My Country’s 119th Independence Day

The Philippine’s 119th Independence Day was celebrated with tears. For this year, unfortunately, we cannot say that the Philippines is fully independent as war still goes on in Marawi City. A lot of lives had been sacrificed. Filipino people shout enough!

My heart shatters as I watch the news. The locals in Marawi were crying in the raising of the Philippine flag this morning. Right then, there were no religion. They were united. They were all Filipinos. They all strongly desire to see the last of the war and to have their normal, peaceful lives back.

My heart goes out to everyone who has lost their loved ones. I was touched by the pride families of decreased soldiers and policemen gained in the midst of this tragedy. I’m certain that they’ll be carrying that pride for the rest of their lives. Salute to all 58 soldiers and policemen who dedicated their lives for the country! They died carrying a great honor. I also pray that the deceased civilians will gain peace and I’ll pray the same for their families.

In this trying moment, especially to people in Mindanao, I’ll be praying that God will give all Filipinos hope, hope so great it will ease the pains and anxieties. May all wounded hearts be healed. May all wounded souls be restored. Be strong, Marawi. Be strong, Filipinos. Be strong, our beloved Philippines.

Turn your worries into prayers.

When something bad happens, our first nature is to worry for the worst. Although we are aware that worrying cannot help the situation, we still do it. May we find the courage to convert our worries into prayers. The moment you heard a bad news, pray. Whether the news has a direct effect on you or not, and whether it involves people you know or not, pray. Pray.

These days, a lot of tragedy has been happening in the different parts of the world. How fortunate everyone who’s not there. May all these fortunate people pray for those who are on those places captivated by wars and by heartless people. Let us pray for the safety of the humanity. Let’s pray that the roots of all wars may be cut down and the wars be completely ended.

Dear Lord,

In the midst of all these bad things that are happening in the world, may we find you and your mercy and your love for your people. Please take care of your children. Heal our hearts, especially those who are causing the wars and those who are losing their faith during these dark hours of their lives. Lord, take away all the hatred and pains, and please replace them with love and compassion.

May all the bad things end and may peace finally arise in our world. Lord, forgive us all for our sins and please grant us the grace of the Holy Spirit to guide us in our everyday lives. May we always think what’s good for everyone, and not only for ourselves. Use us to encourage our brothers and sisters to be kind to one another and use us to be the messengers of your word and your unconditional love.

Thank you, Lord, for not abandoning us especially during these times. Thank you for listening to us as we turn our worries into prayers. Thank you for holding our hands when we seem to have no one else and nothing else to hold on to. We love you, Oh Lord. But, we know that our love for you cannot be compared to your love for us which is bigger than the world and surely, bigger that all of these unfortunate events.

Light up our hearts, Oh Lord, and fill them with courage, with strength, with hope, with love and compassion, and with utmost faith in you. 

All these we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, your son. Amen.

Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. (Philippians 4:6)

Psalm 23

One of the most popular chapter in the Bible is Psalm 23. It was written by the shepherd turned king, David, who bravely defeated Goliath. Psalm 23 is also one of my favorite chapter in the Holy Book. I find the words calming, especially when I’m distressed.

The Lord is my shepherd. I have everything I need.

The Lord, like a shepherd to a herd of sheep, looks after us and attends to our needs. Without our shepherd, we’re nothing but a confuse, hungry, thirsty, and scared herd of sheep. When we get lost, the Lord looks for us; he doesn’t stop looking for us and waiting for us to come back to him.

He lets me rest in fields of green grass. And leads me to the quiet pools of fresh water.

The Lord knows our needs; he knows when we’re already tired or when we’re thirsty. He knows that we’ve been working our best each day and that we deserve a break. God gave us not just fields of green grasses and flowers, he gave us a beautiful world filled with his amazing creations on where we could lie down, roll down, and live. He not only gave us a pool of fresh water, but he also gave us seas and seemingly never-ending oceans.

He gives me new strength.

Every morning, God gave us new strength to go through the entire day. He gives us the strength to do our duties, to serve him, and to take care of his creations including ourselves.

He guides me in the right paths as he has promised.

Our shepherd leads us to the right paths. Even though some of us disobey him and try to go our own ways, he never stops chasing us and leading us back to the path we meant to cross. We need to put our trust in him. He knows what’s best for us so whatever he allows to happen in each of our lives has purposes.

Even if I walk through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, O Lord, for you are with me. Your shepherd’s rod and staff protect me.

No one else can give us the protection that’s so great. The Lord looks after us, although it’s not what it seems to be at times. He allows us to pass dark alleys, I believe, to help us strengthen our faith in him. So, if you’re going through some tough times right now, don’t forget to pray. Whatever happens, God got you.

You prepared a banquet for me where all my enemies can see me. You welcomed me as an honored guest and filled my cup to the brim.

For everyone who follows him, God gives nothing but the best. He will not deprive us of the things we deserve. If he isn’t giving you what you’ve been asking yet, don’t lose your patience. God loves surprising us in the best ways.

I know that your goodness and love will be with me all my life. And your house will be my home as long as I live.

God’s love is the greatest. God’s love is the reason why we’re here. God’s love is what should always make us feel grateful, faithful, and hopeful. When everything else is gone, God’s love remains.

And because God loves all of us, he’s kind to us. He gives us our needs, he looks after us, he guides us, he protects us, he answers our prayers, and he’ll never ever abandon us.

All we have to do is trust in him. Let’s be faithful to God and surely, he’ll reward us with things so unimaginably awesome. ❤

Maybe, I’m crying.

Maybe, I’m sad. Maybe, the feeling of being alone gets to me right now. Maybe, I’m lonely right now. Maybe, I’m wishing to have friends… friends… friends who truly care. Maybe, I don’t need people who needed someone who’s willing to listen but is never willing to do the same. Maybe, I am tired of being a friend. Maybe, right now it’s me who badly needed one.

I’m tired. I’m tired of always being the one who must understand. I’m tired of being misunderstood, misheard, or ignored. I’m tired of being the girl in the background. I’m tired of having to do the most difficult job yet not having any credit at all. I’m tired of doing someone a favor. Can I… Can I be the one to ask a favor right now?

I’m deeply tired of loving people who don’t love me back. It’s tiring to extend my patience over and over again; to bend myself, my principles, my priorities for other people. I’m sick of being used over and over again. I’m sick and tired of caring too much… for people who do not deserve it. Can someone care about me too for once? Please?

It’s sad to have a glimmer of hope that simple die down in the end. It’s tiring to face disappointments over and over again, and pains… and pains that I’ve promised myself I’ll never feel again. But I did and honestly, they stink more and more, instead of being bearable, as time passes by.

Maybe, I’m just tired. Maybe, my life isn’t that bad. Maybe, I seriously need someone… someone who’s going to try his best to understand me, who’s going to go out of his way for me, who’s going to listen willingly, who’s going to care lovingly. Maybe… Is it all a may and a be? Probably.

Dare to believe.

After the rain
The rainbow will shine.
After the fog
Everything will be clearer.

After the tears
A smile would arise.
After a nightmare
There’s a brand new day.

After a bad day
Comes the best day.
After the obstacles
Is a lovely place.

After the rocky road
You’ll see your awesome destination.
After a steep mountain
Comes an unbelievable view.

After the dark clouds
You’ll finally see the shining stars.
After the storm
The huge strong sun will shine.

After a fight
There will be hugs and kisses.
After the thorns
You’ll feel the soft petals of a beautiful rose.

Stressed or Anxious? (Part 1)

Ever since I’d begun this blog, I am hesitant in writing about this topic for the simple reason that while talking about it, I may feel it. Stress and anxiety were two of the not good things in life. Just the word anxiety makes me anxious tbh so let’s see how far I’ll go with this post. I’m hoping that it could be helpful still. Alright…

Since I’m scared of the word “anxiety”, I referred to myself as so stressed whenever I feel anxious. It’s almost the same anyway. Stress is one of the causes of anxiety. When you over think, you get stressed. When you get too stressed, you get anxious. Over thinking, I personally believe, is the main cause of anxiety. Other causes include physical condition, tension (which may also be caused by stress), fearful incidents, and genetics.

Anxiety can be felt mentally, physically, and both. When thoughts come in and in and in, and you feel like you’re losing control over them, that’s anxiety. When your heart’s palpitating with no reason and you feel an unexplainable tension, pain, or any physical sensation, that may also be anxiety. It’s different for everyone. But if you experience it, hey, you’re not alone. Also, don’t worry too much. There are ways on how you can cope with it. You’ll be well. Every episode shall pass.

I’m also hesitant to share this post because I worry that someone I personally know may read it and then, worry about me. Please don’t.

Anxiety, just like other illnesses, can be prevented through the following. A disclaimer though, I’m not an expert; these information were based from my experiences and the things I read.

  • Meditation

Meditation is a form of mind training. Its main purpose is to bring us back to the “now”. It trains the mind to focus in the moment and cut the train of thoughts that do not help us. The concept of meditation is not ignoring thoughts (no matter absurd); it’s about trying not to judge them so that we’ll be able to control them and not the other way around.

I used the mobile application “Calm” to meditate every night. This is basically how you meditate: (1) find a quiet place to sit down, (2) close your eyes and begin to breathe deeply in and out, (3) put all your focus on the flow of your breathing, (4) breathe normally and concentrate on your breathing for 5-10 minutes, (5) bring your focus back in the room you’re in, then (6) gently open your eyes.

  • Gratitude

Anxiety roots from negative thinking and so, to combat it, you need to be positive. I like another mobile app, “Bliss“. It’s an app that allows you to appreciate what you have to increase your happiness and improve the quality of your life. Another disclaimer, I’m not paid by any of these applications. I find them helpful so I’m sharing them with you.

Bliss has many options. You can list three things you’re thankful about daily or just write in a paragraph form the things and people you’re grateful about. You may also re-imagine a not so good situation and turn it into good. Each activity could really help us remove our focus on the things that are not working out, in our lives as well as our daily worries.

  • Rest

So simple yet not all of us does it. I’ve read that we experience anxiety episodes when our bodies were trying to tell us something. My body told me on the last day of 2015 that my blood glucose level is high through an anxiety episode. It’s not always that extreme though. Most of the time, we get anxious because our body needed rest.

We should acknowledge that we also have limitations. A machine will malfunction if used beyond its capability and so will a human body. When you’re tired, rest. You won’t stop, you will just take a break. You don’t have to sleep, you could just take a nap.

  • Pamper Yourself

Each of us needed relaxation. Each of us deserves pampering. Not all of us has the means to go to spas or massage therapists I know. But we definitely can still relax.

Here’s what I do when I pamper myself: (1) clean my nails and paint them, (2) light scented candles [strawberry and grapes] and massage my head, (3) put on face mask, (4) exfoliate my skin with milk salt, and sometimes (5) listen to ASMR through YouTube.

  • Express Yourself

Don’t hold onto your emotions and thoughts. Release them through different mediums. You could write them in your diary, blog about them, or talk to your friends or family about them. You could also indirectly release your stressors through drawing, painting, baking, singing, or any activity that works best for you.

Let it go! Let it go! Don’t hold it back anymore. (Let It Go from Frozen)

  • Yoga

Anyone can do yoga. Everyone should do yoga. Yoga is not only a great physical activity that can help us tone our body, it is also a form of mental training and relaxation. Yoga includes different poses; each focusing on one or more organs of our bodies. It also includes different breathing techniques that could help relieve stress and anxiety.

I do yoga with the help of the mobile apps “Yoga Monkey” and “Sworkit“, and  “Yoga with Adriene”  on YouTube.

  • Workout

There are different workouts that help us become fitter. Aside from their benefits for our body, it also has positive benefits for our thoughts and emotions. Working out may help us clear our mind and whenever we work out, we release endorphins (also referred as “happy hormones”).

I know we tend to be really busy with our daily lives and sometimes we no longer have the energy to workout after a day of work. We can always start small like 5 minutes of warm-up cardio before we head onto the shower every morning. The app “Sworkit” helped me plan my workout routines for every week.

  • Seek God

To me, knowing that there’s someone out there gives me hope and security. I trust that He will always save me from my troubles. I read Bible daily and other devotional books. I also pray all the time.

That’s all for this part. On part 2, I’ll share with you the things we can do when we’re having our visitors.

I want to end this post with my current favorite quote.

*Hey guys, if you are going to comment, please be very careful as I am pretty sensitive. I’d like to be of help by sharing to you the knowledge that I have acquired. For now, that’s all the help I could offer.

These days…

There are these days when I am reminded of my disease-diabetes. I woke up with headache, nausea, and body pain. I planned to jog outside but I know I couldn’t. I hate having limitations but what can I do? It’s part of my life now.

There are these days, these days when I can’t help but cry. I couldn’t help but be eaten by regrets again and fears. I couldn’t help but ask, wonder why I should be the one experiencing all these. I am not a bad person. I act stupid or I am tackless at times but I never wish to hurt other people. I know it’s my doing for being like this but won’t I get any help?

There are these days when you just question everything. Why are the bad things keep on happening? Why are my efforts not producing any fruits? Why do I feel unloved? Am I unloved?

There are these days when you just want to succumb to all your heartaches and then give up your hopes.

There are these days when temptations are too strong.

These days…

These days are exactly when we should hold on to our dreams and hopes like we’ve never held them before.

These days are the days when when need to be optimistic and let that optimism grab us and take us out of the mud pit.

These days are the challenges, the obstacles in our lives.

These days are what will make us appreciate the better days…