Reflection

Temporary Beauty vs. Permanent Beauty

You might agree with me that cosmetic does an amazing thing, if not called a magic. It can change somebody’s appearance dramatically. Someone may look so beautiful having a make-up. Though someone may look so pretty with a make-up, she doesn’t want to have it for the whole time. When she arrives home or when she is going to bed, she will definitely clean her face from the cosmetic product she has applied on her face. A make-up remover is applied.

A friend asked me to buy a cosmetic product for her. It was a pencil for eyebrow. Dark brown colored. She also mentioned the brand in her message. I read her message very quickly and I replied OK.

I went to the nearest store, not a big store to get the stuff. I was so sure without asking the sales counter, I went to the cosmetic section. I knew what I wanted to buy. I looked at the whole section where different brands of cosmetic products displayed but I couldn’t find the pencil I wanted. Then I told the sales counter about it. She asked me the brand I was looking for. I said with so much confidence: “Vivo.”

She looked a bit confused and said: “There is no such brand for cosmetics. We have Viva, not Vivo.”

I became confused and to make sure I checked what my friend had written to me. It said Viva. Later I remembered that Vivo is a brand for electronic products.

Inner beauty is beauty from the heart.

You might also agree with me that make-up can only give a temporary beauty not a permanent one, an external beauty. While inner beauty is from the heart. You don’t need to apply any make-up to have inner beauty. What you need is a kind, gentle, strong and big heart. You can have it for the whole time. You don’t need any remover for this.

Reflection

Boredom

I like putting ideas in my head in writing. If someone asks me why, my answer would be in the sake of clarity. Yes, when it is put in writing, it becomes clear to me. I like writing everything, an idea or an issue that is occupying my head.

If it is an idea, it allows me to see how much I have understood. If it is an issue or a problem, it allows me to see the root cause of it and what possible solution or probably just a way to deal with it.

Long time ago a friend asked me if I have written a topic on boredom. I think she was feeling bored at that time. Another time she said to me that she was feeling overwhelmed. I then tried to recall if I had written one. I didn’t remember. I think I never write about this topic. It doesn’t mean that I never feel bored. Sometimes I also feel it, but it never becomes an issue that I have to really pay attention and seek a remedy.

I like to put myself as a learner. I see life around me and also nature as an opportunity to learn something. There is always something new that I can explore. The world around us is like a very big school and all of us are students. There is always enthusiasm in being a student. You will always find it as a life long learning process.

The exam would not be fixed in timing. The question would be different for each one. We can not copy it from other students. The good thing in this process is that we are still allowed to fail. We are given a chance to learn again.

How do you deal with boredom?

Reflection

Dealing with loss

Last week was probably the hardest week for my friend. She just lost her husband after being hospitalized for almost a week. He left his body at the age of 41. A quite sudden loss. He was hospitalized due to dengue fever. Since he was admitted at the hospital, he was treated in the intensive care unit due to low oxygen saturation.

She is actually my colleague. We could feel her feeling from day one of the hospitalization, from emotion to emotion, fear to fear. We went to the hospital to give her support. We also went to his funeral.  We understand it was not easy for her. We wanted to see her strong. I think without saying it, she knows that we care for her so much. I am also sure that she has the strength to carry her life ahead.

Each and everyone of us might have experienced loss, if not yet we surely will. Death is something certain to come to every living being on earth. Dare to live and also dare to die. These two come as couple. We just don’t know the timing.

This loss has reminded me that actually we can not possess anything nor anyone in this world. Everything we can see through our eyes is temporary. To be temporary means there will come the time to leave or be left. Till the time comes, it is better to prepare it. Keep reminding not to attach your heart to anything that is temporary. If you need attach your heart, then attach it to something permanent, something that won’t leave you, something that makes you strong.

Reflection

The 3 steps to experience love

If relationship with others can not give me love that is permanent then I need to work on the other sources of love, having relationship with God and with the self.

To have a relationship with God, firstly we need to know and secondly we need to believe in Him.

Everyone of us might know God. At least religion has taught us this. We could understand God quite quickly. It doesn’t take time. Perhaps we also believe in Him. It is also very easy.

But that is not enough. To know and to believe is not enough. It doesn’t guarantee you to experience a relationship with Him. It doesn’t guarantee you to experience love from Him. The process of knowing and believing takes place in our head. It is very often so theoritical. God as a concept. While to experience love is practical. The feeling is real. God is not a concept. He is a Spiritual Being like us.

So the third step is to experience Him in a relationship. This step probably takes a long time. It requires so much patience.

How to really have this feeling of love? Put what you have understood about Him into your practical life, on your day-to-day basis. Keep experimenting on this. Only through an experiment by experiment you can really experience God’s love. Challenge yourself by asking provocative questions on what you have understood about God, what you have believed in Him. Reflect those questions again and again.

Once you taste His love, it is fulfilling your heart’s desire for love. There is no better love than this love.

When you taste this true love, your search for temporary love from human being will end. You won’t depend on anyone for givibg you love. When you are in relationship with anyone, you are not seeking love but giving love.

Reflection

Why do we need a relationship?

Everyone needs a relationship. Is there anyone who doesn’t need a relationship? How is it like to have a life without any relationship? Probably lonely and so boring.

Why do we need a relationship? I think it is because we experience love through relationship. Everybody needs love. Everybody wants to be loved and also to love.

This need for love is probably the first need for each and every human soul. When this need is not fulfilled, the mind is restless, non-stop seeking and the heart is empty. And when this need is fulfilled, the mind stops searching and the heart is full.

How do you fulfill this desire? You probably also search through relationship with someone. Very often a relationship makes someone dependent on whom they have a relationship with. It is not liberating. It is an emotional attachment. When there is dependency, there is always a fear of losing. The desire for love is not fulfilled permanently.

There are 3 sources of love, from whom you can experience love. Firstly is from others and you know that it is not permanent. Secondly is from the self. This will not create dependency. It it fulfilling. It creates true self respect. It is more permanent. And thirdly is from God. It is very liberating. God’s love is liberating the soul, it doesn’t create any dependency.

You can make yourself full through experimenting the second and third sources of love.

What do you think how to experience this love from yourself and God practically in your life?

Reflection

Learn to forgive


A few weeks ago I gave a public talk on forgiveness. To be honest, this is the topic that I had avoided for so long. But I decided to take this topic to share to people. I decided to put the tittle ‘learn to forgive’ instead of ‘forgiveness’. To forgive is something I need to learn.

I heard from many people around me saying ‘God is forgiving. Why do we not forgive?’
I have the conviction that God never gets hurt. He doesn’t take sorrow from anyone’s behavior nor wrong doing in the first place. He doesn’t take time to forgive and also to forget it. His intellect is always accurate, He doesn’t keep any waste thoughts. His heart is always clean and pure. Nothing or no one can ever hurt Him. So He is definitely forgiving. But human beings are not God. We never become God. Our hearts easily get hurt probably because our hearts are so weak. We have lost so much power. We take a process to forgive, it means we take time. and it is OK, just keep taking the process. So we need to learn to forgive, and also forget.

My friend said that to forget someone’s mistake (probably also our own mistake) is the highest level of forgiveness. We need to do something to forgive, but I don’t think that we need to do something to forget. When you forget something happened in the past, you can not recall it anymore. It doesn’t exist anymore in your memory track. When the memory is too strong (probably also strongly hurt), usually the memory stays for a long time. And we can not forget it. If something reminds you of a situation that brings hurt, your emotion might get triggered. The whole story might come up on the screen of your mind. If you have got healed, the emotion won’t get triggered even if someone tries to remind you. You remember the situation, the memory is still there, but you no longer get triggered. I think it is also another level of forgiveness, before we forget it completely.

Now look at your heart. Ask your heart if you have completely forgiven everybody or you still learn to forgive. If you are still processing it, you still learn to forgive, you might need to forgive yourself first for this. Don’t put more burden on yourself by disliking yourself for still not being able to forgive others.

Reflection

Jazz up your life

When I was sharing on dealing emotions through journaling, I shared the reasons for an emotion to be created. I think there are two reasons that causes an emotion. It is what may push your hot button. Your emotional button.

Firstly is expectation. It is an automatic process for many of us. We expect something to turn out as per what we have created in our mind. Many of us probably consider it to be natural to have an expectation of thing or a situation. But the more we repeat it in our mind, the more we think of it over and over again, we actually create a mental attachment to the output we want. And if it doesn’t turn out as per our expectation, we become annoyed or even frustrated. Then anger is created. Anger is very common emotion in our day to day life.

Jazz up your life!

Secondly is the awareness of mine or a sense of owning something or someone. Again this sense also creates mental attachment. I remember I owned a Honda Jazz long time ago. Around the year of 2005 up to 2008 Honda Jazz was very popular especially among young people. It was probably segmented for young people. and I also remember it’s tagline was “Jazz up your life”. This tagline not only communicated, but also hypnotized people’s subconscious mind really well. A very powerful tagline. The perception created about this car was being young and energetic. I had been so attached to this perception for a long time.

Until one day I was taking a ride with friends in someone’s car and hearing them talking about how good the car was. A different brand from what I owned. Noone said that Honda Jazz was not good in fact. Not at all! But I felt a bit disturbed by that conversation and I knew it was because I was still carrying mental attachment of owning that car or that perception of that car in my head, although I had sold the car at that time. I didn’t own that car anymore. The awareness of “my car”, or “my perception of that car” was still carried.

Reflection

The challenge of being single


A friend of mine visited me and stayed with me during weekend in my house. We hadn’t been in a contact for the last few years even before the pandemic. When I offered her a visit and stay with me during the weekend, she quickly agreed. She said “next weekend”. She was so excited. I was also excited to meet her again.
Understanding her situation being married and having two kids, I asked “Would it be okay with your husband and kids?” apparently her kids have now grown up. They are no longer kids. The first child is now a university student and her daughter is now at grade 12. They have that much understanding for  their mom. 

During her stay with me, both of us enjoyed our weekend together. We spent time together, chatting, going for an outdoor yoga, going for a morning walk and also cooking. I have been living alone in my little house.  She shared a lot about challenges she has been going through as a married woman and as a mother. I think spending sometime away from the family was quite a break for her.

She might have been observing me during her stay. She might be seeing the contrast between a marriage life and life of a single. I don’t see it. This observation might have led her to ask this question  ”What is the challenge of being single?”
To be honest I never thought about this. I didn’t know to response this question. When you never see any contrast of two different things, you won’t be questioning. You will consider everything happens in your life is what is supposed to happen and that is what you have to deal with. No questioning. With this attitude, you develop acceptance more quickly. When there is acceptance, you won’t consider something to be a challenge. A challenge means a problem to be solved. You will start focusing on solution, instead of problem.

Reflection

Hold yourself back


If you are working in a corporate where you have to deal with colleagues, where different heads involve, you might feel the challenge in communication has become greater and greater these days, especially during the pandemic. Emails and messages are more frequently used than a conventional meeting or even communication on the phone. Very often misunderstanding is inevitable. Small problem seems to become very big. A simple problem may become complicated. Everyone is working in their “limited space”. Friction among colleagues may occur very quickly and easily. Noone is comfortable in such a situation. I think we need to keep our heads cold a lot these days. Hold yourself back and do not react. So we can still think very clearly and not easily get provoked.

When a colleague was calling me, discussing a business process that had  not been completed for several weeks and people had started making assumption and judgement, I was quickly aware that a misunderstanding had been taking place among us. I thought I should make it clear for everybody so they stopped making their assumption and judgement which had made the situation worse. In this situation, I knew the problem very clearly, I knew what made the process not completed.

I listened to her talking on the phone. I was surprised how a simple problem had become so complicated. I kept my head cold and said to her “I understand your situation, I appreciate your effort to solve this problem. Please now stop talking to everybody about this for not making it more complicated.”

I made it clear that day. I left a note to her with a smile ‘May everyone stay peaceful’.

Reflection

Listening to God


I was discussing with a friend for an online workshop we were going to have. We worked on the topic on fear. I was the one who would deliver the topic and he would become the MC for the program. We discussed on how to deal with fear. We had a few tips for this and one of the tips was to listen to God. My friend said ‘We need to be silent to listen to God.’ This words struck me so deeply.

What do we do when we are praying? We are speaking to God. We are telling God. We tell God to do one thing or another for us, to fulfill our desire, to agree with us, to support us, to manifest our dreams etc etc. We want Him to listen to our prayer. And what do we do then? Our prayers have become full of our wants and needs. When our mind is full of desires, it is definitely not silent. It is very busy. So we can not listen. We even do not give a chance to God to response to our prayer. I think God knows what we need and desire. He also knows what is best for us, but we are too busy with our own stuff thinking as if we knew everything. God knows everything, even before we put it in our prayer, so it might be the time now we listen to Him more. Let Him tell us. Let Him give a response. For this let the mind silent.

We tell God our needs and wants in our prayer.

I don’t think it is a coincidence, that the words of LISTEN and SILENT have same letters.