#2: 20 Things I Learned in My 20’s

2. Don’t react instantly! You’ve known how to count from 1-10 since you’re about 2. You might not have known then that it will be one of the most important skill that you’ll ever have in the crucial times of your life when relationships are at stake.

So make your mama proud and don’t forget your counting lessons.

See #1 here.

An open letter from a father to his child

My Child,

If only I can let you borrow my eyes, then you’ll see how beautiful you are, how brave, how worth loving, how deserving of happiness. Flawed yes, bent maybe, but definitely not broken!

You are precious. You are worth dying for. You are my child and I’m the one who has the loudest applause in every single victory in your life, no matter how small it is in the world’s standard. I am the proudest in all your success, even in those that no one else notice.

And I… I will be the one to wipe your tears in your heartbreak. I will ease your pain in your failures, disappointments, hurts. I will embrace you in all the times you feel alone and rejected. I will comfort you and say “It’s gonna be alright, I got this.” in times when you don’t believe anymore in the potential that you have. I will heal you, save you, love you. But when you aren’t ready for all these… I will wait.

I want you to believe that I will do anything for you. I would die for you. Over and over again.

My child, I love you. And I wont stop loving you no matter what. It’s okay,I wont force you. I will only show myself and my love in the ways that you would allow me to.

I’ll always be here… Waiting. Healing. Loving.

And when you’re ready, I’ll have the loudest applause in your coming home.


Musings on the state of my heart

“How is your heart?”

Last week my friend asked me that very question. The state of my heart has been a constant target these past few months… Constantly interrogated, as if I could just say exactly in one word its state.

No. I couldn’t come up with an exact word that will describe the state of my heart. So I would just politely say that it’s still beating okay. And every time I do, my mind seems to tell me that no, you cannot describe the beating of your heart as just okay!

You cannot tell the people that your heart is just okay when you struggled to contain all the emotions that seem to drown you.

Where do I start?

I feel like I have to finally sit in, closely examine it and put into words the different patterns, different emotions it beats. But I fear that when I pause and look, I won’t be able to contain all those things I’m barely keeping inside. That it will be unbearable.

Sometimes I’m not sure what to make of all these. I feel so much. I listen to a song or read a poem and it will move me beyond words and make me weep for its beauty.

Last night I saw men collecting garbage and it made me tear up. I was neither sad nor happy but I cried all the way home, thinking of their life beyond the work that they do, profusely thanking the Almighty One for men like them who do the dirty work for us, imagining them coming into their homes with food in their hands for their kids, and a kiss for their wives, and they would retire for the day with a smile in their lips and wake up the next day with love in their eyes. I thought what a wonderful life that must be, and I cried all the more.

And then I imagined that maybe their life is harsher… That they’d go home to an empty house, their stomach empty, muscles sore from the day’s toil. And they’d sleep crying and hoping that tomorrow would be a brighter day. And I cried all the more.

What to make of those?

I am making up stories in my mind, it seems.

A few weeks ago, there was a chemical bombing in Syria, and many have died. I tried not to read the articles, tried not to see the images, tried not to open my browser. If I stop and thought, the pain will be unbearable.

Someone told me he loves me and I cried again thinking how blessed I am that he does. And hoping that he too will be blessed by the love that I struggle to express.

And so they ask me, how is my heart.

Those are fragments of what’s inside my heart. Sometimes I am not sure I understand myself. I fear that there is something inside me, waiting for the right time for it to take over. I feel it like the acid in my stomach, burning my chest in times that I leave my guard down.

I read about someone having a lovely struggle. And I thought I was having one. And right now, as I write this, I am thinking that all of us have our own lovely struggle. It is comforting to think that we are not alone, even though our struggles are personal. That at one point our hearts are having the same beat, our minds are sharing the same thoughts and we are hearing the same sighs.

So I ask this of you, how is your heart?

Beloved, let us carry on in this lovely struggle. No matter the state of our hearts, it is lovely to hear the music of its beating.

Our Vocation of Love


I have been so restless for the last few months. Because it seems that God is telling me to do something. And I can’t quite grasp what exactly is that.

I wanted to do many things. I wanted to develop myself personally and professionally. I aimed to take a certification this year. I wanted to go and search for greener pasture. At the same time, I wanted to stay here where I think my mission is. I wanted to be a catalyst to build houses for the homeless, building a virtual system that would simulate and help in the construction of houses. I wanted to devote my time to volunteer to the Cancer Warriors Foundation, where the parents do not give up, because they believe their child is a warrior. I wanted to give time to one of the crusades I’ve known, praying for the prostitutes who are victims of their circumstances, bringing Christ to them.

I wanted to do something bigger than myself. I wanted to do all those things. And I am only one.

Or so I thought.

One night I’ve heard an account of some old man and his unfortunate circumstances, and how the little help he has received had moved me so much. I cried, no I sobbed myself to sleep that night. I was crying for all the victims of injustices, for all those whose circumstances seem so above themselves, for all those who are hopeless, abandoned, alone, lonely. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I do not even know what to pray for. But I know God heard the wordless plea in my heart.

This is an ongoing prayer, in which I am discerning if what of the many things I wanted does the Lord wanted me to focus on. I am still restless, and I understand that, as St. Augustine puts it, my soul will always be restless until it rests in Thee.

And I am reminded that above all the things I wanted, I am called for one thing. We are all called for one thing. Our vocation is that of love. And yes, we are called to love.

Restless is my soul, until it rests in thee. Until then, I will do my vocation here on earth. I will spend my heaven here on earth.

The fire creates diamonds

You told me you’re struggling and I think it’s beautiful. It means that between giving up and fighting, you choose to fight, and so there’s a struggle.The process will not be easy. The work will always be messy. But all beautiful things come from mess, from sweat, from blood, from fire, from things that aren’t pretty. Think of that cross where Love is nailed, that crown made of thorns, or the sweat of our mother’s chest as she pushed to get us here. The work is never pretty, the fire is always painful. But it’s the only way diamonds are created. And dear, if you think you aren’t a diamond yet, then you are a diamond in the making. But I believe we are born as shining diamonds… Sometimes, we just need the purifying fire to polish our luster.

Keep on shining diamonds!