Little, Sweet Reminders

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Forgive the blur. But this is a recent portrait of me: a LOVED HUMAN who is a FIGHTER!

 

BACKGROUND: It’s been a while since I last wrote in my blog! Well, as some of you dear readers know, med school happened and that means more time spent in academic stuff than blogging. But earlier this morning, during my daily devotional time, the message struck me and I had the urgent need to share my heart out. Despite the fact that it’s hell week as some would consider it (it’s the last week of classes BTW= yehey!!), I’m glad to have this moment of keeping my fingers busy. After all, I need a simple break from all the studying and I can’t deny it; I miss doing this!

THE ESSENTIALS: So the message was to “remind the people” and in the process that I was reminded of such a task, it would bring much bearing if I don’t keep to myself these reminders that are worthy to be shared to the world especially for times like these:

  1. You are loved. By God. By family. By friends. By someone.

After experiencing some challenges recently (in all aspects from sickness to stress to failure), I was able to see a clearer picture of God’s love for me. Sometimes, when life is smooth and everything seems to go well, we lose sight of what we have. We tend to forget the Lord and we fail to appreciate His love for us as we set our eyes on other things that seek our affection. That’s why maybe He allows trials to come our way so that this would not happen. And yet during such times, His love endures and sustains us. It is His love that causes Him to heal our infirmities, that keeps us going in the journey He’s called us (in my case, to continue studying though I feel like giving up), that brings us back to Him after we’ve hurt or failed Him constantly. And you know what I like about His love is that it is expressed in so many ways. Like through the people around you, whom He can use to bless you or mold you. Or just the simple necessities we take for granted: food, water, air, clothing.

And let us not forget Calvary. Oh, just to think how the Son of God was more than willing to give His life as a ransom for sinful man! Every time I meditate on this, it is just so overwhelming! Such a reminder is enough fuel for me to make the best out of my life, to live for Him out of earnest love and deepest gratitude. How about you?

2. You can do this! Through Christ Who gives you strength. (Phil. 4:13)

Being a medical student is such a great privilege but most of the time, it may be a burden with all the responsibilities and expectations laid on you. It is inevitable to be overwhelmed with the stock of knowledge to be dealt with in the absence of luxury of time. And I believe that some would even sacrifice their health or family time just to compensate. Well, this does not hold true for future doctors. In this fast paced world where competition thrives and selfish ambition rules, it is easy to give in to hopelessness, fear and loss of confidence. We are all prone to wear out and give up. But as cliche as this sounds, may this adage remind why you can achieve your goals and pursue your dreams no matter what: “If God puts you to it, He will put you through it.”

3. You are human. With limitations. With weaknesses. But with passions and necessities.

Somehow linked to the second reminder, there’s indeed more to life than just studying. Or whatever it is that we’re bound to do, wherever God called us. In order to keep a striking balance, let us not forget that we also have other needs. Giving ourselves a break by participating in sports, music, art, etc. or just indulging in a sweet treat- these can make all the difference. (Look at me now; I could have studied Pathology but I still feel equally fulfilled with this writing!)

So I guess that’s about it! Just three simple reminders. For myself. For you. For the whole jaded world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note to ‘My 22 Year Old Self Going 23’

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Wounded and scarred but not for life… Photo taken by: Shannen Cruz

 

BACKSTORY: Hey guys! It’s been a while, I know, since my last post. I’ve been so busy ever since second year of med school started. And finding time to write on my blog just doesn’t fit to my priorities recently. But since tomorrow is my 23rd birthday, I’m taking the time to really put out my feelings especially that the past year has been meaningful and challenging, unforgettable in ways I could not express. Such release will be expressed in a letter to myself, highlighting some (or maybe all) my hard earned and valuable insights or lessons throughout my 22nd year of existence….


Dear Kyle,

How are you? Happy birthday, by the way… Well, happy seems to be an understatement because it’s not happiness that you feel. It must be joy. It is joy. Relentless joy that is merely the outcome of a life filled with blessings from above. God has been so gracious to you in ways that only you know, in ways that you don’t even deserve. But then again, God is love, God is good, as you’ve experienced time and time again.

The past year has seen you gain a lot of new experiences and new friends worth remembering and keeping. You have learned to overcome your fears and get to do things for the first time like that zip line experience in Palawan or that board exam reviewer task you took . You learned a lot of fascinating things especially in med school. From neuroanatomy to ECG to the Cattell maneuver and recently to pemphigus vulgaris and all those mind-blowing skin conditions. (Wow, med school can really kill you…)

You’ve grown, Kyle; but human as you are, you also had your moments of decline- physical, mental and spiritual. You suffered many bouts of preventable sickness which in turn affected your studies; your academic performance has not been exemplary as before (but that’s okay, don’t push yourself too hard!) and worst of all, you succumbed to the darkness inside you, to the very things that separate you from God. But thank heavens, God is mighty to save! In your greatest weakness, at your lowest points, throughout your pains and sorrows, you learned to survive as you learned to depend on His amazing grace! Out of such events which have left you scarred and jaded, you have come out victorious! And unto victory to victory you shall achieve!

Yes, you have been careless – in a lot of things, with a lot of things, tangible or not. And it is only at the end, when you cannot do anything, that you consider their value. You have been too naïve and look at how some people seem to have manipulated you or used you for their advantage. Well, hasn’t it been like this for a long time already? I forgive you for being like that. Maybe it was high time for you to realize this after all before it could be too late, before you end up being the masochist. All these when a close friend of yours would all of a sudden, distance himself from you? And you gave him space, time to sort things out for himself. But when you tried to reach out in ways that only felt possible, you don’t get any response but just pure, cold treatment. Or is silence worse?  Then you question yourself: “Did I do anything wrong to deserve this? Am I or was I guilty of something unknown to myself which caused this dilemma?” As far as you know, your conscience is clear. And it brings comfort. May it’s better for you when some things are left unspoken or unknown. Yes, comfort yourself with these words and move on! Remember that it’s never your loss. You did what you had to do. You deserve a better life minus the unnecessary confusion and drama. Maybe it’s safe to say you have better friends, the onesyou need to focus on.

Despite your carelessness, Kyle, you can still do something about it. Despite your mistakes and failures, you can always rise up and never do them again. You can become better. You can still choose to look at the bright side of recent trials and past tests. You can still live your life to the fullest!

That’s why you’re blessed to have this fresh start as you leave the portals of 22 and become a year older! With God, altogether with your family and your ‘real’ friends, you are able. You are not alone. You are loved.

Lovingly yours,

Yours truly


P.S. Sorry I had to vent some things out! Writing is sometimes the only outlet I have in order for me to ease the burden…. Your prayers for my personal concerns would be appreciated….

 

 

I Freaking Hate It When…

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Not my usual face but as a human being, I have the right to put on such…

Backstory: I arrived just last Sunday back  to my second home, Iloilo City for the burial of my uncle and for our annual PE before enrollment the next day. And you know what welcomed me? Traffic. Incessant, disturbing traffic. Well, for a highly progressive place that’s become more of a metropolis recently, this is a normal scenario. But with the ongoing reblocking of the street in front of my school, things have worsened.

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Let the picture do the talking!!!

Before, I was already planning of writing about the things that irk me or bug me; in short, things that I hate. And with this very stark trigger, how could I not do that now? (Laughs) But please don’t get me wrong. I do have a tendency to complain at times but that doesn’t mean I’m the squawker type of person. (By God’s grace, may I lose this tendency though!) My initial purpose was to vent out such things as a way of expressing myself and sharing my opinion (I do live in a democratic country.) BUT with tact and dignity. Well, ranting is not the way to go for a Christian like me! You see, human as we are, we all hate something. Or even someone, right? (If this is true for you, then I pray that you let go of the hatred.This feeling is not healthy as Jesus told us in Luke 6:27-28: But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.) But the latter is another topic so I’ll just stick with the things that I dislike because I don’t want to hate anybody. 

And before I forget, this was supposed to be an Expressions Tuesday post! But because I was too busy yesterday, I’d just have to make a delayed one as I did before. Besides, some of my readers live in different time zones so yes, it’s still Tuesday for them! To aggravate this, there was a brownout (this is what we call blackout here).

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Reaching 100 likes inspired me to write this post!!!!

 

Whoa! Too much for an introduction. Let’s get it on with the 7 (yes, it seems like the perfect number) things or situations that I hate! I freaking hate it when:

  1. I end up in traffic especially preventable, unnecessary traffic. To supplement what I shared above, what bothered me the most with the present condition of Luna Street was the untimeliness of the government project. I have nothing against roads getting fixed but I just wonder why on earth didn’t they start it last summer? I think the reblocking started last June or July and so it would be hard for students to go to school. (By the way, most schools start their classes on June here in the Philippines.) And since it is still rainy season, you could imagine how that would stall the reconstruction. Tsk!!!! I hope and pray that this project would be finished as soon as possible!
  2. I see rampant pollution. As an environment-conscious individual, it makes me sad to see how my country is so dirty compared to its neighbor Singapore. I still haven’t traveled there but I know how strict their policies are on littering and garbage disposal. Well, there are cleaner places in the Philippines but in every city or town, there are always areas where the sight and smell are not pleasant. Goes to show how most of my fellowmen lack the discipline even in just putting trash where it belongs.
  3. Cigarette smoke says hello. Somehow connected to number 2 but with more emphasis on its impact to my and other people’s health. Especially when such noxious air comes from people who shouldn’t smoke or who are in places where smoking is prohibited. I call for strict implementation of ordinances and rules on smoking!
  4. Mosquitoes go on a biting buffet on me. As they dig me a lot, I always end up with the discomfort of scratching! Thank God, I haven’t suffered from dengue or malaria! I hope it remains that way. Ugh! Why couldn’t these creatures just suck my fats and not my blood?!
  5. I see an horrific image on the Internet by accident. I don’t watch horror movies but it doesn’t translate to security from seeing something dreadful. Twice, while I was scrolling my Facebook home page, I saw Valak from Conjuring (‘May masamang balak’). And it freaked me out! The worse part was how my mind vividly captured her image. Good thing, I didn’t have nightmares during those times.
  6. Someone stalks me. Who doesn’t? Actually, today marks the 3rd anniversary of my creepy encounter with my female schizophrenic stalker. I was avoiding her when I noticed she was into me or something. And I guess she got tired of my dodging so in order to get my attention, she threw her Nokia cellphone on me. Because of the impact to my head, it took a couple of seconds for me to analyze the thing that just happened. Plus, my lil’ sis got hit too but worse because it was by  the pointed part of the phone that really disassembled due to the force! I remember that out of my exasperation, I posted a status on Facebook that was so unlikely of me! (Hakuna matata, there were no curse words! Haha….) But as I look back now, I could only laugh at it and be grateful that because of that incident, she never bothered me again.
  7. I make careless, feeling-driven choices. (This one seems to be the most serious and personal.) “Life is what you make it”, they say and with every wrong decision you get to put yourself on the line for another one. I’ve read that making decisions out of feelings always lead to destruction and I got to  experience that the hard way. May it be that by God’s grace, I get to make wiser and better ones from this forward.

So far, these are the things I hate. There may be more than I can remember. But what’s important is that I was able to have a sweet release.

How about yours? I suggest you write them down too so that maybe, just maybe, you can do something about them.