Love Thyself

Many people think health comes along when you have another “half” another “soul” to be by your side. Some say “love” will make you lose weight, be healthy.  There is some truth to it, but I think that is somewhat oversimplified.  You do not need to have “someone” to get healthy.  The only reason you should get healthy and lose weight is because you dearly want to yourself.  Because you love yourself and you think that you are worthy of the attention.  Once you have found that love for yourself, then love for another comes more easily.

Health is a great cure for the soul. It rejunevates, energizes and gives you strength you previously didn’t know you had.  You can somehow run those few kilometers and walk up flights of stairs without feeling tired. Walks that were once unappealing, now seem like a little walk in the garden.  The hot weather becomes less annoying, and the chair more comfortable. Yes, even just sitting on chairs becomes a more enjoyable experience. One can now twist and turn around in the chair without feeling restricted by its side. (If you’ve been stranded in a small chair, you’d know how uncomfortable it can be)  It feels great to not have to worry nor be tired out by little daily tasks.

Shopping becomes a whole new experience.  Now the question is not whether A or B will fit me, but whether A or B will look better on me?  The choice is limitless.  I no longer have to settle for the shirt that fits, over the style I’d rather be wearing.  It’s a wonderful feeling.  A new found happiness.

To enjoy all these benefits I think are a few of the gifts of good health.  You don’t need any other “incentive” other than a love for yourself.  If you lost weight only when you were in love, and only for other people, does this mean that the rest of the time you will regain that weight and forever remain chubby ?  It’s a vicious cycle.  If even you do not love yourself, who then would love you? Since no one loves you, then you’d eat and gain weight?

So love yourself, love the wonderful person you are and take care of your health.  Have a good health everyone!  Who knows what could happen then? Lightning could strike.

It’s all about the “L” word: Learning

The other day I wrote about how important it was to fail before you can  succeed.  I realized I did not quite emphasize enough how important it is to actually LEARN from your mistakes.  Learning is key. It is what you must do before you can succeed, for if you keep failing over and over and never learn from your mistakes, then that is a failure. That would not result in success.

As Einstein said something along the lines of ” If you keep running into a wall and expect the same result, then it is the same.  However, if you keep running into a wall and expect different results, then it is a miracle.”   Only a miracle can alter the outcome.  No matter how many times you drop the egg to the ground without any protection, it will break.  There will not be a moment that the egg will float on air.  If you keep trying to solve a puzzle, and always use the same techniques to an unwanted outcome, it will not work.

The same happens in life.  If you keep trying to talk to approach someone and it does not work, then reevaluate it. Perhaps other techniques will work. Learn from your past experiences.

If you keep getting your heartbroken because of A and B, then perhaps you need to re-evaluate your likes and dislikes.  Perhaps certain kinds of behaviour are not what you want in your other half.  Learn what caused the heartache.  Learn about what effects it had on you.  Learn what caused the disagreement.  Learn how they can be avoided.  Learn what needs to change.

It can be applied to everything in life even on simple things.  Today I fell down flat on my face onto the pavement, wallet, phone, shoes flying in the air.  Yes, I am bruised and scratched. What did I learn from it?  To be more alert when I am in a rush.  To slow down. Rushing causes me to not be aware of my surroundings as much. My mind is elsewhere.  I also learnt to be careful when rounding corners and to watch out for potential threats like a sudden move backwards by someone and a potential hazard of feet
gone awry.

Simply LEARN from the experience, the mistake.  That is the greatest lesson of all.

The Sweeper

On the street where I live, the streets are always clean.   Every morning an old  man, who lives in a little unimposing house in a corner, gets up and sweeps the streets.  I call him “The Sweeper.” He’s not paid to sweep the streets.  He is an inhabitant of the street, yet every morning he sweeps the street for everyone.  He gently moves down rows and rows of houses with broom in hand sweeping away trash, leaves and whatever else is left on the street.   He asks not for recognition, he asks not for notice, he asks not for money.  He sweeps the streets because he wants to.  He sweeps the streets because he has a good heart.

It’s not easy to find a man like him in this modern day where no one wants to do anything for free.  Everything now must be bought, be exchanged, be in response to another good action.  It reminds me of what Thomas Hobbes wrote in the Leviathan about man being innately selfish.  The Sweeper, however, sweeps because he wants to. He is not selfish.

I have not talked to him, but early mornings around 6am when I am rushing out to run, I’d see him already sweeping.  From the looks of his age, he must be many years past retirement.  Perhaps a decade or more.  I assume he started sweeping to keep himself busy, as a form of exercise, but I could be mistaken.  One day, I shall have to park the car and have a chat with him.

I wonder what pushed him to start sweeping. I wonder what his life is like. I wonder what he thinks. I wonder what he was before we all know him as “The Sweeper.”  I wonder if he has any family.  From what I see, his only companions seem to be the dogs that wander around his house and watch out for him while he sweeps.  Some days, I’d see him sitting on the street in front of his house surrounded by the dogs.  They love him.  Dogs know who have a good heart.

I wonder if there ever was a day he wanted to give up and just not get out of bed.   Rain or shine, he
is always there.  He is like a reminder of times past.  A time when Bangkok was less cosmopolitan, less busy, less hectic, and more loving.
I am thankful that on this earth there are men like him.  He reminds us that sometimes life isn’t about always doing things in expectation of returns or compensation.  Life can be about giving.  It’s about doing what gives us pleasure.  He need not be boastful, yet his goodness shines out far and wide.

Thank you Sweeper for reminding us all.  I wish you a pleasant, healthy and good life.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers in this world!  Yes, in Thailand today is Mother’s day and everyone is out in droves taking mothers out to lunch.  Mother’s Day is always a happy day for me even if I’m not a mother, but I like it because it is a good occasion to tell our mothers how much we love them.  It’s a day that makes mothers all over the country smile.  It’s a day that allows children to remember their mothers, families to reunite, and reignite bonds.

Ideally we would treat every day as if it were Mother’s Day, tell our mothers how much we love them and show appreciation for their being there for us daily, but I realize sometimes with busy lives we forget.  For those whose mothers’ have passed I suppose it can be a special day of remembrance of good times past.   The great thing is that it is not only for the children.  Husbands too wish their wives a good day and make peace for a day.  Today is HER day. A day to cherish and remember one another.

Eventhough the roads are jammed pack, the restaurants are all full and people have been eating out since the early hours of the day, I somehow feel as if the air is lighter and that a certain happiness clouds the air.  Despite being stuck in traffic for hours, horns were hardly heard and every where I looked, cars were filled with families.  Happy families chatting away.

This is what life should be about.  Forgetting all other things for a day and remembering those closest to us.  Remembering what it means to love and to recognize the sacrifices that have been made.  Give them a hug or a kiss or give them both.   Make a mother smile.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Relationships..What is it you want?

I finally finished watchng Season 4 of Gossip Girls and can’t help but wonder at its strange appeal.  It’s crazy, it’s a high school story, but somehow it’s fun to watch even if I’m way beyond my highschol years.  Perhaps it’s because it is somewhat reflective of life and it makes you think about the good and bad parts of life.  In a year of these characters’s life,  more events and scandals happen than would ever happen in my entire lifetime.  Yet, there are a thing or two one could contemplate about when thinking about these characters’s choice of boyfriends/girlfriends.  What sort of person are they looking for? What is it they want in life?  These are questions I think are relevant at any age.

Blair wants a fairy tale life with a fairy tale prince.  She finds one and they are soon engaged to be married, yet somehow she still feels for the adventurous and raw Chuck Bass.  She was almost going to give up the fairy tale for him, but then Chuck decided for her.  She’s going to marry prince charming.

I wonder if prince charming really exists.  I wonder if Blair has fully contemplated what she wants in life for all that glitters is not gold.   Perhaps what she wished for might not be what she needs.

In every relationship, in every life, I think it’s about learning to see the good and the bad in another person.    It involves a process of learning and understanding the other person and their needs.  It’s not only about their title and their name.  Once you understand them and see who they truly are, then you can decide if certain faults can be overlooked.  If you decide these faults are ones you don’t mind, then it work at it.   If you cannot accept them, move on.   Don’t wait for someone perfect for there’s no one perfect in this world. By definition, perfect does not exist.

Then there’s the issue of what is it you value in life?  What are the things you hold most important and dear?  What is it you want most in life?

Some want fame and money.  Some want someone to be by their side.  Some want honesty.   It depends.  There’s no right or wrong answer, each person has different needs and wants, you just have to find out what your need is and if they match.  It’s not easy.  Some spend a lifetime trying to find out what it is they want in life.  Some never find out.  Some lucky ones have.

I think these are things that Blair should think about. I know it’s a series, but maybe we’ll see them grow up next season.  Chuck already has somewhat, for now he knows it’s better to let someone go and let them be happy than hold on to them for himself.  If everyone knew what they want, imagine what a happy world this would be.  Less scandals, less heart break, less sadness.

Do you know? What do you think? Please share.

Little Things That Matter

Last night I opened up my email and read a lovely forward from an old childhood friend I’ve known since my age was still a single digit. We haven’t lived in the same country for decades, but we always keep touch and she always sends such good forwards. This particular one though I could not let it past without sharing it with everyone. Thank you for sharing it with me. You know who you are 🙂

The story is a bit long but please read it all the way through the end. It’s a great reminder to us all of what is important in life, in relationships and how we view the world. Sometimes we go through life, trying to do everything that’s expected of us, until we lose sight of the person we really are and the people who surround us. We are too busy performing our “tasks.”

Take a “pause” every now and then, look at the person next to you, and really see them. Are you spending “quality” time together? Are you taking care of each other and really understanding how they feel? It doesn’t have to involve money or expensive gifts. All that matters is that you look up from your busy day-to-day life, smell the roses, and remind yourself of why you are with the person next to you.

It’s the little things that matter. Don’t take anything for granted, especially those who are closest to you. Value them and cherish them with all your heart before it’s too late.
Enjoy the story!

—-

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce.. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man!

That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Dew. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Dew so dearly.

Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Dew.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did notcare so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce.

She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal alife as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that everyday for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning.. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Dew about my wife’s divorce conditions.. . She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully..

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention wasexplicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mummy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her inmy arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time.. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realised that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Dew about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry mom out.To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad.

On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Dew opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Dew, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead.. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Dew, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other any more. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Dew seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed – dead.

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.

If you do, you just might save a marriage.

By: Joey Gabinete Acebron

Everyday is Valentine’s Day

Tonight is my third and last post on Valentine’s for the year.  No more for 2011.  What else can I write about when the day we have been looking forward to (or dreading) has finally arrived?  I think overall it was a good day, or perhaps I am a little biased and always towards the positive side.  I somehow felt that today was filled with more “positive” energy than on other days.  On facebook since early morning, people were wishing each other “Happy Valentine’s Day,” sending out words of love.   On the streets and in my office, there were people receiving bouquets of flowers and looks of happiness filled the air.  People were smiling everywhere.

On my way home, I unintentionally spied two guys staring each other in the face while a girl stood by.  I think there was something going on there, but then it was going on for love.  There’ll probably be lessons being learnt tonight about love and relationships, but then that’s all part of life.  We go through experiences and we learn from them.

At this age, I’ve decided that going out for dinner on Valentine’s day isn’t really for me, even though I still love the notion of Valentine’s Day, but the Bangkok traffic and the crowds of people are just a bit too much for me.  I prefer to stay quietly at home and keep in touch with those I care through phone calls instead.  Time perhaps to make a short call to that good friend you haven’t spoken to in a long while.  Oh how wonderful life is really, this is all one really needs:  Knowing that one is loved and loved in return.  Make everyday Valentine’s Day and everyday you can be just as happy 🙂