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.

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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!

Past-Valentine Love Stories

It may be a little late to write about my Valentine’s Day, but I am going to write anyway.

This year marks the 4th of knowing my husband. We met on January 2011 and got married on September 2013. But this year is the first time we celebrate Valentine’s Day, well sort of. On the day, I woke up with a cute doll in front of me. I did not know where he hid that or why did he buy that cute doll. When I opened it, I just realized that the doll has recording system. So, there it was, my husband wishing me a lovely Valentine’s Day!

Valentine's Day gift

After I unwrapped the gift, I left to take my morning shower. He did not tell me that he had something else, the real V day gift for me. It was himself being wrapped! You know, when it comes to silly stuff, my husband is the master!

The real V day gift

The real V day gift

But that was not all. Last night, I got another surprise from my best friend’s parents. It was started when they were having their own family time and somehow my name was mentioned by my friend. His father was a sweet, funny and silly old man, whose heart is very sincere. My friend and I used to laugh together when we remember his father. Out of his love for me, he suddenly said to my friend that they (his father and mother) would love to have me as their daughter and love me with their parental love. You know, I was crying when I heard this! Sometimes when the time is rough, you don’t need some extravagant gifts, you only need small action of love from those around you.

I am loved!

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Forgiveness: An Available Option

During hard times, it seems impossible for us to see the possible outcomes and lessons in the future. We focus our attention to the most effective way of reducing the stress and manage the problems. During this time, other people in your life will play their parts – either as part of problem-solving, or they contribute as the causal.

I heard many times that forgiveness is only for the weak, because they do not have the power to fight back and defend themselves. Forgiveness is not an option for the strong ones. Many people believe this and they choose to put forgiveness as their last choice. As I grew up, I learned that forgiveness is for the strong ones. Those people who can stand up again after every fall and bravely decided that they have to let go off their burden – in the form of anger, revenge, disappointment.

These past few days, I have been reminded on forgiveness again. I was thinking on one person who gave me a real hard time of life. I was angry and hurt, I had to go for personal retreat, counseling and went through the moment of depression. It was really hard for me and I never imagined that another person would do such thing to others. But through the love of my closest ones, I was able to stand up once again. They pray for me, they talk to me, call me and simply being there for me. Time was the answer that I was loved by them and they were sent by God for me.

It took me a few months before I decided that I need to forgive this one person. Once I decided so, it took me three years to really be able to let everything go. I quit asking all the why questions (why me, why now, why why) and accordingly, I quit looking for the reasons behind that hard time. I decided that I can choose my action in the future and regarding his actions, I have no rights to know.

Cathedral Church of Manado - Jan 2013

Cathedral Church of Manado – Jan 2013

As I am standing here today, I would ask for a chance to tell that person that he has taught me the best lesson of life. He taught me that I can choose forgiveness when I am hurt. He taught me that believing in God has to be seen through behaviors and characters. He taught me that those people who really love you, would never walk away from you. He also taught me the lesson of loving the flaws of life – in me, my spouse, my family and friends. There is no such thing as perfection – it is only the illusion of perfection. He was that illusion. And I am having my real life here with me now. Thanks to those lessons!

Forgiveness is a choice that we can always take. It is for you – not for those who hurt you. Forgiveness does not say that what others do to us is acceptable, but it says that we can always choose to make them no longer painful or hurtful for us. We can carry on, without those burden in us. Choose forgiveness and be free.

Butterfly in The Stomach

Normal life is something that most people want to embrace. Women would say that they prefer to have a normal life with a normal husband and normal children. Men would say that they prefer a normal working life with normal colleagues and normal salary. The thing is how we can define normality in life? Your point of view will be different than mine – on normality.

Whenever we feel ‘butterfly in the stomach’, we tend to dismiss the feeling by any means. Sometimes we just ignore it and wishing for it to go away, some other time we distract our attention to something else. We just do not want to be bothered by those uneasy feelings. We just want to feel normal – like any other people who have ‘normal life’.

Super cloudy morning sky - Bali Aug 2013

Super cloudy morning sky – Bali Aug 2013

Yes, we do need orders in life, to maintain stability and provide safety to younger children. But, we also need some surprises and uneasy feelings during our journey – why? Because surprises will bring different colors to our sky and uneasiness will work as a reminder that we need to change our life direction, or simply take a U-turn.

When I was younger, I thought a normal life was defined with fixed working hours, expected events to come, patiently doing the same thing for many years and able to save at certain amount of money every month. I thought normalcy was defined with age and the ability to achieve something at that age. But I grew up and I am standing where I am today. I learned to understand that life is not always defined by certainty and fixed ratio on everything. Life is normal when we can accept our life as what it is – with all the uneasy feelings and unexpected journeys. We trip, we fall, we rise up and we learn our lessons. We tried and failed, we climbed and lost. But we are stronger each time. My life is a normal life – to my term, and your life is normal – to your term. (PS: I am not writing in the scope of any psychological disorders).

It is not as easy as I write it. I am struggling every day, especially with my own self – the one who easily blame herself. I am having a normal life – with all the ups and downs, the lessons learned, the flaws inside of me. It is all normal and I am living my life to the fullest.

At last, this piece is coming to its end. It was started with ‘butterfly in the stomach’ to write something tonight.

Wild Mind

Have you experience the inability to control your mind? As if it has its own gas pedal and brake – and we just see everything in movie frame. Ability to think, analyze and reflect is one blessing for human being. But it also brings its own flaws. Our mind is the strongest sense among others and the sharpest weapon of all.

These past few days, I experienced the wildness of my mind. I know the symptoms all too well. Whenever I feel awake at night and decided to do some work, instead of sleeping, then it is a strong signal. My mind is powering up at night and compromise my need to be in bed early. I slept at around 12 or 1am and woke up at 5.30 every morning – because I need to prepare breakfast for my husband. Sometimes I also work early, class at 7.30, yoga at 7.00. For some reasons, I didn’t feel tired. I would feel sleepy around noon times, but nothing else. Yes, that’s the sign.

I also started creating scenes and scenarios in my mind. I am imagining the excitement of giving my Dad the latest collection of Queen for his birthday. I am thinking to go for Deustch class. I have a wishful thinking to travel all around Europe in a whole year with my husband and prior to that, one publishing house will pay for everything in return for a travel book from me. Call me a Liz Gilbert wannabe – because I certainly am. I also think the fun feeling of having another job with bigger income – so I can buy a new car and save up a lot more. See, how many things that I can think of and add on in a short period of time.

It is easy to be drowned in our own pace of thinking. It is easy to believe everything that we think in the first place. It is hard to channel out those thoughts into something positive. It is hard to stand up tall with some wisdoms. We need to choose wisely.

 

To add to my thought, I am obsessed with some writing movies. The recent movie that I watch repeatedly is The Words – with Bradley Cooper acted as the young writer who stole a script of another writer. Writing is my saviour when it comes to pour out the content of my mind. Whenever it goes wild, I just write. I have an ongoing project to write daily for a year. It helps me to discipline my behavior, and also my mind. I am aware that every single day I can pour out everything from my mind and keep my balance.

What do you do when your mind go wild?