Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Then You Came ...

It was an extraordinary day for me. There was a lot going on. Excited, anxious, scared, rattled ... all sorts of feelings all rolled into one. I was focused to do a different task that day. Then I saw you for the first time...

Until now, I can still imagine our first meeting. How vividly I can picture your facial reaction, your expressions, the way you talked, and the way you moved.

I watched in amazement on how you go about a typical day. How you easily breeze from one thing to another. You talked eloquently, your every move with precision... your ideas shooting up from different directions. I then started to admire you from afar. Not knowing that one day, i will fall head over heels in love with you.

No wait... i don't want to fall that easily. But it's too hard to control it. I didn't want to confuse admiration with something else. How can someone like you even look my way? I was a nobody.

My friends even told me, "having her is next to impossible". I knew they were telling the truth. But in my dreams, you are mine.

We casually talked.. I tried to act as normal as I can when you're around. Only if you can read my mind or hear my heartbeat. Each time I'm with you, it was so difficult for me to breathe.. thoughts of having you flood my mind. As I fondly say in Tagalog "Suntok sa buwan".... you are way beyond my league.

One night, I was surprised to get a text from you... that started the ball rolling. I guess, seeing me as your friend is better than not having you at all.

There was this one time when you texted me and you were so drunk. You were in so much pain. I wanted to hold you, comfort you... I even wanted to go to you at that time. I wanted to let you know that I'm here to listen... but then again, I wouldn't want you to think that I'm taking advantage of you at the weakest point of your life...

I hoped and I prayed that one day you'll see me differently. It was a long shot. But dreaming is the most logical thing for me at that point. I know... I was aiming for the stars... or so I thought....

I came to realize.. you were not only my ultimate crush... I was... falling for you...

Live. Laugh. Love. Part 3

Love.

The most difficult part.

For more than a year, I have stayed single. Yeah, I've had a couple of dates, flirted a little ... but nothing serious whatsoever. I admit, I was scared as hell to love again.

Trust... Big word.

Honesty ... More complicated than the first.

So how should I go about this? I prayed...

Lord, I know, one day I will find the right person for me. Someone who deserves my love. But until then, make me ready. Let me be worthy of that person's love. Take away all my anger, my sadness, and my pain so when that person comes, I will no longer be haunted by my past.

Let me accept this person's imperfections as I wanted to be accepted. Make me love this person as if I've never loved anyone else before so I can give myself wholeheartedly and love unconditionally.



Just when I've given up.... YOU came....



Live. Laugh. Love. Part 2

Laugh.

During the first few months, naturally, I was so depressed. Whenever I look at myself in the mirror, I was a complete mess! If I tried to smile, my eyes revealed that I was hallow inside. Totally lifeless.


I needed some fun... things and people that will put back its meaning to my smile.

Travel. One thing that I've always wanted but never really had the time to do it. So I booked flights one after the other. Ilocos; Palawan; Cebu; Boracay; Cam Sur.







I had to create new memories. I have even forgotten how great it was to share a few good laughs with my friends!

In my travels, I learned to appreciate MYSELF, i have also, I realized that happiness and peace should both come from within.

I started seeing things in a different light. Being thankful for the littlest things. Laugh at the silliest jokes and forgive myself for my mistakes.

I even started to change my clothes, hair, etc. See the 360 degrees transformation yourself.

From this:









To This:














So as I went over my old pictures, I can't even recognize who I was before. I have changed 360 degrees! Can't imagine myself going through the boyish phase! Makes me laugh and squint each time I look at my "Before" photos.

I have become more confident with my sexuality now. I learned that not because I'm a lesbian, I have to dress up like one. :)

Live. Laugh Love. Part 1

Live.

I was always on the safe side. Have been known to be the "traditional and conservative one". Even though I was in this kind of relationship, I've never seen myself as extraordinary. I was and have always been a conformist... reluctant to change. So reinventing myself was a big and bold step for me. But I knew I had to try. I had to be different from who I used to be.

I started focusing on what I have. And at that time, the only thing I had control of was my job. Even if I had only 2 hours of sleep each day, I would be at the office an hour or two before my schedule. I left work 3-4 hours after my shift. I had to create a diversion.

At first, I recalled myself being associated to the "WALKING DEAD". Had to fight back the tears each time someone asked me with a simple "How are you?" I can't even bring myself to say "I'm okay" because I knew that deep inside, I wasn't.

Next, I focused on what I can do more... dedicating my time - Done. Then I had to fully give my job more attention, more passion. I tried to learn new things everyday. Learning Photoshop was so difficult because I can't even do a decent drawing using Paint! But with the help of my colleagues, slowly, I was enjoying what I was doing and was getting better everyday.

A few months later, I learned that there was an opening for a Sr. Associate. I tried my luck and hard work paid off coz I got the post. I worked closely with supervisors and associates where I got the right amount of load that I needed. I almost had no time for myself. I have never been this driven in my life to do and give my best. All in a day's work!

2 months after, a Supervisor post opened. I had my hesitations and doubts. Am I ready for more responsibilities? Do I have the courage to take this ride and breeze through new challenges?  I have passed on several opportunities before, this was the perfect time!

I got nailed, battered, and tortured during my panel interview... Whew! One heck of an experience. I didn't expect anything anymore. It was better that I tried at least and should know my mistakes so when another opportunity knocks, I will then be ready.

Few weeks passed and one day, I was called to meet with our HR to be given feedback. Apr 25, I can still remember the date. Because before I went to the office, I prayed hoping for good things to happen especially on this day. I have always dreaded the 25th of every month because that used to be our monthsary. I would want to scratch off all the bad memories and start remembering this date as something wonderful.

And I got the post! Another chapter of my life started and a door to new and exciting possibilities opened. New learnings, new obstacles, new people.. what a great way to start my new life!

My Tattoos

In my goal to search for a new identity, I opted to try something I never dreamt of having before. Tattoos. Although I already had piercings, having a tattoo is a big NO NO especially for my dad. So a week before getting myself one, I tried to talk to him and tested the waters. At least, if he had any violent reactions or firmly stated that I can't have one, I wouldn't risk him getting a heart attack when  I get them done.
Me: Dad, I already have a tattoo.
Dad: What? I told you that's forbidden! You can't work abroad... or you seem like you got out of jail.. or...
Me: I'm old enough to decided on what I want!
Awkward silence .....
Dad: It's all up to you. Just don't regret it and don't say I didn't warn you!
Me: YEY!!

The following week. I had my first 2 tatts done. :)

Red Star And Kanji symbol for Strength
 
Better version of my STAR



It was really difficult for me to decide on what to put first. I don't want some cutesy stuff that I will regret someday. I wanted my tattoos to be meaningful. 

I was so obsessed with stars anyway, so why not put it on my skin instead? It was originally a red one but I didn't like how it looked so a week after, I had it redone and changed it to black and added a bigger star. For me, it was time to realize my potential to do better and greater things. I'm destined to shine no matter how many heartaches I've gone through. The five points are: faith, hope, love, wisdom, and courage. All I need to survive when life is unfair. I'm the smaller star and God is the bigger star. The one who guides and leads me to the path that I need to walk on.

The second one is the Japanese symbol for strength. I needed to be reminded of how I was once weak and because I wanted to surpass my pain, I should be strong enough to pull myself out of my misery. No one else can ever do that for me. I should not allow anyone to hurt me anymore.  

Phoenix
A month after, I wanted something bigger. I wanted something that would mean a lot to me. My supervisor back then suggested a phoenix. I looked up and checked what it symbolized and saw this, "RISE FROM THE ASHES" ... I thought it over... and it's perfect! 


Few weeks later, I felt that there's still something missing. I wanted more! After seeing the movie Eat, Pray, Love, I said to myself, I wanted my own mantra. Words that I would treasure all my life. Thus the birth of ....

Live. Laugh. Love.




My Prayers

In my search of my new self. I needed something more than strength. I needed the will to move on. Where else can I find that? Who will I turn to? The answer's there all along... I was never alone. I just needed to recognize and acknowledge that GOD has never left my side.

Here are the prayers I found that helped me through my darkest days....  these are the Prayers of a Broken Heart.




Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to You. Allow your healing hand to heal me. Touch my soul with Your compassion for others. Touch my heart with Your courage and infinite love for all. Touch my mind with Your wisdom, that my mouth may always proclaim Your praise. Teach me to reach out to You in my need, and help me to lead others to You by my example. Most loving Heart of Jesus, bring me health in body and spirit that I may serve You with all my strength. Touch gently this life which You have created, now and forever. Amen.

God of Mercy, I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word. Your word promises that you heal the broken hearted and bind up their wounds. I claim these promises in the name of Jesus.

Though I am sad, I can rejoice in the promises of the glory of God because if God closes a door, he opens a bigger one. If something bad has happened, God will restore me two times what I have lost. If I have to wait, God will give something better.

Thank-you that you are the God who is close to the brokenhearted and you save those who are crushed in spirit. Though I can not see it now, one day I will be so happy that I will not even remember the hurt. I will be able to forget the pain of my trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by.

You are the God, that if another caused my suffering, you will heal me and restore me better off than I was before, whereas the wicked shall fall by calamity. You will help me forgive so I can be free. You will pour love in my heart and I will love again. But if I have caused my own suffering, you will forgive me with the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and lift me so that I will reap songs of joy.

Help me think of the good things I have received from you. Make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; so that I sing for joy at the works of your hands.

Fill my mind with thoughts of whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let my mind dwell on these things, for you are the God of Peace.

Make me glad for as many days as I have been afflicted, for as many years as I have seen trouble, so that even the years I lost will be restored to me. I will be in awe of your power. I will say to God “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy”.

In the meantime satisfy me with your unfailing love, that I may sing for joy and be glad knowing your promises of happiness and restoration. Many are the woes of the wicked, but they have no character and no hope. Yet those who trust in the Lord have his unfailing love to surround them in difficult times.
Amen


Father, my heart is broken. I feel like it is in pieces. I need to put my heart into your care. Will you take care of it for me? I want to be able to love again. I don't want to be bitter and brittle.

Jesus, i feel overwhelmed. I can't stand the pressure. It is too much for me. The burden is too heavy. I need you. I need you to carry me through this period of my life. Would you carry me?

Loving God, You know the power of love and how awesome a gift it is. Because i loved ____ and i have lost her, i hurt. Please be with me as i grieve the loss of ____ in my life. Comfort me when places, people, food and activities remind me of her. Be with me.. always. Amen.

I have continuously and religiously prayed this everyday at that time. I was actually looking forward to come home and lock myself up in my room, saying this prayer out loud. Believing in every single word. I knew that one day, I will hurt no more. That one day, I will not even remember the pain, sadness, anger and everything else. 

I was never alone. He held my hand, and comforted me. When I was too weak to even move, He lifted me up and guided me until I was strong enough to walk on my own. 

Never underestimate the power of prayers. This made me stronger. This helped me through it all.

The Quest

Where will I start?

I remembered a line in the movie "my heart is not cold... it's broken". That's how I felt at that time. 

It's like laying on your back on the floor, barely can't move a muscle and can't even think straight... not knowing what to do with your life next. I was in search of something... anything... just to take my mind off from what happened. 

I can't talk to my friends now to my family about how i felt. No.. i don't want to burden them with my misery. But I felt I will explode anytime .. soon... I was so desperate to find things.. or someone that can help me...  then i came across an article about The Goddess of Never Not Broken by Eric Stoneberg.


The Goddess of never not broken.

You know that feeling when you have just gone through a breakup, or lost your job, and everything is terrible and terrifying and you don’t know what to do, and you find yourself crying in a pile on your bedroom floor, barely able to remember how to use the phone, desperately looking for some sign of God in old letters, or your Facebook newsfeed or on Glee, finding nothing there to comfort you?

Come on, yes you do. We all do.

And there is a goddess from Hindu mythology that teaches us that, in this moment, in this pile on the floor, you are more powerful than you’ve ever been.

This past week, I have been deeply inspired by a talk I heard on the Yoga Teacher Telesummit by Eric Stoneberg on this relatively unknown Goddess from Hindu mythology: Akhilandeshvari.

This figure has snuck up inside me and settled into my bones. She keeps coming out of my mouth every time I teach, and she’s given me so much strength and possibility during a time of change and uncertainty in my own life. I wanted to unpack a little bit about who she is for those that might be, like me, struggling a little bit in that pile on the floor and wondering how the hell to get up again.

The answer, it turns out, is this: in pieces, warrior-style, on the back of a crocodile. Yee ha.

Akhilandeshvari:

“Ishvari” in Sanskrit means “goddess” or “female power,” and the “Akhilanda” means essentially “never not broken.” In other words, The Always Broken Goddess. Sanskrit is a tricky and amazing language, and I love that the double negative here means that she is broken right down to her name.

But this isn’t the kind of broken that indicates weakness and terror.

It’s the kind of broken that tears apart all the stuff that gets us stuck in toxic routines, repeating the same relationships and habits over and over, rather than diving into the scary process of trying something new and unfathomable.

Akhilanda derives her power from being broken: in flux, pulling herself apart, living in different, constant selves at the same time, from never becoming a whole that has limitations.

The thing about going through sudden or scary or sad transitions (like a breakup) is that one of the things you lose is your future: your expectations of what the story of your life so far was going to become. When you lose that partner or that job or that person, your future dissolves in front of you.

And of course, this is terrifying.

But look, Akhilanda says, now you get to make a choice. In pieces, in a pile on the floor, with no idea how to go forward, your expectations of the future are meaningless. Your stories about the past do not apply. You are in flux, you are changing, you are flowing in a new way, and this is an incredibly powerful opportunity to become new again: to choose how you want to put yourself back together. Confusion can be an incredible teacher—how could you ever learn if you already had it all figured out?

This goddess has another interesting attribute, which is, of course, her ride: a crocodile.

Crocodiles are interesting in two ways: Firstly, Stoneberg explains that the crocodile represents our reptilian brain, which is where we feel fear. Secondly, the predatory power of a crocodile is not located in their huge jaws, but rather that they pluck their prey from the banks of the river, take it into the water, and spin it until it is disoriented. They whirl that prey like a dervish seeking God, they use the power of spin rather than brute force to feed themselves.

By riding on this spinning, predatory, fearsome creature, Akhilanda refuses to reject her fear, nor does she let it control her. She rides on it. She gets on this animal that lives inside the river, inside the flow. She takes her fear down to the river and uses its power to navigate the waves, and spins in the never not broken water. Akhilanda shows us that this is beautiful. Stoneberg writes:

Akhilanda is also sometimes described in our lineage like a spinning, multi-faceted prism. Imagine the Hope Diamond twirling in a bright, clear light. The light pouring through the beveled cuts of the diamond would create a whirling rainbow of color. The diamond is whole and complete and BECAUSE it’s fractured, it creates more diverse beauty. Its form is a spectrum of whirling color.

That means that this feeling of confusion and brokenness that every human has felt at some time or another in our lives is a source of beauty and colour and new reflections and possibilities.

If everything remained the same, if we walked along the same path down to the river every day until there was a groove there (as we do; in Sanskrit this is called Samskara, habits or even “some scars”), this routine would become so limited, so toxic to us that, well, the crocs would catch on, and we’d get plucked from the banks, spun and eaten.

So now is the time, this time of confusion and brokenness and fear and sadness, to get up on that fear, ride it down to the river, dip into the waves, and let yourself break. Become a prism.

All the places where you’ve shattered can now reflect light and colour where there was none. Now is the time to become something new, to choose a new whole.

But remember Akhilanda’s lesson: even that new whole, that new, colourful, amazing groove that we create, is an illusion. It means nothing unless we can keep on breaking apart and putting ourselves together again as many times as we need to. We are already “never not broken.” We were never a consistent, limited whole. In our brokenness, we are unlimited. And that means we are amazing.

After reading this, that's when I realized, yeah... it's ok to be broken. Now I do have the chance to start picking myself up and leave behind the pieces that I don't want to be a part of my future self. 

It won't be easy. But I have to start somewhere.
If a relationship becomes too painful, let it go & save yourself, you will be able to find new love but never another you.

Worrying is wasting energy on the things you can't control. Leave everything in God's hand. Think less, pray more.

When someone comes into your life. God send them for a reason, either to learn from them or to be with them till the end.



Someday, someone is going to thank you for letting me go.

Motivational Quotes