• Loving the Unlovable

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    There are  people who know exactly how to push your buttons. They make your life harder. Selfish, rude, proud, inconsiderate. We all met or had encounter these kind of undesirable traits. We can forgive them, how they wronged us, the pain may not be there anymore, but the scar is still there as a reminder.

    The hurtful words spoken from people who you had helped, and gave your trust. As if they have forgotten how you helped them when they needed you.

    They make you feel uncomfortable, they do not respect your boundaries, they create confusion. as if they don’t want you to see you happy. They would watch your every move criticize and would await your fall.

    And if there is a time that they return the favor, there would be strings attached, and you will be reminded of the debt that you owe them.

    When dealing with difficult individuals, I learned:

    Be kind to others always. Be kind to yourself

    Be gracious to others, give yourself grace too

    Be mindful of  other people’s boundaries as well as respect yours

    Do not give your opinion when unsolicited.

    Do not offer help when not needed. If they need help, they will say so. You can say no and offer solutions or compromise.

    Expect nothing in return.

    Treat others like they want to be treated.

    Sometimes people don’t want nonsense, sometimes they will tolerate nonsense.

     

    Self affirmations when I doubt myself:

    How can I love others if I don’t love myself?

    I am worthy of love, even if I don’t get it from others.

    When I am vulnerable, I am reminded that I am not alone.

    When I am  depressed , I am reminded that happiness is temporary and so is loneliness.

    When I am tired of everything, I know where to find rest.

    When adversity comes, I am reminded that God will never forsake me.

    When everything is going wrong, I am reminded I can rely on God

    When everything is going right, the more I needed God.

    When I am kind to myself, I become a better person, and when I feel that way, I treat

    people better no matter how unlovable they may seem to be.

  • The Ugly side of depression

    40A3E0C1-2280-4411-AB64-26925A9DAFEFTrigger warning!

    There is the side of mental illness that is silent, invisible to the naked eye.

    Luckily, there are episodes that are mild and bearable. Sometimes you can still cope and cheer up. Some days are not the best.

    Sometimes you sleep excessively, and there are nights you need a sleep aid.

    Some days are a thousand intrusive thoughts running through your mind at the same time. This is one of those not so good days.

    It is a numbing, paralyzing feeling that normally pass after a few days. It is usually caused by hormonal change and can easily be triggered by stressful situations. Small things that usually don’t bother you becomes a major issue and that you can be an annoying pain in the arse to deal with.

    Sometimes the loneliness creeps in for no reason. Like an uninvited visitor, you can’t stop it when it comes. You just cope with it.

    You can still go on with your day to day routine. It’s just that you have this uncontrollable impulsive behavior. You become obsessed with certain tasks like cleaning and organizing, or you have an impulsive shopping habits. There are times that certain things that you enjoy don’t interest you anymore.

    Overthinking is overwhelming when you think that you had done or said something wrong and you second guess yourself. The scenario repeats in your head, you want it to stop but it won’t.

    You seek validation but you don’t want people to know because you don’t think they would understand.

    It is becoming overly sensitive what other person thinks of you. It is paranoia.

    There are panic and anxiety attack signs that are obvious, but they can be manifested by unseen signs like rapid heart beat and discomfort. You are screaming inside but you cannot let it out.

    It is thinking the worst possible scenario at all times. Being afraid to be happy because you know that it wont last.

    You feel sorry that other people have worse problems than you, and you feel emptiness and insignificance

    What helps me during anxiety times is

    Prayers

    Journaling- Making a worry list

    Gratitude list

    Sleep (melatonin 1 mg)

    Increasing serotonin and dopamine levels

    Seed cycling (hormonal imbalance)

    An elliptical workout or cycling, balanced nutrition (protein, healthy fats, low carb) Omega-3s

    Talk therapy, nature therapy

    Keeping connected with friends and family

    Extra self-care

    Medications and medical care

    Having anxiety and depression is not the end. You have a fighting chance.

    That my friend is called surviving  and managing a panic and depressive episode. We fight it but will not succumb to it. It is an undertaking we emerge as warriors.

    If you think someone is considering suicide, get help immediately

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline-1800 273-8255

    Source: Healthline, The mighty

  • Remote learning thoughts

    A lot of changes happened since the quarantine. Everybody has slowly been adapting especially the children who also been slowly adjusting with this whole new experience.

    Distance learning was  challenging because everyone is still learning the ropes. , Surprisingly, everybody managed the mishap well enough. educators were the real superstar.

    It was without a lot of hurdles, there are times that we were not able to participate in the zoom meetings, because of internet connections, scheduling conflict. Sometimes, we also missed the meetings because we forgot what day it was, which was funny but it was no excuse. There were a lot of reading materials for a short span of time. There were laptops provided for use for those who need it.

    It was overwhelming at first.  My son was uninterested and needed a lot of break. The daily assignments were to be completed each week. The goal of  Schoology is to work on each subject for approximately 30 minutes each or depending on the student.  Monday to Thursday schedule was ELA,Math,Social Studies/Science. The afternoon schedule was for arts, music, media center and PE. There were class meetings every Wednesday and a reading group on Fridays and speech therapy support.

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    Zoom Pictionary Game

    Zoom meetings were something to kids look forward to. The students played games such as scavenger hunts, pictionary, charades and story times. They enjoyed the around the house scavenger hunt game where they look for something purple, cute, small or squishy . It was fun to watch them interact with each other. They were polite, respectful and mannerable . The final project was to make a Famous person’s biography. The kids had a blast doing the presentation.
    I don’t know how teachers do it. It was exasperating sometimes when the kids were interested in doing other things except for their schoolwork .  Empathy and patience truly are virtues someone who teaches must possess.  Reverse psychology sometimes helps, in which they will do the opposite that you want them to do. A little bribe and a lot of encouragement helps too. There is no magic trick.

    I felt pressured for my son because I felt that he is behind on his academics. Thankfully,  he was able to complete the tasks with supervision and a lot of fussing. Learning will not stop at remote learning. This summer, we strive to focus on the weak areas and celebrate the strengths.

    It was truly an awesome experience for the students, parent and teachers alike. They celebrated the last school with a zoom party. Their time capsule will be memories filled with laughs and giggles and the bonus is that you are a witness to this special moment.

    I was surprised to receive the certificate the teacher emailed. The kids were not the only ones who learned . The parents got more than what they bargained for, in a strange turn of events. It was a humbling learning experience.

    Online learning takes the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child.” to a whole new level. What are your homeschool experiences and suggestions and what do you look forward to the oncoming school year? Would like to hear your thoughts on these. Thanks for your time!

    Thomas Jefferson’s Biography Brayden’s wax museum project

  • Ultimate Throwback

    With the current crisis situation we are dealing, each person are coping in different ways. Being alone in our thoughts, we still long for the days when we were still at our prime. We think of the past as a bridge that connects us  to the glorious adventures of our vigorous self . A road to a remembered past is a lane we would look back from time to time.

    We desperately want to go back to our old normal. The familiar place in the time before everything changed. It takes us back to the carefree days of yesterday. The 90s signifies the beginning of an era for the generations who can relate, full of aspirations and hope. In our minds, the whole world is our playground. Our first taste of independence is something to be celebrated. We can be whoever we want to be. This is the time when we reach a crossroad on deciding which path we want to take. 

    While some choose to have a family early on in life, some remained single, some called it quits and some separated with their partners. Some focused on their career, took a second and third course, some worked abroad, some stay close to home. It all lead us all to become the person who we always meant to be.

    All the events lead to today’s destination. Did we have any regrets? Would’ve we done things differently, if we were to go back in time? Will we make the same mistakes? Will we still choose the same path if we are given the second chance? Or will we take a another chance with a long lost love?

    The fickle mindedness of our youth was once an overture to the lessons that are instilled in us.

    There is a greater plan…

    What a happy accident on how all the great artists of today unite and make uplifting music videos in social media platforms! The songs paint a picture, triggering the unconscious to relive a painful but sweet memory that was once forgotten.

    I can still remember giggling nervously while me and my friends were making anonymous DJ request songs and dedicating it to our crushes.

    I can still hear the sound of the old dial up internet tone,  savoring the chats and text message on my first mobile phone.

    Listening to old songs and rewatching old movies will bring us to a time when we first heard and enjoyed them.

    I still remember the song in my heart, I feel a tug,  the feeling I had when I still think of my forsaken love.

    The time stood still, when your crush finally called you by your first name. The first incidental meeting, the letters of romance, and the goodbyes of heartbreak are still vividly imprinted.

    I wouldn’t trade a folded hand written love letter over a text message.

    What I wouldn’t give to use a payphone and rotary phones again and getting surprised with who the person on the other end is.

    I would not trade the remembrance of the shrill laughter my best friends make to a face book memory post.

    Not being weirded out by making a picture shrine of your crush, putting him in the pedestal in the hope that one day, all the stars will align and universe will conspire that you are meant to be together.

    Not being accused of a being stalker when you plan your day around that special someone , possibly bumping in to each other, imagining him picking up the book that you dropped purposely.

    I could not fathom the perfect meeting as you gaze into the depth of his soul, wondering what color your children’s eyes would be like.

    What I would not trade for another surprise encounter of you!

    When you can talk about all the things under the sun and never get tired of it.

    Those were the days when fellow romantics were a sucker for believing in serendipity.

    We would fantasize that a story book romance like the Prince’s bride still exists but believe that love stories can be as tragic as Romeo and Juliet’s.

    Like a rereading a good book,  listening to a record on repeat, in a sacred space I would hold you dear.

    Nostalgia is like an old friend who brings us excitement whenever  she crosses our mind. Nobody can take away our past, our identity, we owe it to her who we are now.

    Dwelling in the past for too long can be a trap that lead us to become powerless with her charm, like being lured into a trance.

    Today’s present would be the past in the distant future. The good ole glory days of this decade will soon fade like a thing of the past, we enjoy every moment as they come. We only have one moment to cherish, and the only moment we have is now.

     

  • Thankful for my 1st World Problems

    2FA0BA4D-17C4-428D-BFEB-DD5999843AECIn this strange, uncertain times, can we still be grateful for the unpleasant things that are happening to us? When we see one bad news after another, we question, will it ever end or will our lives be ever back to the way it was pre- covid 19?

    It is sad when you are unemployed in this time. You feel worthless. You want to work but you are afraid to go out because of being afraid to contract the virus. There are horror stories of family members getting the virus and dying from it. Most people who got it survive, but there are cases, that they are still getting reinfected. Some experts say that your body can build antibodies from the virus through proper nutrition. Some people are not caring anymore and stating that it is a conspiracy, there is no need for masks and that they need to move on with their lives.

    The problems as we view from our perspective is valid,  Our opinions may not be popular, but it is not a contest on who is right. The more I say my problems out loud, how I am inconvenienced with this whole ordeal, he more I sound silly and absurd.

    Sometimes I feel upset that the car broke down, or that there is poor internet connection, the bathroom and kitchen needs updating, walls need repainting or furnace needs fixing.  It only means we have a home, a mode of transportation and source of income. It is a privilege because most people in the world don’t have basic necessities . I should not feel entitled because I have the same rights as anybody else.

    Before I complain, I tell myself, if it could get worse, it can get worse, but it can also get better.

    I can find creative ways to use my time and be realistic with my goals. I can have days that I disappoint my self because I am expecting to much and downward spiral to a full blown nervous breakdown.  I can seek for help. I am not alone in this battle.

    I am not comparing myself with others who are thriving, while some are being productive cooking, exercising, planting and being crafty, there are others who are mentally unstable or emotionally bingeing on their feelings.

    I have hope that I can go back to work and can take absolute precautions to stay safe. I can lend a helping hand, not be a part of the problem.  I can pray, I can share, I can love and not be arrogant or hateful. As we are navigating into turbulent waters, we can give others grace and understand that we are all trying to make sense of everything.

    I feel sad that my son has a learning disability, and is already behind with peers of his age. But I can be thankful that he is high functioning and that home schooling and distance learning is doable while dealing with the unknowns. As a parent, I can help satisfy his physical needs by keeping them safe, with nourishment, spiritual and emotional guidance and support.

    There are children, who before the pandemic has no access to education, clean water, let alone live in a safe environment. It is tragic that some children are abused or neglected. Some cannot read and never used a computer. Nobody choose to live in dire conditions.

    On the other end of the spectrum, there are kids who have everything, Some kids are born rich, smart, creative and imaginative. 

    Some don’t have any kids or don’t want kids. Some cant have kids because of several reasons that they are unable to have them.

    We all have our unique lives to be lived.

    I cannot have a blind optimism on what is happening because the reality is the whole world is suffering in different ways and coping the best way they can. There are people are afraid but have to no choice, but to be brave due to hunger and poverty. There are people in countries where there is corruption, war and no quality healthcare.

    If we compare our problems, no one really wins.  Some people have seem to have bigger problems but they not showing it, or are they so used to it that it don’t seem to bother them anymore.?

    Life is a gift and death is still inevitable.There are people who are in pain or is already sick. People who are grieving or have had lost a loved one.

    We can choose gratitude over fear. We can be thankful for the small things like waking up even though we woke up hurting or we don’t feel good, most of the time.  We still woke up and have a another chance at a new day.

    With all the struggles we are going through right now, we don’t know all the answers but we can be certain that we can trust our Heavenly Father to give us the strength to overcome the problems as they come.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Karma Chameleon

    I can easily hold a grudge, when someone berates, belittles or take advantage of me. I get mad when after all the good things and service I did for this person, I am being accused of being an ingrate. When you are the one who is in need, they will have excuses not to help, or your request will be only in “seen” mode.

    When a person owes you money, the borrower seems unaffected it seems. As time goes by, you will eventually forget the debt, might as well consider it gone. There is no sense of loosing sleep over a debt that has no chance of getting repaid. Everyone is struggling and  we should be thankful that you are not the one who owes someone. Being in debt is a huge responsibility and we don’t want to be in that position.

    We can also be in debt to our family, friends, bosses when they give something that doesn’t involve money.  When a co-worker lends a helping hand even when not asked to, we would like to return the favor by being kind. Do we suck up to our bosses, when they give us a raise? When you are given a second chance, we try to prove our worth by giving our best. We are forever indebted to our beloved parents for giving us unconditional love.

    We repay people that we love and respect with equal or not more. We give them our unwavering service and loyalty. After all, they deserve and earn our love.

    They moment the tables turn, would we treat the people that we love differently? After all I did for you, this is how you repay me? We feel arrogant and our ego gets in the way. After all the years, would we bite the hands who feed us the moment they do us wrong? Are we ungrateful if we don’t get the promotion or raise that we deserve? If they betray us, would we turn away, or will we forgive?

    Sometimes, we think that if people treat us unfairly that they should also be feeling the hurt that you feel. We judge people based on their intentions and what they do. We don’t know what is going on a person’s head but we get mad anyway. We wish them to fail because they failed us.

    As the saying goes: “Revenge is the dish best serve cold”. Another quote is that “Karma has no menu, that you get served what you deserve.”  But do we really want bad things to happen to people who wronged us? Anger sometimes get the best of us. We should’t wish bad luck to anyone.

    If the people who we trust abuses and mistreats us, do we hit them back? “According to Matthew 5:38, “But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” We pray for those who do us wrong. I read about a mother who forgave the terrorists who hanged his son. They all had become witnesses to his son’s faith. What unwavering faith of a mother to forgive.

    We get worried when we circumstances don’t seem to be on our side. We can’t truly comprehend what the big picture is. I get anxious the minute things become uncomfortable. I am reminded that fear is a tool by the devil to limit our hope. Fear is the opposite of faith. God is our refuge.

    If life was fair, we get what we deserve.  We have secret and unknown sins that we are not proud of. We have impure and vengeful thoughts. We can never do enough good deeds for us to be loved by God. Jesus bore all our sins, and we can never repay what He did for us.  His grace is sufficient and is His power is made for our weakness. Grace is indeed the opposite of karma.

     

  • Plot Twist

    It’s another day of struggling. Ruminating thoughts of doom are playing on repeat. When will it end? The future is getting dimmer by the minute. Thank God we are still getting by. Our sanity is hanging by the thread. Where are we getting next months payment for our rent? As our debts keep piling up, we are willing to do just about anything to survive, begging this nightmare to stop.

    The truth is we still have to work to earn a living. Life goes on, but this time, each time we make a step, we are more cautious. The establishments that are strong before the pandemic are now temporarily closed and some of them are going bankrupt. The ones that are still open are essential businesses.  What is in high demand now are items like canning and preservation, safety supplies and even firearms . Hard to find are PPES, disinfectants, vitamins. It’s still supply vs demand, we cannot control the prices of commodities. We feel that we are paying more and the products are overpriced. . Going outside to get food and supplies is now a challenge. We have to keep our guard up. We can’t take any chances.

    We keep playing worst case scenarios in our head. We hear horror stories of how people catching the virus, end up with a scarred lung, or on a ventilator. Even worse, you hear about those who’s lifeless bodies are forgotten, because unfortunately, they didn’t having the option to resuscitate because of unforseen circumstances. Those who survive will get a insurmountable hospital bill that will send you to back to the hospital due to a broken heart. You are preparing your last will and testament and hope that you have a life insurance that is enough for the loved ones that are left behind.  Nobody signed up for getting sick. What if I get sick? what if I bring the virus to my family? to other people?

    What if I cannot afford to pay my bills? What if the grocery stores ran out of meat? The hand sanitizers, the vitamins are flying off the shelves. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies are overpriced. We think there is a conspiracy and that only the fittest will survive.What if, because of this lack of basic commodities, people will resort to crime and stealing. Paranoia sets in. It’s a scary situation. Do we have no other choice but to accept the lesser evil?

    It is not in our plan to be laid off.  That we will no longer afford the high health insurance rates that is already unaffordable to begin with. I thank God that we don’t have to use it, but if we do I hope God will give us the strength to overcome whatever hardships we face.

    I pray more when I am panicking. Sometimes, I let my emotions control my decisions, without thinking it through. I have doubts and guilt.  Did I do the right thing over and over.God help me do the right thing. I whine when things doesn’t go my way.  Am I righteous enough that, I deserve the good things in life? Maybe God is directing me but I am not listening? Is my heart already hardened and numb?

    I feel sorry for myself, I think I have failed over and over, I thank God for second chances, to be able to bounce back after you fall multiple times. When things are doing great, I forgot to pray and thank Him.  I am thankful that God is not giving up on me.

    Our God is a just and merciful and compassionate God.  He promises that He will take care of our needs even before we ask for it. He forgive us when we are unworthy, because of the precious blood of Jesus. ” If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”-Luke 11:13.

    We try not to  judge our neighbor, we try to do the right thing, when nobody’s watching and we try to accept when things when it doesn’t go our way, as it should be. Often times , I doubt and fail. When things are not going like we planned it, I blame it on situations that I can control, I blame everything.  Pride dims my sight.

    There is nothing for free, everything comes with a price. We think people are getting free stuff. We think we deserve things that others have. Those who are eligible are getting unemployment benefits. We think it’s unfair that those  abled bodies who didn’t work a day in their lives are receiving government support. I feel sad for people like me that are not eligible for unemployment benefits, but I accept what the law entails. I feel entitled to have things because I think that I  deserve it because as a law abiding citizen, I paid my dues, but it doesn’t go that way. I feel sorry for those who worked hard but barely getting by, and still are at risk by working because there is no other choice. I pray for those who are hurting right now. The uncertain time brings about the biggest challenge in our lives. We pray for the people in the government to be God fearing.

    As anonymous quote goes “Modern Slaves are not in chains, they are in debt”, if debt wasn’t in the equation, people will think more rational.  The truth is we live in a fallen world. We never win on this endless hamster wheel. .We will still find life unfulfilling, until we find a job that will give us purpose, until we found that right person we like, until we have enough. The more, I trust in my own capabilities, the more I realize that I am leaning towards the idols of my life. Until we surrender our dreams, goals to the one true God, He will guide our way through all the plot twists and turns, through the hills and valleys, for He is who He is.

  • Whirlwind

    Lightning bolted across the sky that became dark all of a sudden. It was was a bright sunny day earlier, no cloud in sight. As if there were no a severe weather alert flashing in all the tv stations, day goes by normally, for me anyway. Little did I know that a tornado that lasted for almost 10 minutes hit the area close to where I was that time.

    The aftermath of the tornado included downed power lines due to trees that were uprooted by the heavy winds. Thankfully, no major damages were reported. The neighbors who rarely spoke to one another were checking on one another to see if everyone needed assistance. There were no power for days. The adversity brought people together to a common goal, that is to help one another. Unexpectedly, tornadoes come in our lives in a form of problems,sickness, failures. Nobody wants these inconveniences but they do serve a purpose. We are more appreciative for the sunny days of our lives because of these sad experiences.

    The outlook is to look for positive things in our lives, amidst the storms. The tornado didn’t last long, but  it’s impact was tremendous.

  • Birthdays as we get older

    While it is nice to be receive a lot of greetings on your birthday, I chose not to share my birthday on social media. I am happy that some close friends and relatives remember my birthday without Facebook notifications. For me, having a lot of greetings doesn’t make me feel more special or any less special when Facebook friends don’t greet me on occasions.

    Dont get me wrong, I am thankful for becoming one year older, becoming more wise because of what experience has taught me. Looking back, I celebrated my birthday with friends and company, some I no longer see or hear from. When we were kids, birthdays are always a major event because of the milestones. And the presents too! The bigger the presents the better. As we get older, it’s no longer about the presents but who is present in our lives.

    Everyday is a special day to me. I don’t tell people it’s my birthday because I don’t want them to treat me differently. I don’t want the to feel obliged on giving me a present either. Even for one day, I don’t want be the center of attention. I would appreciate it more if a someone gives me a thoughtful letter or a phone call on an ordinary day just because.

    I love to receive gifts but I love giving more. I enjoy seeing a child happy. Genuine happiness is being content with whatever the condition your in. We don’t have a lot of material wealth to give, but we can sure make a difference to one person by sharing what we have..

    Every day not only on my birthday, I contemplate on all the things that happen in my life, whether it is good or bad. What brought be to shape the person I am now and what I have to offer. I am thankful for both.

  • What is a Dad?

                                  From a a traditional standpoint, the father’s responsibility is to be the breadwinner, providing the basic needs of the family financially and emotionally, being the disciplinarian, the role model, protector.

    Modern day fathers have a different roles now because of the changing times. There are single dads, stay- at home dads that handle most or all of the child care and household tasks. Because of economical reasons, health issues, the family roles can be reversed. There are also foster parents and step dads who raise the children as their own. And for some reasons, there are fathers who decided to stay away from their children’s lives.

    When I was young, my dad taught me how to ride a bike, how to swim. I remember he can make the best fruit drinks and make appetizing meals. I remember the trips we made to the park and to the zoo. I also remembered the day that he has to leave to work abroad. It was the saddest day. Like most overseas workers, the parent has to leave their family to provide a better future for the family. It was difficult, but like most families, we survived. It must be very hard for him to be separated from his family for so long even though he never told us that it was difficult. We appreciated all of the sacrifices he made.

    My husband proudly received his Father’s Day present early this year. It’s a craft made in by my 7 year old son in his special ed class that reads: My dad is special because he takes me to the mall. We play hot wheels together. He takes me outside to play on the swing. He reads with me and play games with me. My dad likes to eat vegetables. We got tickled reading the last part.

    To a child, he look up to their father as a hero. As they grow up, he would want to emulate his father if he set up a good example or he can swear not to become his father if he doesn’t have a good relationship with him.

    The relationship is what bonds children to their fathers. To be present in a child’s life is more important than unnecessary material things. To give the unhurried time and undivided attention is what they really need.

    Though our earthly fathers are far from perfect, there is Our father that love us unconditionally.  “God sees us with the eyes of a Father. He sees our defects, errors and blemishes. But He also sees our value”-Max Lucado .This Father’s Day and always we cherish our dads, our husbands, our father-in laws, our step dads and to all the father figures and to the memories that will last a lifetime.

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