Just keep swimming—Dory.
I’ll always remember this phrase; you are free to choose, but you are not free from the consequences of your choice.
I’m free to choose to overeat either in terms of calories or quantity; I’m not free to choose the consequences of gaining weight.
I’m free to stay up too late; I’m not free to choose the consequences of grogginess the next day.
I’m free to choose to hold on to unforgiveness; I’m not free to choose the consequences of bitterness.
I’m free to be careless with my words; I’m not free to choose the consequences of damaged relationships.
I’m free to let my love for writing to remain as wishful thinking; I’m not free to choose the consequences of living (or dying) with regrets.
On the flip side:
I’m free to choose to eat moderately and healthily and enjoy being able to fit nicely into whatever clothes I wear.
I’m free to choose to sleep by a designated time and enjoy clear-thinking and better energy the next day.
I’m free to choose to forgive and enjoy being set free.
I’m free to choose uplifting words and enjoy seeing others being encouraged and not tear down.
I’m free to choose to persist with this daily writing prompts and enjoy whatever that comes with it—satisfaction, interaction with the blogging community, and hopefully being able to encourage someone along the way.
What would you choose to do, or not to do today?
20 days writing prompt series. Day three: One-word inspiration.
‘I want to swim again’
said my late mum to her oncologist when at her stage-4 cancer, he asked what is it that she wants to do (to encourage her). Fight she did, but she never got the chance to go into the pool ever again.
What is it that you want to do even if it’s just a simple thing—but you are giving yourself excuses not to?
Or, are you questioning ‘does it matter to do what I’m doing?’
I question myself many times about my role in the church office. I question my blogging; writing about God. I question myself even over this 365 daily word thingy. Does it matter? Will it make a difference to other people?
Hubs told me, ‘Even if you do it, you may not know in your lifetime whether it will matter. But if you don’t do it, you will NEVER know and will live with this niggling thought. Maybe even at your death bed; regret.’
#day3 #dailyword #dailycalligraphy #noregrets #makeadifference #365
I recently took a trip to Penang. Hugged my daughter in the morning (she doesn’t want to go; I don’t want to force her) and said goodbye as best as I can, given the strained relationship at home. And I wondered, in the event if I leave home and never make it back, have I done enough to say a great goodbye to this life and the people in it?
I’ve been thinking about death a lot. I mean, I’ve always been morbid—I carry my organ donation card with me so that the hospital has the permission to use my old body to give someone a new life. But increasingly, I’ve been thinking about death. Call it age. Call it maturity. Call it losing loved ones and seeing others lost theirs.
I don’t fear death, for I know of my eternal hope and destination when I die. But I fear the life that I didn’t live when I’m alive—people who I didn’t show enough love, dreams that died when I do, leaving merely footprints-in-the-sand in people’s lives, washed away as soon as the next wave comes.
I’ve read this amazing story of Susan Spencer-Wendel, who when diagnosed with ALS, decided to leave the best memories for her family. Her year of living with joy. See, more things to add to my thinking-about-death-a-lot list.
I don’t want to wait for an illness to remind me my time is up. Live it up. Love more. Quickly. Nor death’s hand to suddenly come and snatch life away, leaving no chance for goodbyes.
I guess that explains why the change of my perspective during the trip to the market with my mother-in-law, where I see her in a different light.
Why I’m giving on-a-whim mini awards to my husband.
Created a Spotify ‘long drive ahead’ playlist based on his songs request to accompany his driving, quietly enjoying seeing his enjoyment and his singing along.
Also thinking about my work a lot—talent, gifts, contribution, serving, dreaming, opportunities. How do I tie it together, if at all?
So I’ve been thinking about death a lot. And what kind of footprints I want to leave, with God at the center of it all. One moment at a time.
I’ll leave you with this short animation trailer, ‘Inner Workings’ from Disney about living life using both your heart and mind. You gotta go watch Moana to watch the full animation though. C’est la vie.
And this delightful scene of an old man making his work enjoyable. Kinda like the ending in the short animation above.
I remember the feeling when I plunged into something like depression, and I didn’t know who to turn to.
It felt like I’m drowning in this dark void of awful loneliness. So alone. Like everything inside of me, my soul, just sinking into this pool of black ink. Everywhere I look, pitch black—a potent cocktail of desperation and violent rage.
I’ve been wrongly taught by the world that emotions and feelings are not to be trusted. So, I’ve learnt to box them up.
Unknowingly, I became an expert in compartmentalising my pain. I didn’t do it on purpose, somewhere along my life, I just learnt how to function normally.
I went to work ‘normally’, I led my team ‘normally’, I went to church ‘normally’, I laughed ‘normally’, however, I was everything but normal. I was crumbling, and my days just became harder and harder.
I didn’t know how to open up. Who to turn to that won’t:
or worse, ask me to justify my feelings.
I tried to rationalise it away. My problems are small compared to the world.
I tried to pray it away. But the sadness stayed.
I tried to coat it with Words from the Bible. Nothing sticks.
I tried to escape it with Frasier. The laughter lasted only as long as the sitcom.
I felt guilty and weak for feeling this way. I asked myself mockingly, “are you being melodramatic?”
Chin up! The world says.
In fact, someone brutally commented on my blog, “try not to be too dramatic!” I felt at once ashamed that I may be emotional. But angry too, for being judged.
Herein lies the problem.
Some of us are just too quick to pass comments based on our views.
Some of us, too busy to pause and listen.
We have talkers, speakers, self-help, no-help, preachers, teachers.
But we need more listeners. People to listen without passing judgement.
Because pain is lonely.
The shortest verse in the Bible is—
He is not dispassionate. He is empathetic in our weakness. He does not tell us to be less dramatic nor fault us for feeling sad. It is ok not to be ok. We can draw comfort from knowing that.
Don’t apologise for mourning, grieving or weeping. God comes into our pain and feels with us. He will also bring along the right people to walk alongside with us through this wall. Please reach out.
And if you know someone who is going through a tough time in life, please reach out to them.
We don’t need to be a counsellor, but we can be a friend, a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on.
We can be the one to give an encouraging smile, send an encouraging note, deliver a bouquet of flowers or chocolates maybe, or just offer help.
We may not be able to offer solutions to people’s situation, but we can be a comforting presence in the midst of their pain.
If you think this article can be useful to someone, please share.
It is so easy to become discouraged when there is no obvious change in a situation, or the person you have been trying to help seems to get worse. This verse says keep going, tempting as it is to give up, and, eventually, you will reap a harvest.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 40:10
I find comfort and encouragement in memorising this verse, like my bravery level got upgraded. But only because God made it possible.