Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Where is the love?

There is so much going on in the world today. Whenever we go on the internet, be it on Facebook, Twitter or simply a news site like Yahoo!... we’re be hard-pressed not to find something outrageous or scandalous to read about.

I’ve been living a partial hermit life as of late. I find myself often bothered and sometimes saddened by the things people would post on Facebook, or be harassed by dozens of game requests. I find it meaningless to continue reading about the troubles in the world and to even discuss it with the people around me. It’s not because I have no will to stay abreast with current issues, but it’s simply because the world feels so forlorn and disappointing these day.

So where do I spend my time now? When I go online, I visit the websites of my favourite Christian ministries such as Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer. When I am not online, I read numerous self-help books and also attempt to study the bible. If the question has popped up in your head, then my answer is, “Yes, I have accepted Christ as my savior.”

Years ago, I would never have understood the devotion of my devout Christian friends. But I can see now that in a world full of violence, hatred and hurting people, it seems having faith is the only way we can stay sane. Morality and integrity has deteriorated to such a low point. People have come to only believe we should ‘trust in ourselves’, ‘be confident in ourselves’ and ‘look out for ourselves’. You see the pattern? The majority of society has become entirely interested only in self-preservation. Black Eyed Peas released a popular song some years ago, entitled ‘Where is the love?’. I ask the same question:

Where has love gone to? What is love to people these days?

Even I, myself, had practiced selfish love for the longest time. I was mainly interested in how people viewed me, and what they did to show me they loved me or approved of me. But being Christian has taught me something new: Love starts from within us. There is no conspiracy in the bible’s teaching that we have been called to love people. I found that when we started to love people, mainly by being nice, putting others first and making the effort to reach out to help people who need us, we soon forget about our personal issues. And when we forget about ourselves, that is when selfless love comes about, and we eventually become happier and more contented people because we’ve forgotten about what we wanted and stopped fixating on the ‘problem’ in our lives.

These days, I like to believe I have zero problems. If I had any, I believed that I just needed to act in faith, and let God take care of the rest. There is so much relief in knowing that I don’t have to spend my entire day pondering on something and worrying about something that I can’t change with my own strength. Most of the time, we really do need to ‘ride it out’ or let things run their course, rather than immediately act on it. The only situations that require immediate actions are life & death situations. If it’s nothing of the sort, we can probably wait on it after we have done what rightfully needs to be done.

I find myself slowly growing into a more joyful, positive and strong person as of late. I still battle with my insecurities, fears and other issues from time to time, but it is getting easier with each battle won. I am looking forward to being a more complete person, and one who is steadfast in my faith, able to always love and give to others.

I am not here to preach that Christianity is the best religion in the whole wide world, because it is still a world of free will, but we must always remember with free will comes responsibility for the things you do unto others. I will leave you with a very good answer to the question, “What is the best religion?”, and it was the Dalai Lama who provided this wonderful answer…

“The best religion is the one that gets you closest to God. It is the one that makes you a better person.”

The Dalai Lama also imparted this very important teaching:

Take care of your Thoughts because they become Words.
Take care of your Words because they will become Actions.
Take care of your Actions because they will become Habits.
Take care of your Habits because they will form your Character.
Take care of your Character because it will form your Destiny,
and your Destiny will be your Life

I leave you with the link to the dialogue between His Holiness and theologian Leonardo Boff. I hope you have also learned something today, like I did :)

Let bygones be bygones

I learned a very important lesson today. One that I have heard of and received throughout the years, but did not truly commit to it. 

Let bygones be bygones.

I used to dwell so much on past things, and when I found out something that I didn't know had happened, I still got agitated and felt that I had to deal with and confront the matter. The point I totally missed was that it had happened. Nothing I do or say now can change it, and most of the time, doing or saying something about it won't even help the future.

One of my ex-bosses used to say, "The past has no future." I am beginning to believe in that doctrine. The past says nothing about our future and determines nothing about our future, unless we let it

It doesn't matter if you've failed in the past; you may have stumbled and fallen yesterday, last week or years ago, but you living in this time and day just means you have another opportunity to keep going and head towards the success and happiness you want.

It doesn't matter if someone has wronged you; whether they lied to you, betrayed you, hurt you or tried to destroy you. It has passed, and if you can forgive the person, you are already on your way to healing from the incident and progressing in life. Perhaps you may not forget, but forgiving removes the thorn from your flesh, and allows you to heal from the wound. The scar may always be there, but it only serves as a reminder, it can never hurt you again. 

It is also very important to not start assuming that you may screw up again, or that anyone else in the world can hurt you again, because then you'd be hanging on to the pain and you won't be moving on in life. Treat every bad incident as a one-off. Tell yourself that every day is an opportunity for something great to happen. You may encounter days when you fall back into grief or even anger in remembrance of the incident, but don't worry about that. Hit that 'reboot' button, and start over. If you can keep going long enough, soon it will become a habit, it will be natural for you to expect goodness in your life and there will be no room in your thoughts or life for the bad, the sad or anything negative.

If you're hanging on to something today, be it hurt, discontent or anger, forgive or let go of it. Tell yourself life if worth more than being miserable each day. Life is about enjoying the journey, and finishing knowing you made the most of every situation and appreciated every person who was in it.

So I say to you today, my friend, let bygones be bygones. Every day is a brand new and exciting day! :)