iphone-march 191It’s been nearly 3 years since I posted anything on this blog. Not really sure how or why I stopped writing. Not really sure how to begin again.

Life goes on.

Since the last time I’ve blogged, I’ve laterally transferred to different positions within the company. We were affected by Typhoon Ondoy and had to leave our home. We found a new home a couple years later. My daughter has begin schooling and is now studying in a wonderful private school in the South. My husband has applied for early retirement. He, along with his siblings, are tirelessly working on their family business – a customs brokerage firm. I’ve been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease which makes moving painful. I’ve gained and lost wait. I continue to work but have put my masteral studies on hold because travelling tends to become difficult. We are still involved with our CFC community, although no longer leaders, we are content members.

Life goes on.

Yes, it does. We may stumble, fall and stop moving for a while. Yet life sees that while as a mere moment, and we go on. Living our lives. Doing what we do. So, I guess that’s why I decided to write again. To blog again. To feel again. Because life goes on. So why shouldn’t I?

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I often attend religious conferences and formation programs; as expected, there are witnessing or sharing by members of the community. To be honest, at these times, I usually stick to my notes – jotting down only what I find interesting, necessary and useful.

During a conference I attended this March in Baguio, I was reviewing my notes when the next sharer got on stage. He was middle-aged and looked stern and matter-of-fact. Flipping through my earlier notes, he began to briefly describe himself, and then started to describe his wife.

I stopped. Did I hear him correctly? His manner was that of a stereotypical accountant – glasses, clean and short cut hair – I had expected him to rattle off numbers, not gush about his wife. In fact, I rarely heard men talk with such pride and passion about their wives – mothers, sisters, grandmothers, daughters, yes… but wives? It was rare. What struck me wasn’t just his tone, but the words he chose.

He called his wife his “True North“.

The The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer, as posted in yourdictionary.com, states that to find True North is to “Get on the right course, proceed in the right direction, as in We’d better find true north before our competitors do. This term alludes to locating the position of the North Pole from a particular point [Slang; late 1900s]”.

The sharer lovingly spoke of his wife, who I noticed was standing by his side, she looked at her husband fondly as he began to describe their children. He shared how she brought direction into his muddled life. Brought him and their family closer to God. The rest of the speech was a blur – all but the words True North. Two simple words that I could not get out of my head.

I started to Google about it, reading everything I could – from maritime descriptions, to idiomatic expressions, to a literary one. I knew the term seemed familiar – it came from Message in a Bottle (a movie based on the book by Nicholas Sparks).

“Dear Catherine: I’m sorry I haven’t talked to you in so long. I feel I’ve been lost… no bearings, no compass. I kept crashing into things, a little crazy, I guess. I’ve never been lost before. You were my true north. I could always steer for home when you were my home. Forgive me for being so angry when you left. I still think some mistake’s been made… and I’m waiting for God to take it back. But I’m doing better now. The work helps me. Most of all, you help me. You came into my dream last night with that smile… that always held me like a lover… rocked me like a child. All l remember from the dream… is a feeling of peace. I woke up with that feeling… and tried to keep it alive as long as I could. I’m writing to tell you that I’m on a journey toward that peace. And to tell you I’m sorry about so many things. I’m sorry I didn’t take better care of you… so you never spent a minute being cold or scared or sick. I’m sorry I didn’t try harder to find the words… to tell you what I was feeling. I’m sorry I never fixed the screen door. I fixed it now. I’m sorry I ever fought with you. I’m sorry I didn’t apologize more. I was too proud. I’m sorry I didn’t bring you more compliments… on everything you wore and every way you fixed your hair. I’m sorry I didn’t hold on to you with so much strength… that even God couldn’t pull you away. Signed, All my Love, G.”

The way Nicholas Sparks used the words, were of course, very poetic, heart-wrenching and emotional. It didn’t take anything away from the speaker though, who I think was so inspired by his wife that he used the same words. True North.

It got me thinking. Who is my true north? Who is that someone who is my true compass, my true conscience? Have I found that person who steers me back to the right path whenever I lose my way?

As I look at the two forms soundly sleeping beside me, I smile. Yes, I have. My life may not be as perfect, as grand, or as trouble-free as those I know. But one thing is for sure. With God’s blessing, I have found my true north. I have found my home.

Flashback! Re-posted from 2006.

 

I am feeling tense, weary, and oiyeaes so agitated.

Maybe I need to lessen my caffeine in-take?

Maybe I need to learn to lighten up?

 

Vida, needs a life, badly. She feels cluttered and untidy in her ultra-OC-5S world. She needs a break. She needs to breathe.

 

Funny… 6 years later and I still feel the same way (sometimes…)😛

Something I wrote last year…

🙂

Kung nakakapagsalita ang Simbahan…

Kapatid, natutuwa naman ako at napadaan ka, maupo ka naman sa harap, matagal na kitang hindi nakikita.

O, bakit andyan ka sa gilid, nagmamadali ka ba? Ah… baka nahihiya ka lang kasi huli ka ng pumasok, Gloria na eh. Teka, naka pang party ka ata, mukhang may gimik ka mamaya. Di mo ba napansin sa labas, may nakapaskil na “appropriate attire”?

Sige, ok lang yan. Ang importante ay nakarating ka sa isang masayang selebrasyon ng Misa. Natutuwa ang Diyos na nandito ka. Pero kapatid, baka di mo marinig ang mensahe ng Panginoon kasi ang mensahe sa cellphone mo ang iyong pinupuna.

Nakakatuwa may mga mag-a-anak na dumalo. Mga magulang, masaya ang Diyos na isinama ninyo ang inyong mga anak. Pero sana, ipakita ninyo sa kanila kung paano ang dapat porma sa pagdarasal. Hindi nila maiintindihan kung kayo’y sisigaw o mangungurot lamang.

Ayan, Communion  na.. Hmm… handa ka ba talagang tanggapin ang Banal na Katawan ng Ating Panginoong Hesus? Bakit ka galit at may sumingit sa pila?

Uy, bata, di ka pa ata nag fi-first Communion ha!

Kapatid, di pa tapos ang Misa, bakit paalis ka na? May pagbabasbas pa…

Ops, ops, ops… dahan dahan lang po, antayin po natin si Father na bumaba… Hindi naman po karera ito.

Hay, kaibigan, matagal tagal ka na nga talagang hindi nakakadaan sa simbahan. Madami ka ng nakalimutan. Sa inyong susunod na pagsimba, tatandaan – ito’y bahay dalanginan, at hindi palengke o palaruan.

Mag ingat at kita kita ulit sa susunod na linggo!

I’ve tried Lord

how I tried

You’ve seen me

Get up

Time and again

From each blow

From each remark

From being ignored

From being forgotten

 

But o Lord, I am tired

as I wrestle with

Each negative thought

Impaling word

Inflicted action

 

My knees weaken

My soul aches

My heart becomes empty

 

I can give no more

and take no more

I give up,

I fold,

I can no longer stand.

 

On my knees

I’ll stay;

Hands folded

Eyes shut

I shall pray.

 

 

2012 (c) Vida Antoniette M. Cuaresma

[reposted from my blogger account, http://shattered-image.blogspot.com/%5D

Verse:
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Book of Genesis)

Reflection:
Earlier today I posted that as my FB status followed by “whose likeness then is in the thieves who ransack houses? in rapists? in murderers? in generals and their family who steal from the people who lay their lives for our country? in abusive employers and administrators? in corrupt politicians and officials?”

I couldn’t get the verse out of my head. I just couldn’t. So I reflected further on it and reflected on my post as well. Trying to wrap my brain around it, I asked myself, “do others see God in you?”.

That question floored me. I realized that I kept trying to find God in others… but wasn’t sure if others could find God in me. I keep trying to find the good in people, but am I showing the goodness of God through my own actions and words?

Yes, we live in a world where child-like innocence will be shattered, and trust will be abused. But instead of trying to find good people, why not be a good person? In wanting the world to become a better place, why not try to be a better person? It begins with one. It begins with changing myself. Today I start the change I want to see.

One La Salle Prayer:
Let me be the change I want to see, to do with strength and wisdom all that needs to be done… and become the hope that I can be.

Set me free from my fears and hesitations; grant me courage and humility; fill me with Spirit to face the challenge, and start the change I long to see.

Even if I am not the light, I can be the spark! In faith, service and communion,
let us start the change we want to see, the change that begins in me.

Live, Jesus, in our hearts forever!

Good morning, dear friends.

I was greeted by a very beautiful verse this morning, December 16, and I would like to share it with you. It comes from 1 Peter 2:9, and goes:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light”.

Such awe-inspiring words! How encouraging! How uplifting! How empowering!

In the reflection following that verse, I was delighted to see how the author (Renee Swope) rephrased it in such a way that it made this declaration of God’s faithfulness in us, her personal declaration. The author goes on to say:

“I am a chosen woman, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a woman belonging to God, that I may declare the praises of him who called me out of darkness into his wonderful light”

Each phrase struck harder and stronger. Having such a personal relationship with God must indeed be delightful! And it just blows my mind when I think of how our God – the one true God who created the entire, enormous, universe (Genesis 1) – could care and love us so much individually!

That our God – the one true God whose single breath could dry up rivers (Nahum 1:4) – is the same loving and generous Father who knows the very number of hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30)! Yes, God’s love is never failing! So much so that he gave his only son to save us from ourselves (John 3:16)!

Doesn’t the enormity of his love in our small and simple lives just make you tremble? It floored me!

And as God has blessed me today with these awesome reflections, so do I pass on these blessings with you. It is my hope that in spite of pain or sickness, despair or loneliness, heartache or sorrow, anger or grief, disappointment or discouragement – we remember that we have on our side our God who calls us, chooses us, knows us and loves us – – – a million times more than we could ever imagine.

Happy Thursday.

Vida

“May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing that you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and everyone of you.” — Santa Teresa de Jesús

I found that message in my in-box and it warmed my heart to know that somehow, somewhere, I was able to positively touch another person’s life to the point that that person thought kindly of me, reached out, and sent me that beautiful message. And I appreciate how not all forwarded messages are “chain mail”, and I must admit that some messages come at such an appropriate time that it sends chills down my spine.

This is just a shout out to all Wonder Women out there, and to the ones who help make you wonderful. In the busyness of each day, while you try to make sure that everything is in place, juggling event upon event, and keeping at bay the rainbow of emotions that is going through you, may you still find peace within – knowing that even at your lowest or loneliest point, God will never leave you. Be blessed.

There are people who can wake up in the morning with a great big smile on their faces. There are those who can walk with their heads held high, chins up.

I am not one of those people. Or at least, I wasn’t.

Maybe I was born shy. A natural wall flower? Perhaps. But one thing was for sure, I didn’t know how to be happy. And being a miserable person alienated others. I thought at first that I could get used to the silence of being alone. But the silence got deafening. And I became empty. Fear, sadness and anger crept in and filled that void. Where was I to turn to? Who was I to confide in? I felt I had no one, nobody, and nothing by my side.

At a time when I thought I was lost, a light helped me find my path. Faith was what brought me back. Through prayer, I found the silence to be inviting – a time to reflect and commune with God. I also found out that I was never truly alone – that I just had to learn to let people in (to no longer be afraid of getting hurt) – and more importantly, to be “OK” with just being with myself. So meals, shopping, or coffee breaks could be had with or without family, friends or colleagues around.

If you don’t love yourself properly, then being with yourself can be unbearable. But the change started with just being OK with being alone. That was the first phase. Again, through prayer, I realized that I didn’t love myself properly. Later on I had to unearth whatever faults and failings I’ve committed towards myself. I learned to apologize and forgive, not just other people but myself too. Slowly, but surely, I worked on taking care of myself, treating myself fairly, and avoiding negative self-talk.

It’s not about being self-centered, but about knowing how to love (yourself) in order to love others too. It’s not about being a victim of circumstance, but being a person who lives life and meets it head on. It’s not just about having the finer things in life but also reveling in the simple things – a hot cup of coffee, freshly baked pandesal, a sunny day, a light drizzle, a glimpse of a rainbow, a discount on a favorite item/brand, finding something that you thought was lost, a bargain find at a tiangge, a warm hug, a kiss, a smile from someone unexpected, or sharing a laugh with a friend.

I owe a lot to my family and friends, because they stuck by me even when I was (unconsciously) pushing them away. And I owe a lot to our church and prayer community for helping me strengthen my faith. I’m still not as strong as I would like to be, but at least my faith is on stronger and sturdier ground. It is built on the rock of faith in Christ.

I was supposed to name this note as “A journey to happiness” but I realized that that would be the wrong title – because it wasn’t a journey towards happiness, rather, this was a journey of being happy. Choosing to be happy. The destination is something to look forward to, and I have my eyes set on it, but to be able to be happy is to live in this moment, to love in this moment. It is a choice.

So now I walk with the wind at my back, the sun shining on my up turned face, and a smile in my heart. May we soon cross paths as we go about our happy journeys.

Originally posted on Facebook.
Submitted to: I Commit to Change in Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/icommittochange)