All posts by inretrospect

About inretrospect

Asian, Filipino, the Philippines, widowed and retired lady of 62 with three daughters. Love morning walks, sunsets, family, roses, nature, sketch landscapes, listen to music, good books, meet people, design clothes, pet dogs, writing and blogging, a quiet afternoon by the seashore.

That Power Within Us

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My good friend in gmail finds so much pleasure in sending me quotes, not just quotes but very good ones that make worthy source for writing. Here’s one of them sent to me this morning…..

“People are made to be loved and things are made to be used. The confusion is in the world, because people are being used and things are being Loved” ——— Author Unknown.

What do you think about that? Isn’t that so true?

Some of us have so very little belief in ourselves, so very little confidence and respect for who we truly are and why we were created. Who we are is far more amazing than our wildest dreams come true. We have that special and divine gift. And we were created to bring that power into this world to serve it. That is by God’s design.

We are strong, smart, talented, wise, and spiritually empowered to fight our battles, big and small. You don’t believe that? Then maybe some of us don’t know our God well enough. Or have made Him too small for our needs. We always make that mistake.

Because the last time I checked He still is the One God that owns the whole universe, all of the land air waters and skies and all creatures in it. And ….. owns us. Better said He created us and have called us His children. Remember this said — ‘ Like Father, like son.’? We are His. And He is our Dad and God.

The power of which I speak of is so much bigger than us… bigger than life itself. It’s the power to live good lives, to spread the good around, to make peace not war, to overcome evil with good, to build and not destroy, to bless and not to curse. It’s the power to think, speak, and act as true children of God. We cannot separate this from our daily lives. We cannot simply store this in a separate compartment to be fished out only when needed. It’s part and parcel of being human and children of God. It’s who we are and why we are.

Do you still doubt the power within you?

Use this power instead of people. Domination or manipulation never serves any good. It can backfire and you come out losing more than what you have gained, eventually. You are up for misery far more than you can ever imagine. Nobody will perhaps tell you that but there in the core of your heart and in your soul you will know the truth.

But you will ask, how does one use it?

Simple, ask God to show you how. He’s waiting to show you how. All you have to do is ask. So ASK!

 

THE HABIT OF VERY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE

A nephew online asked me this question — " Tita (aunty), so what’s the habit of very successful people?" —

The answer? — It’s being able to get up every time you fall.

Everybody has a dream tucked up somewhere there in the mind and heart. Big dreams, small dreams, big goals, small goals, big ambitions, small ambitions. It’s all beautiful…. Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s just a waste of time because there’s no guarantee that you may get it or even come close, or so they think. Although I could agree on that ‘no guarantee’ bit because indeed there’s plenty of obstacles or hurdles to conquer, sometimes can be quite overwhelming and might make you want to give up, and the unpleasant unexpected can rear its ugly head down the road. But we’ve read a lot bout other people’s success stories, haven’t we, and do know what the common denominator was or is — It’s being able to get up every time you fall.

Thomas Edison failed a thousand times. I’m not saying we would. What am saying is he tried a thousand times before finally coming to one that really worked. In essence that is what will happen with the rest of us… stumble and fall 10 maybe 20 times to say the least, but we’re expected to pick ourselves up 10 or 20 times too and start all over again — for another round maybe of falling and getting up again. But get up we must. That’s the trick that gets the dream.

And that’s the same trick that would get you your target job or position, career or profession, medals, awards, titles, recognition. Name it, you can have it. Better yet be the stuff success stories and successful people are made of. ————

COURAGE IS A QUIET VOICE SOMETIMES

—— Who hasn’t passed through tough times? Maybe someone out there is going through one right now. Hard as it may be to listen to family and good friends’ well-meaning efforts to help you… lending their own faith, strength and courage, it still behooves you to listen and listen well. When in the midst of pain we can’t usually think straight. So we need others to think for us. Oh yes, sometimes we need to do that. We should learn to borrow their minds or pick their brains in lieu of our fuzzy ones. They say that it’s easier to size things up when you’re outside the issue and being objective about it. That’s what they can do for you. At least listen.

That being said, we know that Life is tough. God himself said that but He did promise that He would be with us through it all. So understanding that very well will help you deal with life’s challenges in better form. You will begin to find the courage you thought no longer existed. But wait a sec, don’t expect courage to come blazing away a clear smooth path for you to tread on. It doesn’t usually happen that way. Sometimes courage comes in so quietly you’d miss it if you weren’t paying close attention. Sometimes it’s just a small voice inside nudging you to try one more time. Try one more time, one more hope, one more faith, one more prayer, one more day. ———-

SUFFERING AS SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF GOD

———- She asked ‘why do I need to suffer?’

I was thinking of ignoring the question and just smile, shrug my shoulders, and move on to another subject. But her eyes told me differently. What and why I do not know and neither would I ask. There are places that one must not tread on, even in friendships.

I don’t have the answer to that nor pretend to know. But others perhaps could as gleaned from own experience. That enough can be quite confusing, let alone leave you wondering. Because I once asked that same question long ago and I got gazillions of answers to it. Yet each was sufficient to its own. I now understand. And now have added mine to that same pot.

Nobody likes to suffer. It’s one word in the dictionary that people wished wasn’t there. Everybody knows that suffering changes lives, like it or not. But we know too that when one suffers it most definitely is caused by something or someone.

Hers was caused by someone. That much I can say.

The one who suffers may think that everything is lost, that the world gave up on her, that misery is her company for the rest of her life. I beg to disagree to that. Suffering as bad as it may seem or look to anyone is not hopeless. Fact is, it holds a promise somewhere there just waiting to be uncovered or revealed. But one has to look very hard to see it or better yet with steel courage seek it out. Because when you do — a thousand doors begin to unlock, windows fling wide open, and your soul soars to higher ground.

the blind tenor —–    andrea bocelli
blind and deaf —–    helen keller
deaf composer —–    ludwig van beethoven
and many others more lived that promise.

The person who caused the suffering won’t, as you may perhaps think otherwise, go scot-free. How is this? In the deep of the night when everything is quiet his soul goes to work. It begins to gnaw at his conscience. Oh yes, it’s still there but he just tries to ignore it or push it aside or bury it at the far bottom. Unfortunately conscience is something you can’t extinguish delete or eliminate yourself. In some it may take awhile or longer, but definitely it will do what it was set out to do. Outwardly the person may live a life seemingly unperturbed by his misdeeds but that’s just a facade. One that would soon break down as he constantly day by day struggles with keeping a lie he fiercely adheres to and warding off truth arrows seeking to pierce his armor.

That isn’t all it is yet because one day he will have to contend with someone coming forward with the truth, or someone who will look him straight in the eye and say — ‘Enough!’. Or as Judas must have felt when he caused Jesus’ suffering, the burden of misery and guilt would now fall upon his head.

So then while the one who suffers may have learned to cope and move on perhaps to bigger and brighter things, the one who caused the suffering would be journeying to his own destruction. ‘Whatsoever you shall sow…. so shall you reap."

Suffering, as seen through the eyes of God, is not an abomination nor a perceived punishment as many may wont to or customarily believe. It’s simply a tool, one of many, to work God’s purpose… to lift one up to higher ground of hope, faith, courage, glory or splendor. Like gold is passed through fire to come out shining, one must go through some pain to get to the place of joy and happiness. But take heed and pay close attention and learn.

We will never know God’s thoughts and ways. But all that we need to do is trust in His work in our lives. It behooves us to understand this well for our peace and joy.

So to my friend and your question, why not try to have a good chat with your God — He’ll help you figure that out. He always does magnificently. God bless you. ———-

 

FAMIIES ARE WHO AND WHAT THEY ARE TO US BY GOD’S DESIGN AND REASON

 

None in the world or in life can compare to a FAMILY. So I don’t understand why some of us seem to hate our families so much. Why? Is it because they are not what you want them to be? or expect them to be? is it because they are not pretty nor wealthy nor educated nor well-positioned .. or whatever else you think they should be for you?

Sorry to disappoint you but truth is we never really get the family we may want. Because God does not always give us what we want. But He does give us what we need.

And what is it that we need?

True Humility — to avoid pride or egotism or narcissism.

Good Perspective — to avoid putting down our priorities on the unessential

Unflagging Hope — to trust in our abilities to survive and achieve goals and dreams

Steady Faith — to fall back on when life gets tough and tougher

Common Sense — to see and recognize our gold… in life, in things, in people

Courage — to be who we are when the world aims to turn us into clones & zombies

And who else can teach, show, or remind us of all that? By being just who they are, our families (they may know this or not) become the reservoir from which we pluck out all the good stuff for our own learning. That is ….. if you are paying close attention.

God gave us our families not just for the visible roles that they are tasked to play in our lives but to serve the purpose God intended to serve the bigger picture of our existence. A family is who and what they are………. by God’s design.

May God’s grace and blessing pour out on all families here in FB and out there in the world. ————

Love your families. They’re not perfect, true. But they are what you need.

 

 

DO WE UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER?

Heard this exchange from a young couple sitting a table away at my favorite coffee bar at the mall. They appeared to be arguing bout something.

Husband says – ‘You don’t get my point’.

Wife retorts – ‘You’re not listening to what I’m trying to tell you, this is how it should be done’.

This time the temptation is great to write about marriage and couples and how the twain never ever meets — Except for some. But we won’t go there because somebody else somewhere is better at it than me.

When a person says ‘you don’t get my point’ – it’s true. And when the other replies that ‘you don’t see what I’m trying to tell you’ — that too is true. Both are so much the same and yet so much different too. Maybe that would be considered weird or foolish. But fact is, both are simply stating the same simple fact and truth only from two opposing views.

You see the world according to you. I see it according to me. We come from different backgrounds, upbringing, experience, and learning. We separately perceive the world according to how we each understand it in the way we each have learned or been taught to do. You have formed your own perception, insight and opinion on most anything referring to people, theories, events, life, and living. Consequently you judge, censure, evaluate, condemn, appraise from your own individual standpoint.

So do I. I am everything that you are, been there in the travel from nothing to something, was shaped and molded by my own growing and learning which has formed the character, personality, and attitude you perceive in me now. In our differences we still are basically the same. And that is true.

Yet we need not argue or fight over who is right or wrong, better or worse, smarter or stupid, brilliant or foolish. What is correct is when we can listen to each other in spite of our differing opinions. What is right is when we can look at each other with true understanding and respect. What is beautiful is when we can agree to disagree and be happy with that. And that brings us to a genuine authentic communication.

"To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others."   — Tony Robbins

 

 

LOVE WILL TURN THE TIDE

 

It’s quite easy to turn your back to the misery of others. But not so when misery hits you. Then you wish that friends wouldn’t turn their backs on you.

"Love one another as much as I love you."

I’ve heard this spoken so many times, read it a thousand times over. I have realized that none can be more truer than this. God in His magnificent love has given us all of the earth… land – sea – air… under our care and management, for our living joy and pleasure. And too each other to love and care for. Every individual does not stand alone no matter how he says he does and can.. or tries. For no man is an island, each one is dependent to and on another for many different things. I need you as much as you need me. So how is it that we can’t… love?

Love will turn the tide. Believe because it’s been done for ages, by many, in different circumstances, with the smallest or greatest of hearts and hands. Love breaks down all barriers — real perceived imagined.

Dont’ make it difficult for yourself or for the next guy beside you or for the rest of the world. Love… and you will make a reality your and everybody’s wish that the world were a better place. It’ll start with you, me, them, us.

 

PEOPLE ARE LIKE STAINED GLASS WINDOWS

Still – quiet – serene – calm…..just the right place to be to escape the hustle-and-bustle of the city. I took a long sweeping look from the left to the right taking in the walls and the dome over my head. It literally took my breath away – stained-glass windows – its colors heightened by the glow of sunset. Built atop a mountain this cathedral stands proudly in its old world charm attracting visitors from as far as the outskirts of the city — a handsome structure which has stood the passing of time and inside its walls nothing less in beauty. The main altar stretched out to the dome ceiling with a masterpiece of art etched on its stained-glass wall. My gaze followed the intricate lines from the floor to the top and down again to the floor. Here a little to the side stood a long-legged candle-holder – its flame glistening softly from a candle held by a glass holder (yes, in stained-glass too) – a small unobtrusive presence in the midst of such towering magnificence.

Speechless was the moment in the presence of such exquisite beauty indeed. Yet as all good things must come to an end, too, like coming to the end of a good show, a gentle curtain of extinguishing glow fell into the room. The sun was disappearing in the far horizon. Light was snuffed out in all of the glass walls in a falling curtain of darkness except for one solitary lighted candle holder. Surprised I gasped in awe amazed at the sight of the beautiful play of light and colors from the stained-glass candle holder — unremarkable just a few minutes ago but now a burst of luster unmatched by all the glass on the walls of the cathedral!

People – they come in different sizes, shapes, colors, temperaments, attitudes, in myriad colors of character and eccentricity, and personal histories. They touch our lives in many different ways when they cross paths with us. They sparkle and shine as life carries them through the many stations in their journey. Each come to interplay with various experiences which lead to a colorful display of emotions, wit, brilliance, expression, opinion, insight, belief, perception — and on the opposite end bias, prejudice preconception, presumption, and more, These make up the whole person with whom we interconnect with day by day. Beautiful, isn’t it? –But true beauty — where does it lie in a person.

When fortunes turn sour, when failure looms high above you like a huge tsunami, when the small irritations of the day gnaw at your calm and composure, when relationships disappoint, when dreams shatter, when debts soar, when spouses betray trust, when your own stable world is unhinged at the seams without warning, and when you are tittering on the edge of indecision – when all of these dark forces threaten to snuff out the light and brilliance of your day and of yourself, what do you do?

My mom summed it all up with how she lived her life. It was a life strewn with all conceivable trouble and distress. And looking back now I wonder just how God can sometimes be so unfair heaping up all the burdens on the shoulders of this small fragile gentle woman. Well, did she cry? Complain? Get mad? Get gloomy and depressed or bitter and resentful? Yes, all of that and yet all, too, were left at His feet in prayer. Then she carried on with her life where she was, with what she had. She rose with every fall, trudge on doggedly with courage and strength and faith renewed each time I wondered how. Through my child’s eyes I watched her drag her weary feet through the hills and valleys of a sparse life as she took on the role of raising a family. I saw her in my young child’s eye astoundingly as the most beautiful woman in the world. She still is even long after she has gone. I see now and understand the wisdom of God’s outstanding work.

This is true beauty – the beauty of the soul – beauty which shines even more brilliantly even when darkness sets in. True beauty as revealed only when its light is from within.

 “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in; their true beauty is revealed only if their light is from within.”   – (Elizabeth Kubler Ross)

WE CHANGE IN LAYERS

At the mall one fine afternoon, I came across my childhood friend who I hadn’t seen for quite a long time. He was quick to recognize me and did it with a rousing bear hug “Heyyy, pumpkin, great to see you!!” Ugh! He still calls me that. Seeing my grimace he laughed “You’ll always be pumpkin to me. Btw, meet my wife, Liza”. I shrieked with surprise and delight when I saw her as she came walking towards us – Liza, my pal in school! We were buddies in our last year. “So this is why you hadn’t been in touch all these years!” She laughed heartily showing her familiar dimples. “We moved to San Francisco after the wedding. I didn’t know where to write you then because you were nowhere to be found, silly!” “Yeah, I got busy with a job in the big city.” I replied. We then moved to a coffee shop nearby and continued with our endless chatter and updates. Time flew until Martin reluctantly and halfheartedly broke off the chat (which we girls undoubtedly monopolized) and reminded Liza that they had yet to shop for a birthday gift for his mom. So we parted ways but agreed to meet for dinner at their place the following week.

Looking at them as they walked to the parking lot, I felt a sudden twinge of sadness. They have remained the same, true; and yet have changed too in some. I remembered something I have read before—“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension; and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm; childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.” That quote brought me to this new understanding. Truly, we change unevenly, partially, in layers. We may be brilliant to one and childish to another person all in the same breath. We may be the cherished pumpkin of the past and yet also the modern career person of the present. A friend may tell me that I have changed in my perceptions about love and money. While another friend would tell me that I am still the homespun girl he always had known me to be. And it is true for I have indeed changed from some old held viewpoints of long ago. But have retained and treasured the same homespun values my mother has taught me when I was young. On that thought, I realized that we don’t really leave the past behind even if change moves us along in time. We take it with us to the present and on to the future. This is what people see in us mixed and mingled as change does its work in bits, portions, areas, and layers of ourselves.

So as I stood there watching Martin and Liza pull away in their Chevy, I smiled to myself and bid goodbye to the sadness felt earlier. Nothing has been lost after all. More mature and changed in some ways as they appear to be now, still Martin and Liza carry with them the traces of good old friendships of long ago. We stand connected despite change. Amazing and beautiful, isn’t it?
 

LIFE MUST BE LIVED AS WE GO ALONG

I was rummaging through my old files today with the intent to trim it down to the barest essentials; the unimportant would go straight to the garbage bin when I stumbled on this very old article quoted in a daily local paper by a well-known columnist. It was entitled ‘THE STATION’ and written by Robert J. Hastings.

To quote..

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Life is something like this.

 We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We see ourselves on long trip, but uppermost in our minds is the final destination. We fret restlessly, damning the minutes that drag … waiting, waiting for the station. “When we reach the station, that will be it" we cry.
 
Life has many stations, like:

When I’m 18

When I buy a new 450 SL Benz

When I put the last kid through college

When I have paid off the mortgage

When I get the promotion

When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after

But …

Sooner or later we must realize there is NO station, no one place to arrive at once-and-for all. THE TRUE JOY OF LIFE IS THE TRIP. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. REGRET AND FEAR ARE TWIN THIEVES WHO ROB US OF TODAY.

So …

stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less.

LIFE MUST BE LIVED AS WE GO ALONG. The station will come soon enough.

Unquote.

 

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