Today’s Prayer

Dearest God,

I do not usually pray online. But I am sure, you don’t mind at all.

This is going to be short.

Please bless us all, especially whoever is reading this right now.

May we find solace in writing and reading our fellow humans’ thoughts and emotions.

You have given us the opportunity to live and see your amazing creations!

Help us to focus on the beauty and all the blessings we  have right now.

Please help us understand  that pain, trials & challenges are part of it all.

Give us the  strength of mind, body, and spirit to surpass every affliction.

To be brave, strong, and never lose hope.

Help us to have the right perspective of things

To be free from anxiety, worries and heartaches

To have peace of mind and be happy

To do what is right and just

Help us to live each day in your grace.

May you fill us up with Your love

May this love overflows within us to the people around us and to the whole world!

Amen.

Why Do I Write?

I WRITE BECAUSE

I have my quiet time  (baby is napping)

I am bored

I am inspired

I am hurt

I am happy

I am annoyed

I am grateful

I am blessed

I am feeling

I am thinking

I am recording my experiences

I want to connect

I want to share

I want to learn

I am free

I am ALIVE!

It surely is nice to have many followers. It is tempting to focus on getting the stats up but I keep reminding myself, I am doing this for me. I am here to savor my journey through life. I am hoping my children will read this someday, and learn so much about their mother. It can also be nice that friends or family can get to know me more as well. I will be happy even if I get to inspire one person. I will be glad to have one person learn something or be comforted with my words. I hope to spread good vibes, to let you know that you are not alone. We share experiences, both pleasant and BAD. It is all good!!!

Have a blessed day!

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Will The Truth Set Me Free?

I wanted to write about this for a long time now but I have always been hesitant.  I am afraid that people will make judgments about me (based on experience, there are people who are very quick on making judgments without the proper “trial”). Another reason is I am worried to hurt somebody I love. I am ashamed, and I am not proud about these feelings.

These past few days I feel anxious again. I am not so sure if I was traumatized but certainly there is something not normal about what I feel. For some of you reading this, you may have experienced anxiety. It comes in different forms. For me, when I think of a particular person or I hear her voice, my physical reaction is heart beating fast, feeling dizzy, and getting really nervous. It is just automatic. It was like conditioned. When I hear her voice or I see her calling, I get all those weird feelings that make me feel so weak. With just the thought that I will see her sometime someday, it makes me just want to disappear. Is this trauma? Why did I brought this to myself? Why did I let it happen to me? Maybe I am just being too irrational or emotional. I should not have let emotions swallow me. Is it too late? God knows I have done my best to overcome this. Sometimes I try to “immune” myself. They say if you expose yourself little by little to something that you fear, you will get used to it, accept it, and then you fear no more. I try it a couple of times. I do not fear her but I feel weird.  I guess I still have a long way to go. I pray too. May God’s healing power heal my emotions, my soul, my mind and just be normal around her. I have faith that I will get there. For now, I think I am still in the process.

It is almost exactly a year ago when for the first time, I felt so liberated, so happy. I can not explain the happiness and the peace I felt on that day. The universe might have conspired with me this time. There was a comforting silence in the house. Most importantly, there was complete silence in my head, in my heart, in my soul. I have never felt that for a long time.  Of course, I am so embarrassed to say it. I will not go into details of the many petty clashes in our little house. I am not even sure if she cared about it.  Overtime it just built a wall between us. Or I built a wall around me. I am so sad that eventually it turned out so weird. I can not explain why it led to that moment. I truly feel sorry about it.  Maybe it all started off on a wrong foot? Incompatibility? In any relationship definitely there should be compatibility. Too much differences in personality, values, way of thinking?  So many things that transpired along the way,  but there is one thing I was sure about. It was not healthy living together anymore.It came to the point when I dread waking up. When I did not want to be at home.  But I have kids. I did not want to affect them as well. I thought of leaving with the kids and try the life back home with my parents. But what did it mean? What could it look like?  Broken relationship with my husband who I love dearly? He is very close to the kids and it will kill me to see them apart. I felt so trapped for 7 years thinking about other people, thinking about the situation. I felt no choice. I felt so trapped. Getting annoyed most of the time and hating myself for being me! It does not matter what she did or what I did. The point is when things are not working out, you try to hold on to it and do your best to solve it or make things better. But when things do not really work out anymore, then something has to be done to save whatever can be saved. Maybe some things or people are just not meant to be together. Added to my anxiety is what OTHERS might think or say. I know from experience how others can naturally be judgmental, as if they do not make mistakes, as if they never get in conflict with their own families. Some people will just take sides without an open mind, without being objective. The truth is,  I tend to have a people pleaser personality. I just learned overtime that this can not be possible. We can not please everybody. We have to make choices and hurt someone along the way. It is us who go through our own lives. Others do not. They are outsiders.

I am trying to help myself conquer this negative emotion. I pray a lot that I will feel NOTHING when I see her again. She is still family, so no matter how unpleasant the experience is living under one roof with her, the right thing to do is to accept her and respect her. I am hopeful. But I am still nervous. I am afraid of feeling certain emotions again such as dislike or hatred. I was afraid of myself too. I hated myself on those times. I guess it was really self destructive since there were conflicts within me. As what I always do, I try to rationalize. It was nobody’s fault. It was just a bad chemistry. Nothing was intentional. She was a good person too. Things happen for a reason. There is still hope. I tell myself it is not too late. It is already in the past. We still have tomorrow. There should always be a room for forgiveness.

I have a baby girl. When she marries someday, I will make sure she will be free from this kind of stress!

Lessons To Live By

It is the start of 2015. It is a new beginning. I thought I was not going to write some new year’s resolution, but I guess I am. I can not think of a term, but I want to see it more as a new commitment, some lessons to remember to help me live a better life. A better life for me means less anxiety, less worry, less heartaches but more peaceful, more positive, and happier.

I came to realize that this year, I will try to incorporate into my system some important lessons to live by. I am writing this not because I am an expert on the field, but because I am trying to learn how to live life to the fullest. As I said, writing is a very powerful tool in introspection.

I intend to do/keep in mind the following:

1. BE HEALTHIER

I am not getting any younger, I decided to lose weight and be healthier. I will try to exercise at least 10 minutes a day. I will eat healthier (most of the time). I should not make “being busy”  or too tired taking care of the house and the kids as an excuse not to exercise. This morning I checked YouTube videos for exercises I can do at home. I loved this HIIT Cardio: 10 minutes (by momsintofitness).  Oh my, I was so out of shape. I was getting exhausted and my legs were hurting. I am committing myself to do it everyday.

2. UNDERSTAND SOME UNIVERSAL TRUTH OR LAWS OF NATURE (Being Present, Change, Pain)

The second important commitment I should make is more difficult to do. It takes a lot of internalization. I want to change the way I think. I want to change how I perceive life and living. I have to learn how to cope up. As the saying goes, change the way you think and the world around you changes. I believe if I achieve this understanding and it has become a part of me, then I can live life to its fullest. Finally,  begin to see the world as it really is.

My previous blogs talked about my fear, anxiety, hatred, death, living life, way to happiness, and the lessons I want my kids to learn. I also mentioned one of the reasons why I write is that I am on search for something. I came across this book and I realized that it somehow sums up or incorporates everything I wrote about in my other blogs. I deeply want to share this with others, hoping that  there is something good and useful to be found from this reading. All the quotes were lifted from the book Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield.

2.1 MINDFULNESS

I will strive to train myself to be MINDFUL. I want to achieve a Quiet mind, open heart and steady spirit.  “Mindfulness helps train us to be more present and alive. The art of living… is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past… the truth that is right where we are when we let go of fantasies and memories and come into the reality of the present.” This means being sensitive to each moment of our life. It means being more present and more awake, more appreciating of THE PRESENT. “The present moment is the only game in town and if we miss this moment it will be gone forever.” I should not waste my time worrying about the future, dreaming about the past or being enslaved by bad memories and emotions.  Now is important. I should learn to let go.

I mentioned from my old post (Way To Happiness) Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a dream. Today is a gift. So live TODAY, be present.

2.2 NOTHING IS PERMANENT BUT CHANGE

Law of nature: “Things are impermanent, that attachment causes pain. We need to learn how to flow with the changes, to see everything as a process of change, to relax with uncertainty. We need to learn how to let go, how to stay centered in the midst of change”.  I mentioned in my previous blog my fear of death. I can not imagine losing a loved one or the thought of dying. I tend to be attached to the people or to something I love (which I think is very natural). We have to understand that ” We do not actually own our bodies but rather we just inhabit them for a short time, and during that time they will change by themselves, regardless of what we want to happen.”

A few nights ago, my husband and I watched the movie, Boyhood. There was one scene that struck me. As the son, Mason,  prepares to leave his mother’s new apartment for college, Olivia (the mother) breaks down, saying she is disillusioned by how fast life has flown by, and claims there is nothing left in her life but her death.

“Nothing in our lives lasts or stays the same for very long. Everything is changing all the time.” As the book says, “Trying to hold onto ‘how it was’ will only create suffering and disappointment, because life is a river and everything changes… We create a huge amount of suffering if we are attached to things staying the same, we realize that relaxing and letting go is a wiser way to live…”

“When we realize everything passes away, not only the good things but the painful things as well.”  So when challenges or trial comes, just remember that it too shall pass. Let the storm rage on as the song in the movie Frozen says.

2.3 PAIN IS PART OF LIVING

“Gain and loss, praise and blame, pain and pleasure are part of the dance of life, given to each of us, born into our human body”. 
This reminds me to embrace not just the good but also the bad side of life, the unlikable people who caused you pain. They are still part of this world and there is nothing I can do to push them away. Why do I have to stress out on something or someone I can not prevent or change?

“The truth is that things change whether we want them to or not. Becoming attached to things as they are or pushing things away that we do not like does not stop them from changing. It only leads to further suffering.”

Lesson 4 and 5 are from my old post (Way To Happiness)

3. THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON

Every circumstance in our lives (both good and bad) are necessary for us to be where we are right now. There is a reason for every event, every encounter with people who walk on our path.

4. BE THE BEST THAT WE CAN BE WHEREVER WE ARE

Bloom where God planted you. You are special. You are blessed. Refrain from comparing yourself with others. You will either find yourself  superior or inferior.  In relation to this, I have also learned that we can not please everybody. If we do, we will only be stressed out. Do what you think is best for you and your family not what others think is best. In the end, it is you who goes through it not them!  You are special. You are blessed.

It looks a lot. We may get overwhelmed by these reminders. It can take a lot of work and discipline to change the way we think. But I believe it is worth a try!

Good luck to us! Life is short, we will only be here once, let us make the most out of it and live a happy life!

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The Magic of Haircut

This morning, I had a bad hair day. I felt so grouchy inside. I am not usually like that. For me that is a petty reason to be feeling down or cranky. My husband and I were taking the kids to the nearby park. I still could not fix my hair. Put it up, down, up, no good. I felt so lousy. I was not feeling good about myself. So I put a big hat on (just like the grandmas walking on a park) to hide my hair. Eventually, I got irritated with the big black hat so I took it off. I put my hair down from a hair donut. It was sunny and the kids were having fun running around. I put the hat on again since my face felt the scorching heat of the sun. I badly wanted to go home. Suddenly, someone I did not feel like talking to was approaching the park with her kids. She reminds me so much of a tactless person I know (which I dislike).  With the bad mood, I certainly did not feel like talking, but it left me with no choice. Then she was talking about how my husband looks like he is 25 years old. A lot of people say that he looks 10 years younger than his age. He has a baby face you can say and he works out regularly. This was agitating me. With my low self esteem this morning, it also reminded me of how hard I am trying to lose weight. It was implied or maybe I was thinking about it that I look older and “bigger”. When we came home, I cooked lunch, fed the kids, gave them a bath. As soon as my little girl fell asleep from the nap, without hesitation I told my husband that I am going out for a hair cut. I do not remember the last time I changed my hairstyle. Maybe it was way back in 2009 after I gave birth to my son. For years, I had the same hairstyle. Maybe today I just got sick of it. I needed a change. I went to the Salon and slowly I was feeling light (outside and inside) as I see the long strands saying goodbye. I came home feeling better. I put on a little make up and I started writing.  Why did not do it soon? Did I forget? Was I just contented all those times? Maybe I was concerned that I do not look good anymore with short hair? But I realized…it will still grow if I can not pull it through. It is not the end of the world.

Change is part of life. It is necessary at some point.

A Tribute To The Man

It was an emergency. Seven months ago, my father had an operation. His appendix already burst for days. So when they found out, he needed to undergo surgery right away. It was bad since it could cause infection to other organs of the body, besides the fact that he is diabetic, has kidney & heart concerns. The scariest for me was the delusions. He was acting confused, seeing things, slurred speech, his odd behaviors. He suffered from stroke in a particular area on his brain causing the symptoms mentioned. Concerning my parents, so far, this has been the most terrifying experience.

As I heard the updates from my brother and sisters, I was  really affected. I was thousand miles away. Days passed by and he was still in the Intensive Care Unit.  I spoke to my husband and I needed to come home to see him. When your love one is in pain, at least you want to be there physically to comfort them. I decided I had to fly with my kids. My husband had to stay for work. The travel was not easy.  I just found out that my 2 year old has fear of heights. She was crying the whole time in the flight and she could not stand the altitude. I felt so sorry for my baby girl. It was really a sacrifice. Thank God my mom came with me to help me.

We arrived in Manila. That day I went to see my father in the hospital. He lost so much weight. He looked really bad. It was the first time I saw him so sick and weak, and it was totally heartbreaking. We prayed over him, we were visiting everyday. I brought my kids, and he saw my little girl for the first time. My son would sing to him and hold his hands. With lots of love and prayers, finally  he was sent home. He was cleared by his doctors. I was glad that we still had three weeks to take care of him at home. Literally, he had too much medicines to take round the clock (around 30 kinds). I had to make a list of schedule.  I was hands on. It was my honor to take care of him. I believe with the family’s love, support, and prayers, he survived and he got better. Before we left for the States, he was already walking (with support) and his speech was already clear.

Now, we keep in touch through texting, phone calls, video calls. I always ask God to grant my parents longer lives so we can still let them feel our love, our gratitude for giving us life. Surely, they are not perfect! They have flaws. Not all memories with parents are good (at least for me). But I know that they have done their best. They did what they can. And they will always be a part of me.  I am an extension of them. They will live in me.

My Tatay (Filipino term for father) will celebrate his birthday two months from now. He is turning 82 years old. I thank God for giving him another chance to live. Another year. And more years to come. I just want to recognize him, while he is still around.

Recently, my father was acknowledged by our City. He was one of the recipients of the “Dangal ng Bacoor (Honor/Pride of Bacoor, our hometown in the Philippines). This is the second time he received the same award. I checked websites if there was an article  written about it. There was one, but they only mentioned the famous celebrities who were recipients too. So here is my chance to include my father,  Atty. Hermoso Tan Lazaro.  “Dangal ng Bacoor” – an event that recognized the achievements of its local sons and daughters in various fields, among them Eric Buhain for sports, Diether Ocampo and Marian Rivera for the entertainment industry; former Supreme Court Chief Justice Manuel Pamaran; former Department of Justice Secretary Serafin Cuevas; and former Interior and Local Government Secretary Cesar Sarino.” (http://mbpublications.com/cruise/2008/11/11/bacoors-bounty/). My father is not famous. He is not a public figure, but he was chosen to be a recipient of this award. That makes it more special!

Hermoso Tan Lazaro  was born on March 11, 1933 in Cavite, Philippines. Son of Atty. Dominador Guinto Lazaro and Tomasa Sanchez Tan. He is a younger brother to Dr. Lourdes Tan Zebell. His sister pursued her medical career in the United States in her early 20’s.

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He went to FEU Law School and passed the bar exam. He was accepted in the National Bureau of Investigation (counterpart of FBI here in the States) and worked his way up the ladder. From being an agent chasing the bad guys, he became Assistant Director of the Bureau when he retired. He also got a training in Quantico Virginia (http://www.mocavo.com/Directory-of-Graduates-of-the-Fbi-National-Academy-and-Officers-of-the-Fbi-National-Academy-Associates-1997-98/121011/669).  I believe he spent more than 50 years of his life serving in the Bureau (I will have to call them for exact details). I remember when I was little we would go on vacation in different provinces where he was assigned to work as Regional Director. In high school, he had his office in Manila. Sometimes I would come to visit after class.

Remembering my father, he was good looking, strong, mighty, tough, intimidating, dominant, powerful, dignified. Clearly, he was an achiever.  Other than that, to us,  he was a good father. He did a great job protecting us and providing everything that we need. I have funny memories of him too (particularly his corny jokes). Now that he is old, physically weak, he needs to know that his legacy will not be forgotten. He will look the same to us forever, and that we will always be proud of him!

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