The Unfelt Realities

Hope and dream- Two things that do not exist in the tangible reality but are delicately woven in the deepest part of the heart. Why so? Can we not hope for happiness? Can we not dream dreams? But even if we do not hope and dream, we still believe in something more.. in something greater, lovelier, more beautiful.. in something good.

Ahh.. Goodness. Ever since the consciousness and feelings of humans were breathed into existence, the desire for goodness and pleasure came about. The never-ending search for happiness and goodness transpired. Goodness may be different for everyone else. Love may be good for someone but chaos for another. Quietness may be good for some but boredom for a few. Laughter may be good for the light-hearted but pain for the burdened. We see goodness as how we want to see it; it is never adulterated nor destroyed eventhough we don’t see it as it is.

We hope for something good. We dream of something good. We all hope for happiness; we dream about the laughters of the past. We hope for courage; we dream of reaching the summit of a mountain. We hope for triumph; we dream of becoming the person we have always wanted. We hope for love; we dream of loving. We may see these things as good. Some may not (after all, we decide whether we want happiness, courage, triumph, and love). But whatever we see as beautiful, happy, courageous, triumphant, lovely, whatever we think is good, we desire them. We hope and dream that soon, we can attain them.

But what if these hopes and dreams are blown by the wind? Will we be willing to chase them? What if these hopes and dreams are shattered, slowly, painfully, will we be willing to move forward and start anew? What if.. our hopes and dreams become the reason of our pain and suffering, will we still continue to hope and dream? Happiness is felt after knowing what sadness is. Goodness is seen amidst wickedness. Laughter is heard after the wailing and sorrow. Love stands out when there is hatred and strife. Light is revealed in the middle of darkness. We all hope and dream, but as we do, we can still be hurt, be trampled down. We can still fall and fail. But hopes and dreams defy failure and hopelessness.

Believing that these two unfelt realities can change the tangible realm can create power that will propel one to carry on and move forward. It can thaw a cold heart. It can set fire on water- It can do the impossible. It can mock the lies and can show the truth. Hoping and dreaming can unearth treasures that shallow men cannot find- they make us see with vision. They cure men’s blindness and limpness; they cure their incapabilities. They can turn the timid into brave, the coward into courageous. They can change doubters into believers, and the intransigent to open-minded.

We hope and dream simply because we have hopes and dreams. We hope and dream because we want to experience life to the fullest. We hope and dream because we desire something good; no one dreams of something wicked for themselves (unless they’re sadists). We hope and dream because we believe in something- We can always believe and yet do not hope and dream, but we can never hope and dream without believing. We hope and dream because we have the innate goodness in our hearts, for we are made in our Creator’s goodness and likeness. We want goodness because He is good. 

Hopes and dreams are a proof that there is a consummation of everything desired. Without them, no happiness and fulfillment would ever transpire on earth.. Or perhaps, the earth itself dreamt of experiencing life, too? Who knows?

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On Parenting: The Perils of Ignorance

I am writing this blog to voice out all the things that I know are the later-on consequences of being ignorant and passive parents. The implicated negative outcomes concern the behavior, attitude, and the personality of a child as he grows old. I am no psychologist, counselor, or social worker. I’m just a plain observer of the things that happen in the world today.

To start with, I want to mention what God said in the Scriptures:

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6

I am sure that God was not so carefree when He said that. He said those words with conviction and truth. And I believe He knew beforehand what might happen when the supposed parents are ignorant of the right ways to raise a child, just as He says how they should in His words. But first, let’s take a look at what is really going on right now:

A young couple got married. Like the other newly-wed couples, they started from scratch. They got their jobs and began saving up money for paying their bills, house, car, new appliances, everyday basic needs, and some other wants and leisure. Then a baby comes in, and the couple need to make more money to feed their newborn child. The father typically is the only one working now, as the mother pledges to take care of their baby and temporarily stop from working. Everything seems to be working fine for this family. Everyday, the father goes to his office while the mother stays at home looking after their child. Everything seems perfectly normal and simple. After all, this young couple surely prepared themselves for their married life.

Years passed and the child grew up. Eventually, another baby was out into the world again. And then again. This couple loved each other so much. By this time, they have saved enough money to fend for their growing family. Because after all, they already prepared themselves for a family life ahead of time. They had to, it’s their obligation to sustain their children.

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Is it the end of the story yet? Not at all. The children started growing up. One by one, they started to have consciousness in the world. They began to have cognition, common sense, and other psychological growth a normal child experiences. They began to form judgments and knowledge. They started seeing the good and bad things, and while these take place they get to understand that not everything in the world can give them happiness. They can get sad, fearful, angry, or jealous, depending on the circumstances surrounding them. With their young and unripened minds, these children get to witness every unfiltered reality that is going on.

The question is, where are their parents as these children start to grow up? Surely their parents were awake as they cried in the middle of the night, asking for milk or a diaper change. Surely they were there as they learned how to stand up on their feet for the first time, to support them as they slowly gained their balance. They were there as they learned to read their first ABCs and wrote their name on crooked lines. They were there as they asked for help in school assignments, and they were there to attend in their school events and gatherings. They were there. They’ve always been there. However, the looming real question is this (and let me revise my aforementioned question a little bit): Where are their parents as these children start to open their eyes and watch every unfolding personal event in their lives? Were they still there to teach and support them properly, even tediously? Now, that is a totally different question that is answerable not just by physical presence of these parents, I presume.

Rearing a child can be as easy as being happy and fulfilled with a newly married or family life. But all things come with a counterpart. Rearing a child can be as difficult as shaping a lump of clay- we cannot get its perfect form if we are not skillful enough to do so, as potters are.

All the pleasant and simple things a person can do or experience are all found at the beginning of everything… Raising a child can be as sweet as holding your newborn baby, as sweet as their first cry, smile, coo, laughter, or mentioning of “Mommy” and “Daddy”. It can be as fulfilling as envisioning your children graduating from school and as promising as dreaming for their beautiful future. But will it still be pleasant when your son gets kicked out of school? Will it still be pleasant to see him taking drugs and addicted to vices? Will it still be sweet when your daughter gets pregnant on her 16th year? Will it still be fulfilling if all the dreams you have for them come toppling down, one by one, gradually, as the years go by? Will your family life still be promising when each of your children slowly becomes the monster you did not even imagine you could have? These blunt questions are as hard as seeing the truth that these do happen in some families…

It is easy to “be there” when children need their parents’ physical support. But being there to patiently teach them values, Godly wisdom, and love, is not easy at all. Parents do not only need to teach them, but they need to show them and be an example. One of the shortcomings of some, if not most, parents nowadays is being ignorant of the spiritual teachings that they need to impart to their young ones. As much as children need physical attention, they also need spiritual and emotional guidance. Children have souls too, not just bellies.

Going back to the previous question, where can these parents be when the children start gaining awareness in this harsh reality? Aren’t parents supposed to be their first teacher? As we can remember, God said in His words that (parents) should train up their child in the way he should go so when he is old, he will not depart from it. Are we not also wondering why even God has to mention that?

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God knows everything. God knows us even before we were born. He knows the number of our hair (Luke 12:7), He knows our name even before our parents gave us our names. He knows who we are. He knows us completely, He knows the depths of our heart. He doesn’t miss out on any single detail about us. He knit us together in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13). No wonder why God tells us to teach our children as long as they are young, because He knows that as a child sees more in the world, he is exposed to its fallenness and wickedness, and He doesn’t want any of His children to go astray!

God loves children very much, that Jesus even said that,

Unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. – Matthew 18:3

God knows that a child’s heart is pure, unblemished, blameless. He doesn’t want the sinful world to contaminate that precious heart…

God is telling every parent to shower their children with wisdom based on His words and teachings so that when they are old enough, they will not be wayward in life. A child is like an empty glass that can be filled with water (that’s from God), but a fully grown man who has thwarted motives and desires is like a hard stick that cannot be bent. A child’s heart can be easily molded into God’s goodness but a man’s heart is like metal with rust that can’t be easily removed. You see, children are so precious in God’s sight and He wants them to be close to Him, and far from worldly sins.

Sadly, children nowadays grow up without any spiritual guidance, thus, they grow up quarrelsome, selfish, self-centered, disobedient, disrespectful, and worldly. Far from what God wants and desires for them. Far from the children who, when grown-up, can influence the world with love, peace, and forgiveness. The world needs more Godly children, and for that, the world needs more Godly parents. How can we give a better future for the next generation if the children today haven’t learned humility, respect, and faith in God in the first place?

Happy young family watching the sunset at the beach. Happy Family Lifestyle

I guess the answer to all these questions lies within us. I guess the answer to the problems in the world today lies within each family. I guess the answer to each child’s Godly maturity lies within their parents. And I guess, the answer to parents’ way of caring for a child lies within their acknowledgement that God is the answer to everything… Everything boils down to that.

Like all the other grass, he struggled. He had to. He had to raise his leaves to show us what beauty it is to lift our arms toward the sky. He had to sprout up amidst the scattered stones to show us how great it is to press forward against our stumbling blocks. He had to show the world that it is defeat to stop and just let his leaves wither and die. He had to reach the top and look up to the sun to sustain his existence, to live. He had to. He did.

 

Things That I Can Do All at the Same Time

I breathe. I do so because I am alive.
While I am alive, I breathe. While I breathe, I am alive.
They happen at once.
They are intertwined, coinciding, simultaneous.
Each of them is inexistent without the other one.
They like to happen all together because it is their nature.

I write. I do so because I love to.
While I write, I love. While I love, I write.
Why, it is possible to do these things at the same time.
All because my love can be written into words.
And my words can be told in love.
For the love of writing is writing about love.
They like to be together because they love to.

I think. I do so because I am.
I am because I think and I think because I do.
Now there is a variation-
I do because I am.
And I do, I think, I am because I can.
I can do anything-
All because I am alive.
And I’m breathing. And I’m loving.

And so I write.

If I could Paint the Sun

Reblogging this because it has altered my opinion (much better alteration) on impacting others through the power of words. Thanks to Opinionated Man!

HarsH ReaLiTy

Dear You,

“She says she wants to shine a light into the darkness,” but thinks a blog will not accomplish the deed. Does she not realize that with every eye that looks upon her words, a heart might possibly be softened? A mind might be altered slightly? The power to share, to care, and to allow ourselves to affect others… “affect” because we are indeed changing them. It is a scary thought for some and this is not some super power we speak of. It is the power to care and that is a very human quality. That is a character trait that should never be overlooked and instead should be embraced.

A borderless world is social media. This land that we stand in now, these people of all colors and no color at all, their personalities created on fonts called Calibri and Times New Roman. And yet we know…

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I am Not Sorry for Writing This

Admit it. “Sorry” is such a hard word. Nowadays, we live in a world where (almost) everyone insists that they’re right, at least in their own sight. We live in a generation where people steadfastly hold their ground and, as if marching around, hold their banner on which is written, “Listen to me! I know better than you do!” No wonder, admitting that one is wrong is probably the rarest thing that you could ever find in our world today.

Being sorry, as defined in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, means “feeling sorrow or regret”. It also means “expressing polite regret”. Now here is the question. Have you ever felt being polite toward someone who hurt you or offended you? “Nah. Do you really expect me to be?” But here is another question. Have you ever felt regret towards an event that had you crying, or cringing, because someone has been unfair, rude, and nasty to you? “Oh yes! I regret that I’ve ever known him!” “I regret that she became my friend!” “I regret that I loved him!” “I regret that I have been so good and nice to her only to be betrayed in the end!” “I regret being a human being!” (Oh my, even if you regret you can’t be sorry for this.) “I regret being so timid and shy,  that I never let my voice be heard.” “I regret being dumb.” And the list of these regrets is never-ending. We have so many regrets in life. That’s why we don’t get to be contented and happy. And free. All these regrets consume us, so much so that we tend to focus only on our own feelings and emotions and forget that we have also hurt other people along the way. We become self-centered that we remember only what we feel and not what other people feel. Our thoughts become clouded with self-pity, with our pride that seem to have been trampled down, and with our ego that seems bigger than our hearts. That’s why it is unlikely for someone who has these kinds of remorse to ever feel “polite” towards anyone who has defied or negated his convictions or principles. Simply put, one can only express polite regret when that person realizes that he also did something wrong, or at least if he admits to himself that he is wrong. That’s what’s really hard to do, isn’t it?

Saying sorry is as hard as unsaying the words that we think are true. It is as difficult as swallowing food that is too repugnant for our taste. 

But what if only by saying this word that you can speak out the real truth? What if only by saying this that you can taste the sweetest relief and peacefulness that you’ve been looking for, all these years (and tears)? Would you still resist letting go of your blinding pride and skyrocketing ego? Would you trade peace and happiness with regret and sorrow? 

Stripping ourselves off our pride is like stripping ourselves off our clothes. It is as hard as accepting that we are naked! We are naked with the truth that we are weak, and so we deceive ourselves that we’re strong by feeding our ego. We are naked with the truth that we are insecure, and so we put on our mask and go out into the world showing them a different identity. Truth is, we can never go on without humility, respect, and courage. Without being humble, you cannot acknowledge your wrongdoings. Without having respect for others, you cannot live peaceably with people. And without courage, you will never be able to accept the truth- because the truth hurts. And if you’re not courageous enough, you will always be afraid of what you think can hurt you.

Forgiveness means freedom. Filling yourself with guilt and regrets of the past will only imprison you in a self-centered world. Being forgiven means being alive; it gives a sense of fulfillment. It brings you back to newness and revival. Being forgiven sets you free.

Nevertheless, if one cannot forgive you, you are not the one on the losing end. What matters is that you’ve learned your lesson and you’ve known how to be humble. You did yourself a favor! Their hardened heart is not your fault anymore. These are the kinds of people who resist growth and an abundant life, and that’s their choice.

Saying sorry may be hard, but it is fulfilling and liberating. It also softens a person’s heart, and it gives them a new and broader perspective. It may also be a catalyst for change- change to a person and change to your situation. Saying sorry can change you, too. After all, if one is willing, nothing is really that hard to do.. It’s only ourselves that’s making it hard to do. Just starve your ego and feed your humble heart! 

Who might be needing to hear that word from you today? The key to your freedom is in your own pocket!