Forgive & Forget

Lately I’ve been feeling challenged by God to dig up some stuff from the past and start actually resolving it. Oftentimes we leave loose ends, whether it’s because we have physically moved, or whether we’ve somehow found a way to let certain issues slip by without actually giving them an appropriate closure. I can’t say it’s been easy opening my own can of worms, but I’ve realized that if I want to grow and be free to make better decisions in the future, I have to learn to deal with the past in order to be able to fully let go of it. A part of me really wants to leave it alone, but I know that in reality, “time” doesn’t heal anything. “Time” makes you forget some of it, and sometimes better experiences help cover up what was buried yesterday, but in reality, hurt and regret don’t magically disappear. It’s been extremely difficult, and I’ve only done 1 out of 3 so far, but I’m going to try my best to finish by the end of September.

I’ve heard about the five tasks of dying (don’t worry, I’m not trying to be morbid and I’m definitely not predicting my own passing, I’m only citing this as a source), and they are the following:

Task #1: Ask For Forgiveness

Task #2: Offer Forgiveness

Task #3: Offer Heartfelt Thanks

Task #4: Offer Sentiments of Love

Task #5: Say Goodbye

Except for the last one, tasks 1-4 are really things we ought to be doing while we’re alive and well, whenever we can, as soon as we’re ready, and more often than we remember to. Why should we wait to be at peace right before the time when we’ll no longer be here to enjoy it? I say, ask for forgiveness when you realize there is a need to be forgiven. Offer forgiveness when bitterness is holding you back from living abundantly. Offer heartfelt thanks whenever you feel gratitude towards someone or something. Offer sentiments of love when you feel loved or when you love someone, even if they might not love you back.

 

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Belonging

What is “home”?

This trip to Brazil was one where I came to the realization that “home” really is where your heart is, as cliché and trite as it might sound. What we call “home” is much more the sensation you get when you arrive somewhere and feel like you belong there. But does your heart have to belong only in one place at one time? And can your heart be with people, rather than with a physical place? Yes and no, I think.

My first feeling of “I’m home” came when I walked through the doorway of my house and saw both my parents. That sentiment was undeniable: the tingling of comfort and that smell of family lingering in the air.

The second time this feeling arose was when I visited one of my best friends in Rio, whose mother also happens to be a close friend of mine. Her house is like a home away from home to me, and every time I go I feel a welcome so sincere it is almost palpable.

The third time I got the feeling was when I stepped into my church in Rio, a city where I resided for almost four years. Seeing everyone and getting to spend some time together in conversation (and lots of food, of course), was extremely special. Their love and warm reception reminded me that I was part of their family.

When I went out with my old high school classmates, when I chatted with friends from my former church, and when I caught up individually with people whom I hadn’t spoken to in a long time– all of these moments made me feel like I was *home*.

However, when I went to a large church event where a whole bunch of people were gathered together in celebration, both old friends and new, I actually felt a bit lost. It was almost as though I were a mere spectator, watching something from the outside, even though in reality I was fully participating and fully active. I weaved seamlessly from conversation to conversation, from table to table, from group to group. And yet, I felt that I was not part of the whole, but rather a portion that was outside of it. That was when it hit me full blast, that even in a place where you might be able to socialize and do it well, you might still feel like you don’t belong.

What I’m trying to get at is that sometimes you feel safe, comfortable, and loved within a group of people, and no matter where they are or how long you have been away, they are able to rekindle these feelings in you. On the other hand, even when you may want to feel safe, comfortable, and loved within a group of people, a number of factors such as time away, distance, lack of cultivation, life stages, and “missing out” on important moments, may end up causing a place to cease feeling like home. Even though it may be sad, sometimes it’s reality.

It came as a great relief, then, when after struggling with frustration over feeling like perhaps I no longer was a part of certain things in my hometown, I came back to New York and heard the words, “Welcome home” from my friends here. It was like music to my ears. I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps it’s ok to feel at home when I’m with my parents in SP, with my best friends wherever the geographical location, and also here in New York City. Either way, I’m home.

 

Sacanagem

Dear-Heart-Why-Him-Inspirational-Life-Quotes

De certa forma, acho justo. Já magoei muitos com amor não correspondido… um dia tinha que acontecer comigo também, né? Como os gringos dizem, “What goes around comes around”.

Difícil é ter que ver a pessoa sempre e fingir que não te machuca quando ela te ignora. Mas com o tempo passa. Pelo menos, assim espero.

Coffee Meets Bagel?

“Sometimes no matter how many eyelashes or dandelion seeds you blow, no matter how much of your heart you tear out and slap on your sleeve, it just ain’t gonna happen.”

Melissa Jensen, The Fine Art of Truth or Dare

I have to admit there is a part of me that absolutely abhors the idea of having to resort to going online to find someone via a matchmaking website. Human beings were created to socialize and form relationships, and although the Internet may be a tool to build connections (and is even one that I use to maintain many of my long-distance friendships), for me it cannot ever substitute face to face interaction. In my ideal world, I would meet someone through mutual friends, events, or natural circumstances, gradually develop a strong connection, a steady friendship, and finally fall in love. One would think that in a city as densely populated and diverse as New York City, I of all people would be able to meet a guy. But alas! While I’ve been waiting for the man of my dreams to come sweep me off my feet, technology and social media have taken over the role of finding lonely hearts a missing piece.

Two weeks ago I decided that if I am not seeing anyone by the time my birthday rolls around, I would join Coffee Meets Bagel, a free online dating website that several of my friends use. The funny thing is, after having decided that in my mind without telling anyone about it, I got two invitations to join Coffee Meets Bagel within one week. Maybe it’s time to try dating as a way to get to know someone new rather than my own way of doing things. I guess that with each new method of putting yourself out there, there are also new risks associated with them. In this case, there is the risk of creating a profile that does not reflect who you really are, which may in turn attract people who you don’t expect or want, or prevent people who are possibly good for you from liking you. There is also the chance of being rejected by people for reasons that, if they had the chance to get to know you personally, would not be an issue. A third problem that might arise would be one of jumping into “judge” mode and passing guys who might actually be a good match for me, but who were not the smartest when creating their own profiles. Then there’s the additional risk of actually going out with someone, liking them, and having them not be interested in you. I guess with the American way of dating that’s just the way it is in life in general, so they are used to it, but I just find it a bit sad. I’ve never just gone out on a date. I’ve only ever gone out with people whom I already liked, so I knew I wanted to spend time with them and they wanted to spend time with me. I didn’t have to worry about coming up with things to talk about or deal with the possibility of rejection.

On the other hand, if I don’t have the time to go to so many social events to meet new people, and if none of the people I know are interested in asking me out, I really have nothing to lose. I could just check it out and see, no expectations. Who knows? Perhaps if I let go of my preconceived notions of how awkward going out with a stranger is, I might actually be able to enjoy myself.

CoffeeMeetsBagel-logo

Be Still

be-still1

“Be Still”

He is here for the broken and life to the one who is undone
He is peace to the wounded and hope for the helpless one
He is here, He is here

Be still my soul, be still
Be still my soul, be still
Wait patiently upon the Lord
Be still my soul, be still

When the waves rise against me and the wind tries to draw me away
I will stand on the mountain, safe in Your arms I will sing I will sing

Be still my soul, be still
Be still my soul, be still
Wait patiently upon the Lord
Be still my soul, be still

Be still I know He is God
He is here, He is here
Be still I know He is God
He is here, He is here

So be still my soul, be still
Be still my soul, be still
Wait patiently upon the Lord
Be still my soul, be still
Wait patiently upon the Lord
Be still my soul, be still