What’s True?

calm, breeze-less night 

I was blog hopping a little and I saw a couple of posts of people coping with stress, anxiety, unhappiness, moodlessness etc. I think different people have very different ways of handling pressure (external force) and stress (internal response); I’m just sitting here with nothing much in mind except  acknowledging the fact that I feel comfortable in this space in the virtual world (that technically is mine because of the little pixel that my blog and post occupy in the digital arena). 

Maybe I can post a question out to everyone tonight: what do you think are the things that are true in your life? 

Now I have a feeling that I got you thinking there, and that’s what I wanted to achieve really. 

So perhaps when you are actually feeling stressed, under the weather or just staring into your future or past and not knowing what to do.. refer to your list of what you consider to be true in your life, and what will always stay true in and to your life even when circumstances change and situations pass. These possibly are the things that will give you strength in your moment of weakness, and likely a support that you can grab onto as the wind threatens to sweep you off your feet and whirl your world into chaos. 

These are the things that are really important to you in your life. (And now you realize how nothing on the list is material..) 

When I Have, When I Am

calm, quiet night

I was listening to a special sharing by a teacher during afternoon assembly today as part of a whole series of talks on interesting stories about life. He looked very ordinary when he was getting up on stage, almost shy as he grabbed for the microphone but the moment he started to speak, it became clear he was a charismatic character and he spoke in a sincere manner with a natural sense of humour. He was funny at the right moments, not excessive but enough to keep the audience captivated. His easy and honest demeanour placed the audience ourselves at ease and that was a huge plus point; a usually lethargic crowd battling the lull hour before lunch break was attentive and highly interested today.

He segmented his sharing into 3 major stories about his National Service days served in the Military Police (very rare, we don’t hear much of them at all) – the first being a story about different walks and phases of life of different people, the second on love, soulmates and what they all mean, and the last was about the deference of happiness. Very engaging stuff he’s got there, and the lessons derived from each were deep, insightful and potentially applicable to our lives.

The first story of his was to convey the idea that everyone is in a different phase of life, face different challenges, relate differently to things; in short, it was to say everyone has their story to tell and we should never judge, dismiss or condemn anyone for what we see as flaws or what we deem as ‘bad’ in them. It is too shallow to do so without knowing the struggles that others are going through, and how life is not as smooth flowing as we would like to consider it to be.

The second was about love, about the concept of soulmates. It was a sad little love tale he told, about a couple torn apart by parents, religion and society. He showed us an endearing picture of him and his wife, and related his love story to us. Heartwarming indeed, but the message really was that sometimes we use the term ‘soulmate’ too loosely. It is of course easy to call ourselves someone’s soulmate or refer to someone as our soulmate, but what he offered in his sharing was that this title or status was something to be earned for the other person as well as for ourselves. That we need to prove to ourselves more than the other person that we really are qualified to be deemed the soulmate of the other person.

He did save the best for last. The last story was entitled, ‘Fear of Happiness’. It was a long chase story but to cut it short, it was all about the continuous deference of happiness. I loved the way he weaved the idea in, as well as his thoughts about it and how he chose to relate it to us at our level. I do hereby give this teacher a round of applause for his inspirational words and this has to go down as one of the best sharings I have heard in recent times. I do intend to thank him in person someday soon, and have a further few words with him. However, I think for now I would like to expound on this in my own way because I can suitably relate to it.

What he was trying to share with us was that too many people these days defer their happiness – that is delay happiness to another point in the future. Now now, you will probably find yourself guilty of saying or thinking this: I’ll be happy when I … / I’ll be happy when I am … . Do you find this statement / idea familiar now? Yes, we tend to regard current unhappiness as temporary and associate happiness as belonging to achieving something or belonging to another phase or time in life that is not now. We develop a preconceived notion and image of what happiness is, and that it is something within our grasp in the near future but not necessary now. We idealize that there is happiness after the current struggle, that to reach that happiness it is almost necessary to go through a bad patch of unhappiness.

That isn’t true. There’s no better time to be happy than now, because the next moment in time does not yet exist. It’s like saying you’ll stop to smell the flowers after you cross a certain checkpoint but yet push this pleasure to the next checkpoint after clearing that certain checkpoint; it is likely that you would one day run out of checkpoints to surpass and find yourself never having had the chance to smell the flowers. Maybe these milestones are getting out of school, landing your first job, getting out of your country on to somewhere better, getting married, having a stable career.. and then before you realize it, you might already be sitting on a bench at eighty years old wondering where your time to be happy went and you look back thinking gosh, why did I push my happiness back endlessly?

There’s no one more worthy in your life to be happy than you, and no time better to be happy than now. Why defer happiness to another time when you achieve something, or become someone?

Why not be happy because you have, and because you are?

If I Could

If I could  

Turn the hands of the clock back countless rounds and endless bouts
Back to a time when I was making decisions and  choosing destinations
I would make those choices again albeit with different outcomes
Take a gamble against all odds and watch how things turn out 

Maybe pick the unusual left over the conventional right 
Perhaps go with my heart and allow my head to catch up 
Stare hard and act swift at the divergence of two roads
And be not afraid to take the one less travelled by 

There’s a chance that would have made all the difference
Ending up at a place and time with a destiny so unexpected 
Tracing back the footsteps only to smell the aromatic flowers along the way again
Stopping by to pluck a flower and hold it against the sweet cool summer air 

Probably return to inform others of the two roads that diverged in the wood
How the split is deliberate to test for a true taste of the valour of life 
To search in dreams sought the crust in life that is behind everything
What we all so desire to have which we cannot but live without 

So I would

If I could. 

Nothing Special Really (Happy Mother’s Day)

It is just a cup of tea, 
Nothing special really;

True that the soothing aroma it gives off brings a smile to your face,
And the tinge of thrill from the Moroccan Mint makes you go ‘mmm’,
While the creaminess of the Latte eases your brows and lightens your mood; 

But it is just an ordinary cup of tea latte from your favourite coffee joint,
Nothing special really;

But to you it is – a rare treat from someone you love,
A little show of affection from someone you stay up late and wake up early for,
Some tenderness from someone whom you wish were kinder and nicer to you,
An action of care and thought that you hope to receive more of; 

You feel delighted when the cup of tea is surprised with a plush toy and a rose, 
Yet he feels a vague sense of regret and guilt in being able to give you so little,
A simple gesture he renders inadequate which you treasure and considers so plentiful,
With it a gentle three words that cheers your heart and make it all seem worthwhile;

Happy Mother’s Day.

 (Nothing special really) 

What Now, Not What If

cool, breezy night

Reader (very obvious a leaf taken out of Jane Eyre haha), all I want to say tonight is that it is better to face ‘what now’ than to deal with ‘what if’.

If we do everything remembering that regret is based on what we have not done rather than what we have done, and is developed from the shots we’ve not taken rather than the shots we’ve shot and missed.. we probably would make better decisions in life. Some poor decisions are made by ourselves while other choices are made for us by others; either way these are things which we need to salvage and reverse if possible.

To anyone who’s facing the consequences and backlash of a wrong move, I say to you: make amends, put things right, get over it and move on. God help those who help themselves, and in you faith is placed to resolve the issues and overcome the challenges.

Good night.