I Believe…

I believe in the power of love. The love that makes miracles happen. The passionate love that forgives all. The love that sparks spontaneously, the one that just kind of happens.

I believe in celebrating friendships and cherishing those that have made a significant difference on my journey. I am fortunate to have a few close friends who know me inside out, the good and the bad. I can be my true self with the friends that surround me and most importantly, trust that they will always offer their perspectives when I stumble.

I believe that smiles are contagious. The smiles that make you want to hope and believe. The smiles that turn into laughter while you mingle away with friends. I believe in the laughter that makes my stomach and cheeks hurt and at the same time makes tears fall out of my eyes. That laughter is sometimes the best medicine and can cure my worst worries.

I believe in the art of embracing change. The change that people resist but the innate beauty of it can ignite life-long learning. The change that is purely made when you accept and forgive mistakes.

I believe that when I expect someone to act a certain way, it is only a desire. A desire that may never come true. So instead, I accept that I have no control over someone else’s personality or beliefs and I will just let it be.

I believe that just like birds, I can fly and touch the sky. I believe that the obstacles in my life are really blessings in disguise that foster my personal and spiritual growth. I believe in working diligently to achieve my goals and being passionate about my unique talents. The truer the passion, the more fulfilling life is.

I believe in dreaming the dreamiest dreams, the wishes my heart makes. Sometimes making these dreams a reality is like the icing on a cake.

I believe that sometimes indulging in guilty pleasures can be a marvelous thing — like eating an entire box of Thin Mints in one day (yes, all 40 cookies!), taking a simple Kit-Kat break and gorging on delicious strawberry shortcake is just okay. That spending a fortune on shoes, clothes and purse shopping may be unsettling, but very pleasing. That sometimes I just want to be overly lazy and taking the day off is simply just needed.

I believe that there is a Higher Power. That there is a part of God within me. That He sends the angels right down to earth to help me when I need Him and when my heart lacks faith. That my truest angels are those that I am constantly surrounded by — my family and my friends. They encourage me to discover the side of me that I am sometimes unmindful of and help me make the most out of my everyday life.  

I believe in YOU. I believe in ME. I believe that the world is a better place because of the abundant kindness in our hearts. That together, we make a world of difference with unspoken words and thoughtful gestures, those that touch someone’s heart and bring sunshine into someone’s life.

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Finding Peace Through Forgiveness

The last week has been a difficult one for me with feelings of uneasiness dominating my heart and soul. I have found myself constantly fighting with my thoughts and my inner being. I have so much to say but for some reason, words are just not materializing. Peacefulness has been hard to achieve so I have been reminding myself often to savor the little joys, the little moments in life.

Lately, I’ve lost myself within some pressures at work and some that I’ve created for myself personally. I’m striving to focus on balancing my work and personal life so that I can nurture my relationships, and at the same time achieve my personal and professional goals. While I’m working relentlessly hard to make my dreams a reality and plan for the future, I need to remember to be okay with where I am in the moment.

The last two nights, I’ve felt as if all my energy has been sucked out leaving me physically and mentally drained — over-tired, over-worked and over-informed. I need to remember to live in the moment and take one step at a time, one day at a time. At times, I’m giving a pep talk to myself to relax and forgive myself for some mistakes I’ve made lately. Sometimes it’s easy to forgive, sometimes not.

With all this struggling, I’ve really been missing comforting hugs of close, loved ones. I’m missing the physical presence of my best friend. I know that God has angels watching over me and some walking by my side; but for some reason in this moment, I just can’t feel the gentle arms of God around me holding me close and telling me that I will get through this like I have with all the other battles in my life.

“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.”

-Robert Muller

I must muster the strength to forgive myself. Only then can I be at peace with myself and with others around me. And although peace may be forthcoming, it sure is taking quite some time.

Little things that make me happy….

Drinking my Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks made very specifically “my way”

Laying down on the floor with my eyes closed and relaxing with all noises blocked, thinking of the most beautiful place where I’m surrounded by absolute serenity

Watching ducks fly from one side of the lake to another and literally feeling the courage they possess

Seeing my daughter’s face light up with the biggest and brightest smile when I say “yes” to something that she least expects me to allow

Taking a walk down life’s nature trail and just thinking about plain simplicity

Reading old greeting cards and looking at pictures of family and friends — the beautiful memories that make my heart grow fonder

Perusing my very first all hand-made high school scrapbook — oh, how thankful I am for the digital world of scrapbooking!

Expressing gratitude and affection to each person that makes my life even more worthwhile and fulfilling

Sometimes just writing and thinking random thoughts and imagining the most unimaginable things in life which makes life even more fascinating

Falling in love over and over again with my perfect home décor that was “just right” for me

Just hearing the voice of people I care about and even though I may not see them in person, their invisible smile soothes my heart

Swinging very high on a swing at the park only to feel the sweet tickles in my tummy

Laughing profusely as I look at myself in the mirror recalling some of my ridiculously silly moments

Experiencing the magical calmness that the Serenity Prayer brings to my life in many ways and allows me to learn from my mistakes so that I can be more humane

Just knowing that there is a part of God within me and an angel somewhere, somehow walking along with me on my blissful yet unknown journey

Counting My Blessings

They say three’s a charm; but for me, two’s a charm. I had the great honor of meeting two of my very dear friends this week. There is something very unique about true friendship that compels you to embrace it and surround yourself with its goodness.

I had the most phenomenal time this past week with my best friend who lives a million miles away (at least it seems like it). She knows me inside out. We last met a year ago so I was extremely refreshed when we finally had our long-awaited outing. We sat by the lake and watched birds like we did when we skipped classes in high school. We would talk for hours by this lake and we did that day, too. We have always been so deeply connected with each other that even though we may not communicate frequently at times, we still know what exists in each other’s heart without saying a single word.

On Friday night, I was completely taken by surprise when I met one of my other long-distance friends. He was my singing buddy in Montreal, my confidant when I needed a shoulder to cry on, someone who imparted his wisdom when times were very tough and laughed with me in the most awkward situations. We were both amazed that after all these years of not seeing each other, some things just never changed — the kindness, comfort, affection, humor and understanding. We indulged ourselves with the beauty of our yesteryears and absolutely could not stop reminiscing.

True friendships are very close to my heart — they are gifts that I desire to keep forever. Sometimes, friendships change over time, but true friends still accept you the way they have always done no matter how distant they are and no matter what mistakes have been made along the way. True friends are like angels to me – they add blessings to my life. They let me be “me” and appreciate my being.

“When troubled times come, and we don’t know what to do, God sends good friends to help us through.” (Crucifixion: Luke 23:33-46)

Each one of my close friends — somehow, somewhere — has helped me through some very challenging times and brought the best out of me. I am forever grateful for my dear friends who continue to brighten up my darkest days with their sunshine. The presence of their friendship during my journey is an exceptional blessing.

May God bless all my friends in return for their love!

Missing the smile

 Today was a very gloomy day. Last night, I got home very late and as I was putting my daughter to sleep, I dozed off right with her. And when I awoke this morning, I was terribly stressed, frantic and nervous — I did not have my alarm set to wake up, her backpack and lunch was not ready, my meds were still waiting for me…it was total chaos! I desperately rushed to get her ready and do what I needed to before dropping her off to school. There was something just not right about today that I felt very emotional and an imperfect mother. As I watched my daughter walk to her classroom, she looked back at me several times as if she hadn’t had enough of me, enough of my smile and reassurance. Smiling was extremely challenging to do today considering the emotional trauma I have experienced in the last week. I sobbed uncontrollably as I saw her go and just could not collect myself.

So I thought about some memories of my life that have brought a smile to my face…

I miss the smile I had when I had my daughter on my birthday. Knowing that she was not due to arrive until a month later, I had no idea she would be here on my special day as the best gift in the world to me.

I miss the smile I had when I skipped school to just hang out with my best friend. We would sit by the lake and chat for hours about our feelings, boys and where we wanted to end up in our life.

I miss the smile I had when one of my friend’s said when I moved away that if nothing else, he will miss seeing my smiling face.

I miss the smile I had when my baby sister whom I absolutely adore gave me a very reassuring hug and said that at the end, everything will be okay.

I just really miss the smile that makes me happy when I see my reflection. I’m hoping to achieve some serenity today to bring that smile back to my face.

A Letter to Myself

My Dearest Self,

I know that life is somewhat chaotic right now and the fact that there are increasing uncertainties makes it harder to deal with everyday life. It may be difficult to handle your current mixed emotions and juggle the balls in the game of life. Perhaps the situations you are faced with may not seem so favorable. Believe it or not, struggle is a part of everyone’s life. The choices we make when we are struggling help us develop the inner strength to progress and not surrender to defeat.

Sometimes it is hard to wear a brave face when all you want to do is sit and cry. Let it all out…whine, cry, kick and scream at the top of your lungs. You will feel better. Then wipe off your tears and let go of your past grievances. Tomorrow will be another new day and perhaps you will see your struggles in a completely different light.

Struggle was obvious while you were growing up so remember all those times that you courageously grasped the obstacles and allowed yourself the opportunities to achieve great wisdom.

Remember the time when…

…you were demanded by Daddy to move to Montreal, Canada — a whole new world for you. You became very rebellious at the time but when you embarked on your journey, you came to develop some very strong friendships — those that you will never forget and those that changed your life forever.

…Mommy had very strong opinions about your close friendship with your childhood best friend. She feared that you would be influenced by her bad habits. You decided to continue your friendship, stood firm and walked away from peer pressure with your remarkable self-confidence. True friendship knows no bounds; it is unconditional love.

…your grandfather passed away two weeks before your high school graduation and you thought about how you could even make it through the proud moment without him. You were the first grandchild to graduate in the family and he longed so much to see you step into adulthood. You “walked” gracefully on your special day and knew in your heart that he was watching you even though he was not physically there.

…you started your married life and moved away from your family to be with the man in your life. Although you endured the pain of being isolated, you enthusiastically embraced independence.

…you stepped into motherhood and your strong-willed heart desired that your daughter only be breastfed. You abandoned your passionate career and suffered the awfully long nights only to give your daughter the best nutrition during the first two years of her life. The beginning was tough but you made it through with your determined soul despite the insurmountable impediments.

…you battled with your daughter’s innumerable nighttime awakenings and wanted her to establish independent sleeping habits. You helped yourself by reading books after books on this subject and solitarily implemented a successful plan of action.

YOUR choice to overcome these obstacles in your life has made you a braver, stronger, smarter and wiser human being. In the coming days, months and years, you will find that your struggles right now will be worth conquering and will bring you closer to self-realization. So hang in there and know that there is always HOPE — the hope that you will some day find the answers to acheive the peace and happiness that quiets your soul and calms your heart.

YOU will be okay.

Lots of love,

Me

Sometimes I…

Sometimes I want to live a life of solitude and escape from my present surroundings but fear how much pain that would cause my loved ones.

Sometimes I want to express the love in my heart but I get so entangled with the perfection of expressing it that I lose touch with it.

Sometimes I want reveal the person that I truly am and how I really feel but worry about failing to meet the expectations of others.

Sometimes I have conversations with a friend confiding things I never imagined to and through the conversations acquire a very different perspective of life.

Sometimes I need to improve my patience and remember that things will happen when they are supposed to happen.

Sometimes I enjoy re-reading the daily spiritual devotions, night after night because they make me a stronger and more loving person.

Sometimes I want to hide myself in the corner of my closet and cry my heart out.

Sometimes I want a comforting hug because then I know that no matter what happens, everything will really be okay.

Sometimes I want to sing to remember all the beautiful memories of my lifetime.

Sometimes I have very good intentions, but fall quite short.

Sometimes I am battling so hard with self-doubt that these feelings cloud my vision and I have to constantly remind myself to refocus on my purpose in life.

Sometimes I want to take care of me and do it all.

Sometimes I spend the entire day contemplating on life’s most perplexing questions.

Sometimes I think too hard and lose myself in grave confusion.

Sometimes I disengage myself from everyone and everything in life only to regroup myself emotionally so that I can end up in a better place.

Sometimes I reminisce about the sweet memories of my younger years and want to start my life over again.

Sometimes I get teary eyed when my daughter reaches a milestone because she is one step closer to becoming a more independent girl.

Sometimes I love that my husband can be so spontaneous and fulfill the little things when I least expect him to.

Sometimes I am shocked with my own mood swings and really wish that I would think before I act which would make some people very happy.

Sometimes I try really hard to make the best out of my relationships with my family members but can’t openly express my feelings to them.

Sometimes I terribly miss my childhood best friend and wish she were close by.

Sometimes when I face the hard truths of life, I discover myself for who I really am and my ever-changing personality.

Sometimes I can be a strong-willed woman and find the strength to push through and conquer whatever undertaking that has left me feeling defeated.

Sometimes I can’t please others just because I want to be me.

Sometimes I have to write to let it all out.

Sometimes I forget that life is not and will not be perfect even when you plan it closely.

Sometimes I wonder when I become the woman I want to be, will I really be surrounded by peace and happiness with the life I’ve chosen to lead?

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