“And if you lose yourself, I will find you.” 

Last saturday, as I went to mass all by myself, because I think I wouldn’t make it to sunday mass, and attended anticipated mass. It has always been an amazing experience, going to mass all by myself. 

I have been beating myself up lately because I feel spiritually disconnected in the most important time to be connected with God. (Well, for me, that is). Things have been going haywire — in the most literal sense, in my life because I feel like i don’t pray. (i know, too much guilt, for no apparent reason). 

But last Saturday’s celebration of the Holy Eucharist was somehow a gentle hug, a reminder that I am still loved, and that there is a plan for me. 

For several days, or probably weeks, I have been doubting myself– in all aspects. I have been too focused on one thing in my life that I have the tendency of forgetting the rest. It’s like I allowed my work to define who I am, but it’s only a part of who I am. I have been making excuses for everything because I want to rest, I want to have everything under control. I want things done my way. 

And yes, you’ve guessed right. The lesson once again is about surrendering, letting go and acceptance. 

Last Sunday’s gospel reminded me of who I really am — my spiritual contract, and also reminded me to open my eyes, because maybe, I haven’t been seeing clearly. 

And I did open my eyes. 

The world is beautiful. My world is beautiful, and that everything that is happening is just a perfect plan unfolding for me. I am reminded that life isn’t perfect, and I don’t need to force perfection upon it. 

It also reminded me to take a breath. *deep breath*

Surrender and let go. 

How magnificent it is to realize that I am not alone. 

Death

For the past few days, or the past week, actually, I have been exposed to so much deaths — well not directly, but to the people close to me. Just a sad reality, but also a solid reality that life isn’t really mine. A realization that everything in this life is borrowed and there is no sense of security ever. That at any given point, there is no assurance that we will be alive tomorrow.

As I was growing up, it was normal for me to see deaths. It was a known fact for me, it was something normal. But even so, it still felt surreal, and very uneasy. I found it confusing, saddening, disappointing and full of regrets. I think our parent’s exposure to us to different wakes, necrological services and funerals probably led to me being a quite numb.

And it resurfaces, every now and then, me being numb during the whole process. It became something normal, not until the people involved were people close to me. It resurfaced, the feelings of not wanting to feel anything, but I feel lucky and blessed that I allowed myself to feel too. Right now, in the wakes that I have attended, I allow myself to cry, and to feel the pain. But I also allow myself to be happy for the one who passed away. There is this look of peace and joy in their faces that one cannot deny that they also decided to go forward in life.

In a mass yesterday, the priest said that in this life, we will never know when it will be our time to go. It got me thinking that I never know when it will be my time and if I always chase after what could happen, rather than accepting that death will and is a part of this life I’m living, I could never be at peace.

So I was thinking during mass yesterday that A LOOOOOT of people would like to know how would people react when they die. (Myself included). I concluded it was because of the feeling of absolute and pure love. The feeling that A LOT of people love you, til the very end. And as selfish as it may seem, I don’t think it’s selfish because I guess it’s pretty normal to want to feel loved, and show love and be loved. It’s one of the intangible things that keep us truly alive.

And then I got thinking of what If I was at my own funeral to give myself a eulogy? What would I be saying/telling everyone?

And thus started my new project. I am asking around anyone who is willing to write their own eulogy, and I’ll be collecting this. I do not know what to do with it yet, I could make a book out of it, considering I have several ideas so, please, I WAS FIRST (whoever’s thinking of this as a means for a book), or I could just keep it and mail it to the family when that person dies.. I don’t know yet. I’m just sure that it’s a way to cope with death earlier and accept that at any point, anyone and everyone will die. (No brutality with this, just actual reality) And everyone will be one step closer to meeting God, which I think is an ultimate goal.

So if you’re interested in this new project, please comment here and let me know! I’d love to see how you’d write about yourself. (In the 3rd person, of course!)

 

The Love Month Series. (February 28, 2013)

This is a letter I’m writing to me. So let’s pretend I’m from the future and writing to my present self right now.

Dear Me, 

Let me start this by saying that I love you. I know it’s hard for you to accept this love, because I found it hard too. I find it hard to accept people’s love, because I feel I do not deserve it. Let me tell you some things about the future that may guide you in your present life. 

1. You are perfectly imperfect. — I’ve always tried being perfect, AND IT NEVER WORKS, BELIEVE ME. I always end up hurting myself, and beating myself up. Also frustrated and disappointed. I wouldn’t want you to go through the same thing I did. So please, remember that it’s okay to make mistakes while growing up.

2. It doesn’t matter what path you take, as long as you choose which path you want to take. I know you’re at a point of deciding and asking yourself what you want to do in your life. Guess what, YOU’RE EXTREMELY TALENTED. And it really doesn’t matter what path (I’m talking about career here) that you’d take. WHAT MATTERS IS IF IT MAKES YOU HAPPY. And also if it’s what God wants for you. 

3. Take time to read leisurely, relax and play. I know you, you’d spend so much time worrying about work or school or helping the next person. Golden rule: FLY. First, Love Yourself. Give yourself time to heal, time to rest and time for yourself. This is one of the most important things you should remember. I know you as someone who loves to put others first, but this time,  FLY. 

4. This will be the weirdest list because this fourth item is the last. Have time for God. I know it doesn’t make so much sense, considering you’ve been an active (and avid) church goer and lector since you were a kid, but this time, find a way to become closer to Him. I think you probably know what I mean. A deeper relationship with God. After all, He has plans for you and such great plans, believe me. 

5. Okay so there’s a number 5. Always remember that the future me believes in you so much. You are capable of so much and you are truly God’s beautiful creation of light. 

Always remember these 5 things, okay? I’m watching you from the future. Hihihi.

 

Love, 

 

Older You.

The Love Month Series (February 1, 2013)

This is the continuation of what I wrote about February 1. This is what happened during the rest of the day. 

I feel blessed to have felt God’s love all over the day. I was able to give myself time to rest and I was able to be on time as well. I can say that God’s grace overflowed in me that day. I felt myself to be so free in a state of Grace and of love. 

I was blessed to have work that evening, a dinner with people from the twitterverse because these people wanted to pick the mind of my boss. I enjoyed the dinner, the friendly banter and the witty, in depth opinions of these people, who represented different sectors of society. I literally learned so much — religions, politics, basketball.. Name it, we talked about it. I really enjoyed being there and just enjoying the company of people I barely knew. 

I was compelled to share something to this kid (Yes, I talk like I’m sooo old) when he shared about something related to the faith, religion and spirituality. I felt the same way he did, probably in a different way, but I really resonated. I took the opportunity to talk to him and shared with him, hopefully without me forcing myself to be right, what I went through, and probably my side regarding some things he couldn’t fully comprehend regarding the Catholic faith. 

I could feel his resistance, that is without a doubt. It was evident on how he was acting, and with what he was saying. I remember feeling like I was on fire, like someone else was speaking on behalf of me, because seriously, I cannot even remember what I was saying. Though I felt that his heart was slowly opening up to what I was saying. 

What I remember saying is this:

“Maybe, why these things are happening is that no one is fighting for it as much anymore.” 

And suddenly, I saw something different in him. Like there was warmth in his eyes, and all walls went down. He said, 

“I hope I get to experience what you did, and discover that, too.

I felt really good, and proud of myself. I felt like I was able to do what I was asking God if I was capable of doing.

I felt so aligned at that moment, that I knew that everything happens for a reason. Everything has its own place, its own time. 

I am so proud of me. 

 

The Love Month Series. (February 1, 2013)

I never imagined that February would be the love month, also for me. I’m not expecting a big kind of love gesture, like something romantic. I never expected to experience love this BIG at the start of February.

Today, I was invited to commentate for Mother Goose Gradeschool’s 1st Communion and Confirmation affair. I was excited, nervous and a bit pissed off for coming in early. I wanted to sleep more, but we needed to be there early.

So I brought a book with me and was just reading and reading, til my dad told me that Fr Soc was in the sacristy already. I was kinda excited and nervous to see him because I wanted to talk to him about some things that I couldn’t bring myself to say.

Seeing him again made me feel God’s presence. I felt God’s grace enveloping me fully, and for some reason, I felt that I need not ask what I wanted to ask. I heard the answer.

I saw my tita who was suffering from cancer and she went there to have herself blessed by Fr Soc. While waiting for her to be finished, my mom, my aunt’s mom and sister were waiting for her. They were talking lightly til they started crying, and suddenly, I felt this overwhelming love they had for my tita. They just didn’t know how to express it.
I was at a lost for words, so I decided to go out.

Entering the church, I felt a surge of overwhelming love, joy and just the grace of God that I couldn’t escape. Children were excited, I could see proud parents and the teachers who prepared them for it were also as excited and proud. Suddenly, someone gave me a gift, a thank you token for me being there. I could feel the overflowing love.

And then the celebration began. I don’t know what was going on, but since the start, I felt myself welling up. I constantly had tears in my eyes. I felt the love and joy of the children, especially the children who were mainstreamed. They were just so excited to receive God. I couldn’t get over it. The joy was radiating with their every move.

Fr soc’s homily struck me immensely that I couldn’t help but cry earlier. He was talking to the children, asking them what they will be answering when he says, “The Body of Christ” and “Be sealed with the gift of the Holy Spirit”. And the children would answer, “amen!” And he asks, “Do you know what Amen means?”

He then started to explain what Amen meant. 
Amen meant 3 things: 
1. I adore – when you say Amen, you adore God. You praise God and it’s simply saying, I love God. (Forgive me, I do not clearly remember this part) 
2. I accept – when we say Amen, we open our arms and accept God’s love in our lives. We embrace this love and make it part of our lives. 
3. I announce – a declaration of faith that as you say amen, you announce the greatness of God’s love to everyone.

This brought tears to my eyes. It was explained so simply, yet it helped me remember how Great God’s love is.

Piko

Interesting and very remarkable this Sunday was.

Sunday is always family day. Aaaand we always start the day with a mass. So earlier today, when we went to mass, I was so restless, my mind and heart were not saying the same things. I felt so lost in prayer, and kept trying to look for signs for me to come back and just pray again.

Then I remembered something my friend told me.

“Take a breath”.

So i took several deep breaths, and guess what.

I heard God talking to me. He said, “Bea, don’t worry. I will provide.” I heard it, LOUD AND CLEAR. And I just started welling up and almost crying. I just couldn’t believe how hard I was trying to listen when God’s message was always there.

This year is the year of faith, and I’m blessed to have experienced small miracles like this.

Later on, during the same mass, there was this song that the choir sung. And I was listening. And i heard my dad. This was his song. And then I remembered God’s message for me. It extended up to that song. I really cried hearing it.

Sometimes I try so hard. I really do, and the lesson is actually, surrender.

And take a breath.

Dreams and Faith

Dreams, I mean literally, the dreams that happen when you fall asleep.

I had the strangest dream last night. It surprised me — the event in the dream, how eerie it was but also how real it felt for me. I don’t really believe that dreams are signs or what, but I just feel that this one meant something.

I know i have been to the place where I was in the dream. And apparently, I can run and I can be an action star or what. (HAHA PUN INTENDED). I remember being in that place before, knowing every nook and all the short cuts for me to get to where I want to go. I remember leading my friend with me. So what exactly was I doing in the dream? I was LITERALLY defending my faith. There were some people who were really teaching wrong doctrines to people who did not know better, and were really tricking them. And there was also this part that Jesus (in the flesh) was hidden somewhere in the Manila Cathedral. (Dreams are crazy when explained, so please remember that this is a dream and it isn’t supposed to be coherent. HAHA)

So, my friend and i were held captive and found a way to get out. Apparently, I was held hostage there before and I knew the way for us not to be seen. And we ended up to the entrance of the Cathedral and people were closing it, and I remember being held back from entering and i literally had to fight my way through it. I remember seeing this man doing a genuflect with the lectionary to get powers from it. (Swear, I didn’t know why. I feel like this was a chronicle to restore the faith). So they were threatening me and from what i recall, they didn’t know what I knew, so they were telling me that it was okay and they will lock me inside the cathedral. When they turned around, I went straight to the crypts and found a big wooden shield/fence/blockage and i was able to kick and tear it down. And there, I saw, Jesus (like he was just taken down from the cross when if He was taken down alive). I started crying and I wanted to do something — clean His wounds or make the hurting stop. And then I realized that i was also at fault, i had a contribution to the wounds he had.

… And for some weird reason, Dream me was expecting that when i touch Jesus, something would light up and make all the people remember that the people who were teaching them false teachings were wrong and they were being tricked. But apparently, that’s not how it goes. And i was panicking and crying and hoping that something would work for people to remember.

And then, I woke up.

I didn’t tell anyone about my dream until now. I guess it still freaks me out. The place being familiar and all. And what happened, and how helpless i felt.

Maybe it represents something now in my faith life? I am not so sure. If it does, I hope it’s something I can deal with still.

All i know is that 1 thing is clear: I gotta fight also for my faith, like anything else in my life.