Grey and Yellow

2020 was life-changing, it was exceptionally challenging that I can’t even put in a good word.

It was unremarkably heavy, a burdened weight unnecessarily shouldered for the past 10 months.

Suddenly, everyone had to forego with comfortable, we did not have a choice and that was frustrating. Life had to hide behind the mask.

Loss was a daily constant. The existential need to be seen, to be heard, to be held, was abruptly stolen by uncertainty and time was not on our side.

Anxiety continue to grow and you find yourself writing down turbulent thoughts on a fleeting lucid moment at 2 am.

I had to deal with so much the last year, I couldn’t cope. Gone was the strong facade I so easily wear, replaced by a throng of vulnerability and unrest. I feel like the chemistry in my brain fucked up.

2020 did not turn out how we hoped it would be, it was a cruel surprise. But somewhere in between the pandemonium was a window of realization that human as we are, we will instinctively survive.

If there was anything that I learned from the longest year of my life, it was gratitude, gratitude from the smallest of things: from keeping a job despite the economic collapse, home-cooked meals, discovering a hobby, appreciating my small circle of family and friends, new-age technology filling in the gap from being socially distant, waking up alive, healthy and somewhat sane.

May we leave the dust of the year that was in the past and may we learn that we could choose to drop these heavy loads and walk towards hope, no matter how small a speck, with empty arms making room to carry much better things.

Smile. It’s a New Year.

xx

DMV

Cliff glider

I never imagined getting affected by the flimsiest of things but here I am, a chaotic mess of sad, angry and feeling bad. Yes, I felt bad.

It never crossed my mind that I would develop anxiety but the past 10 months of uncontrollable uncertainty has turned me into a silent wreck.

Isolation and confinement has pushed me to reach out to people, recklessly exposing myself to be emotionally vulnerable and I’ve been led on and left out.

I’ve never done any of these things before and it’s overwhelmingly new and suffocating. And as soon as someone paid attention, I easily forget that expectation is paired with disappointment.

I used to be so good at refocusing my thoughts, blocking out bad memories, or just not giving a care but somehow, it’s been getting really hard to hold it all together and not being able to control what runs through my head is taking its toll on me.

Too heavy.

Too depressing.

Too confusing.

Too much.

xx

DMV

Enemies of the Heart | Guilt

Subscribed to this devotional recently and I’m just gonna leave Day 2 here. Just in case you stumble across this, read up.

Andy Stanley: Enemies of the Heart 

Devotional Day 2

“Fessing Up”

Scripture: 1 John 1:5-10

The first enemy of the heart is guilt. Guilt is the result of having done something we perceive as wrong. The message from a heart laden with guilt is, “I owe!”

Consider the man who runs off with another woman and abandons his family. Without realizing it at the time, he has stolen something from every member of his family. He has robbed his wife of her future, her financial security, and her reputation as a wife. From his children’s perspective, this man has stolen their Christmas, traditions, emotional and financial security, dinners with the family, and so on.

Now, the man who did all this doesn’t think in terms of what he has taken. Initially, he thinks in terms of what he has gained. But the first time his little girl asks him why he doesn’t love Mommy anymore, his heart is stirred. He now feels guilty. Dad owes.

Nothing less than paying that debt will relieve a guilty heart of its burden of guilt. People try to work it off, serve it off, give it off, and even pray it off. But no amount of good deeds, community service, charitable giving, or Sundays in a pew can relieve the guilt. It’s a debt. And it must be paid or canceled for a guilty heart to experience relief.

How do you get your guilt canceled? The answer comes in one of the first Bible verses I memorized as a child: 1 John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (kjv).

Confession has the power to break the cycle of sin. And like most medicinal remedies, it works when applied properly. Proper application happens when we confess our sins, not just to God, but also to the people we’ve sinned against.

Guilty people are usually repeat offenders. And as long as you’re carrying a secret, as long as you’re trying to ease your conscience by telling God how sorry you are, you’re setting yourself up to repeat the past. However, if you start confessing your sins to the people you’ve sinned against, odds are that you’re not going to go back and commit those sins again.

Confess both to God and others, and you will slay this enemy of your heart.

What are you feeling guilty for? Confess your sin to God and to whomever you have hurt. Do it today.

“This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that his word has no place in our hearts.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:5-10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Bewitched by Children’s Laughter

I did not dream of having kids. It was never part of the plan.

I wanted to write and live in different places, experience this diverse, expansive earth everyone keeps talking about.

At some point, I even wanted to go to outer space, discover aliens, leave footprints on the moon, trek Mars, name stars.

But you see, life has a sick sense of humor and who would have imagined I’d end up birthing 3 boys instead.

The irony.

I wasn’t ready.

Stuck in the mundane.

I think I’ll never be ready.

Fine, joke’s on me.

But I kept on, even when my mind was in total chaos. I still keep on.

I had the choice to get away, to run away as I always do, but I stayed.

And trying to be a mother, keeping up a facade of this supposedly strong person and parenting alone while my heart shattered into infinite pieces, was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure.

But oh, the laughter of children, the sweetest songs, such beautiful music to my ears, I could listen to for a lifetime.

The course of our lives sometimes do not play out like how we pictured it in our heads but somehow, we always end up where we should be.

And most times, much happier.

 

xx

DMV

Obsession Election

This 2016 elections is so intense, it has brought more division rather than unity. Everybody is at each other’s throats trying to prove some logical point why their choice of candidate is the rightful choice. Suddenly, everyone has become so concerned about a nation, everyone has become some expert political critic and social media has conveniently become fuel for hate. My feed is amazingly overflowing with negativity. Amidst the social media war, the heated exchange of quips, the cursing and mudslinging, some respond with tact and diplomacy while others, with their overwhelming passion for whatever cause they are fighting for, morph into rabid bullies.

The development of the campaigns has become chaotic, comical and unpredictable, it’s kind of embarrassing and plainly annoying.

But isn’t it, supposedly as one people, our aim is for the progress of our country? That is if we are genuinely concerned with the development of our country and not just riding with the sensationalized bandwagon because it is the social media trend.

Change. Everyone is screaming change. WE WANT CHANGE. The overused “change” has literally been the undying promise of every running or aspiring politician every election season. (And honestly, to be fair to the past and present administrations, there has been change, it’s just that most of us are just too naive to notice. Change is gradual, not drastic. Even Charles Darwin believes so.)

But change happens with us. Discipline starts with us, not with some government official, not with some political aspirant and definitely not only during elections.

We are all so quick to judge, to conclude, to blame and to complain. No government is perfect. It will always have its fair share of unforgivable gaffes but I do hope that as educated citizens, we could give credit where credit is due. It’s just sad, human nature as it is, we are bent to see faults rather than acomplishments.

Let’s try to reevaluate, what have we actually done to contribute to the progress of this country besides clocking in to work and paying taxes. Have we actually immersed ourselves in the community and experienced first hand the hell of a country we live in as what some are relentlessly claiming? Have we gone out of our way to find out facts to alleviate our ignorance and not solely rely on mass and social media? Are we adherent to our nation’s laws as simple as following traffic rules, lining up and waiting for your turn at the grocery counter or disposing your trash in the right receptacle bin? Have we grasped opportunities to involve ourselves in helping the homeless, the neglected and the abused?

If we really want to see real change, we have to be a part of the process.

Five days left of the campaign period, six days left before election day. By now, most of the voting population has already decided whom to vote so let’s show each other respect as what civilized people are supposed to do for it is our right to root for whoever we feel deserving. Regardless of who will win the elections, local and national alike, all of us will have to deal with it.

After May 9, most of us will go about our everyday lives like we normally do. But let’s not be insensitive to the marginalized multitude who’s become victims of abject poverty; let’s not be insensitive to the underprivileged youth, let’s not be insensitive to the abused women and children; let’s not.

All of us yearn for a better government so choose someone with integrity, someone with a clear vision for this country, someone with tact and wit and consistency, someone who is respectful and considerate, someone who values transparency, someone who upholds the rule of law.

Choose someone who complements your principles, values and beliefs.

Enough of being a circus. Stop with the drama. When you exercise your right to suffrage, think. Think of your countrymen, think of the children. Six years is a very long time.

 

xx

DMV

 

His Mind

It has always been a challenge (not a struggle) to raise a child with Asperger’s. They see a world so much different from ours, understand differently from what we can normally comprehend, grasp unrealistic ideas and view it as normal. They see color in black and whites and grays in color. They give a solid meaning to the word unique. So somewhere in between, you know you’d both clash and disagree.

But also in between you learn about patience (lots and lots and lots of patience), about perseverance, about compromise, about appreciation and amazement and unconditional love.

This kid, when he was younger, he could name all the flags of the world. When he got older, he could name all the car brands and their model types. Recently he’s into constellations and he’s been telling me about what he sees when he looks up the sky at night. It’s amazing how they could pour all concentration and focus and passion into that one thing that interests them and be scattered with all the rest.

There are days that I feel exhausted and helpless especially during the times when he is being unreasonable and throws a tantrum and no matter what I do he just completely shuts down and I can’t get through. There are days that I panic and overthink things, like how will he be able to live normally when I’ve gone. There are days when I feel like a failure and think that I am not doing enough despite all the medication and doctors and therapy.

Then there are days when he is overly sweet, does his chores, surprises me with I love you balloons and letters, talks to me about his day like what he did with his friends at school, jokes about random things, looks after his youngest brother and somehow, it assures me that somewhere, I am doing things right.

This kid, he’s taught me a lot about living. How to appreciate the little things, how to pay attention to detail, how to strive harder and never give up, how to dream. When he is shattered, I need to focus. When he is unnerved, I need to encourage. When he is irrational, I have to be patient. When he is being stubborn, I have to pour more love.

And yes he is extraordinary and atypical and awesome and I’m very very grateful.


xx

DMV