Here I Am Again

It feels like the soul is totally out of sync with my physical self. It feels like there is no meaning to what I am doing. The frustration of not knowing if I am on the right track adds to the feeling of inadequacy. I cannot see myself coming out from the darkness of this tunnel. I just don’t see the light that tells me that there is an end to this hardship.

It is impossible for me to see my value in all of this let alone find enjoyment and fulfillment in all that I am doing. It is the toughest thing for one to go through not knowing one’s worth in the grandest scheme of things.

All I know is, I used to be on the go and excel in delivering what is expected and required of me. Now, being desk bound is akin to caging up a stallion in a small stall hardly being able to maneuver around let alone run a good race.

I want to see some output and delivery so bady. I want to take pride in solving problems, going through the journey of materializing the solution, and being able to take a step back to feel the sense of fulfillment seeing what I have created.

A stagnated journey is excruciatingly painful when I am so used to being in motion all the time.

All I can do now is sit here and cry out, “God, please tame this raging desire”.

I hope help will soon arrive because in all the quietness, I want to scream!

Lord Jesus, help me!

Soul Searching

I do not quite know where to begin. Perhaps I am an ingrate but one thing for sure, I am an impatient person. I get bored really fast. Like right now, though I have a few regrets leaving my previous job, I should count my blessings to be back in the organization.

This is the first time that I am trying to convince myself on a daily basis to what I believe is second best. “Beggars cannot be choosers” they’d say. Am I underestimating myself or I should just bite the bullet while waiting for better opportunities.

Perhaps I am allowing my past to ruin my future. Perhaps this is a phase for me to learn not to be envious of others. I really do not know.

I find myself trying to console and reassuring myself that this is life moving forward while another voice is mocking me for my poor (past) decisions.

I really wish I could live life without regrets right now but it is easier said than done.

I don’t find myself happy anymore. I have to constantly subdue that part of me that is screaming because of this lack of passion.

I keep telling myself that patience will get me through this less than desirable (perceived) situation.

A heart that is once free is really hard to tame.

I miss those long haul flights that I can be quiet alone. I miss all those on-the-go times when I can be fluid and excel at the same time.

The hardest part is asking myself what’s stopping me from achieving what I truly want in life.

After what I have been through, there is fear.

Maybe when I get better at what I am suppose to do, life will once again be better. And with the knowledge and skills acquired, there will be more doors that will be unlocked.

What is life without opportunities?

Perhaps it is time to just ride through the wave for now.

A retreat and to recollect…

Lost Boy

Important note: TRIGGER WARNING

I am not sure how long YouTube will allow the following video to be on their server, but please thread forward cautiously. It is Robin Williams’ documentary entitled “Come Inside My Mind”.

At some point, this documentary brought me back to a particular moment in my childhood. It must have been the darkest moment of my life as a kid. It was such an awful experience that I could actually hear that voice telling myself that “you do not matter, you are nothing”. From that moment, I actually gave up and lost myself.

As a result of that and since then, my mind has been conditioned that pleasing others and seeing them happy is my life’s top priority. I kept yearning that acceptance and always ensuring that I did my best to please those around me. On the flip side, it was very hard for me to trust people and I was always suspicious of people’s intention. I started to not only keeping scores with myself but with others as well. There seemed to be a built-in gauging system and I beat myself up for someone else’ unhappiness.

When it comes to people who made positive impact on me as a person, I have found myself to be dependent on their thought process and ideals. I also yearn for their affirmation and acceptance all the time. Thus, I often find myself motivated to appease them by acceding to their demands, delivering my best, and be the best that I can be for them.

But it gets tired sometimes and I’ll be lying to myself if I say that I didn’t feel like giving up.

I have been trying to figure out the sadness that I have been experiencing every now and then for the past few months. It wasn’t until I heard the words of Robin’s son Zak in the documentary that it began to hit home.

He said and I quote:

“His pathos was seeking to entertain and please. And he felt when he wasn’t doing that, he was not succeeding as a person. And that was always hard to see because in so many senses, he is the most successful person I know. And yet he didn’t always feel that.”

What he said applies to most of us who have become too dependent on the approval of others that we have totally lost ourselves. In the fast paced world, I felt it most when I immersed and poured myself entirely and completely into my job. I found it hard to adjust whenever there were some downtime. I felt that I wasn’t valuable, contributing or being productive.

Through that, I have learned to be generous with my praises when people do well and always make it a point to acknowledge people so that they know that at least someone took notice and they matter.

I am slowly learning to come to terms and forgive myself. It is not easy and I am definitely a work in progress like everyone else. The best place to start is knowing that we are not alone.

Even though people do not usually say it out loud, each and every one of us matters to at least someone out there.

It is like looking out the window to see the moon thinking that we are all living under the same stars, moon, and sun. And if you grew up in the 80s, you will be reminded of the song that goes…

Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight,
Someone’s thinking of me and loving me tonight,
Somewhere out there someone’s saying a prayer,
That we’ll find one another in that dream somewhere out there…

~Somewhere Out There (An American Tail, 1986)~

Not Until You Have Nothing

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Like most people, I had a very rough start in my career. I did not enjoy my job until quite recently.  I spent the first few years having no direction and worry about job security, nasty bosses, steep learning curves, and very overwhelming work load.

As the years went by, I started working with amazing and inspiring people. My big big break did not happen until I was blessed with good managers that not only gave me good guidance but was inspiring and instrumental to my success.

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So how did I survive those long hard years of struggle?

There were two statements that I held close to my heart during those difficult years and they are “The best is yet to come” and “It keeps getting better”.

I started drawing strength and motivation from past bad experiences and I found myself saying “this is not as bad as when I was working with…” while recalling difficult situations that caused me to quit the previous job.

Through time and with each new career move, things got better and better.

I am now convinced that it is natural for us to keep on searching for betterment in life. But in our journey in seeking happiness and success, we tend to make the wrong decisions that caused us much grievances. While curious to know what the future holds and what fortune new opportunities might bring, we get distracted and become ungrateful with what we have already achieved and attained.

Certain decisions may cause us to lose everything that we have built and achieved. That is when we look back in our lives and start to recollect what we miss most – the regrets. But there are lessons to learn in such situations as well so that when something bad happens we can recall them and be appreciative that our current predicaments are not as bad.

I guess that is exactly why we all need some tough times in our lives lest we forget what we must appreciate. Every situation has a role to play in our lives be it good or bad. The bad reminds us of all the good that we have and the good reminds us of all the bad we have gone through. Tough journey towards victory only makes the victory sweeter.

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If you are currently facing difficult situations, I hope you will hold onto faith knowing that it will only get better…

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Keep Going

The Carousel

“Keep going”

I have seen a lot of motivational memes lately with the two words above – Keep Going. It can be quite frustrating when not knowing where we are heading with our lives seemed to be the challenge we are faced with at the moment. How do we actually find our purpose in all that is going on in our lives?

On the other hand, we commemorated the World Mental Health Day on 10th October 2016. If you have been reading and seen numerous posts regarding suicides and the likes on your social media feed, it is because of all the awareness  that is being raised in conjunction with World Mental Health Day.

For me personally, after a year of “running” and hard work, there is a period of downtime that I find it hard to get used to. Throughout the first 11 months of the year, we sprinted, kept busy, and out of a sudden, there is this time that is all quiet.

Throughout the year we have different goals to achieve in our tasks but as the fiscal year draw to a close, everyone seemed to have dropped everything and gone off to have their well deserved break.

It is during times like these that we might feel empty – there is no more goals and purposes in the horizon. We might even feel a little inadequate and incompetent. The mind is suddenly idled with nothing much to think about. Have you ever felt this way?

And when the new year starts to pick up again, we struggle to get the sluggish brain restarted and that’s when it is important to “keep going”. We have to remind ourselves again that in order for us to attain what is desired, it is very important to put it into motion. The proverb “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” is indeed describes it accurately.

In between going into the downtime and getting out of it. Some of us may start to feel a little depressed and some even more extreme – suicidal due to the feeling of hopelessness, purposeless, incompetent, and inadequate.

I recently read an article regarding the 26% suicidal rate in young working adults in a particular country citing their jobs being the cause of their desperation. It made me wonder if there was a huge disparity in the job markets and career expectations.

When I first started off my career, there were a few hits and misses. Because we spend most of our lives at work to provide for ourselves and our family, it is difficult not to take one’s job seriously. And that’s when it becomes a challenge. My first few jobs were disastrous because I did not have a clear vision of my purpose. Very often, I was caught in between very difficult situations and deciding whether to quit and at the same time accuse myself of being weak – the guilt trip. There were many doubtful moments – whether I was making the right decisions and also the dilemma of wanting to just keep going even though it was clear that I was very unhappy. To make matters worse, in one of my jobs, I was with a team that discusses nothing but quitting on a daily basis. In this case and sadly, the manager was the main reason why everyone wanted to leave.

In the end, I can only conclude that difficult managers, the nature of the job, and whatever the reason it is that makes people dislike their jobs are not the root causes of people feeling lousy. These are merely symptoms of the underlying problem.

It all boils down to just one thing – PURPOSE.

A person with a clear vision will have a purpose – that is to work towards achieving the vision. A good leader will gear his or her people towards one common goal. In large projects, leaders will be able to break things down into modules and allow his team to achieve each module in sequence. Collectively, the project will be delivered efficiently. Every team member will have a sense of purpose going into the project and when it ends, they will be able to feel proud of their achievements whether it is as an individually or as a team.

I know that there are many factors that cause one to contemplate suicide but I am just thinking out loud and wondering if it is the lack of purpose that drives people to such desperation.

My favorite quote by Albert Einstein that I live by is his definition of insanity and I quote, “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. I believe when we are trapped in a certain thought process, without clarity and alternative perspectives, it can be very crippling and frustrating at the same time. In fact, our minds have the tendency to suggest what it knows best given its familiarity. As we grow, our minds are like a sponge absorbing all the experiences, the likes and dislikes, the pains, the knowledge, and etc. We do make our best decisions based on past experiences be it good or bad. In other words, we could be stuck in a particular thought process for a very long time based on its capacity to reason at any specific time. Every situation we face serves as an opportunity for us to learn new experiences and we should be bold to try out new solutions to obtain different results.

If you look at wild animals caged in the zoo, you will notice their very peculiar behavior of circling and pacing around in an almost perfect path and rhythm. I believe that they have lost their natural purpose – hunting, foraging, and etc causing them to exhibit such behavior in sheer boredom.

As for me, I am trying to convince myself to enjoy the downtime and spend some time focusing on things which are out of my work routine like writing this piece to share and express my thoughts. I have learned that the best way to break out of the negative thoughts when it starts is to distract myself by doing or seeing happy and positive things.

“Keep going”

Just a side note: If you are feeling a little depressed please reach out for help. There are many ways in which you can seek help. You can reach out to a counseling psychologist (example – http://lepak.com/therapy.html). There are some who practices over the internet using various on-line chats and collaboration tools such as Skype so location and timezone should not be an issue.

We Become What We Worship

St. Stephen
St. Stephen

“We Become What We Worship”

These were the words emphasized by the priest during his sermon this morning. He happens to be my favorite priest because I have been listening to his thought provoking sermons for almost half my life now. You can always relate to the subjects that he touches on because of how he put into context what is written in the scriptures by using the current life’s experiences and  situations as examples.

And so, these words got me thinking about what exactly do I worship in life. Since God is divine and takes no form, I am unable to describe exactly what I am worshiping.

But I do know and can describe what I AM NOT worshiping.

I AM NOT worshiping a God created by man with his self limiting thoughts, idea, rules, culture, and restrictions.

I understand the fact that without rules and regulations, it is a challenge to shape the conscience – to know what is right and wrong. Whenever I am lost for words to describe what conscience is exactly, I latch on to the saying “God is GOOD”.

I like to think that anything that has any negative intonation or undertone, is not of God. I am sure the bible quoting expert Christians will most likely disagree, but the God that I like to believe in never punishes. The word punish should not even be in God’s vocabulary. I believe in most part of the bible that says God loves us unconditionally. I shall leave it as that and not proceeding to contradict that with all the “buts” and “nots”.

I had an interesting discourse with a friend lately regarding the use of condoms. There are a few religions in the world that forbid the use of condoms – Catholicism being one of them. The debate can be long and we will most probably not come to conclusion whether or not using condoms is right or wrong.

Looking at a larger picture, we are all responsible for our own actions and no one should judge another especially when it comes to the personal preference of religions and beliefs. There will always be reasons to justify the agreement or disagreement of certain debates or actions.

On the topic of contraception, I strongly believe that a lot of factors come into play when a couple decide on having a child be it financial or psychological. As adults, we are able to gauge sensibly whether we are ready for a child. It is not up to anyone else to decide or judge whether or not a couple should use contraception or otherwise.

A simple analogy came to mind after that discussion. Imagine a person driving on the road and consciously know that he or she is about to hit the curb. Should he or she avoid the curb or stop driving altogether?

Stop driving altogether is the easiest way out while avoiding the curb is in fact the most sensible and right thing to do.

I understand the fact that many couples in the worlds can only yearn to have children of their own. But that is not the best reason for other couples to have children just because they can get a little tadpole into an egg successfully. It is best for them to be ready to have these children lest struggle through life resentfully. It is definitely not a case of “just because you can, you must have”.

In the end, “TO EACH HIS OWN” seemed to be the best solution when it comes to very personal boundaries. After all, one is responsible for one’s body.

Aside from that, we are all so drawn to the supernatural that we forgotten that we have living miracles among us. I believe God gave us a miracle the day good priests were born. They are such amazing blessings to the communities they serve in.

Now, should you make a baby now just because one day, the baby will grow up to be a good priest?

I shall leave that up to you to decide. None of my business but thank you in advanced if you do…

That’s just because I worship a non-judgmental God that allows me to explore the beautiful world he created for me and to nurture it with the talents He have so graciously given me. Should I fall into the valley of darkness, He will be there to greet me – What’s up? Now, Get Up! In other words, I worship a cool God.

Indeed, we become what we worship.