. But I became busy. Well, the days turned into weeks and then a month went by when I remembered about Billy.

I rushed to the garden expecting to see empty soil and perhaps ghostlike traces of something which had inhabited it before.


But lo and behold --- Billy!

Still small, still short.. but now a rich thick tuft of spike-like green and white leaves pointing up to the skies. And happily, it seemed. I don’t know how Billy did it but I don’t need to go to the market plant anymore and nevermore. 

Billy tough Billy! Life may be tough in the garden kingdom – but Billy showed them who is tougher. Billy gave me a lesson I will remember for the rest of my life.

I hope to grow like Billy.


(In the absence of a picture taken of Billy, I surfed the internet for something and found this.... it sure looks like Billy; must be a close cousin; I can see the resemblance.) 
 
P.S. Billy is a real plant in my tiny garden.


Friday, December 12, 2014

THE BEST OF ALL GIFTS --- FOR ALL SEASONS


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So what's on my mind today?

Oh but plenty! On top of that list is missing my family.... mom, dad, Jesse, Doddy. Centuries gone by spending Christmases without them. It sure can get down to your bones missing them so much. Talab sa buto-buto yan! You would probably think that I should be used to it by now, after all it's already been years. But no! It can be pretty lonely on some days.

So what I'm saying is....... love your family.... love your parents..... love your siblings. Treasure them with every moment that comes to you. Don't think that they will live forever-lives for you. Life isn't that way at all. Don't take them for granted. Maybe some days you wished they didn't exist... because their preferences for you ran opposite to yours. That ain't new; it is the most talked about - written about - and experienced part of that famous bond since time-knows-when. Children will never understand them in every generation passing but, believe it or not, they always understand their children.

It's simple why and how ---- love rules in their parenting skills. Whatever their ways, it's always about love. They love their children according to what they know. Although they may be misunderstood at times being such imperfect creatures just like the rest of us but they fiercely desire only the best for their children -- over and above all things. 

Never mind those so called exceptions-to-the-rule because that's just what they are.. exceptions. Exceptions live side-by-side with the norm. And there's always a story behind every exception. In the same way that there are dozens of stories behind the norm or usual.

Look at your parents.... see them for what they are ---- loving you with their heart... loving you with their life. Just like St. Joseph and the Blessed Mary loved their Blessed Infant Jesus .... forever love.

That's the best gift you can get for Christmas --- the best for everyday of your life. They are God's gift to us. But I guess you already know that by now. 

May God bless you, your parents, your families.... your Christmas.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, my dear dearest friends in the blog!


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

MOTHERS --- GOD'S GIFT TO THE WORLD

Dad, mom, and two brothers.

 
This isn't bragging, not at all! Look around you........... your neighbor's mother -- your security guard's mother -- your wash-lady's mother -- the president's mother -- your mother -- your mother's mother -- the parish priest's mother -- even the corrupt official's mother ....  they are all MOTHERS. They give parenting their very best in ways they each know how. Maybe it's not popular nor the standard but they just give motherhood their darn best!! Their darn best! It's what they know. If they succeed, great is the award awaiting them in heaven. If they fail, there's always a bigger story behind that.

How their child or children will come out is beyond knowing. Because what the child becomes when he or she grows up ---- is that child's choice. Life is always about choices. Don't blame it on your mother, father, family, spouse, circumstances, or God ---- life is what you make of it. Life can be either good or bad..... according to You!

Love your mother... love your dad... love your parents. Love them for doing their job as stewards of you as commissioned by God. Whether they do their job well or bungle their job is not your judgement to make --- that is God's area of expertise.

I have missed my mom for centuries now; still do. God took her home just when I needed her most close to me. So I was left to weather life's storms as an orphan. True that it would have been easier with them by my side. Have shed buckets of tears missing her so. Her absence broke my heart. But God had his plans.

This I will say.....  Mom was my hero. She was, is, and always will be God's perfect gift to me. Always will be as she guides me from above.



Friday, November 28, 2014

HEAVEN IS NOT A FARAWAY PLACE


 

"Don’t search for heaven and hell in the future. Both are now present. Whenever we manage to love without expectations, calculations, negotiations, we are indeed in heaven. Whenever we fight, hate, we are in hell."    ~ Shams Tabrizi


That's right. Heaven is not a faraway place, though it's okay too to think that it is. But truth is, where there is the presence of God --- is heaven's place. And that could be anywhere where you put in some good. In our mundane day to day lives as we consciously do good to ourselves, others, animals, mother nature, and the rest of the world.... Wherever good is --- God is.

What about hell? It's here, too. When we allow the evil one to influence our lives turning it into such a big horrifying mess. Like whenever bad rears its ugly head in our character-----    whenever we allow it to dominate us...    whenever we consent to the bad of others...    whenever we turn blind towards injustice, cheating, falsehood of any kind...    whenever we serve greed, meanness, cruelty, pride, ego...    whenever we think ourselves superior to other living creatures...    whenever we twist religion to suit personal agenda...    whenever we consider bad as good and some good as bad to suit personal convenience....     whenever we stick to being wrong because it's easier to remain inside our comfort zones.....    and everything else and more along those lines.  That's hell ....... and we certainly give the devil every reason to have a party.

So then....    what's it gonna be ----  heaven  or  hell?
The choice is ours to make.  It always is.
This is just one life -----  make it count.
Blessings, everyone.



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

APPRECIATING THE PRESENT MOMENT

 

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You know, this is so true. Sometimes I forget what a lovely day I'm having...... just because I focus too much on something else. So I keep reminding myself that nothing should be too great nor too grand to ever stop me from appreciating the present moment........  that lovely presence of pulsating life in the here-and-now.

That now moment when you feel the oneness with time. None of the  'I have to do this or that..'  .....or worrying about tomorrows....  or pining for yesterdays already gone. Just being in that now moment of being. Appreciating everything that is there in that experience of ...... life!

Hugs, friends;  I feel so blessed just remembering you.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

LIFE IS NOT A RACE - IT IS A GIFT SO ENJOY IT




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Have stumbled on this quote...... but I don't know who wrote it. I would be happy to know who wrote this .... he or she wrote such a beautiful piece. To quote.......

LIFE IS A GIFT

Today before you think of saying an unkind word–
...think of someone who can’t speak.


Before you complain about the taste of your food–
...think of someone who has nothing to eat.


Before you complain about your husband or wife–
...think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.


Today before you complain about life–
...think of someone who went too early to heaven.


Before you complain about your children–
...think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.


Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–
...think of the people who are living in the streets.


Before whining about the distance you drive–
...think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.


And when you are tired and complain about your job–
...think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.


But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–
...remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to One maker.


And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–
...put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.


Life is a gift – Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, and Fulfill it.

(Unknown) - Unquote.

May your weekend be blessed with wonderful moments and blessings -- God's gift to you. But definitely!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

ALWAYS A SURE FIT



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Went through my old files with the sole intent of ridding it of accumulated 'junk'. What are these, you might ask. It's stuff that when you first saw it consider it essential and then as time goes by you finally realize that it is not. So off it goes to the trash bin.

But I found this gold nugget of wisdom......

"If your parents ever measured you as a child, they had you stand against a wall, and made a little pencil mark on the wall to show your growth. They did not measure you against your brother, or the neighbor's kids, or kids on TV.

When you measure your growth, make sure to only measure your today self by your past self. If you compare your relationships, your success, or your anything against anyone else, you are not being fair to you. Everyone has a different path, a different pace, and different challenges to face along the way." 
  --- Doe Zantamata, author-artist-photographer

Oftentimes I hear of people saying they wished they were somebody else..... that they had somebody else's beauty, money, title, position, or fame. That they feel themselves and their lives so unworthy and miserable as compared to those they admired. At a certain point of my struggling youth and years I thought so, too. Everybody else were simply fantastic in their own respective lives except poor ole' me with the challenges life seemed keen on hurling in my direction. Dodging it was out of the question because it had such perfect aim no matter how I tried to duck it. Darn!

Until I found my own groove.... When I began to use my mind more and understood with my heart better. I finally learned.

I was traveling my own road, just as everybody else was traveling his or hers. Each of the roads a sure-fit to the persons traveling it respectively. Each living his own story. There will be good times and bad times in proportion each would require for his joy and too necessary learning. There will be different talents finding expression in many diverse ways.....  fast or slow....  weak or strong.....  big or small....  humble or grand. There will be different challenges as well as different blessings. All these and more will be on everybody's table in the portion or measure each would require --- always a sure fit. Somebody up there is running the whole show.

I learned with appreciation and gratitude for everything that was...  is... and will be.  Recognized and fully understood that both the good and the bad are there to serve a purpose. Separately or together will continually serve to shape me into the person I was meant to be, by God's design. 

"Everyone has a different path, a different pace, and different challenges to face along the way."

So don't ever wish you were somebody else. Because you are just where you are meant to be.....  to learn and learn some more.... and become better, in God's perfect time. While you are at it, enjoy the journey and remember to count your blessings.



Friday, November 14, 2014

WE EACH ARE BOTH TEACHER-AND-STUDENT TO ONE ANOTHER






Learning does not stop when we finally receive our diplomas and bid school adieu. Learning continues. In fact, somebody once said that it is a life-long endeavor or pursuit because there is so much to learn in this world, in this life, and from people we chance to meet at every stage of our mundane existence. Things not taught within the four walls of a classroom or in interactions with other students or on the campus grounds. Essential things which amazingly bring added color, diversity, interest, wisdom, adventure, and greater possibilities for you. Thinking about that now, I feel that it just might take us a thousand life times to learn it all or maybe even more...and still that wouldn't be enough.

But learn we should. It is a waste of this precious god-given gift to allow our brain cells to atrophy or our hearts to harden with old jaded blood. There is still more that we can do to and with our lives. All that we need to do is .... learn and learn some more! When you do that you will be in for plenty of surprises unimagined nor ever dreamed of before.

Now this 'teaching'.... As we are eternal students of life, so too are we as 'teachers'. Not as our teachers of those good old days of school but as teachers of life and living. We teach by the way we live our lives. It is true that we all stand connected. Whatever you do with your life will impact, affect, or influence another person in his own, for good or for bad....directly or indirectly. As says this beautiful quote...........

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a cloud be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” ― John Donne, No Man Is An Island 

In short, we each are both teacher-and-student to one another.


Monday, November 10, 2014

WHAT YOU DO WITH PAIN RATHER THAN WHAT IT DOES TO YOU IS FAR MORE ESSENTIAL


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An online friend once remarked in jest.... 'You smile to the world like you never knew pain. What a good life you must have.'
That's farthest from the truth; simply absurd. But if you don't mind I will consider that as a compliment though. You don't get to hear something like that everyday! So thank you, just the same.

As it's been said 'everybody has a story and is a story', right? I'm not different because I also have my story.

But I don't do Facebook to tell my story. It has its own place and time. A public place such as this is definitely not that place and time.

Pain. Now that is among the most spoken of or written about word in every history. It's experienced by every living thing, two-legged or four-legged, on our planet. Pain comes in many ways, in different seasons or time, for a diversity of reasons or causes, and in different shapes, forms, or sizes. 

It holds tightly in its grip the whole range of human existence..... the emotions, intellect, spiritual, physical, social, and every interaction feasible to our existence. Am I saying where there is interaction there will be pain, too? Following the principle of cause and effect, I'm saying possibly yes. Pain is an effect (one of several others more) caused by something or someone or sometimes even by the self. 

What do we do with pain? As we see it in people around us or in our own lives we either react to it ...or respond to it... as in fight it or take flight far away from it. 

I have learned through the years that.....'Reacting' could maybe make us even more miserable as it's done with the absence of thought. 'Responding', in effect, could take us to a higher plane of understanding and growth. 'Fighting' it could achieve for us strength of character... while 'taking flight' makes us even weaker in mind, heart, and spirit. 

Pain simply sits alongside its buddies... hurt, sadness, loneliness, frustration, disappointment, bitterness, depression, resentment, discouragement, confusion, and its other members of the same negative pack. They may seem or mean to break you but it can't succeed when you don't let them. They can't hurt you when you won't give them consent to do so.

Therefore, It can be said that what you do with pain (and its friends) rather than what it does to you is that which matters most, in any language. You define you. Nobody else will or can do that for you. 'Life is what you make it', so said a wise person.

And I would like to add....
Let your heart smile through all of life. There's always some reason to smile.

Blessings from above to everybody!