FRIENDSHIP: Doing Life Together

In light of what recently happened (mourning the loss of a good friend), I was unable to share what I learned last Sunday since we lost him Monday. Now, as I wait for my laundry to finish and while my oatmeal dinner is cooking, I decided to take this opportunity to write down and continue with this therapeutic activity, blogging.

Last Sunday’s message was entitled, “Friendship – Doing Life Together.” The pastor shared again the story about the Rosettans in the U.S. and how they were outliving their neighboring towns. In a nutshell, the Rosettans lived longer lives compared to the others not because of their diet and geographic location but because they nurtured each other with the love of family and friends. Feel free to search online the mystery of the Rosettans in the U.S, if you would like to know more about them. You won’t regret it

After sharing the story about the Rosettans, the pastor went on with his message. He mentioned that just like the Rosettans, the people we surround ourselves with have a profound effect on who we are. Choosing friends is like choosing values that we want to live with. When we choose values that harm us, we get sick but when we choose values that builds us up as well as our communities, then our heart also becomes better.

Today I choose to make my heart better, today I choose to go with the Constantinos as they celebrate an important milestone in Kaz’s life. I also had another equally good offer from another good friend, Earvin, but for now, I will take what Kino and Christy offered. I know I shouldn’t be blabbing about this, so I implore you to forgive me.

Going back to what I learned last Sunday, the pastor mentioned that being surrounded by good friends has the power to lengthen one’s life. Human connection is good medicine as it has the power to heal us and nourish us. It also goes without saying that being surrounded by bad friends has the power to shorten our lives. As what 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “…bad company corrupts good character. Allow me to share some qualities friendships should have.

First, there should be Constancy. The friendship that you have should be dependable and true. This was something that I saw manifest last week as we were mourning the loss of a good friend. Those who said that they were friends of Doms, did what dependable and real friends would do, they acted on their investment. We relied on each other as we were going through that rough patch. I think that was a litmus test to our friendship, when we acted on our investment and when we were there for him knowing that he would not know that we were there.

I got irritated with the lip service of some folks. I got mad when people said “Where are you? Let’s go together to where he is. You know that I am here for you, right?” Why did I get mad with what they said? The words they uttered were music to my ears, to me, it was like my first taste of water after going through an emotional thirst. It provided comfort to my weeping heart and aching soul but it was all for naught. These folks were nowhere to be found. I temporarily lost myself in my irritation at them and at what they did that I uttered some hurtful words to them. My intent was not to exact revenge but I was just overwhelmed with wave after wave of negative emotions. I had to withdraw myself from communicating with these folks to stop myself from saying things that I would later on regret saying. I apologize if I said hurtful words to you. You did not deserve that. I was grieving and what you did to me pained me. If you really were there for me and if what you said was true that I can count on you, where were you? Friendships go through some ups and downs, sometimes, friends push you away but real friends would just show up and act on their friendship investment, nonetheless.

When I was going through another kind of emotional pain, some of my real friends acted, dropped what they were doing and showed up just to be my side. For what you guys did, I will be forever grateful.

Second, there should be sympathy. You and your friends should have the same passion. According to Proverbs 27:9, “Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” When you have friends who share the same passion, they refresh your soul.

Third, friends challenge you when needed. Friends can sometimes be irritating. We dismiss them whenever they are but God has a purpose why they are there who they are in those instances. An impossible situation or an irritating person was placed in your life by God to change you. I am having an “uh-huh” moment right now as I am writing this part.

Fourth, friends support you emotionally and encourage you spiritually. These days, some folks tend not to provide emotional support and spiritual encouragement since they fear rejection. As Christians, we should be ruled by fear but by the love of God. I know, this sounds easy to say but difficult to execute, thus we should pray to Him to give us the courage and the strength to act. Rely on the power of God and not on the power of our brokenness. When we get into altercations with our friends, we may say things that are not nice but remember that our feelings, most of the time, produce the words. When these situations happen, we should try to listen to the heart of the person and not just the words.

I think writing this also made me reflect on some of my opportunities as a friend. As your friend, I will  journey with you through the tunnel of conflict. I pray that we would be the type of friends who act and not be limited to mere lip service. Let’s take that journey together and go from a superficial relationship to a deep, more meaningful and spiritual relationship.

Let’s make our friendship an act of life.

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Niño Dominic Avendaño

How do I begin? How does one’s heart weep and smile at the same time? I sat in front of my table for 30 minutes and I don’t know where to start. This is not an easy article to write. I was not able to finish this when I started writing it on March 15, 2016 but now I think I have enough strength to finish what I started, to finish telling the world about my good friend through my eyes.

Nino Dominic Avendano, Doms to most of the people he met in Cebu, is  someone who I met at work and later on became a really good friend of mine. He was a trainer like me, he was a firecracker like me, he was like me. I don’t exactly remember how we became close friends but I guess the universe just conspires to bring people into your lives, some people pass by, some people hurt you, some people make you laugh, some people do both but only a handful are meant to stay. He was someone who stayed.

I think we even became closer when I moved to Operations and he was the trainer supporting the process that I moved into. Allow me to tell you what I best remember what my friend was and is.

FIRECRACKER. This is one of the adjectives that I would use to describe him. Like a firecracker, some people like the fun they bring while some people don’t like them because of the noise. He brought life and fun to our group especially to his closest friends. Some people may not like him but he doesn’t give a rat’s ass for those folks. You either appreciate his being a firecracker or you don’t. I, along with my fellow trainers, loved this part of him. He was fun to be with prior to him getting sick and he did try his best to remain fun to be with as he was going through pain. He was fun, regardless.

FIGHTER. This is the next word that I would remember what my friend was and is. He was someone who was able to overcome some of the big challenges that came into his life. He first fought loneliness when he moved to Cebu. He was able to overcome it by surrounding himself with people that loved him (Sushi, Romil, Maite, Tony, Jorge, Jrams, Jenny, Aimee, John, CAF peeps and the list goes on.) He was also able to brave through his tumultuous matters of the heart that brought him both extreme happiness and sorrow. He fought off a major illness that struck him in 2014-2015. The last battle he overcame was when he was fighting through the pain that he was already feeling inside when we had our 2016 Asian tour. You wouldn’t think that he was in that much pain if you look at our photos. You can see that my good friend looked his best and healthy in all if not in most of our photos. In his moments of weakness when we would force him to eat for sustenance and would advise him to rest, we would get into altercations because he was naturally a fighter in every sense of the word. He did not want us to worry about him. When you get into a fight with him because of the bond you have with him and are able to get over the negative emotions associated with fighting with someone, then you truly are his friend.

FAMILY GUY. This is something that would also best describe Doms. He was and is a family guy. He was the best example of a loving son and brother. He may not have shared it to me up front but when I overhear him talking to his mom and his sister, his love for them overflows. You can really feel the passion that he has for his family from supporting them financially to not giving them any reason to worry. Aside from the love for his mom and his sister, he also loved his fellow trainers and friends at the office. He is someone that you can count on to fight for you when you need back up. He was also able to create a sense of family with his trainees, wave after wave came to see him during his last days in Cebu.

Friendship, as what we call each other (together with Mae and Val), I will not say goodbye to you because I know that you will always be with me in spirit and in truth. I know that you will always look out for us. Tears flow from my eyes because I am sad that you are no longer here in Cebu but my heart smiles since I know that you are no longer in pain. I will miss seeing you in the office, I will miss how you throw a wrench in my schedule for the day. I will miss watching movies with you in Ayala. I will miss having a friend who has single-minded focus on what he wants. I will miss the times where we fight like brothers although this doesn’t happen a lot. I will miss those moments when our minds would sync and we would just look at each other and either end up laughing our hearts out or say “Alam mo yan!” I will miss sharing pictures in our Viber group with Markee. I can go on and on with what I will miss about you. Words may fail me so I will pause for now.

Let me end this by saying, Doms may you find peace as you continue your heavenly tour post our Asian tour. Watch over us while we continue with our earthly tour. I pray that when we meet again someday, years from now, that we continue the journey that we started in this lifetime into the next. “Ikaw na mag create ng itinerary natin jan and remember that Mae and Val do not know how to ride a bike so wala munang cycling tours.”  Till we meet again my friend.

A Decade of Love Found and Lost

Here I am again, sharing what I learned from my Sunday routine. The title of today’s message was “Life Perspectives: Looking at the brighter side.” I know I shouldn’t rely on what I “feel” but should always rely rather on what I am “living.” This is what I learned from last Sunday’s service, which is tough I say, so join me in prayer that we all are able to live through love and not just feel it.

The pastor who was speaking today was the same pastor that spoke last Sunday. He is a looker and a good speaker but I digress from what I am to share today. I think that when you least expect it, God’s timing is and will always be perfect and so was today’s message.

I have been in a rough patch lately and I can’t seem to shake off the melancholy rut that I am in. When I sat down in my chair and saw in the little green pamphlet the title of today’s message, it dawned upon me that maybe to completely shake off this melancholic rut that I am in now, I have to look at the brighter side and change my life perspective.

The decision to relocate to Cebu in 2006 was based on my love for my family and myself. That in itself is a long story to tell, maybe on a different date and time. When I relocated to Cebu, that was the kind of love that I had in my arsenal. I began to develop a new kind of love with the people that I was with that time, a platonic kind of love with my fellow members of the LGBT community. From a love for family to a love amongst my peers, a new kind of love sprouted in me.

D is who I would consider as my first romantic love. We were young lovers, he was 19 and I was 21. When someone lacking maturity paired with changing levels of hormones as I was going through my “adolescence” jumps right into the unstable chemical reaction called romantic love, it ended badly for both D and I. He was the sweetest and most loving, gentle soul that I ever met in my life. During ungodly hours of the night, he would rush over to my place to bring me food since I told him that I woke up hungry. I lost sight of what was good and precious in our relationship, I was not able to appreciate his value.  I cheated on him, the greatest act of betrayal that one can do to someone you supposedly loved. I lost D, I lost the best romantic thing that ever happened to me when I moved to Cebu. I am unable to summarize our story worth 3 years and a lifetime. I know I have said my apologies to D over and over again, but I want you to know again and again, I am sorry for hurting you and for betraying your trust. I know that there’s nothing that I can do to make up for everything but let me make things up for you by letting you have your slice of heaven without someone like me by your side. I pray that you find the joy that you deserve and that may you truly forgive me, although I know I may not deserve it.

From that relationship, I learned that one must always value the love that he/she shares with the people that he/she loves. One must build the relationship on the One source of true love, Jesus.

After D, I got myself involved with C. Unlike D, C was someone who I compare to a roller coaster. He was fun, dangerous and exciting. I told myself, maybe this is what I need at this point in time of my life. I must admit though that I have never really moved on from D when I got with C. I think C knew that and as such, the relationship we had was already doomed to fail. We just weren’t 2 peas in a pod. I wasn’t feeling the same emotional connection and security with C thus I looked elsewhere for that emotional solace. Yes, you are right. I ended up cheating again, thereby repeating my history of breaking someone’s trust and the relationship ended. I know I am leaving out a lot of details here for those that really know me and the relationship that I had with C but we will leave it at that.

From another failed relationship, I learned that you really can’t force things. One must not make an emotional investment with someone when you know that you are not yet ready even though someone who seems to be investment worthy comes your way. I think the 2 most important things that I learned are to offer God my relationships and to allow Him to change me since I know I cannot change on my own, and that true love is kind, love is kind…it does not dishonor others…it rejoices with the truth…it always protects, trusts, hopes, perseveres and True Love never fails. The love that I shared  with D and C lacked those qualities so I vowed to ensure that the next time I love, it should have those qualities.

After 3 months of being single post the break up with C, J came into my life. Out of all of them; he was the most good looking, interesting and his body was my wonderland. Sorry to objectify you J. Everything seemed to be perfect with J but he was not in the same zip code as mine. I made plans of moving to Manila to further our relationship but alas, I made the fundamental mistake of not following through with what I vowed to act on. Yes, he would frequent Cebu but I guess he was a good break from the rut that I was in. I had fun with J but no matter how I look at it, God has better plans for me and no matter how good he was and how much fun I had with him, this wasn’t God’s plan for me.

By this time, I was already learning how to look at the brighter side of things. I held on to His promise in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This was the lesson that I learned from that relationship with J.

I stayed single for a couple of months. While my mind knows about the lesson behind what happened, my heart was “feeling” lacking and because of that, it searched for love online. I was at almost every gay website and online app that I knew existed. Through one of these sites, I met E.

E was also heart broken like me when we met. I don’t recall the exact details of how freshly hurt he was but what I remember was he was someone who caught definitely caught the attention of both my heart and mind. He is a looker but what drew me into him was how he seemingly thrived on sarcasm and how his wit was the first foot that he placed forward. Since he was not ready to jump into another relationship at that time, we dated for 2 months. I told him that while we date, all I ask from him is that he be honest with me regardless of how painful the truth may be. Playing Never Have I Ever under the influence of alcohol, was at first, a bad idea. I will leave the walls of 9C and those present that time to what exactly happened, but to make the long story short, E and I ended up becoming a couple after a couple of days, maybe weeks because of that fated alcohol-induced night.

For the first time, I felt a different kind of love with E. He was out and proud of who he was, and of me, that I was introduced to his family and was present in almost every important family occasion. He sparked the passion that I now have of traveling to different places and not just the beach. He was instrumental in fueling that passion and for opening my mind to what the world has to offer. For the first time in my life, I believed that he was someone whom I want to spend a lifetime with. Alas, all good things not founded on God’s love must come to an end. I know I am leaving out so many things in my 2 year love story with E but to those close to me, you already know any way and that’s what matters. E and I are friends up to this day and I want to leave it at that the least. I still treasure whatever I was able to build with some of his family members.

After all this journey of love found and love lost, one thing I learned is that I will always go back to the first man who loved me unconditionally. I will always go back to His loving arms and how I find peace and solace whenever He embraces me. How I get enlightened whenever He reveals to me some of His plans in my life and why certain things had to happen in my life and how I should see things differently.

I learned during this Sunday’s message that in order for me to see life differently, I must guard my heart. I must only allow true love to enter it. I must not look for happiness but I should look for joy. The pastor shared that happiness is seen as based on our circumstance, when things work out according to our plans, we end up happy but this foundation is unstable. When storms come through our life, it washes away that happiness regardless of how small or big the storm that visits us.

As Christians, we must pursue Christian joy. This is a mood independent of what’s happening around us. The Apostle Paul among other early believers is a good example of how we can still rejoice in the Lord despite of what we are going through. Viktor Frankl also had joy in his heart even though he lost his wife and children and having survived through holocaust. The pastor said that when he was asked why he still had that joy in his heart, he said that when man goes through the worst of situations, the truth of his character is revealed. One is either a swine or a saint.

Guard your heart so that hate never enters it. Do not allow hate to eat you up as hate changes people. Hate brings out the worst in people but love brings out the best in people. At this time in my life, after having gone through all those relationships. I try to make a conscious effort to fill my heart with love, I do so by going to Bread of Life in Ayala and by surrounding myself with people who truly love me.

Most people pursue happiness and not joy. Happiness is an emotion which comes and go but joy is an attitude that comes and grows. As Christians, it is impossible to have faith and to live a life full of worry. I also learned that I must quit studying the problems of my life and start studying the promises of God. Whenever we are going through a rough patch, those are actually learning opportunities that God sends our way. We may not understand it while we are going through it but hold on to your faith as God will reveal His plans to you in His perfect timing.

I also learned that life is more precious because of the experiences that God gives us. The difficult moments are the more fruitful ones, they make the happy moments more precious. Moving forward, I will keep my eyes on that and on His promise that things will work out as they always do but it doesn’t mean that it won’t be tough or painful.

I will not lose sight of what is important. I will not quit. Being romantically alone for now is both a blessing and a powerful experience as He fills me with His love and the love coming from my family and friends. I may not be able to physically hold on to someone romantically special, this time I am at the right place and time even though I don’t “feel” it but I know that right now God is holding on to my hand. I know that He will not let me go nor forsake me and that is more than enough to fuel me. I pray that it also fuels you.

Like what they say, your first love never dies. As February 2016 marks a decade of my journey of finding love, losing love and finding it again, I pray that you intercede for me as I rekindle my relationship with my first love and as I nourish the platonic love of those close to me and I too will intercede for you as well.

 

 

 

Valerie

February has always been special to me since I am a February baby. Februaries now are even more special to me since I now celebrate another special person’s birthday aside from my mom.

I don’t know where I should begin to show my appreciation of how this God-sent helped me in so many different ways but let me try to the best of my abilities. Valerie is one of the members of my Cebu family (and yes, the other members will also be featured in my future blogs.)

Valerie is someone that I never expected to befriend in all conceivable levels of friendship, however, I now share a friendship with her as deep as the Mariana Trench. Why do I say that? For starters, she is a goody two shoes. There is nothing wrong with being one and I am not asking her to change, not one bit. To be honest, I never really had an inclination to befriend her kind but God’s wisdom is way better than man’s since He sent this fine lady into my life for a reason. As we celebrate her birthday today, allow to share some of the reasons why I celebrate the friendship that I share with her.

First, she is God-fearing. In a world where everyone seems to turtle up when one’s faith is brought up for discussion, she doesn’t shy away from sharing her testimony and there is that genuineness and sincerity that emanates from her when she does share her testimony. This doesn’t change no matter how much my Cebu family and I express our love and affection in our own unique way. You know what they say, you can never say that you are friends with someone until they start lovingly bully you…tease might be the more appropriate word but whatever!

Second, she is a genuine friend and someone that you can rely on. She was one of the few people that was with me in one of the lowest moments of my life. When I lost a love I held dear, she along with a few folks were there to help fill the void that was left behind. I will never forget that day as you and Thirdy were with me as I watched the sun set while quaffing down a bottle of red Johnnie. I will also never forget how you guys tolerated my melancholy when I expressed it through several songs while cruising down the waters of Liloan. How we capped the night, with the surprise visit of the Constantinos whom we tolerate (jemma)…whom we also love dearly.

Third, she teaches me life lessons without her knowing. She has taught me that the love of family is priceless. She taught me that one can go through so much pain and struggle in life, and still come out strong and a victor. She taught me that when you put out goodness to the world that it finds its way back to you. She taught me that a homeless man also appreciates a BurgerJoint Tuna sandwich. I look forward to what other lessons in life you will teach me as we journey on.

I apologize if I get emotional lately but I appreciate how you are like a ray of sunshine in my Cebu life that breaks through those melancholic clouds of mine. Today is not about me but about you, words may fail me in telling you how I appreciate our friendship and how you were instrumental in bringing back my smile. I now understand why God gave you in my life and may He continue to use you in ways that will surprise you.

Happy birthday Val!

My February 14

We all have this experience of love that’s close to our heart…of love that was found and was lost. February 14 is that day of the year that most people either look forward to (for those enveloped by romantic love) or dread (for those alone and lonely).

While everyone is busy going about their merry way of celebrating this day; I decided to finish making our itinerary for our South East Asian trip in 2 weeks time and to head to my usual Sunday routine of late and I tried to not be late (if you know me too well, I have always been late, I know, I should change and I am trying).

I was feeling a little melancholic today, maybe because of how things are romanticized during this day and because of the blanket of rain covering the city, but today’s message got me out of my melancholy. God sure does work in His own mysterious way. Allow me to share my take-away from today’s sermon.

The pastor shared that we have morphed our idea of love. By thinking that love is something close to our heart is fundamentally wrong. I know, I had the same reaction as most people in the room. Why is thinking that love is something close to our heart fundamentally wrong? I like how he introduced his sermon and how I got hooked into listening to him all throughout the entire message. Thank you Lord for using your people and for giving me the opportunity to hear your word today.

He went on saying that we have morphed our idea of love and we have morphed it into something emotional thus whenever we think that love is something close to our heart, we are ultimately making a fundamental mistake. The world today defines love as what you feel and it has been constructed in such a way that lovers live happily ever after, along with a flat view that it is only between a man and a woman as portrayed in most movies, TV advertisements and in all other forms of media.

As followers of the Way, we shouldn’t be boxed into following and believing this definition of what love is. Love according to Scripture is not based on what you feel, it is based on what you live through. This kind of love was what Christ modeled for us thus this should be our definition of what love is. He shares 2 points on how Christ modeled this for us.

First; to love, one must first be loved. We can only give what we have. I agree with what he shared. People who have never experienced love are unable to love others. Those who have experienced a morphed definition of love are only able to give out the morphed kind of love that they know of. How then does one get to truly love and be loved? Well, we must go back to the source of true love. Knowing about Him is not enough, one must have a relationship with Him in order for one to experience His overflowing love. The source of love showed us unconditional love by sending His only Son to the world, turned Him into a man and having Him die on the cross is the ultimate act of love from the source of love.

Relationships fail because people “feel” that they have not been loved. We mustn’t really rely too much on what we “feel” and can we blame the other for not loving us if he or she has not felt what true and unconditional love is? Another reason why most relationships fail these days is that almost everyone has set their eyes only on romantic love. This kind of love flourishes when nourished by another person, but how does this kind of love flourish when we are with someone who was not fertilized in true love?

We live in a time where most get into a relationship with someone based on what they “feel” towards the other person and how almost everyone is on a quest to find the “perfect” one, the one who is going to sweep us off our feet onto his white horse and ride into the sunset. Life is not like that, when we think that love is like that, then we have already set ourselves for failure at the start.

The second point that he shared was “to love does not only mean that we should be loved, it should be lived.”  Whoever lives in love, speaks of love. Have you ever heard of or been told “let’s see other people to find out if what we have is still there?” This is the world’s view on love , this is not God’s view on love, and this is not real love.

Scripture tells us that love is patient. True love waits. Love is kind. True love gives back. Love changes people and doesn’t expect for anything in return. An example is how a little European girl, who lived during World War II, gave up her chocolate to save the life of a lady who was in labor. It was all she had but she gave everything she had. Are we like the little girl who’s selfless or are we still self-centered? Another example shared was how a guy found love in prison. He grew up with the wrong idea of love that hurting someone shows that you love them and the deeper the hurt that you afflict on your loved ones means that the deeper the love that you have them. He was in prison for murder and he found love through the mother of the persons that he murdered. Are you capable of showing that same kind of love to someone who has wronged you?

If love does not act, then it is not real. To show your love only for one day is impossible, you need an entire lifetime. Love like all of us has to go through pain…true love comes out stronger. Is the love that you have for your partner, for your family and for your friends real?

Allow me to take baby steps and act on that love with the people that I call family here in Cebu, that is my February 14.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Language of Letting Go

Allow me to start 2016 by sharing what I learned during my first Sunday Service for the year. The pastor talked about “The Language of Letting Go.”

Coming from the holidays, I was like any regular Joe who was feeling lazy to get out of bed and attend Sunday service. I don’t know what made me do so but I’m glad that I did although I can do a better job next time and ensure that I get there on time.

The message revolved around how we can learn the Language of Letting Go as we start 2016. The message really did hit home for me as I went through a tumultuous Q4 in 2015.

Pastor Bing talked about why Joseph decided to let go of his desire for revenge against his brothers. First, Joseph decided that he does not want to be like them and pain them the same way they did him. After going through a break up in Q4 last year, I realized that God was reaffirming me that I made the right decision of leaving the relationship with love and not with hate or bitterness. My partner back then decided to let go of what we had. It was one of the most painful things to go through but I too decided that I will walk out the door with a luggage of love and not burden myself with a baggage of hate and a suitcase of bitterness. Twas a really difficult thing to do knowing that I was going through so much pain but I held on to the source of love (God), went through the pain with the people He sent my way to ease the pain and they reminded me that love has many forms and that they were one of its many forms. I came out of that dark tunnel  without seeking revenge or having any ill will. Today’s message reaffirmed my past action that I too do not want to pain another person the same way that I was pained.

Second; Joseph realized that by seeking out revenge against his brothers that the one who would suffer the most would be his father, Jacob. The wrong person always gets the brunt of the revenge. I decided that no one needs to get caught up in the cross fire and that I still value the relationships that I have with people more than I value immediate emotional gratification.

Third; he saw that if he puts a wedge between him and his brothers that it would lead to him losing his family and being alone for the rest of his life. No matter how much pain one goes through, one must always put value on the person and not the emotion. Hurtful words once uttered can never be taken back. I am glad that I didn’t place a wedge between us. Don’t get me wrong, I am still hurting and still recovering and I am taking it one day at a time.

Fourth; in his times of meditating, Joseph realized that his revenge was not wanting justice but using his power. People hurt us and our basic instinct is to hurt them back and most of the time, it really isn’t about justice but about using our power to also cause the same amount of pain if not greater. By doing so, both sides end up hurt and in pain. Life is too short for that!

Someone (I forgot who) said that we may not have the power to change the outcome but we have the power to stop thinking about them (those that pained us) and to stop ourselves from thinking that we are victims.

The Language of Letting Go means to let go of our pride, to say “I’m sorry” without excuses, not having a defensive explanation when doing so, having a straight forward acknowledgment of the pain given to another person and it is accompanied by a credible promise to fix the situation.

The Language of Letting Go also leads to the language of kindness. Ephesians 4:32 says that “Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other…” One cannot really let go without pairing one’s decision to forgive the other with the genuine desire to be kind and loving at the same time. I know that this is going to be the most challenging step but I will continue in my prayers that God grants me the ability to pair forgiveness with kindness and love.

As I let go of 2015’s hurt, pain and sorrow; I look forward to embracing the joy and love that 2016 is going to bring my way. As I officially start blogging here in WordPress, I hope that by sharing my past and my present that it helps bring joy and love to your future.