the universe is listening

[after patho class]

pathophysiology professor: how are you?
me: you mean… in school?
pathophysiology professor: life in general
me: um… ok, i guess.
pathophysiology professor: it can be tough

i don’t talk to anyone at school about my personal life and my professors would be the last people i would confide in… but the universe can hear me and is letting me know that i’ll be taken care of

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what’s my secret? i sleep with a night light

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.’ We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Marianne Williamson,
A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

have a vision? state it.

here’s mine and i need to recite it now more than ever.

 

I am the person I have always wanted to be. I am in a loving relationship with my family. I understand where I come from and I know where I am going. I have openness for the world and its people and as a result, I have great reverence for life and am humbled by it. This life is mine and I control my destiny—I choose how to feel, how to do, how to move, how to smile and laugh, how to live, how to be. Everything I do is to bring myself closer to who I am meant to be. I am happy.

 

dear diary…

april has been a trying month, to say the least.

on a whim, i began to go through some of the folders on my computer and stumbled upon one called “spiritual diary.” three years ago, i kept a diary to chronicle my road of spirituality. most of them are deeply personal but in anticipation of my fast this coming friday, i will share one of the less personal ones on here:

October 9, 2006

I’ve falsified to say that I’ve found God.
Several years ago, that’s how I used to sing that line in one of Jason Mraz’s songs.
For several months now, I’ve listened to almost nothing but Christian music and I do quite regret not being able to see Chris Tomlin last night at CityFest. However, today, as a change of pace, I listened to some of my old music. It might have been an effort in re-living some of the more familiar moments in my life. Things were not less hectic, but at least then I had gotten a grip on how to manage.
I popped in an unmarked cd on the drive home and it was a mix of Jason Mraz and Matt Wertz. Now, I like Matt Wertz but between the two, my heart will always belong to Jason Mraz. His style is much more experimental, his music much more innovative and lyrics incredibly more thought-provoking. It’s the writer in me that draws me to him. Jason Mraz is a wordsmith and a way with words is a quick way to my heart.
So often, I write about my struggles with my faith which is unfortunate because one of the functions of this diary is to recount every step in my journey—the hardships as well as the times of clarities. To depict only one side would be unfair and unbalanced, which certainly will not do. After all, I’m a Libra. I want to read this years from now and have a complete picture of my experiences.
On Love, In Sadness” speaks to me in so many ways, especially with what I’ve learned these past few months and what I’m trying to learn now. The measure of love isn’t loss, love will never be lost on me.
Anyway, that is not how the song goes, y’know.
It’s not falsified to say that I’ve found God.

faith

when i visited my family in the philippines two years ago, i accompanied my cousins to their bible school in baguio city for a few days (if you’ve never been there, you must go! it’s not as dirty as manila and it’s a hundred times more beautiful). i spent a lot of time sitting on the rooftop just thinking and meditating. it’s always good to step out of yourself and see the world for what it really is:

beautiful yeah? imagine actually seeing it in person.

sunset in baguio. imagine actually seeing it in person.

shinobu was a japanese missionary that i met when i was there. she and i spent a lot of time together. i walked out into the common area and found her playing worship songs on her guitar on the floor so i filmed her:

first friday fast… take two

Last Friday was my second stab at my First Friday Fast. Let me just say that when I started this, it never occurred to me how essential fasting was for my spiritual growth. At the time, I always saw it as one choice among many, that while I chose this, I had other alternatives. However, around the two or three weeks after my last fast, I found myself not only looking forward to it but needing to have this experience again. The clarity and state of mind that I attained as a result of my previous fast was unable to make it through the entire month. It was such a struggle to maintain that attitude and I don’t think that I did it successfully near the end. so when the day for my fast neared, I was excited to go through it.

humility

humility

Unfortunately, this fast was not quite as powerful as the first one. Because it is the middle of the semester, I had at least one exam for each of my classes. Not to mention, I was doing some preparation in the days leading up to the day after my fast, which unfortunately, included the first Friday of March. I was too stressed and had too many things on my mind to focus on my spiritual and personal growth. To be honest, I was just trying to get through the past two weeks.

However, there were some key enlightening moments. While I spent the entire day of the fast glued to my Macbook studying for upcoming exams, I was able to use my study breaks for some serious thinking. Unfortunately, I couldn’t commit to them fully because I would have run the risk of losing myself in heavy thoughts and not completing any of the work I had. I broke my fast by having dinner with my friends. One of them, Amal, found out about my fasts and we were able to briefly speak about the fasting experience. It made me happy to be able to share this with her considering that not many people can understand my reasons for doing it. In fact, save for several people, I haven’t really openly spoken about my fasts.

Another of these very few people was someone I met last Thursday. The day before my fast, I went over to a friend’s house to offer a helping hand, or rather, a pair of helping claws (post about this to come tomorrow). While at his house, I met his father. In size, he was intimidating but in personality, he was very calm and serene (for this reason, he’ll now be known as the Silent Giant). I had the honor of having several conversations with the Silent Giant two days later. That fact alone was odd because I typically do not talk to my friends’ parents, much less their fathers, as a result of my home environment. However, what’s more interesting is that this man left such an impression on me. We talked about spirituality and church and humility and charity and I felt as though everything I’ve felt about those things was coming out of SG’s mouth. It was as if the universe found a way to give me what I missed during my fast through him and I’m so happy that it happened. 

Knowing that these two people know the things that I want to experience gave me what I needed and what I missed. Part of the humility that I’m seeking is knowing that I can learn and grow through my experiences with others.

I’m not the best at opening up to people but lately, it just seems that  I’ve been doing so with so many of the right people. And to the person that’s responsible for encouraging me to do it, I’m very grateful.

Image from the article Observing Ramadan

Image from the article "Observing Ramadan"