Love Until It Hurts

Love is something magical.

When people in love, they would do anything! Anything. They would change everything! Why? Because they are in love. People will translate falling in love as a LOVE itself. But it is not (Read: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck – for further insight). Love is way beyond that scope.

Have you ever been in a situation when you do not love someone, but you have to help that person? In that scenario, you are the one who is there at that moment (might be wrong for you) to offer help. If you give your help sincerely, then you know what is love.

After I read the collection of private writing by Mother Teresa, Come Be My Light, I was amazed with the scale of her heart. She would do anything to please God, not because she is merely in love – but because she loves God. If she was merely in love with God, she would walk away when God started to keep her in silence (for more than 20 years!). But she stays. She is hurt by the love that she has, toward God and people around her.

Mother Teresa

I am in the position where I have to love others that I do not love. For me, it is hard. Let me spell it for you: H.A.R.D.

Giving my care and attention to someone that I consider as undeserving is not easy. But then, somehow I hear a soft voice in my heart saying that I need to give even more – to teach me how to love sincerely. I did, and yet, the battle inside of me is not yet over, because the help that she needs is still there. She still needs help.

I can choose to quit at all time. That’s the lesson I’ve got from the society – why bother giving to someone that never gave to you. But then again, the image of Mother Teresa at our dining room (yes, a huge paint ordered by my Dad) reminded me of her saying. The paradox of giving and loving until it hurts will eliminate the hurt … and let love remains.

I am not yet there to understand, but I want to give it a try. Now. Today. It might be hard, but I could not find any reference to prove that it is impossible. So, it is hard, but it is possible to do.

So You Think I am Fat?

Here we go. The topic that society love. The number on your scale, the size of your hips and how much fat one can have.

Last week I had a day-trip to a beautiful Bali. I would like to stay longer, but I had an important meeting the next day in Surabaya. While I was working, one colleague offered me the famous Bali Bator (Babi Toreh). I thought it was just another crispy belly pork, but hey! It was a delicious treat!

So on my way to the airport, I decided to check their account online, got their number and ordered half-a-kilo to be delivered to the airport. All good. Or I thought so, until the taxi driver asked if I would consume the whole crispy belly pork myself. He said that I am already fat and consuming the whole thing would only make me fatter.

Fat

I shared that experience on my FB status and told some friends, including the one who offered me Babi Bator on the first place. Most of them would say that I should have reacted to the driver, said something to make him realize that his words were rude. I have to admit that I did not answer a thing, beside telling him that I bought half-a-kilo of crispy belly pork for the whole family (I counted 6 people). My reason was because I was all alone in Bali and had no awareness of direction.

After my son was born, I haven’t got back to my initial weight – which already fat for some people. I know that I never been thin or petite my whole life. I always chubby since I was a baby. A very few close people would asked me to step on the scale. Others would commented on how I dress up. Some others would curse my hair.

I had my hard time to let everything slip through. But now I have to … I will maintain my health and at the same time, watch my intake because I am still breastfeeding. I am hoping to be able to breastfeed my son for the whole 24 months. We are almost halfway now. I know that I need to exercise more now and most of all, be happy of who I am. So if you think I am fat, do me a favor – be in silence (Read: shut up!).

PS: I train myself mentally, in which I created two boxes in my head: important and not important. Whenever I hear people comment on my size or clothes, I would discuss with myself in a straightforward way. If that’s important – I would keep that advice to myself and be grateful. If not, bottomless garbage bin is ready to welcome them. I am happier that way.

Expectation and Heartache

It’s been a very long while since my last post! I just found out a few moments ago that my account was expired, due to technical issue on my automatic payment. All good now and I am in a good mood to write something here.

Expectation. We all have it. You just have to admit that you, me – all of us are expecting in many ways. We expect our spouses to be better, to treat us better. We expect our children to behave well, to achieve high. We also expect ourselves to be great, to be known. Is it wrong to have expectation? Is it right? Do you have the answer? Because I do not.

I met one lady a few days ago. I have heard stories about her – she is a single parent with two children, her husband left her for another woman (she was also the ‘another woman’ in his previous marriage), and she has no formal work to support her life. But when you look at her, you can get the glimpse of her being ‘her ideal self’. The way she walks, she talks, the way she describe those fancy restaurants, those beautiful places that she ever been. The reality is quite different in her perspective. She looks at it as if she is still living in her ideal world. She loves to talk about her dreams in the past – how she wanted to go and live abroad (The Netherlands was a popular destination for Indonesian during her school years) and yet, her mother was not allowing her to go. She loves to show the pictures of her being invited by her friends at fancy restaurants and have a dip on those expensive menus. Somehow, unconsciously, she rejects the second-class menus. She tends to compare everything with her version of ‘the best goods’ that she ever tried before.

thestoryteller2

While she is trying to keep her ideal world up in the water, her son sinks it. One day, he went home and sat with his mother – telling her that he has a daughter with a woman that he had a fling with. He was aware that he had a daughter, but decided not to do anything about it – until he lost everything in a fire, got fired and left with nothing. He then realized that he needed to do something regarding his responsibility as a father. While for him it is a way to complete his least responsibility, for his mother it is almost the end of the world.

This lady – now a grandmother – talked to me in teary eyes that her son is not  supposed to live his life that way. He used to be so free and individual, but now he has to share his life with his wife and daughter. For her, that’s not a fair life.

When I listened to her, I was almost scratching my head – and about to scream at her. How on earth you think that way? That little boy of yours is now a husband and a father. He has to take care of his family. He has to let go his free life and be in order now. But of course I did not do so. I felt pity toward her.

Her life is so full of expectation, and yet she gets none of them done. She never had that chance of living abroad. She could only taste the great menus when someone is kind enough to pay for her. She never had the moment of preparing her son’s wedding properly, and yet suddenly given with a granddaughter. She was looking for love, and she gets loneliness instead.

What do you expect from life?

Motherhood: A Personal Note

If you love to visit bookstores, you will see numerous books on parenting, how-to books on children and thousands different wrap on the same topic. It is as if every new parents want to share their personal journey on ‘what and how’ of parenting. Not to mention the experts. Well, it is true that every journey of parenthood is different and there is no way we can compare it to one another. I am now reaching the understanding that there is no such thing as ‘normal parenting’, since in the eyes of every parents, their way is normal. Mostly, that was the way the brought up.

I am a mother of a 3-month-old boy and I am experiencing a journey that I do not want to miss. I want to experience every details of his development and nothing else matters for me right now. Personally, I never thought that I would write this prior his presence, because I was so used to work and had been living my life as a career woman – at least for the past 10 years. But when my role as a mother is here, I can put aside the other roles and put them on hold.

Every day is a new day. As I learn to take care of my son, I also learn more about myself. And that’s the scary part! When I said that I do not want to miss every detail of his development, it may reflects my own separation anxiety toward my son. On the other hand, it also reflects the importance of ‘being there’ for my son. I guess the key is balancing both roles slowly.

Picture is taken from my other blog www.childrencounseling.net

Picture is taken from my other blog http://www.childrencounseling.net

As a way to let go off my own anxiety, I let the dice roll for me. I did not hesitate to follow the dice and yet, I did not push it too much (I used to though!). The result is positive, since I will add two more roles in my career line starting early next year. I purposely let myself ‘trap’ with responsibilities – within limit – so that I can slowly have a healthier separation process with my son.

I am a product of a working mom and I must say that I appreciate my mom more than ever. She was busy taking care of me and my twin brothers, shopping to traditional market every day, cook for the whole house (more than 2 families in the house) and went to the shops that owned by my dad. I could not imagine the juggling game that she played.

And now, as I am standing here, I can say to myself that it is a new journey for me. It means that I need to let it roll a bit and see how it goes from there. Learning new roles and skills take time – and that’s all I need. And finally, learning is a process in itself. It is not about achieving certain point or numbers, but to keep up with the process and learn a lot more along the way.

Keep it up, mothers!

Through The Eyes of A Little Girl

There is a little girl who bears sincerity in her heart and willingly she lend her only tablet cover to her grand Aunty. She said that she could use the cheap cover for a while. She didn’t have any understanding that her mother spent certain amount of money to buy that original cover to protect her tablet. And she didn’t have any intention to just throw the cover away. She was just being nice.

After a few days, she asked her grand Aunty to give the cover back and she would lend her the cheap one. Without even looking at this little girl, the grand Aunty answered: Just wait until I can buy the original cover for myself – and she was back to her games right away.

What do you think of that scene?

For me, when I heard the story, I could not believe it. How could a grand Aunty at her 60s treat a little girl like that? I don’t have the answer for certain.

Guilt is seen in this little girl’s face because she felt responsible to her mother by lending the original cover. She was trying to fix her mistake by asking the original cover back and then, she was denied right away. Some people might see this as nothing, but imagine the lesson that this little girl has to learn.

She might be thinking that lending her stuff to other people is not a good behavior, that it might backfire to her or it might hurt her loved ones. She is learning to understand giving in a wrong spectacle.

I heard many times before that age is not a measurement for maturity. That even at young age, we can actually transfer some values and bring those youngsters to maturity at appropriate level. On the other hand, even those people with years of living this life might forget an important development of maturity. Just like the grand Aunty I mentioned above.

Age is merely a number. It keeps on adding itself every year, on the exact same date. Maturity is another thing. It has to be sow, trained and evaluated every now and then. Maturity is not growing accordingly with age, because it is a choice that one makes. Everyone has the chance to win one’s childishness, as well as winning one’s maturity.

I am hoping this little girl can understand the circumstances – that she meant well, sincere and true. That the rejection from her grand Aunty is not her fault, but it will give her one of the best lesson in her life. I had the chance to talk to this little girl and I said all the positive side of her good deeds. But I also stressed that the reaction from her grand Aunty was not acceptable because she didn’t respect other people’s stuff. That was not a lesson to be learned or followed.

Picture is taken from kushandwizdom.tumblr.com

Apps to Edit Your Life

How old are you today?

You answer marks the length of your life so far. You know exactly how many years you’ve been living in this Earth. You can flip through your memory photo album and seek your birthday celebration when you were 6, 17 or 30. You can see the smiles that you put in your face – and those people who celebrate your special days.

But, if you keep on searching through those albums, can you tell how many days or months that you’ve spent carelessly? Or can you check on how many opportunities that you’ve left behind – because you were afraid to take it? Can you see how much money that you spend for nothing, but instant gratification? I don’t think you can do it.

What if nowadays we can use certain apps to check on our wrongdoings and edit them as much as we want? Some of us might think of this idea as absurd. While some others might consider the benefits of having such apps – rewind missing moments, travel back to fix our wrongdoings.

I did some simple editing to the photo that I use for this post. I just need to download the photo editor that suits my purpose, click here and there, and voila, I have edited photo ready to be posted.

Unfortunately, life is not that simple. We can’t download any apps to measure our wrongdoings or to edit it further. But, actually we do have the gift to do so. It is embedded inside of us. We are given with the gift to realize that we do things right or wrong. It is known as our conscience. Even though it is given, we still need to maintain the loudness of its voice. Sometimes, we can’t hear what it has to say, because we are so deaf with the loudness of the world. We acknowledge that principle of white lies, of grey areas – hence it is no longer suitable with the voice of our conscience.

Therefore, measuring right or wrong is not an easy task. We can’t use apps to replace our conscience in doing so. We need to consider and re-consider our plan before we execute it. What will happen if I say something to someone? Will it bring goodness for that person, or will it damage one’s existence? We know what’s right and wrong – we just don’t want to wear our spectacles correctly.

Once we did a mistake, we have to admit it. Another hard skill to master – after knowing right or wrong. Once we admit that we make a mistake, we need to show our remorse. We have to take action and ‘editing’ our past steps by doing so. There’s no such an easy step of doing it. We don’t have an eraser to delete our wrongdoings. We don’t have any remote to rewind and skip the scene where we made mistakes. But we can ask for strength to feel remorse, to repent and start anew.

One lesson that I learned from King David was the fact that every sin bears its own consequences. He made mistakes by having an affair with Betsheba, and sent her husband to die in a war. After King David repent, he still has to bear the consequences of his sins – the death of his baby and the cruelty of his children toward each other. The King did not ask God on why did he has to suffer after he repent. He knew that what happened afterward was the consequences of his own actions. He didn’t need any apps to realize that he did wrong and editing his life as much as he can do.

Can we do the same – editing our life without any apps?

Are You Holding The Pencil?

When I see my little nephew playing around, I can hear the voice of his mom reminds him to be careful, not to climb on the couch or stop hitting the cat with his bike. It is as if his mother builds fences around him. He needs to learn what-to-do and what-not-to-do since very young, so he will have the guidance later on.

Fortunately, the same principle can’t be applied to adults. Imagine a 20 or 30 year-old who need to be told or guided by his mother – on what to do, what to wear or what to eat. The most common excuse is how much his mother knows about him. And that’s true! But … Isn’t it time for the used-to-be little boy to grow up and learn to handle the wheels himself?

Everyone of us deserves to write our own stories. The gift of life is not merely about strolling through life day by day, but it is about writing our own stories. We are given the right to hold the pencil in our hands and start drawing, sketching and writing the stories. We are given with the voices, to be told, to be heard. We are blessed.

But how many of us let others hold the pencil for us? It can be found in many different forms – staying in the same job for years even though we hate it so much, living with others who hurt us most of the time and many more. We build a mental block that we have no choice. We believe that it is meant to be – that we don’t have control over our lives.

We do. We have the options, we have the control – as long as we want to hold on to the pencil that has given to us. It wont be easy, because we will hear so many false voices accusing us, disagree with us and simply put us down. Why? Because the way they hold their pencils are different compare to ours. They can’t accept the differences, because they are afraid it will hurt them. They are afraid to change, to adjust. And they project their fear to us. They try to control our pencils and lead it according to their will.

My question is how long will you be able to stay? As long your heart beats? As long as you can make others happy?

You only live once, and sometimes that’s all you need. Take that pencil back to your hands and start writing. No matter how bad your handwriting might be, it is yours truly. And no matter how great the cursive of others, they don’t belong to you.

 

Picture is taken from @motivationalpage

Altering Mental Block

In my line of work, I have the privilege to meet a lot of people – listen to their stories and mapping their cognitive functions. By doing so, the process of psychotherapy will serve as the basis for my clients in understanding their way of thinking, distorted belief or simply to know that they have options.

The hard part of psychotherapy is to talk and make family members to understand client’s situation – that they need time to readjust to their new pattern of thinking or how much they need support from their loved ones. Sometimes I scratch my head due to disbelief that family members can’t wait to reach the end line of the process.

What if we – as psychologists – are the ones who need to give support to our loved ones? The answer is as hard as those family members of our clients. When we put down our professional titles and be an ordinary family member of our loved ones, chances are we facing the same difficulties like others.

We have our expectations, our own hopes, as well as fears, whether they will make it or not. Will they be able to pursue their dreams, or will we have to accept the fact that every hopes shatter to pieces? All those questions are in our head – the so-called psychologists – when we walk together with our loved ones who need help or support.

The journey will not be easy. We need to learn from the family members of our clients – who wait and support patiently through every session and years of psychotherapy.

We need to alter our mental blocks and believing that our loved ones will be able to get through their hardest days, their biggest fears and their made-believe limitations. We also need to help them in overcoming those blocks – and make them believing in themselves. It will not be an easy journey, because they might have grown up with the same way of thinking for the past 20-30 years before we met them. But it will certainly be a worthy journey to conquer.

If you’re facing this kind of problem, believe in yourself and believe in your loved ones. Having a set of positive belief will bring you to a new stage of life. Keep up the hard work!

Lemonade, Anyone?

I am a lazy bump. For the past 10 days I’ve stayed at my parents with my big belly – 34 weeks old. My ob-gyn told me to have a rest and take an off from work. I never had such a privilege since I got pregnant – and I think my baby feels relieved with the order to rest.

While I’m staying lazy, I read some books, doing scrapbook for my little bub, talk to some people regarding a lot of things, cuddling with my niece and nephew and mostly, enjoying my mom’s home cook meals. I detached myself from everything that used to be important for me – being busy.

The first few days, I was feeling lost. It was like I spent time doing nothing and I felt guilty. But then after a few days, I pictured the upcoming sleepless nights after my little baby has born. It is the time to pamper myself and be grateful with all this free time. By then, I could enjoy my time and wishing not to pass it too quickly.

But … Even though you’re in a good mood for holiday, life still manage to throw you some lemons. One thing that I’m grateful is the fact that I’m surrounded by those people who love me – dearly! They would listen to me, embrace me, cry with me and strengthen me. I know that I am not alone.

So what will I do with those lemons? At first, I deny the facts that I was hurt. I told myself that everything thrown at me was garbage, unnecessary issues and I only need to throw it out right away. Then come the stage of anger – in which I complained to the universe, telling that I don’t deserve to be treated and accused so badly. I had hard time to calm myself down and let my emotions flow out. I cried it out last night and got that feeling of peace when suddenly I realized that I was at anger stage. I told myself that it will pass. I only need to shift my point-of-view and let it all go. My life will not be miserable by whatever people throw at me – unless I let them break my life.

I had that hard time of believing myself because some people viewed me as a fat, not pretty and unfashionable. I believed what they said to me and as a result, I gained 6 pounds in an instant, I wear worn out jeans and shirt to work and left my heels in the shelf. Until one co-worker sat me down and asked me: What’s going on with me? In that moment, I realized that I was the one who’s responsible of my life and how I see it. I went home with a grateful heart and started to believe in myself again – brick by brick. I put on make up again, I bought new clothes, back to my 10cm heels and gain my confidence back.

Since I’m carrying my little baby now – I know that my pregnancy is at the top priority, more than anything. I should not care of what others told me now … I am who I am. I am too blessed to be depressed or stressed.

I will use the lemons throw at me to make myself glass of lemonade to cool off the heat. Or I can drink it with warm water and lose some weight after I give birth. Sometimes I still lose myself in the maze that others draw for me – but I will build my own maze. I am the one who’s responsible for my life.

I already buy a big basket for the lemons that others will throw at me. I’m ready … Because I am blessed. God shall walk with me – or even carry me around. He would sit with me while we sip on the lemonade.

Cheers!


Poem: On My Knees

I look up to the sky – wishing for some clear blue sky

But everywhere I look – I only see cobalt-like color sky

I look down to the path I walk – wishing for some green pasture

And yet – all I see is grey asphalt

I look around – wishing for some brightness to light my day

But then – all around is empty

I wish I can scream – so loud to make the sky shift its color

I wish I can pour out my thoughts – to the green grass

I wish I can be understood – by my surroundings

But again – there is nothing

All I can do – and all I need to do is to bend on my knees

That is the closest I can get to reach Heaven

On my knees – I can see His big hands holding mine

On my knees – I can feel His presence beside me

On my knees – I can feel His hands wipe my tears

I might still see the dark sky – or the dry path

I might still see no one around me

But I am safe and loved

By His love

Picture is taken from my other blog: 365actsofgratitude.wordpress.com

Picture is taken from my other blog: 365actsofgratitude.wordpress.com