I just arrived from a trip to Turkey with a small group. It was my first oversea trip after 2 years. I joined the group with a friend.
We took a long flight, during night time. What do you do when you are on a long flight?
My friend took a sleeping pill to help her sleeping during the flight. After settling down in the cabin, she started enjoying movies. I decided not to touch the screen in front of me. So I slept very easily and quickly. A quite good one. Only after enough sleep, I watched one movie. A drama movie. It was about a family, about a young daughter in the family, about how she digested the way the parents and also siblings relate to one another, the relationships, the conflicts and also her self.
When we just landed in Istanbul I asked my friend if she enjoyed the flight or not. She said that she couldn’t sleep, even after taking a sleeping pill. I asked her : “How many movies did you watch on the plane?” She said : “Three movies”.
No wonder that she could not sleep. The movies are there for an entertainment. It is to entertain the mind. The mind will keep processing what you see on the screen and what you listen through the little earphone. The mind keeps busy. So it doesn’t rest. It doesn’t sleep.
It is in your hand to put the mind awake or asleep. Not in the pill.
Do you like watching movies? What movie genre do you like most? Have you gone to cinema recently?
I am not really a big fan of movies. I only watched a movie after a review from friends. If they said it was a good movie then I would consider to watch it. Unless I would not watch it. I am so fortunate that I have friends around me who love watching movies. Any kind of movie, including horror, documentary, detective, comedy and also drama.
Very recently a friend told me a movie she just watched in cinema. It was a drama movie. Drama of a family life. She said it was a good one. Other friends were also telling me the same. So I was so encouraged to watch that movie. I asked her if she would like to watch the same movie with me in the coming weekend. She said that she wanted to watch Minion 2 instead of watching the same movie again. So the deal was made. I would watch the movie and she would watch Minion 2 which was scheduled to be played half an hour earlier that the movie I was going to watch.
The movie was about conflict between a father and his three sons. The father held the belief and the tradition very strongly. He wanted to apply it to his children. He wanted her first son to marry a girl from the same clan only, because he has to carry the family name. He wanted his second son to become a judge, instead of a comedian. A comedian is not considered to be valued more than a judge in the society (in his village). And he expected the youngest son to come back and live with him. All the 3 sons have moved to Java island for their study. It was about father and son relationship that did not work well in the family.
The family was from North Sumatera. A simple family in a village in Samosir island in the middle of Toba lake. A very beautiful island. I have been there 6 years ago. So I could relate a bit, but not to the culture. Anyway it was a happy ending one. The conflict was resolved with the father’s open mind.
A friend said: “It was a very heart warming movie.”
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.
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.
It is always interesting in making an interaction with children, especially those who are under 7. They are so genuine and spontaneous. I always enjoy it.
Some said that those period is the golden period for their growth especially mentally and emotionally. They pick up everything around them so easily and quickly. They also learn everything from what they see and hear. It very much depends on the adults around them who bring the influence into them. They get influenced. They get coloured because they still cannot colour themselves intentionally.
Today my nephew was taking me to airport. He brought along with us our cousins’boys. I think most of children like to be in a ‘new place’ like airport, especially to see aircrafts. Because it triggers their immaginations. Children tend to imagine a lot and they do it freely and also courageously.
Someone took this picture below for us. And I said spontaneously to them before the picture was taken “Act like a boss!”. So they were posing like a boss. Little children will quickly follow what you ask them to do with no judgment. Sometimes they just copy you. This is what I like from them.
My nephew said to me that on their way back home from the airport, one of the kids asked him “What is a boss?”
Obviously he never heard this word before, he couldn’t use his own imagination how to act like a boss.
I also remembered when I took my friend and her kids, little Joshua and Syaila to a museum many years ago. It was a museum of a palace where a throne of a king was displayed. It was not the historical one so actually the visitors may sit on it. I quickly got an idea and said to them “Sit on this throne like a king”. They then sat on it and posed like a king. They sat upright with their two arms on the arm rest and showed their faces royal like kings.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Do you like going to a museum? What do you enjoy most when you are in a museum? When was your last museum visit? I think those who are interested in history would love going to a museum.
A friend of mine has a very great interest in history and this interest had led her to travel probably around the world. She had visited Cu Chi tunnel in Vietnam and also Machu Piccu in Peru. She would be very enthusiastic explaining those kind of historical places everytime I asked her to share.
I am not really interested in history. I have visited some museums here, but not all museums. I think my understanding art is too shallow. Last week I went to a contemporary art museum with a friend. I was curious to know what a contemporary art was like. They mostly displayed current artworks, I suppose the artists are still alive and even still creating some artworks. The museum has more than 800 collection from so many different artists to be displayed, but they don’t display all collections at the same time. They change the layout and also the artworks periodically. As soon as I entered the room, I could feel the sense of being “contemporary”. I could sense the difference from the conventional one. The museum is on the third floor. Almost half of the floor was closed for preparing a solo exhibition which would be opened in a few days.
Actually I knew this museum since a few years ago from a friend when it was just newly opened, but I was just not interested to visit till a friend from different city came and he is a graphic designer. I thought he might be interested in visiting a museum.
What I enjoyed the most in this museum was the Infinity Room. Each group of only 2 people maximum are allowed to be in the room with colorful lights. Each group was only given 30 seconds to be in the room to enjoy the beautiful and colorful lights. The feeling of being infinite was experienced by the eyes. Yes it had something to do with the eyes which sense this infinity. It seems it doesn’t have any end. To feel infinite is to be endless, no limit.
I remember that we are souls. Souls are infinite, whereas bodies are finite. As a soul we have no ends. Souls are on an eternal journey, taking one body, then leaving the body and taking another new body in a womb of a mother. It continues and never stops. By understanding this we develop fearlessness of death in our consciousness. Death is when the soul leaves the body with or without any reason. It is seen as a natural process
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.