The Flame

The Flame

In deep slumber I was,

Lying at ease,

Carried by the humdrum

of everyday.

But life was such

an enigmatic beauty.

At first, it was a spark,

Followed by bursts of fire,

‘Til it became a flame—

A flame I could not extinguish.

On and on it burned.

Burned my peace,

And ignited a longing.

The rope of monotony snapped.

Okay,  I said finally.

Write I must,

But with a prayer I pleaded,

“Just please guide me God,

or else, the flame

would just die to naught.”

Flames

 

We Have A Choice

finding the better choice

OR… 

Because we always have a choice. Life is is full of choices. It is either—

to be sad or to be happy,

to be a slave or to be free,

to hate or to love,

to forgive or to resent,

to accept or to reject,

to get stuck or to move on…

The choices are endless. The good thing is, we now are on the age where almost everybody desires positive results over its counterpart. The struggle now is on the journey towards the quest for positivism and liberation from the bondage of negativism that has engulfed our consciousness for so long.

May we not waste this ability for us to choose. For it is our birthright.

Should we find ourselves caught between the fangs of doubts, hopelessness and discouragement along this quest, may we stay there only to rest. From there, may we move on forward. May we choose the much better option. Because….

We always have a choice.

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Or

1 Butterfly, 1 Sunrise, 1 Beautiful Morning

primp

Brisk-walking is part of my early morning routine. Having a glimpse of sunrise is a bonus. Today, this tiny butterfly caught my eye. Its color turned to gold as the sunlight penetrated its wings. As I looked closer to take a clearer shot, its hind wings slowly opened and closed. I did not know what the move was for. Is it grooming itself? Or, is it preparing for flight should I frighten it?

I didn’t know why. One thing was for sure, I had a wonderful experience: one tiny butterfly, one cool sunrise, one beautiful morning. That was all it takes to start my wonderful day!

May you have a beautiful day too!

purposivewriter - nezel yurong

Primp

Numbers

Unforgettable Childhood Memory

Music has NOT been my first love. But I do have a certain affinity for the song Memory by Barbra Streisand since I was eight years old.

At the time, singing contests was already popular in the country. There was this one singing contest in a national television show that ran every Sunday. We always looked forward to this show since there were no other forms of entertainment at the time. One of the contestants was a young girl almost my age. Thus, she got my sympathy. I was so awed by her talent because for me, she sang like an angel.

She made it to the grand finals. Her song choice was Memory. The way she sang was still so vivid in my mind. It was full of childlike innocence and sincerity. I felt so much the moonlight in her words. Though she ranked only second place, the song was ingrained deeply in my soul. After the show I ran towards our huge window and looked for the moon. Coincidentally, the moon was full. I looked up at the moon with total amazement and wonder. I gazed at it longer as if it were my first time to see it in all its majesty.

Thus, every time I hear the song Memory, what comes to mind first was my eight-year old self looking at the full moon by the huge window, loving its light and the mystery behind it. To this day, the full moon still left me speechless and lost. And the song Memory stayed with me since then.

What song stayed with you too?

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Song

Love Me For What I Am

love me for what I am

“But you can’t rearrange my life because it pleases you.

You’ve got to love me for what I am for simply being me.”

The above are the lines from The Carpenter’s song Love Me For What I Am. I just love these lines so much. Not that I want to be accepted as I really am, with all my sharp edges, my past and my imperfect self by others; but also because it made me ask myself if I do accept everyone as he/she is and love him/her for simply being himself/herself.

It is a question of acceptance that I need to answer honestly. When I got married, I was disappointed to learn that I married a different man. I married the person I did not expect him to be. All because I have ‘expectations.’ There were even times I want to rearrange everything in order to fit in with my expectations. But the hard fact is that there are things that are much better accepted as they are and not changed; for it is impossible to change them either.

I am even still at the process of accepting and loving myself as I am. Thus, I need to sing this song unto myself too, over and over again. For this is how love works.  When I fully accept and love myself, then it would be easier for me to accept and love others too.

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Rearrange

Smoke Gets In Her Eyes

Smoke gets in her eyes.

Smoke gets in my eyes,” my friend told me unabashedly as she wiped the tears away from her eyes. If we were grilling, I would have accepted that truth easily. But we were not. We were in the living room and not in the kitchen. It took minutes for my boggled mind to compose. Then I slowly realized the depth of what she was going through emotionally. Her pains just struck her somewhere and cause ‘smoke’ to get in her eyes.

How many times this situation happens to me too. A painful thought just flash before my mind, then ‘smoke gets in my eyes’. I am just thankful this happens seldom in my life now, except when I am in church with my mind, body and soul. ‘Smoke gets in my eyes’ easily.

How often do I used to escape to the comfort room or in my bedroom when I sense ‘smoke is getting in my eyes.’ The ‘smoke’ triggers are negative criticisms, backbiting, scolding, humiliating words and all kinds of negativeness thrown my way. But life is the school of hard knocks. The more you are beaten, the stronger you become. The more you rise, the more you gain wisdom.

I have beaten my ‘smoke’ triggers by expanding my mind, expanding my world and accepting everything to be just as it is. For many great teachers passed this way: Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha. After them the world still remains, full of pain and shame. BUT once a person has the WILL to follow their every teaching, that person becomes FREE. So why focus on the world outside that I have no control over when the world inside could be saved if I just WANT to? And by directing that inner world into the light, the world outside benefits from it in subtle ways. ‘Smoke’ triggers are then beaten slowly.

May you would be able to beat your ‘smoke’ triggers too.

purposivewriter - nezel yurong

Smoke

 

Please Be Guided Accordingly

Please be guided accordingly

I was taken off-guard the moment they entered one by one. I knew I was not supposed to stare at people while inside. I should have my full focus on the purpose of my coming here. But by their looks, inside the place of worship, seemed not to coincide at all.

They were a group of young people, four to be exact, probably eighteen years old and above. They wore shorts and shirts appropriate only for the beach. Slowly they entered the church while the choir sang the Gloria.  They settled at the pew in the front row right behind the choir.

By their looks one could say they are not local Parishioners. I was just a kind of shock why they have to make such a dramatic entrance with how they look. My friend who sat in front of me whispered to his wife asking who they were. His wife just shrugged her shoulders and signaled at him to be quiet.

Okay. We were inside of the church attending the holy mass. We were not supposed to judge nor criticize anyone. But here is my take:

The church is a place of worship, therefore, a place of respect too. The church does not stand for its Parishioners. It stands for God. We could talk to God or pray to God anywhere, anytime. But when we CHOOSE to WORSHIP God inside the church attending a HOLY MASS, we must be aware of our every act and make ourselves presentable before God. It is our responsibility to not make the little ones stumble because of our actions. We could not simply say, “It’s the problem of the people why they judge or criticize me, when in fact I just go there to attend the mass. I have clear intentions.” If you have clear intentions, why not make yourself ‘presentable‘? If you have clear intentions, you could have chosen to sit at the rear end pews where people hardly notices you. There, you could pray and worship without being conscious of how oddly you look inside this place.

Other churches have signage at their entrance directing people to attend mass or enter the church in proper attire. This signage specifically states as to what attire are acceptable and what are not. Our local church does not have it. I suppose, it is only on the prerogative of the Parish priest.

After the mass, I waited for my husband outside. He is a choir member, and it is their job to keep the instruments in their proper place after being used. When he joined me, he said those young people were the students of the choir’s music teacher. This teacher came from the other island adjacent to ours. He said they were there because they visited one local beach the day before.

For me, it was still not an excuse why they have to show up with their beach attire. They could have covered themselves with scarf or whatever that would not show any disrespect for the holy mass and the people in there.

Whoever we are, wherever we go, we carry our faith with us. In these days of restless travels, we must always be aware if we have imprinted a pleasant impression on the place we are about to leave. We must not leave it to people to understand us, we must also understand the people in the places we visit. And it is much, much better to leave a GOOD example to strangers who would soon forget our face, but would never forget how we made them feel.

My plea to the Millennials out there: Please do NOT stretch the rules of the church to fit in with your lifestyle.

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Banned

 

Tiny Dots Form the Heart

Tiny dots form the heart

Tiny dots form the heart. I see it in two ways:

  1. God shapes you to become a heart—that is to live a life which is abundant of love. But this heart could never be formed without your help. You need to struggle to work on it daily, hour by hour, minute by minute. Each act you do corresponds to one dot. The more acts you do, the faster love can be shaped in your life.
  2. You must belong to a tribe or community that aims for the same goal. For example, the objective of your community is to shape a better world. A better world signifies an abundance of love. Each dot is each member who works for the cause. The greater your number, the easier for the world to see what your community stands for.

***

We all are shaped by our Maker for a different purpose. Each of our days is a dot that connects to the fulfillment of that purpose. How we connect the dots of our life, would be revealed in our eulogy, if there is any.

May there be no wasted dots in our days.

purposivewriter - nezel yurong

Tiny