The eyes are windows to one’s soul. You can see happiness, sadness, or troubled minds in one’s eye. Sometimes we can only be an ear to those who are in pain. When we see someone’s eyes fill with troubles, be there for them, just listen… because listening is key to understanding and loving them.
We do not know what troubles people have. The sorrows, the experiences they have, we can only be there to listen, to ease their pain. Giving a hug to them also helps. It gives warmth to their soul.
So, whenever you see someone in troubled state, have a listen to what they have to say, and try to put yourself in their shoes. Sometimes listening helps that person have hope to go through their difficult times. Be there, and have a listen.
Sometimes, we wish for extraordinary things to happen in our life. Maybe it could be instant healing for your sickness, winning the jackpot, being rich or famous instantly. However, where does that take us? It does not make us learn. Sometimes, God allows us to experience ordinary things, and instead, these ordinary things are things that shape us into what we are today.
For instance, some people want to be instantly healed from their depression. But sometimes, they have to go through becoming sick again. I know it is painful to go through that. But through that depression, that person can see how the family or friends are supporting that person. This person will also know how God is ever present in His trouble, loyal, loving and that God will never leave this person nor forsake him.
Sometimes, in the ordinary things, when we start listing things we are grateful for, we can see how a miracle life can be. That we are born, that we can grow, and can have meaningful relationships is a miracle in itself.
Many times, we want extraordinary miracles. But just pause, and look at your life, what are the things you can be grateful for? For me, it is God, family, friends, healthy self, can experience good food, can see, hear, taste, can have a good education, a comfortable house, chance to travel, my grandparents, grandaunts.
So, have hope, there are many things we can be grateful about. I know sometimes it is hard because of the worries in our mind, however, let us give thanks for what we have today, because we do not know if we can have it in the future.
Sometimes, we like to focus on something so much, that we forget to look at our surroundings. Here is a picture of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I hope it gives you a sense of space where you can stop focusing on the things that makes you think a lot, but just pause, and look at this beauty. Somehow, that happens to me a lot, focusing on one thing so much, that it branches to other thoughts. But once I give myself permission to pause and see the beauty that is around me, my problem seems smaller.
So friends, I encourage you to pause, and look at your surroundings, take a picture if you must to keep it in your memory, or paint it if you want, or write about it. It will amaze you how after pausing, doing things like writing, art or photography makes you relax.
So do not worry about anything because you are well taken care of. Your needs are known and they will be fulfilled. Even the birds are fed well. So, be encouraged, and know that you will be taken care of.
This is a picture I took in the Botanical Gardens in Sydney. It marks the first time I came to Sydney for education. It was an up and down journey to where I am today. I can say the journey is beautiful like a rose, but it also has thorns which means it has some challenges that follow.
Is there a photo that you can describe about your journey?
They say the past shapes our future. Instead, I say that the past can be a learning ground where we can live in the present with contentment to be able to make a brighter future for us. So many hurtful things happened in my past. I bet friends, you have experienced hurt also in the past. Nobody in this world goes through life without being hurt. It is how we deal with the hurt and taking the step to make changes in our lives that matter.
For instance, someone lied to you. And you got hurt, and kept the bitterness inside. That bitterness will just keep building again and again. Unless we learn to forgive that person, and accept that that person lied because that person has their own problems, it is not our fault that that person lied, then we can take charge of our emotions. That we can forgive and move on. And not be upset about it. It would cause us to guard ourselves more, setting up protections for ourselves. It would take time to open up and have the courage to share your experiences. Because vulnerability is there when we trust someone. We can learn to be more wise in choosing who to trust, to open our vulnerability. We would also set boundaries for people who are not in our circles.
For instance, there is 4 spheres of circle. The first is God, second family, third friends, fourth acquaintances and strangers. Maybe it would be different of how you would picture yours, but choose wisely who gets the closest vulnerability you can open up to. So then we can have healthy boundaries for healthy relationships.
It is a character I made myself. I do not know why I have so much fascination on a rose, that I kept practising to draw. Jetaime means I love you. I guess there is always a yearning to be loved. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted. Rejection is not nice. But remember, the rejection does not mean that you are not good enough, it just means that you are not the right person for that job, person, application.
Rejection means that there is an opportunity for something better. When a door closes, another door opens. So do not take rejection heavily, because it is what all of us have to go through. But remember, the rejection does not mean that you are not valuable. Also remember, the rejection does not mean that you stop trying. Instead, keep trying. Because who knows, when you keep trying, you keep learning, and when you keep learning, you make progress.
Rejection in love may hurt and anger you. Maybe even hurt your ego and pride. But that does not mean you are worth less. You are valuable and worthy to be loved. One person rejects you does not mean that somebody else does not love you. There are more people who love you rather than one person who rejects you. Why focus on the one rose when you have 20 other roses? A rose can be meant as expression of love. There are many expressions of love, it can be through friendships, family, teachers, medical professionals, and even your pet. So take heart, and do not lose hope, because you are valuable to someone in this world.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. When things get hard, there will be a light to guide your way in the darkness of night.
You know that feeling when you are at that dark spot. In the end of a cliff, where you try to climb up, but no one is there to help you. The feeling of sinking, and going down, further and further. I have been in that situation… I was so scared. I did not realise at that time, I was feeling that way because I was looking just at my problems. I was not looking up to see a light, and way for me to get up. Once I look up, I see that someone gave me a rope to climb up. A rope can mean tools or support system around you. But you need to make the effort of climbing the rope yourself. The rope is just a tool, you have to make the decision to help yourself.
Your support system can just spout out words of advice and encouragement, but if you do not do it, and not take charge of your own life, how are you going to be able to climb up the cliff. I know, it seems hard, after looking at the light, you just want someone else to climb up the rope, or carry you up, but you would not go anywhere, without first making the decision to do things for yourself, such as taking care of yourself. There is light, however the choice is ours to make.
I drew this illustration of Tolak Angin: Indonesia’s Herbal Syrup. Usually when the weather is cold, or when I am tired, I get masuk angin, or the wind goes inside me. I would get headaches, tired bodies, and feel sick. This herbal syrup always makes me feel better. So friends, what is your herbal syrup in life?
When the going gets tough, who do you turn to for comfort? Is it food, friends, family, God, strangers. Many of us usually would like to share the hardships you have gone through. Surprisingly, sometimes, it is easier to share with strangers instead of family because they do not judge you. But there is also danger in sharing with strangers. Because family knows you best, sometimes it is embarrassing to tell your stories, but friends, trust me, your family will have your back. So do not hesitate to share to your family. But sometimes I can understand why one would not want to share with family, so they share with their friends, but again sometimes you have to find those who you can trust. So, who can you trust in this world really?
If you find that there is no one you can share to, I say share it to God. You may not know Him well, but He has your best interest. He loves you deeply. Whatever sorrow you have, tell Him all about it. When nothing feels right, when the going gets tough, He is always there looking out for you. Even though you might not feel ready to begin a relationship with Him, He is listening and He cares to every problem you have. Trust me, I have been there, telling Him all my problems. So, whenever you feel lost, talk to Him, He has been waiting for you.
I read Angela Duckworth’s Book on Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. And I saw many success stories. All of it does not come from talent, more of it comes from the handwork they put in to persevere and the passion for the job they are doing. Many of us have struggled with many issues in life. Struggles are there for us to learn what needs to be learned. Whether you are struggling with any difficult things in life, know that you are not alone. There is someone out there who cares for you and loves you. You have meaning in this life. Even though it might seem hard to go through this journey of life, know that “without struggles, there is no progress.” The first step is most important. Look out the window, imagine it is raining and you are drinking a cup of tea, suddenly all the stresses of this life goes away. Before knowing what your passion is, know that you need to take care of yourself. Even though there is struggles, knowing yourself better and believing that out there there is someone supporting you through this difficult time, you have hope. That even though there are struggles, I will still make progress, because someone out there loves me and cares for me.
It takes time to start believing that you have a meaning and purpose in this life, but trust me, you do have meaning and purpose in this life. As I close this post, I can share to you what I do at night that makes me smile… As I go to bed, I saw out the window, the night sky with stars. And as easy as that, the star gives me hope, because there are so many billions of stars, and that star just shines for us people here to see, and to have hope. That out there, there is someone who loves us. Have hope, and start taking the steps to take care of yourself.