Category Archives: thoughts/opinions
I’ve been discussing relationships and romance with one of my friends who is having a hard time reconciling her fear of dating or rather having an attraction to someone. I thought I’d want to share my thoughts on how I found love and why I think that falling in love is to an effect, an act of faith. Often times faith is necessary when you’re uncertain of something but you have, for lack of a better term, a gut feeling about something.
First of all, one of the main reasons that leads me to believe that faith is essential to relationships is whenever emotions are involved it leaves you very vulnerable and that is a scary thing. You’re uncertain about how the other party feels about you, whether you’re investing your time and efforts in a fruitless endeavor or the beginnings of a magical journey with another person. But you might be asking yourself, what’s your point? I think to better understand where I’m coming from I’m using a broader definition of faith than one might think. Faith is one of the strongest motivating factors for people to act and move forward with any circumstance. If we didn’t believe that our actions would have a positive outcome or impact on our lives for the better, I believe that most people would not choose to act. We ascertain educations on the faith that it will help lead to an employable career. We work with the faith that our employers will pay us a wage worth our efforts. None of the aforementioned scenarios are guaranteed but the outcomes we expect will most likely happen. We know this because we have experienced similar in the past or others we know have had positive outcomes related to similar actions. So our faith is much like a motivation to act based on our understandings of the way things work in society. I also feel that our faith is found inherently from within as a gift from God to help us move forward in life.
As a fairly religious person, I feel that faith is indeed a gift from God or a higher power if you don’t ascribe to God (a debate for another time). This gift along with the gift of our agency are some of the greatest tools we have to succeed in life. How I use my faith is something I struggle with all the time, but not in the way you might think (I’m clearly a conventionally non-conventional type of person). I struggle with knowing and acting on inspirations that come into my life. Faith as defined in the bible in Hebrews 11:1 states that “… faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. Like I’ve stated before a lot of the things we do or aspire to do in life aren’t guarantees but highly probable situations. My biggest struggle is that I want things to be ideal before I act, and that’s not how faith works. Faith requires that we act on informed decisions, that we move when we don’t know the end result but have an idea of the end goal. To relate this back to the original topic, in relationships (I’m going to generalize here) we want to find someone to be our companion, someone to spend our time with, someone to understand us, and someone who we can be comfortable with to the point that we let our walls an inhibitions down.
That’s the end goal, for me, my faith has always been an essential part of my ability to have successes in relationships. I believe that God has a plan for all of us, and my faith has helped me to understand that successes and failures help get me through those plans. In dating, it’s inevitable that there will be times where things just work and it will be great, and other times where you’ll experience devastating rejections and bouts with loneliness, but through it all my faith has helped me see that all these experiences do help me to grow as an individual. Faith gave me the courage to ask girls out that I never thought I had a chance with, it helped me to enjoy my life while I was single, building relationships and friendships that I still enjoy to this day, and my faith helped me to find the woman who eventually would become my wife. Am I saying that if you have faith you’ll be successful in relationships? No that’s not my point at all. What I am saying is that faith does give you strength to leave your comfort zone, to fall in love, to leave yourself vulnerable to rejections, because it’s through faith that you’ll understand that pain and heartache are experiences that we can grow from. While rejection, the feelings of inadequacy, and other negative feelings may come during early stages of courtship and dating (I am that traditional that I’m still calling it courtship), those feelings are nothing compared to the feelings of regret, inaction of not having gone after someone, or the feelings of not telling someone how you truly felt when you had the chance.
Let’s face it, dating is scary and being rejected is even scarier, but as Jesus taught in Matthew 19:26, “with God all things are possible”. So if you ask me why I think faith and relationships go hand in hand, I’ll say that life IS scary, rejection in relationships ARE things that no one wants to experience, but faith that God has something good in store for me are worth all the pains, sufferings, and heartaches that happen. Once we find the good in among the negative, then we’ll see that our faith was not fruitless, and understand that “with God all things are possible”.
I’ve been quite obsessed lately about determining the value of things, whether it be monetary materialistic things like groceries, clothing, or cameras, to investments of time like education, improvement of artistic crafts, or other ways I spend my time. Is this a fruitless waste of time? Probably, so why not just experience life as the cliche so often is referred, “live life to its fullest” and not worry about worth and value?
I think that one of the reasons why I’m so obsessed about all these things is that in my pursuit of “living life to its fullest”, I want to live my optimal life, as far as I am able to. But this obsession with value, leads me to some negative thoughts at times, and I feel as if maybe I’m not living my life or using my time in a way that is valuable or worth it. If I feel my life could be better why do I not change my circumstances, learn a trade, practice my talents and skills, or seek to improve my life through consistent work and learning? Maybe in my thoughts I do not give value to that which should be of worth. I’m losing sight of the long term goals and I’m seeking for temporary enjoyment or short term fulfillment. Does short term fulfillment inherently mean that you must give up on your long term goals? Or can short term goals lead to the long term ones? No I’m not saying you must choose one over the other because there may be many short term goals that can lead to your long term desired outcome for whatever you’re seeking to do. I just seem to be going in every different direction at the same time and much like the dialogue between Alice and Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland which goes,
Alice asked the Cheshire Cat, who was sitting in a tree, “What road do I take?”
The cat asked, “Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it really doesn’t matter, does it?”
My circumstance is a result of my not really having a clear direction in which I seek to head. I worry too much about failure. In that worry, I lose out on opportunity, I miss chances or opportunities to succeed, and I end up investing/spending/wasting my time doing things that ultimately are of no worth or are fruitless. Yet, I continue to do so. Why? Because some of these things bring me short term happiness. Is it worth it? In the end I think any way you choose to spend your time is worth it for everything which we do will ultimately help us learn and grow, one way or another. We learn through success, and we also learn through failure. I may continue to fail for another period of time, but maybe one day I’ll learn my lesson and find ways to find worth in my life. For now, I feel this investment of time in writing this post was worth it to me.
I have a problem with being consistent with my posts, and well most things to be honest. Although, I have big ambitions, I don’t always and mostly never follow through with my plans. I’ve realized that most of my downfalls can be attributed to the fact that I always become so engrossed in my huge ideas that I lose sight of the small steps and little accomplishments I have made to progressing to my goals. I also feel hopeless when my ultimate goals are so far away from where I am that I just shut down. One thing I’ve decided to do to continue towards achieving my goals and not giving up is to not only celebrate the small milestones, but to also remember that I need to keep taking small baby steps forward even when I tumble and fall backwards in my progression. I logged on to this blog tonight originally to post something but I didn’t really have anything in mind. As I looked through the analytics of the paltry handful of visitors I have (I really appreciate you all! I fall into the trap that social media and the internet brings of likes and shares meaning popularity), I noticed a notification “You’ve received 100 likes on your blog”. For some this might not seem like a lot, but for me at that particular moment, it gave me an immense feeling of elation and gratitude for all those who browse random blogs and have found something of worth or value in this one. My musings are more often than not streams of consciousness that I rarely edit if ever, maybe a word here or there, but that happens on the fly. So I don’t usually see any meaning in what I write, and I’ve stated this before, this blog is mostly for me to have a space where I just muse to myself. I do appreciate all of you people who do take the time to read, like, comment and share (although I don’t think many people share this). I gives me hope that maybe, I am making a difference in the lives of strangers (albeit a really small insignificant one probably). I’ll never know the impact I have on others, or whether I even have any impact on people at all. Maybe that’s how life is supposed to be, just go about doing good, regardless of whether or not you make a difference in the world. Go about chasing your dreams despite any negative thoughts you may come across. Move forward with the belief that you’re being honest to yourself and your God (should you choose to believe in a higher power). As long as you keep taking small steps, celebrating the little milestones, never stopping your journey forward towards whatever drives you and your passions.
I’m sure I’ve written on this subject before but I can’t recall specifically when, so I’ll write on it again as I feel that this is something I should do or else I won’t do it at all. Over the past little while I’ve been struggling with motivation and I feel that all my accomplishments or things I’ve created in the last year or two have been very much uninspired, especially when I compare it to how I felt about my work in the past. I struggle a lot with being consistent and I feel that’s a big part of being motivated. Maintaining consistency seems to be an attribute that all successful people have. I say it’s an attribute because it doesn’t seem that consistency is possessed by the general population, or maybe it is. Some people just have positive habits of consistency like persistence, hard work, etc. Others possess negative habits of consistency like procrastination, laziness, etc.
I think that my struggles have been leaning towards the former as I don’t feel like I am productive and it impacts my confidence. Like most negative habits, it starts slowly but snowballs out of control leading to things like lack of confidence or depression and the like.
One thing that I have noticed that has helped me is to act on a thought, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant it may be, as soon as you can. Or if you can’t act on it right away, write it down, to be completed once you are capable of doing so. This is one of the reasons why I’m doing this blog post right now, as it was a thought of mine to do, as a means to help me work towards doing more productive things in my life.
Motivation can be from outside factors like family, friends, work, etc. But I find that the strongest most lasting motivational factors must come from within. It is a strength that pushes you forward, to keep going when things get hard, and to never give up despite the outward appearance of a situation. Being motivated also is linked with inspiration, as the more motivated a person is in accomplishing something, causing more thoughts to flow freely sparking the creative side of their mind to come up with solutions to problems at hand. This all is probably nonsense and menial ramblings of an uninspired person. My hopes are that this leads me to find what motivated and inspired me in the past so I can bring myself out of this slump and or rut I feel that I’m in. So that I can once again create more freely with confidence and feel that sense of accomplishment that helped me to maintain confidence, motivation and inspiration in my life endeavors.
So this happened to me last week and I’m still a bit miffed by this thing that happened to me last week. I was at work, when a customer came up to me and said “magandang hapon” which for those of you who don’t speak Tagalog means Good Morning in English. Like many of you, I had no clue what was being said because I’m not Filipino. The only reason I know how to say good morning in Tagalog is thanks to Google Translate, so basically I don’t know how to say it. Now normally I would just brush it off to ignorance after I looked at him with confusion, he proceeded to follow up with “oh what are you?” Or something to that effect. I responded with I’m Chinese, and I don’t speak Tagalog. He then blurted out some form of “ni hao” which caused me to be somewhat offended. I’m not sure if it was the manner in which this whole exchange happened or whether it was due to the fact that he just assumed my ethnicity. It just confuses me as to why people think it’s okay to assume someone’s race or ethnicity, then blurt out the only phrase you know in their language as if to say “Hey I can speak your language so connect with me on that level”. Now don’t get me wrong here, I do understand the desire to share what you know of another language with native speakers of that language. However I’ve never, despite wanting to greet Hispanic customers, blurted out anything like “buenos dias” or “que quieres” because I understand that I have nothing to follow it up with other than “sorry that’s all I know because I learned some Spanish years ago but have since forgotten most of it and haven’t kept it up enough to carry a conversation”.
I think the reason this irks me so much is because you’d never see anyone of any other ethnicity just shout random English phrases to Caucasians and be like sorry I don’t know anything else. Or maybe you would and I’m just overly sensitive about the subject matter. Is it just me being racially over sensitive or is this something that we as a society should stop doing?