Category: Philosophy

Because it is the “Why” that determines the “How”

I’m Deconstructing my Faith and you should too

Hello friend, it’s been awhile.

So one of the greatest challenge about the pandemic for me, is not only dealing with the grief I have to live with regarding the loss of my boyfriend but as well as faith. You see, when you are now faced with death, you ask “Where did he go?”, “Where will I go?”, “How do I get there?” and “Does it matter?” which all points to the supernatural.

I was very saturated with the concept of Born-Again Christianity, and I have always wrestled with it, going from atheism, agnosticism to back to being a believer once again (Thanks to Ravi Zacharias’ book “Who made God?”) so for me, God cannot be taken out of the equation, the concept of heaven, hell and sin exists, and the Bible, is the guide for us to get to the end game.

But I have been influenced more by the people around me about God than me pursuing Him, from people telling me what not to do, to the church expecting me to follow a template of a human being. This created a lot of conflict in me, about who I am and who I am supposed to be. There are “hypothetical contradictions” in my life that prayer did not change and my heart found peace with that other people could not — and even finds it a need for me to conform to their world and religion vs my personal faith. For a time, I used to think God spoke through these people. I respected them and their words are very important to me. Then, in my meditation about King Saul, I realized how his focus on these external practices cannot cover for what’s really in our hearts, in their hearts. Their need for external recognition does not honor God, it is how we love others that do.

I’m reminded about the last verse of 1 Corinthians 13

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

You see, among the three, love should be the one abundant as Christians, above faith, and above hope. True Christians know that hope without love is wishful thinking, faith without love is just religion and faith and hope together without love is just fanaticism.

I realized after creating a more quality time about reading: I understood at last, true faith should not be forced down my throat by anyone else, a true Christian wouldn’t. I have felt more of God by the people who spoke in love than in faith, and my faith is determined by me, my relationship, my experiences and my understanding. God is alive and not limited by a book and how much time you read that book.

Do I feel I can’t be wrong? Absolutely not. I believe anyone can give me counsel about their experience, but what makes me understand who to listen to is those who speak with love. People who prefer to speak the brutal truth are obviously more concerned about brutality than speaking truth. There is no God in them evidently, only knowledge and elitism.

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal”

1 Cor 13:1

Who likes listening to clanging cymbals after all?

There are people who will create dissonance between you and God claiming to be messengers. Like how Saul as king seemed like the representative of God during his reign. Make no mistake, it is wisdom to know what to listen to. No person is above God, there are only those who think they are the voice of God. Solomon, the wisest king has been blessed by God with wisdom, yet he plunged the kingdom to ruin in the end. I’m sure the people cannot blame Solomon for their worship of other gods in Heaven, after all it is their decision, knowledge and own personal experience. So likewise, with us, God is not limited to the people in authority.

So this marks my journey where I intentionally consider a sermon as but a guide, not a law. Counsel as advice, not a command and my faith as my own, not borrowed. There are multiple kinds of Christians in this world, most of them will bring you down. Perhaps, after all the sin they have indulged and have satisfied, they now believe they are much holier because they found redemption and you should not be able to afford the same redemption timespan as them. Their religion dictates only the selected get to be redeemed, and everyone that will not be obedient is damned to hell. Well, your journey might not as comfortable and confirming what theirs is already but your journey of faith is your own friend, don’t let anyone take it away from you. Let it happen, live it.

There are still good people of faith though, you just have to know to identify them from the counterfeit ones: Don’t find God in the proud, find him in the broken and humbled. There you will understand love like no other.

I hope you too someday find the time to listen to what God has to tell you rather than listen to people about what their fear is telling them. There is a heavy weight the fear of people has, to let it stay in your heart. Let it go, live free.

Messengers with a Mission

Imagine, you went to the clinic with your friend who got a diagnosis of a lethal disease but a curable one. Thing is, the doctor confided in you because he sees your maturity in handling the matter and the level of trust you are endowed. The doctor informs you of the medicine, the dosage and the frequency and sees you off, entrusting to you the future of someone who trusts you to know what’s the best for them.

You think, “Eh, it’s too early to tell them yet, the symptoms aren’t that bad yet, maybe it will get better.”

You delay it a little bit longer and see their appearance get worse but they’re still able perform their daily routine.

You think “Oh it’s getting better because the pain isn’t as bad anymore as they say.” You never assumed the idea that maybe they got immune to the pain.

Weeks after, you go back to the doctor. He asks you “Have you told them?” to which you reply “Not yet, the pain seemed to have subsided. I thought they might be recovering.” To which the doctor responded “Because of all this, the disease has spread and the chances are now slim to treat.”

The doctor proceeds to tell your friend their status and their options. They take their chance for the treatment and it fails.

Most critical matters are more than what the eyes can see.

—————

Is it the doctor’s fault that the message wasn’t delivered to the patient? Probably.

Is it your job to evaluate things if it’s better or worse? Probably you can, but not as much as the doctor’s.

Is it your responsibility to have told your friend the option to make them better? Absolutely.

Are you blameless when all things fall down because the doctor should have told them in the first place directly? No.

You know the people you are with, better. Contextually and emphatically, you can deliver the message best with urgency. If you feel you could not bear to take responsibility as a messenger, don’t pretend to be one. Pass the message to someone who can for we are all messengers with a mission everyday.

We are all gatekeepers of information, secrets and knowledge that can destroy or build someone up. Messages that come our way either in the spirit of fulfillment, trust or by chance happen for a reason. There is rarely a point worth discussing that has no power to change a person for the better or worse. But know this, a painful message is not exclusively meant to destroy a person, it can be to align their attitude to the greater good, and in the same way, a pacifist approach will not always be for the greater good, on other cases, it is only to feign the innocence of the messenger.

Playing stupid or ignorant is not at all an act of goodwill. You are robbing people of their ability to reap a better future. To hold information especially when the delivery is necessary, is to be selfish. If we are to receive a message, truth and/or a knowledge, it is our responsibility to be able to communicate it to the right recipient in truth and love.

Too much truth will communicate severity and too much love will send matters unsettled.

Similar to a pipe, we need to channel these knowledge to the required destination as processed with our filters. If the pipe chooses to clog and fail to serve its purpose, don’t be too surprised when matters bursts out of control.

I hope and pray that before things get too late, that you’re able to fulfill your mission, messenger. But if it gets too late, that you do not feign innocence, because when the time comes to bury the dead, you were actually one of the people digging their grave.

Creating Good Content

Content is everywhere, and most probably, majority part of your day, you’re consuming it.

I’ve made it a goal ever since to create good content — and by good content I meant not just telling about my days or epiphanies but something that I will be proud of to go back and encouraged even just 1 person to be better. Though lately, I couldn’t bring myself to make a good one, I wondered: why?

August was an extremely weird month for me because it’s a month where I broke my habits for the worse. I stopped reading, taking cold showers and indulged on mindless entertainment. It felt good, but it felt surviving with just the face above water.

Getting back to Audible and holding a book feels like waking up from a good dream, a dream but an escape. I shifted back into a world where who I am matters, and what I am determines who I will be. That’s when I realized, I was going nowhere on the rate on what I was doing. I got back into reading books, books that interested me rather than just for the sake of finishing, and lo and behold, I got an idea what to write.

I guess this post is just to remind all of us: What we put it in is what we get out. If you find yourself stuck in a rut, maybe you’re consuming waste of people. Comedy might be entertaining once in awhile but if you treat it like a drug it will dumb you down. I’ve been back to reading published and recommended books about marketing, self-help and leadership. Goes to say I once again been energized to go into the world a better man each day.

To create good content, you need to consume good content. In the end, you will always mix all the wisdom you learn with your words and experiences, and that is what will tailor a message to a different audience. That is what will give you a fresh advocacy to work with in each project.

Learning How to Forgive

You see, this picture of the board which I haven’t touched for a year now had memory markings on it. Marks of the childish personality, love for fun, stupidity and random ideas of whose I used to love. Now, as I work in this spot once more, I have stripped this board with all the lines it holds just because some of it make me remember being betrayed.

You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things: the depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.

– Desmond Tutu

It’s been a roller coaster ride for months now, for those that are wondering and haven’t caught up, I was just going through a break up. Although I wasn’t in full agreement to go our separate ways as I am a firm believer of adapting to circumstances and compromising with your partner, the opposite party was adamant it had to be done. So, I complied with some hesitation. It was fine, I really accepted there was a loss of spell in that period, it was dry and surviving. I would’ve been happy till the clues piled up and data points and blatantly spelled a different reason.

But enough about that, all you have to know at this point is it hurts to give everything to someone only to be replaced like trash. I’ve been betrayed by a friend, disappointed by my family but I’ve never felt more hurt to be given future to look forward to only for it to disappear not because the spark was gone, but the spark was given to someone else.

These days have been a struggle, I’m seeing that the 3 years I was given wasn’t all romantic, driven and pursuant as I have thought it was. It was seductive, complacent and striving. There was a disconnect on words vs. actions. It’s not how it started that matters, but how it ended.

To forgive is not just to be altruistic. It is the best form of self-interest. It is also a process that does not exclude hatred and anger. These emotions are all part of being human. You should never hate yourself for hating others who do terrible things: the depth of your love is shown by the extent of your anger.

However, when I talk of forgiveness I mean the belief that you can come out the other side a better person. A better person than the one being consumed by anger and hatred. Remaining in that state locks you in a state of victimhood, making you almost dependent on the perpetrator. If you can find it in yourself to forgive then you are no longer chained to the perpetrator.

-Desmond Tutu on Forgiveness

I’ve been told that signs of being unfaithful are: you should be able to break up without remorse, you should have recovered fast from a breakup without a timespan to mourn, you would be happy immediately and of course, have someone right away. All these straight from the horse’s mouth.

I’m still not over it, It’s been months and I still have fits for anger, “what ifs” and low moments randomly, but if you look at the other party, it took less than a week to be better than ever. Suspicious? Yes. I was bitter that I couldn’t be better. It’s been months and I would still be mad that of all the things I gave, it wasn’t enough. It was ruining me and everyone around me because of my mood swings.

I’d always say that “I’ve forgiven”, but I’d still be furious when triggered about our story. “I’ve forgiven” but I wish he’d be hit by a car and most of all “I’ve forgiven” but the physical tokens left on my life still crushes me to this point.

In order for forgiveness to happen, something has to die. If you make a choice to forgive, you have to face the pain. You simply have to hurt.

-Joe as Quoted by Brené Brown

Maybe I’m still in denial we’re over, that all of the things I gave: time, money and effort have gone to a complete stranger from hereon out. I’m trickling all the pain down, taking each drop of poison as a bitter sting to my soul and senses. I wanted the past to live, the good version of our story but I guess not anymore, I’m facing the fire, I’m letting who we were die today. I’m choosing to be hurt that it did happen, this is what has become and I accept that not all people who seem good are good.

The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.

-Zig Ziglar

Breakups will heighten your emotions. And emotions is going to turn your world upside down, you will always seem to be moving but most of the time not in the direction you desire, not in the direction of healing most of all. Being emotional takes more effort to move in the right direction, it always takes active participation to get into a destination you wish, which is being better. This time, with this posting, I make that decision, I will strive to be better.

I’ve never promised an answer on how to forgive, but I hope by staying with me you learned how. Although, from how understood it’s never instant, it’s a process but going through it makes you see that the wound wasn’t that big and hurts can be treated with the right care. The most painful part of it is the denial of reality, that the bad didn’t happen, it was a mistake and everything was supposed to be good.

Shit happened because of their selfishness, let’s get over it.

Forgiveness is not forgetting or walking away from accountability or condoning a hurtful act, its a process of taking back and healing our lives so we can truly live.

-Brené Brown

If you’re hurting or betrayed, it’s not easy to let go but do let go. It’s gripping on a mirror of truth and hoping that they’d see reality with their backs turned against us. They won’t, not at this time and not while we’re shoving it to them. Their truth is how they perceive it and what benefits them. People don’t like stories that paints them on the bad light no matter how factual it is. On the other hand, there’s no better time to work on what we can control, it’s time to let go. We need that reflection as much as they don’t want it. Let the mirror turn and face us: remind us of what we have, what we are and what is because not all is lost. Forgiveness after all, does not avoid pain but acknowledges hurt and choosing to move on with the experience to be part of our history.