You

Eyes flutter open

Sunlight streaming in

Birds singing melodies outside

A thought, a feeling surfaces

A longing, yearning for completeness

Filling and bursting my heart 

A thought, a feeling same as last night

Before sleep took away my consciousness

I knew it then and I still know it now

First and last conscious thought everyday is

You

The Fall


Last Wednesday, I was annoyed by a situation that I was rushing to go up to rectify the situation. I did not go up via lift but decided to go up the stairs instead. I had enough annoyance in me that I would have been faster than the lift. In my annoyance and rush, I miscalculated the height of one step that I fell forward. I only stopped myself from being another statistic in A&E by grabbing on the rails. My face was just a few inches from another step. Without missing a beat I carried on going up, ignoring the pain on my forearm and the inquiries by the OTs who were going down the stairs at that time. Whilst it was only a split second incident, it helped calm me down. I carried on to my destination and objective but now less fueled by annoyance. 

Yesterday, I noticed the bruise on my forearm and remembered the incident. If my reflexes were not quick enough, I could be sporting more bruises now or a new nose! This made me think about the 90/10 principle. This was explained to me by a friend years ago.  I wrote a blog about it too.  The incident made me realised that the 90/10 principle is indeed true. 

What does the 90/10 principle mean? In quick and easy terms, it explains that 90% of what happened in our lives are within our control (e.g. How we react to things) and only 10% are out of our sphere of influence. 

There are some people who love playing the ‘victim card’ and claim that the whole world had it in for them. The things is, though, we can only become ‘victims’ in life if we allow it. Sink or swim. Deal or be dealt with. Fight or flight. Stand up or crumble. It is all up to us. 

I am not disallowing that life can be unfair at times. Yes, it might seem that work is piling up or that your texts are getting ignored or a loved one  snapped at you unprovoked. These are the 10% that you will have no control over however it is how you react to these that will determine how things will flow in your life. In the first situation, you can go to your boss and complain at the amount of workload and throw a tantrum or you can take stock of the situation then think of the best way of dealing with it. The second one, you can decide to take offense, think that person doesn’t like you anymore and start ignoring the other person without asking for a reason or you let it go because in the grand scheme of things, the slight is miniscule compared to the love in your heart. I think we create the drama or the absence of it in our lives. I am not saying that this is easy especially when feelings are involved, when rejection and unreturned love or betrayal breaks your heart into pieces and all you want to do is lash out or ran away.  

 It is always a good idea to step away from the situation and weigh all the other options. As they say, ‘do not make a permanent decision based on  a temporary feeling.’ True, we may dislike some aspects of our jobs on some days or we may be hurt by a carlessly spoken word but if you step back you realise that there are more good days than bad moments at work; that you love your beloved more often than being angry. Decisions will differ when done in the heat of the moment or with a cool head. That decision could easily influence how 90% of our lives will unfold. 

My bruises have disappeared now and I cannot even recall what caused me to be so angry at that time. It only goes to show that situation wasn’t life altering otherwise I would have remembered it. 

I will do my best to be mindful of my reactions to things. I need to be more aware of the 90% that I can influence. I aim to choose love, kindness and fairness when faced with an emotion eliciting situations. I have to remember that a harshly spoken word is capable of burning bridges that I may want to cross over and over again in the future.  It will be difficult to erase the hurt these words may have caused as once spoken, words and the emotions they have provoke are difficult to take back. 

90/10… Most things in our own lives are within our control. We are not mere victims of circumstances. Our lives are the product of our own decisions and actions. We are the captains if our destinies so choose to make it a good one. 

Love. Laugh. Live. 

Fate or Will

Today a conversation of a lost love made me think about love and fate. Whilst a friend was reminiscing about a lost love, I tried to give reassurance ( rightly or wrongly so) by saying ,” I am of firm belief that we are where we are supposed to be and that we are with the people whom we are meant to be with”. Whilst this is my puny attempt in trying to cheer up a friend, I now ponder if I really believe what I have just said. Is this a ‘defeatist’ attitude that just accepts Fate handed out to us or is it yet my Pollyana personality showing up again thinking everything will work all right. 

I have read somewhere that “Fate determines who comes into our lives but we decide who stays.” The fact that I remembered it, means that I agree with it. We have no control on who we meet along this journey called life but we can decide if we walk some distance, if not all the way, with some people or we take a separate path from them. But there are times when circumstances out of our control pull us apart.  Do we just watch Fate separate us from people we love or do we fight tooth and nail to keep them in our lives? Are we but passive receivers of the dictates of Fate or do we take the wheel and steer our own ships?

I do meet a lot of people and I always make a point of knowing people’s names and a little about them. Like most people, I choose the ones that will see the real me. Once I have decided to make a person a friend, there’s not much I wouldn’t do for that person. I am worse when it comes to the. person I love. I do not know how to play coy or the game. I always wear my heart on my sleeves that it will be hard to miss that somebody is the object of my affection. My patience and resilience will be almost infinite. My friends attribute my being single to the fact that I love too much, that I do not hold back with my affections and that I give too much leeway to the point of being taken for granted. It is not because I do not have self-esteem; It is because I do not know how to love any other way. Besides, if I play the game then I would no longer be true to myself. I believe that  the right person will love my quirkiness. I am like a yoyo that will always return no matter how hard it gets thrown. I will love so I will have no regrets and will not be asking ‘what if’ 20 years down the line. I fight my damnest to keep the people I love in my life but I also know that the other person will also have to be willing to stay and fight for me. Love and friendship cannot be forced for them to last. It needs both parties to acknowledge and work on the relationship. The latest song that won in Eurovision said, ‘My heart can love for both of us’  but sadly this is only a brilliant song lyric meant to pull on the heart strings. It cannot be done in real life without breaking down the spirit of the one who loves without receiving it back and overwhelm the beloved.   Love can never hold another captive against its will. 

So… is it Fate or Will? Both, I would say. Fate is what brings us together and it’s our Will that makes us stay. It will not always be smooth sailing. There will be spats and misunderstanding that makes you want to leave the path. There will be times that you may want some time alone but Just don’t throw the yoyo too far and too often for the string might break and the yoyo will no longer come back to your hand. 

Fate… Destiny…. Will… Call what you the force that bring two souls together but there should always be one constant..,Love to the point of no regrets. 

Of Movies, Superheroes, and Real Life

Got home last night to news of horrific incident in London perpetuated by terrorists. Emotions of sadness, concern, anger, and (I am ashamed to say in my weak moment) hopelessness plagued me at the same time. Like many people, I asked ‘why?!’

When I came to this country 17 years ago, I noticed a big difference in the TV news compared to that of the Philippines. News of violence is very rare. I thought, at the start, that perhapsthe news agency in this country just do not like to sensationalise violent crime unlike back home. But as the years passed by, I have accepted this to be the norm. 

In the recent years, violence seem to be popping up every now and then. Most of these shocking violent crime are terrorists related. Last night, I was asking the question, ‘What is going on, London?’ I know that there will be no straight answer to this so I felt despair and anger. I feel despair for my beloved home of 17 years and I feel anger at the assailants. I despair for the world as what happened here in London is but a symptom of what is ailing humankind. Lives were lost due to extremism and refusal to be tolerant of others but sadly this is not just a truth that only the British people know. These kind of incidents are happening everywhere and moreso in other countries. 

This morning, I woke up and the world was as it was last night. The tragedy did happen. Lives were lost and forever changed. Yet the answer to this societal problem is not immediately forthcoming. I was second guessing my plans to go out this morning but I thought, those men would achieve their goal if people, like me, stopped living our lives. So I decided to carry on. 

As I walking towards the bus stop, a thought hit me… If only we had Superman, Wonder Woman, etc or at the very least, Jack Bauer on our side, perhaps they could have stopped last night’s atrocities, flush out these crazy people and their cohorts before harm was done. But this is rea life. This is no Hollywood movie where a director can yell cut or a writer can make sure that there is resolution at the end. Those who lost their lives will not get up when the cameras are turned off. This is a real life problem needing real life solutions and not just fantastical musings of despairing person. 

I have always been a pacifist. I will always advocate for peaceful resolution rather than a violent one.  Only Light can drive away the darkness as Marti Luther King said. But what if the adversaries are in a blackhole that no matter how high powered the light beam is, it will just be swallowed by the darkness? Will sending a photon torpedo into the black hole solve the problem or will it just feed the blackhole and make it bigger? In this hypotherical question, I have no brilliant answer. 

Advocacy for love, understanding, equality and acceptance should always be the primary approach. We need to stop people from being enticed to enter the darkness. These are the ones we can save. But those who spread the darkness need to stopped and held accountable for the hate they are spewing. 

So what can we, the normal people without super powers, do?  We can carry on living our lives and make sure that we treat people in all encounters with love, kindness, and fairness. We have to make sure that we do not become a reason for them to enter the darkness. We cannot accept… No…We must refuse to let what happened last night to be our new norm. 

We are British and we stand united. We are unbowed. We carry on and live our lives. 

So off I go to carry on living. 

Of Butterflies and Love

Butterflies…

The moment our eyes meet

When our fingertips touch

When your foot playfully taps mine

Butterflies….

When you ask me to stay a little longer

When we both smile slowly

When a lingering fragrance stays on

Butterflies…

But butterflies have wings

They fly off and disappear

Fleeting moment neededto hold on

Love…

Choosing to know you more

Wanting to be with you at all times

Missing you when you are not here

Love…

Seeing perfection with flaws

Understanding differences and simitarities

Willingness to go the distance

Love..,

Steadfast, reliable, patient, true beyond doubt

Remembering and thinking despite distance and time

Waiting faithfully for my butterfly

DreamĀ 

Dream…

Eyes closed in sleep’s embrace

Take me into a place of love

Where laughter and birdsongs tinkle

Where happiness can be found

Then you showed that life can be dreamlike

Where eyes are wide open 

Where smiles and dreams can be done by two

But time ran out and so did you

Left dreaming alone with my eyes open

Yet not willing to dream on my own 

Entreaties went unheeded

I called to you to stay and dream together

But push you’ve done

Enough! Not worth your time

Not what you are looking for

So close my eyes with tears still streaming 

Willing myself to slumber

Perhaps, I can hold you again

In my dreams

That moment…

That moment…

When you wake up with a full heart

When you realised you’ve fallen 

When you decided to accept the unexpected love

When you finally see the colours of the rainbow

When your smile reaches your eyes and heart

When you conciously love anyway despite it all

When your souls recognise each other

When your thoughts clicked without being spoken

When smiles and mirth happen spontaneously

Then that moment happens…

When you learned that your efforts are unnoticed

When you understood your invisibility and muteness

When your words were of no consequence

When you are bottom of the list

When your presence is no different than your absence

When your pain has silenced your spirit

When you walk away and no one holds on

When your tears drown your laughter

When your heart can no longer hold on hope

When you think of letting go and walking away

When you are asking yourself

Is now that moment?

Do you…


Do you…

Think of me first and last in the day

Hear the thumping of your heart when we are near

Feel the fluttering butterflies in the stomach when we hold hands

Dream of prolonging our embrace each time

Wish to hold your hand all the time

Talk nonstop of our dreams and aspirations

Look forward to our sparring of wits and banter
Want to know how my day went when we are apart

Fall helplessly whilst staring into your eyes

Imagine the first time our lips will meet

Smile like a silly kid in your company 

Miss my presence in my absence 

Know that you hold the lock to my heart

I need to ask , do you…

Because I do. 

Politics and friendships in the Time of Social Media

So I have not written for a long time… yet again! They say a good writter needs to have some level of angst inside to produce good works but I guess too much angst can be debilitating as well. Anyway, I digress from my extemporaneous-speech-worthy title. I can just imagine picking up this title from the jar and being given 1 minute to compose my thoughts before I launch into my speech. But, that was a different life, when I was young and the world was my oyster… yet I digress again!

So, onto the topic chosen.

Social media has become ubiquitous in our present lives just as the smart phones have become akin to extensions to our hands. We have become a society that lives in both real and virtual worlds. Social media has made it possible for us to connect with people miles away and in different time zones. Sharing of information is just a matter of nano seconds now compared to days if not weeks by ordinary post. People across the globe can be influenced and galvanised into ideology or action with the use of social media. People, like myself, can share my two cents’ worth of opinion to the world. Social media is a good tool depending on how it is being wielded and who is doing it.

In the last Philippines Presidential election, social media played a big role in galvanizing the people of 7,107 islands and of at least 120 dialects. Social media managed to challenge the biases of mainstream media as the people themselves can post live streams of the actual events rather than listen to or read the news that have already been slanted to the media’s own biases. The people’s decisions were no longer influenced by what is on the tv or radio. There was suddenly an alternate way of knowing of what is really going on. Social media made it possible for a mayor with no real political machinery to win by unprecedented huge margin.

As I said earlier, social media can only be as good or bad as the user. The one advantage and disadvantage of social media, our thoughts and opinions will be broadcasted to the public instantaneously. Politics, just like religion, is polarising in its nature. People will always have to take a stand in politics. Even the act of abstaining is taking a stand. This is where social media can become a virtual field of landmines. People can take a personal affront to opinions or posts shared. That is one of the effects of sharing an opinion unfortunately. But there is also an unspoken agreement in social media decorum or etiquette that is expected which are:

a. Everybody is free to post their opinions

b. We can agree to disagree on things

c. We can have a friendly reasonable discussion on the topic on my wall as long as there will be no name calling or expletives

d. If you want to throw your toys out of the pram (aka throwing a tantrum), please post your meltdown on your own wall.

e. There is the unfollow button to click if the posts are annoying or offending you.

I have followed the above rules in my use of social media. I have clicked on the unfollow button several times so I avoid irritation and I also do not lose friends over opposing opinions.

Having a meltdown in someone else’s wall is like following somebody to their own home so you can have a tantrum in that person’s home because you had a disagreement on something. I know that this sounds ridiculous but that is exactly how it feels when someone is having a tantrum on my own fb wall. Gentle ribbing is ok  and I normally can roll with the punches thrown. I understand that that there will always be differing opinions but when reactions are incindiary, I sometimes just erase their posts. That is my way of showing them the door in the virtual world then click on the unfollow button.

With the recent Presidential elections for USA, the whole world is still reeling from it and trying to re-orient itself to its axis. It is indeed polarising not just for the citizens of USA but for the whole world. People fell out with their friends on social media because of the results. Social media has made it possible for all your virtual friends to know  simultaneously your opinion once you have decided to post it online. 

In the next couple of months, UK will be going to the polls again. Social Media is now starting to fill with election related articles. I do not shun these things on my fb feed. I actually welcome and read them (- both sides )so I get a balanced view on things. ( although, I have always be a socialist in my ideology). I would like to enourage everyone to read up for themselves too. It is our responsibility as citizens to read on what we are voting for and not just be swayed by who talks the loudest, longest or more charismatically. Learn to be savvy on determining on who is telling us half- truths. How do you do this? Educate yourself on what is being discussed. We cannot blame the politicians for telling us half-truths because that is their tactic to get votes. We can only blame ourselves for the ignorance in our own votes. 

Last night, my friends and I were talking about the coming election. We are of differing opinions but we respected each other’s opinion. We were respectfully listening to each other and agreed to disagree. No tantrums were thrown. 

In the last referrendum, a good percentage of people did not vote then cried foul over the results. It is my belief that those who did not vote do not get to complain regarding the results because they lose their right to do so when they actively opted not to vote.  Those basically who did not vote, gave up their right to have a say and decided to go with the majority, hoping that the majority will make an educated vote. Errr… no, it does not work that way. 

I am not here to convince you who to vote for. I just want to remind you of your power as a citizen in helping steer the future of this country. Educate yourselves. Read up. Register. Vote. 

And our opinions will differ and for sure social media will become a virtual field of landmines. We just need to remember that when the election is over, we will still need to interact with our friends, colleagues, family and loved ones so let’s have a good debate going without attacking the person airing his or her opinion. Let us not lose friendships over politics. 

So… let the campaign begin!

 

NB I started writing this last November (hence the introductory paragraph) but I got interrupted and never finished this until now. With the new election looming, I have decided to finish it as it seems to be relevant to the times again.