Friday, December 12, 2014

Your mere abstraction

I don't know where you are now,
but I have my memories of you.
Anytime, I can close my eyes 
and in your mere abstraction,
I can draw the shape of your face,
your hair, your brows,
your eyes, your nose,
and your lips.
I can deeply breathe
and smell the scent of your skin
and your clothes.
I can lace the fingers of my hands together,
and feel the texture of your palm.
In my mind, I can ask you,
"How's your day?"
and hear your voice,
answering me back.
I can tell you my silly jokes,
and hear your crazy laughter.
Anytime, I can be 
with your mere abstraction,
for as long as I want to, and
just as long as I close my eyes.
In my mind, I can love you
as much as I want to,
and imagine you
loving me back.

Friday, December 5, 2014

You are free

You are free.
I'm untying the strings,
and releasing the chains.
I'm spreading my palms,
and loosening my grip.
Step out and see the world!
I'm unlocking the door for you.
It's about time that you get a hold
of that sort of freedom
which you lost and yearned
for a very long time.
The freedom to fly
and look at the world from above
after being caged for eight years.
The freedom to finally swim
the depths of the ocean
after a long period of containment.
The freedom to jump as high as you can!
And jump with others like you
on the endless width of lilies and water.
Ultimately, the freedom to just be 
whoever you want to be.
You are free!
Make good use of it.
Enjoy it. Don't worry!
As I, too, am free.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Love Prayer

Dearest Lord,

I just want to say thank you for teaching me how to love. I used to know so little about it. I used to think it's a topic so mainstream that I didn't feel like talking, writing or learning about it. Now, I'm submerged in all its essence. Lord, I realized that I cannot hide or run away from love. It's going to chase after me whether I like it or not. Now, I feel like it succumbs my whole being. It deeply hurts, but it's transforming. No wonder why it has this sort of effect - You are love, and love is You.

You know my heart, You know that I'm deeply in love. And You know that just as how deep my love is, that's how deep my pain is. I feel so strong, though. I feel so strong because I can't stop loving. I can't stop forgiving. Despite the torturing and persisting pain, I can still find the strength to love. I wonder how strong You are. But probably, You are far stronger; too strong that I won't be able to understand You.

Lord, I honestly think that a love like Yours isn't blinding. Love makes one's eyesight so clear that she can see through her loved one's heart, beyond words and beyond actions - things which others' naked eyes cannot see. So a lover does not give up on her loved one not because she's a fool but because she believes in his goodness. And once seen, there is no way she could "unsee" it. I have just found the reason why others love despite. I'm experiencing it myself. Lord, I've been so bad to You. But is this why You still love me?

I want to ask for Your forgiveness, Lord. I have loved so deep, but there are times when my emotions well up in me that I couldn't help but barf it all out in a projectile motion. I've hurt even my loved one, Lord. It's just that sometimes, I feel like I need him to know that he's hurting me. That he must do something about it. But I'm still sorry for I know I should have done it the right way. Lord, I want to be as patient as You. I want to have a patience so lengthy, I won't see its other end.

Lord, You are all-knowing, all-powerful and all-loving. I am nothing compared to Your magnificence. This is why I am well aware that there are things my love cannot do that only Your love can do. Lord, I know You love him far more than I there's just one thing I fervently wish: Please teach him to love like You do.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

I'm in pain.

I'm in pain,
and it's an opportunity.
It's an opportunity to grow in love,
to be stronger,
to be wiser.
I'm in pain,
but I'll be better.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Walking on Thin Ice

You once told me you're walking on thin ice,
but actually we both are.
Not on the same thin ice, though.
Yours, you know, I can do nothing about.
Helpless you are, but mine is you.
You are my thin ice.
Each day, I must be careful not to make a crack.
As much as possible, I should put so light a weight
that must, sometimes, be even lighter than my body weight.
It's exhausting to fight with gravity,
and even more, to walk on your thin ice
when I can actually see the nearby solid ground.
So for several times, I've stumbled.
I've faltered.
I have not just made cracks;
I've made huge holes.
For many times, I've fallen,
submerged in your ice cold river.
I almost died,
caught by your coldness that chilled not just my skin
but everything that's deep beneath it.
It froze my whole being, nearly to death.
Yet for the umpteenth time, I've fought it all
and have swam back to that light.
That light which never failed to assure me
that someday I will again feel
the warmth I've been longing for.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pain can either destroy you or make you better

What can pain do to you?
Pain can either destroy you or make you better.

Pain can destroy you if it learns that you don't like it.
You feel it, and it lingers.
You fight it really really hard,
and lose, realizing that it won't go away.
Now you're too weak that pain can envelope your whole being.
It nests within you
that you can't help but let it multiply.
Now, you're still in pain.
It's just that you feel more of it.

Pain can make you better if it learns that you accept it.
You feel it, and it lingers.
You allow yourself to feel it.
You allow it to linger.
Then you let it out,
cry it hard with an inch of pain escaping from every teardrop.
Until you can't cry anymore,
and feel pain no longer.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Why are you here?

"Why am I here," used to be the question I utter first thing in the morning. Even before I stretched out my muscles, I would sense the heaviness of my every breath. I would tell myself, "I am alive," and know at the back of my mind that it's for a purpose.

My everyday used to feel like a chase for "purpose." For some reason, I felt like my purpose was hiding from me. I thought it was a hopeless search. I've tried looking for it in my current job, with the people I love, through distant strangers, by the rocks I had stumbled upon, between the words of the books I read, within the context of occurrences and even going beyond and outside the boxes. I was so eager to find it! but only to find out that each path was a dead end. I was not happy.

One afternoon, I decided to breathe all my questions out to God. That time I was in a chapel with the person closest to my heart; he was praying beside me. The chapel was enormous, or maybe solely in my sight. Yet I was sure, the place was filled with an air of reverence - silent but not ringing silence. The place was tranquil, I must say. I then lifted my eyes to its ceiling, somehow facing the heaven . . . or maybe, searching for heaven. Then in my mind, I called, "Lord."

That moment, I felt like His eyes met mine and that we just had an eye contact. From my spiritual periphery, I saw His cheeks lifting and His lips was spreading to a smile. I never had an eye contact so blind yet assuring akin to that. It was wonderful.

His bright smile magnified the darkness of my heart, though. And that was when I started throwing Him a multitude of questions. I honestly cannot remember what those were, but I can still vividly recall how it felt to have my baggage gradually pulled away from me, making me light and having my knees bear only my weight. Oh, God was so patient with me.

Today, I must admit that I still don't know exactly why I am here. And I don't think I will ever know it. However, after that encounter, God made me realize that life should not be a chase for purpose - it is fulfilling whatever it may be in any way possible. So how can I live by my purpose? Two things: 1) Live my way. 2) Love my way. Maybe the reason why God made me different from others is because I have a special purpose which can only be fulfilled through exactly being me.

Now, all God wants is for me to hold His hand and together, we keep moving. The road may seem dangerous, narrow or steep, but I should keep moving. Even when we might seem lost or we seem to need to retrace our steps or turn around, I should just keep moving.

Since then, whenever rough days come and push me to asking, "Why am I here?" I would look heavenward, imagine God smiling and saying, "Just hold my hand, and trust that You are where I want you to be."

Friday, September 19, 2014

Must I regret

I am asking you,
must I regret?

Must I regret that I thought of you more than you thought of me,
or that I wanted to be with you more than you wanted to be with me?

Must I regret that I told you how much I cared,
or that I wanted you to at least care too?

Must I regret that I waited for you,
or that I assumed that you'd be happy to know I was waiting?

Must I regret that I let myself be deeply hurt by you?
or that I gave you chance for an nth time?

Must I regret that I loved you this much,
or that I let you know it?

Please tell me,
must I regret?

But should I regret now though I know
that just regretting is the worst I can do?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

That day your dream comes true

I've been longing for that day
when finally I'd get to be
where I know I should be
and do what my heart desires.

That day, I'd wake up in the morning
with a smile on my face and glitter on my eyes.
and with a thankful heart I'd say,
"My dream comes true today."

That day, I'd take a refreshing bath,
wear my best clothes and shoes,
fix my hair, put on my make-up,
all to bring my best self forward.

That day, I would pour forth
the wisdom and knowledge I acquired
over the years of my study,
and I'd do it all with enthusiasm.

That day, I'd spread love,
touch everyone and everything with love,
and leave love in everyone and everything
and still, love would be overpouring within.

That day, however, there could be suffering
or challenges, failure and pain.
My passion would be tested,
my strength and will would be put into the fire.

That day, I'd certainly go home,
hungry, exhausted, maxed out
but still, with a smile on my eyes and glitter on my eyes
and with a grateful heart, I'd say,
"Hey, my dream comes true today."

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Why God is enough for me

Dearest God,

I am sending You my BIG THANKS for being with me far more than anyone can.

You know me well even more than I know myself. You also know how I typically don't say everything that's in my mind and more so, of the reason why I don't. Thank You for I need not to explain myself to You just to be understood.

You've seen the noisiest, most chaotic and bewildered state of my mind. And probably, You are fully aware that I can't always lean on someone to appease it. Thank You for being patient with me, for listening to all my doubts and worries and finally, for telling me what to do during these times.

Whenever I'm scared or feeling blue, I know I can always call You. The thing is, I need not to worry if your cellphone is low batt; or if you would be home if I'd call your landline number; or if you're sleeping or busy; or if you would be unwilling to help me. Despite this big world You're ruling, You've always been available to aid me. Thank You for caring for me as if I'm the only person in the world.

I find confidence in You - something I constantly need. You know how weak I am in the inside. Though I usually forget my worth, You persistently give me means to remember it. Thank You for occasionally reminding me how beautiful and awesome I am in Your eyes. Thank You for having faith in me even whenever I lose faith in myself.

You're already pleased with me even before I make an effort to. I can imagine that You smile and laugh easily, and I really like that. Thank You for tolerating my silly jokes and for appreciating the little things I offer You just like this letter. You're an almighty, all-powerful and all-knowing God. You are totally out of my league, yet you've made it so easy for me to love You.

Do you know that whenever I look up the sky, I feel incredibly fine? Lord, how can you be up there and here with me at the same time?

God, You are enough for me.

Yours always and (please!) forever,

Saturday, July 26, 2014

How Does the Place in Your Mind Look Like?

I imagine my mind as an old temple,
with a tall gate left ajar.
It was so 'cause it wants to preserve 
the stillness of the place, 
and to welcome visitors at the same time.

If you would pass through that gate,
you would discover that the temple
got no ceiling at all.
There are tall, cold,
and smooth stone pillars though,
which seem to be supporting something above,
but you would not bother to look up
to see what they are.

Looking at your feet,
you would notice rough cemented ground,
which ran vastly along the whole temple.
It wants soles, but not their smell.
It keeps them safe, but leaves them callused.

You wouldn't dare to look at your sides,
'cause you would know there are walls,
but won't actually see them.
Just the vague shadows from your periphery 
would suffice.

Beyond this, there is nothing more,
yet you wouldn't be led to think
that the temple is empty,
There is an air of fullness in it.
There is an air of desire for growth,
purity and beauty,
yet already blemished.

The farther you walk,
the deeper the air gets.
It could be stifling and suffocating,
and you might leave, running out the gate.
But if you'd sit in a while,
breathe a little and endure it,
it is likely that you would lock yourself in.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

I Forgot the Meaning of Defeat

It came to me again, at dusk.
All was gray and gloomy.
Even without opening its mouth,
I recognized its cold, raspy voice.
It moved close to me like a dark cloud,
so heavy that it hovered the place,
as if it was empty.

It was my enemy.
It used to send chill to my spines,
and make my every limb tremble.
But that day, I was prepared,
all equipped and strong.

"Come to me," it said.
I shook my head.
It smiled with hidden deceit,
and offered me its hand
in false reassurance.
My lips parted as I uttered,

The wind grew strong and colder
with soft yet murderous whistle,
but not a hint of fear came to me;
I've grown bolder.

Then the world suddenly stopped,
and was filled with ringing silence,
not in peace but with deeper darkness.
I opened my eyes with nothing to see.
I listened with nothing to hear.
I walked with no direction. 
And in the nick of time,
my enemy pierced me with my own sword.

The excruciating pain dropped me onto the ground,
swimming in the pool of my own blood.
It knew where to struck me,
and hit me, and beat me.
It knew the kind of pain 
that would bring me to my knees.

I tried to stand up, but my will failed me.
I thought, I grew strong,
but my enemy, stronger.
My mind was preparing for an nth-time defeat.
I thought that it would eternally be impossible,
to win a battle with yourself.
Yes, it was me.
Rather, it had been me I was fighting with.

Amidst the great length of hopelessness,
my sapped out self-esteem,
and unresolved confusion,
came a dazzling blinding light . . .

It was more ardent than the sun,
yet older than the oldest stars.
It was a light brighter than the brightest light,
blinding, indeed, yet vivid.

Marveled by its overwhelming glory, I looked up.
At that moment,
for the first time in a mileage of time,
I  forgot  the  meaning  of  defeat.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Do You Love Yourself?

I closed the book just as I reached page 75 of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I never thought the book is this amazing. I heard about this several times, but never attempted to even browse it in bookstores. This book was just recommended to me by my cousin, who is a passionate teacher. She let me borrow her own copy. She said it's her favorite.

Just like my eldest sister, I think that it's best to read novels that use first person perspective. Not only that it looks like a journal writing to me, but it makes me feel like the persona herself is confiding to me and wanting me to be directly involved in her life. Moreover, the book is wonderfully written. I like Elizabeth Gilbert's diction, metaphors and humor. She also has the skill of describing things as if they're in front of you. 

I'm writing this not because I want to write a book review of a novel which I haven't even finished reading yet (just on page 75 out of 445 pages!), but because there's a part of it which I want to contemplate on. Warning: I'm not good at determining what's spoiling and what's not. I only know that if you get to tell how the book ended, that would probably be spoiling. And since I haven't finished it yet, I'm pretty sure I'm not gonna do that in the next paragraphs.

Well, there's just this part in the book wherein Liz (Elizabeth Gilbert) saw herself in the mirror of her workplace's elevator. For some reason, she didn't recognize her reflection as herself but as one of her good friends. She stepped closer to the reflection and smiled, eventually realizing that it was actually her.

I realized that I seldom see myself as a friend. Although, I regularly get in touch with my thoughts and feelings through journal writing and contemplation, I still thought that it was difficult to see myself as two separate beings (without being mistaken for having a psychiatric disorder.) However, when I read that part, I felt that it's possible and befriending myself is something which I actually need.

I know that for years, I've not been that good to myself. I get guilty easily and most often than not, unnecessarily. When things involving me go wrong, I feel like I am responsible for it. I often think that if it's not something I did, it's probably something I didn't do. I even get ashamed of myself over little things. I always think, "I could have done it better, or didn't do something like that at all." I often scold myself and get angry at myself. For me, it's always about other people. I'd tell myself, "Forget me, I can do something about it. But other people? They don't know everything about you, so they just react to what you say or do." 

This part of Elizabeth Gilbert's book made me realize that "loving myself" is one important thing I still haven't mastered despite the 22 years of constantly having myself as a company. If only I had realized this fully earlier, probably, I now have "Elaine" as one of my bestfriends. But it's just amazing to know that I can actually care about myself just like how I want to care about others; that it's possible to see myself as if I'm looking at somebody else; that I can say my name as dearly as I would state the name of the person I love, and; that I can feed, bathe and dress myself while thinking, "I don't want Elaine to go hungry; she might get an ulcer," or "I'm going to wash sweat and dirt off of Elaine's skin and put a nice fitting pajama on her, so she'll have a goodnight's sleep," or "I want Elaine to look presentable, so she'll feel confident about herself," or "I want Elaine to be at her best, so she could reach her dreams." 

Funny this may seem but I hope that someday, when I see myself in a mirrored wall just like Liz, I wouldn't just smile at my reflection but run to her for a hug.

Friday, June 20, 2014

That Day When Charles Talked to Professor X

Date: Now

Dearest Future Self,

I want you. Yes, I want you now.

If only I could reach you,
I know I'd be forever glad.

If only I could touch you,
and explore you,
I'd be whole.

If only I could get to know more about you,
I would surely love it.

But I must not stop waiting.
I must not stop reaching.
Because only through persistence,
real hardwork,
limitless patience,
and unceasing desire,
will I be certain
that that day would come
when you'll finally be,
not only reachable,
or touchable
or real and tangible,
but ultimately,

Sincerely and perpetually yours,
Your Old Self

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I am happy today

I am happy today
because when I woke up in the morning,
it was cold, the rain was pouring.

I am happy today
because when I opened my book, 
it said,
"Start Clean Each Day."

I am happy today
because my father prepared me a hearty breakfast,
 tasty bacon partnered with sunny side up egg
plus a cup of sweet melon juice.

I am happy today
because the cold wind welcomed me
when I opened my door
the time my father pulled down the car near the office.

I am happy today
because I learned something new at work,
and I was able to apply most of them right away.

I am happy today
because I saw how the large windows of the office
became artfully blurred and fogged by the sudden burst of rain.

I am happy today
because I finished another day of work
and that tomorrow's going to be my rest day.

I am happy today
I'm declaring it now as I am writing this,
 even if the day hasn't ended yet.

I am happy today
because I want to
and I'm choosing to.

I am happy today
and tomorrow, I promise,
I'll be happy again. :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Because We Don't Really Know

Even the most outspoken person won't tell you everything that's inside his head. 

One cannot know a person's entirety and say that he has the right to judge.

Who could claim that he knows EVERYTHING about his mother, father, brother, sister, best friend or lover? What more to a person you just saw walking along the street or eating at the table next to yours?

The thing is we don't really know.

We don't really know if he's been having a rough day at school/work,
or if he's not feeling well
or if he's just got heartbroken
or if he has a developmental crisis
or if he was raised that way
or if he's been exposed to that environment 
or if he has a dark past
or if he's keeping a secret
or if he hasn't learned that lesson yet
or if he's just different from you
or if he, too, doesn't know.

We're just looking at the tip of an iceberg, they say.

Don't judge.
Don't hate. 
Be considerate.
Be kind. 
Always understand.

Why should we?

Because we don't really know.

Or rather, 

they don't really know.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Dream, then pray.

Just one day, I thought of writing my goals in my spare notebook.  Scribbled in its front page are the words, "The mystery in a nutshell; Christ is in you, no more, no less."  

I realized, I really need a "dream/goal journal" since I have an ultimate dream which I, come hell or high water, am going to achieve! 

I've, so far, filled some pages with my "mapped out" career plan and "to read" books list. I put "checkboxes" so I could keep track of what I'm getting and what I'm not. What I'm not getting is equal to an alternative plan which is again, equal to another.

I'm happy to see one box already checked, and I'm currently in the process of making another box checked! 

Each morning, I read everything I've written there then say this prayer I wrote on top of the first page:

[Pray with me.]

Bless me Lord and all my plans. 
May Your dreams be my dreams. 
May Your will be my will. 
Otherwise, I surrender to You. 
I trust in Your goodness and love.


I wish you all the best, reader! ;)

Monday, April 28, 2014

The world is unfair, isn't it?

I think the world is, indeed, unfair. 

I used to think it's humans' natural tendency to look at themselves then look at others back and forth, unconsciously doing some comparison. Personally, I think I've tried comparing myself to others in all aspects; I'd often dwell on the fact that other people are A LOT MORE than me - a lot more attractive, richer, smarter, more skillful, braver and more self-willed. And then I'd let myself be eaten by it. "Why is he/she like that and I'm only this?" "Why are others have those and I only have this?" "Why can't I have that and they have it?" I even closed my ears at the compliments I received from my friends. I didn't care what I had. In my eyes, others were always luckier. I guess t'was because I wanted to be better each day. Only that I wanted to be better than everyone else. 

Suddenly, one day, something changed my way of thinking. That time, I was listening to an Affirmative Frame recording sent to me by my life coach (FYI: these are recordings, usually of ocean waves, dripping rain or any relaxing sound, embedded with subliminal messages which help a person achieve positive mindset). I had my earphones on, and my eyes closed. I was internalizing the ocean waves which sang in my ears. Swish. Swash. Swoosh. I could imagine the water slapping the stones along the shore, then pulling them back to its body. I imagined the strong blows of the wind, amply strong to form waves. The sky was clear. The sun was shining brightly. Everything was wonderful.

For a moment, I gave myself the freedom to enjoy what seemed to be in front me, thinking that I deserved it. I deserved to be in something wonderful. 

I opened my eyes. 

I thought, maybe life is just about living. And when I only care about living, probably I wouldn't care about what others have . . . only what I already have. Maybe life isn't just about getting better and better and better; it could also be about appreciating what's already better and beautiful. Maybe life is as simple as letting things (that're out of our control) happen, thinking of what really matters and leaving what does not.

Maybe, sometimes, I just have to live and don't care. 

Perhaps, I was right in thinking that the world is unfair. But life is fair enough to have itself in me.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Why not worry?

Do not worry.

You might feel unlucky now, 
but you could feel unlucky again some time.

Your problems may seem to be heavier today
than the problems you had yesterday,
but you’re gonna have problems in the future all the same.

You might think that life used to be better when you were younger,
but actually when you were younger,
you wished you were still even younger.

You see, my friend, 
the fact is, there is always something to worry about 
as much as there is always something to be grateful for.

Do not worry.

Choose to be grateful. 

Choose to be happy.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Have faith, my friend

Have faith, my friend 

Even when your prayers seem unanswered,
and you can't get what you want.

Even when you're in need of help and comfort,
and nobody seems to be there for you.

Even when the one you love can't love you back.

Even when people hate you, mock you and insult you.

Even when you lose someone/something
who/which you know is irreplaceable.

Even when waiting seems endless
and becomes utterly painful.

Even when your job gets harder . . . 
and harder and harder.

Even when you barely see hope.

Even amid hunger and thirst.

Even amid natural disaster and war.

Even when in physical pain.

Even when the world isn't being fair.

Have faith, my friend. 
Just hold on.

The world may abandon you,

but God never will.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

When I Was Peter

A thunder roared down to us. That night, the sky ran vastly dark and ugly. Our sailing ship was continuously shoved by the wrath of huge waves. We tried to unload by throwing baggage and buckets of water to the sea, but the sky endlessly pressed us with heavy rain.

I couldn't see clearly what was beyond us. My face and the rest of me was dripping wet. I shivered at the strong blows of the wind. I was afraid . . . afraid of drowning, of getting hit by lightning. I was afraid of death. I thought that if only Jesus chose to sail with us, He could have been there to save us.

The storm seemed unending and so was our struggle. The thunder roared again, even louder than before. A big wave pushed us hard on one side that we thought we'd sink. We screamed and braced ourselves. Surprisingly, another wave pushed us back and against, balancing the ship yet filling it more with water. I was fumbling for a bucket when from afar, I saw a figure of a man clad in white.

He was walking above the deep waters as if He was just walking on a solid ground.

One of us saw him too and shouted, "A ghost!"

The man, poised with calmness, turned to us and walked towards us. I looked around me, searching for a way to escape. I suddenly forgot about the waves and storm. All I thought about was how I could run away from this ghost. 

I swallowed hard, knowing there was no way out. The man went closer. He got approximately 2 yards near us when He stopped. I recognized who He was. 

Jesus. Jesus was walking on water. 

I held my gaze at Him, agape and almost not blinking. Despite the storm, His face remained as calm as ever. Suddenly, I felt like everything was fine. I thought He had left us to the lurch, but he was there. I teared up a bit out of joy, of gratefulness . . . and guilt. Slowly, He extended His arm to me as if inviting me to come to Him. His eyes told me that I could do it; that I'd be safe, that He'd be there for me and won't let me die from drowning or be electrified by lightning. His eyes told me to trust in Him.

It wasn't long before I saw myself getting out of the ship, dangling my feet at its edge. I looked at the sea water and wondered how deep it could be. I thought how impossible it was to stand and walk upon it. But then I looked back at Jesus. Without words, with just an arm extending to me, He assured me that it was possible.

I believed in Him and let my feet touch the sea water. It was a bit cold. I held my stare on Jesus. I believed in my rabbi. I believed in His power. I saw with my own eyes how he healed the sick and paralyzed; how the evil left the possessed man in His command; and how he brought the child and Lazarus back to life. Finally, I freed my hold on the edge of the ship. I smiled. Indeed, I had stood on water.

I made a step toward Jesus. I outstretched an arm to Him.

Yes, as long as You're there my Lord, I could walk on water. Let me come near You. 

I moved two more steps forward and saw a smile on Jesus' face.

Of course, it is possible! I knew You were right.

As I took another step, my eyes moved from Jesus to a huge wave which seemed to be coming to me. Quickly, I erased the peace that once embraced me and allowed fear to reign.

I gasped as the water underneath my feet went loose. I sank. I flapped and lifted my hands in panic, but the sea pulled me as strong and as deep as the fear I felt.

I'm gonna die, I thought. I had let fear kill me. Not the sea, not the lightning, not by a man. I drowned myself in fear with Jesus near me. Jesus knew I deserved death.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Search for Paradise

As I placed one foot forward, the dried leaves crunched underneath the soles of my rubber shoes.

I was kinda lost.

I checked my compass for the umpteenth time, assuring I'd been heading north. 

I looked up, searching for the sun. T'was there, hiding behind the branches and leaves of surrounding tall trees. Some ray met my eyes and it hurt. I looked away and thought I'd rather get hurt by light than stumble and wound myself in darkness. 

I pushed the shoulder straps of my backpack, pressing it tightly on my back. Then I moved forward. 

It was my first time to travel alone. I'd no one to lean on, just myself and maybe, the trees. 

Though forest trees looked all the same, I knew that each tree has a unique groove. I thought of them as the most competitive and most graceful dancing creatures long time ago. However, one day in a huge disco room, God dared them to play stop dance. For some reason, He stopped the music for a very long time and left them steady on their places. Maybe, God knew that someone like me would travel alone in the woods. Maybe He wanted me to play the music in my mind and dance with the trees to reach my destiny. But the moment I get tired and stop dancing, I'd freeze like the trees and get lost. That was what had just happened, I guess.

The sun seemed to want to help me too. The sun was my friend. I walked with it each day. For as long as it was there, things were bright and clear. But the sun was very playful. Hide and seek was its favorite game. I did not mind seeking it every time, for that made me happy more than the sun thought.

My goal was to see the Promised land, as they called it. I had no idea how it looked like. They just told me t'was going to be a Paradise. I wanted to be in Paradise; no, I desired to be in Paradise. They advised me to always go north . . . no matter what.   

I didn't know how it all occurred, but in the next few minutes I found myself sliding on a slippery slope and bumping myself here and there to rocks, tree trunks and some sharp edgy branches. Wrong move. Loose foothold. Mud. Trap. No matter what that was, something apparently went really really wrong. Stupid. I realized t'was more painful to make a mistake in daylight when I could still see my path clearly. But it even hurt further to know that there was no one else to blame but myself.

I didn't know if I was still breathing. My stomach churned from the pull of gravity and fear and uncertainty. I couldn't locate where the painful body part was. I was too hurt; I just closed my eyes and held my body loose and free. I expected myself to worry because for sure, falling wouldn't lead me north. But only one thing reigned my mind - I wished I'd come out in one piece.

The next thing I knew, I was floating, half drenched in something wet and cold. A body of water, I thought. I could have panicked if not for the intense pain I was feeling. I didn't dare a move. Everything in me ached - my limbs, chest and head. Slowly, I opened my eyes.

I saw the sun. I saw my friend, ardent and dazzling on the vast blue sky just above me. This time, no tree leaves and branches blocked my sight. There were attractive clouds in fancy shapes around it, but the sun outshone their beauty. Its rays were outstretched like arms offering an embrace to each creature in the world. Its light was blinding yet calm and nourishing. Few birds came out to my view and played in the sky. They looked like touching the sun and teasing it to play with them. It was the most calming sight I'd ever seen. Suddenly, I forgot all about pain. I never thought my friend, sun, was that beautiful.

And then I remembered the Promised land. And the Paradise. "Am I lost? Will I ever reach it?" I almost blurted the words out in worry.

And in some kind of playback, I heard them telling me, "Always go north."

Monday, March 17, 2014

What Computer Games Taught Me

They say I'm a gamer.

Actually, playfulness is one consistent and deepening yet (for some) inapparent trait I have in me. I guess it's basically rooted in the joys of my childhood. When I was little, I used to wake up each morning with only one goal in mind - to play.

The first time I laid my hands on our first ever personal computer, I almost glued myself to it. I got addicted to Sims (by EA games) - the original old plain one. I marveled at its graphics since it looked so real. Moreover, I loved the idea of building a character and family of your own, of creating and designing a house where they could live, and of manipulating the characters as if you, yourself, are in the game. Since I used to share the same computer with my siblings, I had no choice but to spend limited time playing. Nonetheless, I continued loving the game even until my sisters got fed up of it. So when I had all the chance, I played Sims more than I used to and thought about it a lot that I could say I mastered it. I came to memorize where the items in the 'buy' option were placed. I used cheats without looking at the cheat codes. I learned to navigate the program fast and easy. From time to time, we upgraded the game until it leveled up to an expansion pack. I was loving Sims more with the upscale and all when our computer crashed for the first time. We lost all the files . . . including Sims.

Although I got a bit devastated with my loss, I easily recovered through the online crash cart game, big fish games, 'dash' games, pokemon, Red Alert, Counter Strike and a lot more which were soon installed in the computer. I realized t'was more fun to have it all in variety. Different graphics, different rules, different characters, different of everything. I felt proud for being like a generalist. Unfortunately, one day, a virus got our computer really ill that all the files, including the games, had to be erased.

I played the best computer games ever when, finally, my parents bought me a laptop of my own. Although I promised myself to take care of it and not to fill it in with games like I used to, I still had in it Sims 2, then Ragnarok, then Diablo and eventually, several others which I barely remember. Initially, I thought I was the happiest kid in the world. I had absolute control of my time. I dribbled my fingers on the keys and did heaps of clicks whenever and wherever I wanted to. During vacation, I played all day as if the laptop was on fire.

However, gradually, things changed.

I started to get envious of my characters. I thought that I made them better than me. My sim already maxed her skills, was on top of her career, got a great family and lived in a luxurious house. I wished I was as successful and fulfilled as her. Elsewhere, my Sorceress was clad in highly resistant, durable, gold helmet, armor and boots with full gems and perfectly combined runes in it, was using a gold powerful staff, had its frozen orb at 15 and was in the Great Marsh of Nightmare Level. I wanted to be as strong as her, I thought. My archer got into third job and had become a sniper. She was nicely dressed in a durable and highly resistant to poison armor and got this card clipped in her so she could release arrows as fast as thunder. Her falcon was the strongest bird that could strike 1000+ continuous damages in just a split second. I hoped I was as experienced as her. There I was, bringing these characters to greatness but robbing off myself of it.

Little by little, I let go of the keys and mouse. I lessened my playing time and increased my reading time. Soon, I uninstalled Sims 2 in my computer . . . followed by Ragnarok. (Don't ask me about Diablo) One day, I was left alone in the house. I chanced to spend that time thinking and reflecting. I sat in the middle of the room and looked around me. Suddenly, I realized that I can be just like the characters I've played. I realized that life is like a computer game played in 5D. You, yourself, should be your character. This time, you don't need keyboard and mouse to navigate - just your senses, mind, heart and initiative. Of course, there is the disadvantage of not getting an overhead view of what's happening. But of course, just like other computer games, life has defects and glitches too. You, yourself, are going to feel the difficulty of honing a skill, of hunting useful items, of earning simeleon, gold or zeny, of fighting an enemy, of losing life, mana and stamina. But if you wish to fight in the feared arena and win, or reach the highest level and finish the act, you'd do all you can to resurrect yourself and start over again.

Well, they say I'm a gamer. Indeed, I am.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Why Other People Flaunt Their Strengths

I used to think that some people need their heads banged on the wall.

I like windy days but not "windy" people. "Windy" people are those who're aware that they have something worthy to be proud of and flaunt it right to other people's faces. They have this apparent overflowing confidence to the point of (unintentionally) making other people feel bad about themselves. 

You won't know if a person is "windy" until you talk to them. Usually, you could discern just by the person's extremely rising or ebbing tone of voice, his/her choice of words (often plenty of pronoun "I") and most importantly, the content of his/her sentences. I've been seeing, meeting and talking to such people almost everyday. I actually used to admire them . . . but then hate them, and now, I think I understand them.

I don't know if it's true for most "windy" people, but based on my observations and occasional conversations with them, they are merely compensating. These folks are fully aware of what's good about them as much as they're fully conscious of what's bad about them. So to bury the bad things down to prevent others from noticing, they magnify the good things. Well, for most parts, they're not doing it for other people but for themselves. They need a majority to confirm that they're personifying the "best version" of themselves wholly and clearly.

Along side with compensation, these people are usually perfectionists. They want to clear themselves out of their "bad sides". They tend to hide their weaknesses and efforts from people's knowledge. They instinctively defend themselves when committed a mistake, and they declare that everything's okay when frustrated or disappointed. Most of them can easily notice other people's flaws. Aside from their high standards, pointing out dirt to others' eyes can be their way of keeping their eyes out of their own dirt.

Gathering the two reasons above, let's say that these are all results of some dark history. Such people might once was cruelly treated by their parents, relatives, teachers or classmates, and that could have affected their self-esteem. Maybe, they used to be punished for failing marks or even for committing simple mistakes. Or it could be that they had an embarrassing experience which bore heavily in their minds and affected their self-concept. We can't know for sure what the cause is but probably, there is always a reason behind each behavior; we were born with minds as clear as empty slates.

Overall, I can say that "windy" people usually have the purest intentions. However, since they're more concerned about always putting their best version forward, they become insensitive of other people's feelings. "Windy" people may appear selfish or self-centered, but actually it is their insecurities which are killing them inside. It is their selves whom they're fighting against. Inwardly, they have a difficult, bloody battle
between the good and bad version of themselves. What they need is someone who could bring that long lost peace. Perhaps, only an accepting and loving person can do that. 

Without understanding, there is no acceptance. Without acceptance, there is no love.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Why Keep a Journal?

I was fixing my cabinet, one afternoon, when I saw my old journals piled in the corner of one of my drawers. I took the one above and blew the dust off its front cover. T'was a notebook I bought in Papemelroti way back in highschool. "Live life to the fullest," it said. I leafed its yellow pages and felt its crispness between my fingers. No detached papers. No brown edges. Good thing I was able to preserve it well.

From time to time, I stopped and read some pages. I saw how my penmanship and writing style differed as I aged. I read fascination and innocence between my words. Little by little, I saw my old self being formed in front of me as if I was turning back time. I remembered lying with my stomach down on the floor, enduring the warmness of the room and filling the notebook's pages rapidly with my thoughts. I remembered how bad I fixed my hair during that time and how often my eyeglasses slipped down my nose because it wasn't properly fitted. I remembered the thin fingers holding the black pen and the thin wrist which moved as I filled line after line. I saw how my brows knotted down my eyes while writing. I saw how my facial expression changed from sentence to sentence. I felt the old Elaine's joys and desires. I shared with her fears, doubts and worries. For the first time in a long time, I felt how it was to be the old me again. I missed the old me. I missed her because once in my life, I came to the point of hating her. I thought that she was too weak to survive in this kind of world.    

I turned the notebook to its last page and realized that I filled the whole thing with my writings. I put down the notebook and closed my eyes. I know it's not a good habit to stuck useless things inside your cabinet until they get old and dusty; some things are not meant to age just like cheese and wine. However, I realized that it goes the other way around with journals. They're the priceless treasures one can keep for oneself. Keeping journals is more than keeping a photo album. Words recount not only images of a memory but also the thoughts and feelings of the person in it. For me, reading that old journal felt like being in that exact place and time. It was not like just looking into the history but being in the history itself.

The simple reminiscing rendered me more therapeutic effects than I expected. It made me whole. I learned to understand the old me. I learned to appreciate her . . . and love her. More so, I finally came to understand my present self . . . and appreciate myself . . . and love myself. I never thought that I had to live until such a long time to get an unbiased third person point of view of who I was. I never thought that that unknown part of me, which I so long recognized had been missing, can only be found in my old journal. T'was more than completing a puzzle with a puzzle piece. T'was even more than finding a chest of gold. I don't know how else to describe it, but it was like I lost a part of my soul, found it crying in a corner, cheered it up, asked it to join with me again and got me whole. :-)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Give Me Up

She dusted off her skirt and sat on a bench under a tree. That day, the wind was blowing fast and heavy. Looking up, she saw the sun shining brightly behind a couple of huge clouds. Oh goodness. It was past lunch, and she hadn't eaten anything yet. With a sigh, she slipped her feet out of her heeled black shoes.

"Oh, blisters." She uttered dryly.

Few people were passing by her, but she didn't care how she looked anymore - oily face, sweaty armpits and all scrunched up clothing. Her long raven hair was disheveled, dancing with the wind in strands. She pulled her bag close to her body . . . tightly, and thought she needed a hug.

"I'm tired." She admitted to herself.

It wasn't a declaration of retreat but of reality. It had been several months now and still without a success. Time seemed to be testing her grit, she thought. She stared blankly on the green scenic view toward her. It helped her rest her eyes and her body . . . and mind . . . and soul. For the first time, she forgot about her plans, goals, worries, frustration and disappointment. For the first time, it was emptiness which reigned within her. It wasn't a good feeling, though. It made her languid and feel lifeless. That sense of emptiness deepened quickly and piqued her vulnerable self. 

"Why?" She broke the silence and teared up a bit.

Suddenly, she realized that she'd been running away from something she knew she deeply wanted. For the sake of her loved ones, she tried living in a world where she did not seem to belong. She wanted to be happy, but couldn't afford to be the cause of someone's heartache. Moreover, not living her dream seemed to be a pain too great to bear. It was a bewildering tug of war between her dream and others' need of her. T'was a war between two different forms of love and suffering.

She zipped open her bag and clutched the rosary inside it. Desperately, she pulled out a pen and a piece of paper. On top of it, she wrote:

"Give Me Up"

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Writing a World

Let the words flow like river.
Allow its string to sway you away.
Dig deep in your heart,
and move your hands
along the waves 
of your emotions.

Create a mellifluous music.
Make your phrases dance
with the beat
and rhythm of your mind.
Let it take you to a world
of comfort and freedom.

Trace with the thousand stars.
Write your heart out on the vast skies.
Light up the night with clauses 
which can lift up the desperate souls
and appease the worried ones. 

Beautify life with sentences.
Breathe in to your words,
bring your phrases to life,
hear your clauses' heart beat.
Write, and change the world.

Monday, February 24, 2014


Last Saturday (Feb. 22), I came home with a DVD player entitled Francis and Clare, and with the news that I passed the sisterhood exams in St. Joseph's College. Sr. Susan, the sfic vocational directress, told me to watch the movie and decide if I would enter the convent.

I saw the movie just a while ago. St. Francis and St. Clare were deeply inspiring. They were both madly in love with Jesus that they left everything they had, and offered themselves to Him; St. Francis became a friar, and St. Clare, a nun. I was moved - moved enough to cry and ask myself things about me and God.  

I can't remember exactly the first time I learned about God.

I was too little then. Perhaps, I first thought of Him as Someone I should really know to pass the Religion subject. I do remember myself studying the proper way of doing the sign of the cross and memorizing prayers. And yes, I even tried reading the Bible just for the sake of reading it.

I, as well, cannot remember exactly how I fell in love with this God . . . and fell out of love of Him . . . then back again. 

Clearly, it was during highschool when I first claimed my love for God. I was willing to introduce this God to people and to do everything I knew He wanted me to. I did my best to be kind and faithful despite and in spite of everything. Within me was a burning desire to offer myself to Him. In return, I saw how God favored me. He made me trust Him by answering almost all my prayers. He made me feel His love by giving me the best things in the world . . . until I got to college.

I fell out of love with God during college. Everything turned simply the opposite of my highschool life; things did not go as I planned. My life then was a bad mixture of seemed-to-be-unending stress, heaps of problems, and well, some tinge of confusion. I was outstretching my arms out to God, but felt like He wasn't there for me any longer. T'was like a thick cloud was hindering my prayers from reaching heaven. I changed . . . a lot - not only in terms of faith but also in will and character. I hated myself. I knew I wasn't becoming the person I wanted to be.

But it didn't stop there, thankfully. One day, everything suddenly fell back into place. T'was like I banged my head on the wall - I woke up, hurt, but this time, felt better. I never thought that falling out of love of God would make me learn how to truly love Him. I realized that I've never really loved God in highschool - not as sincerely as I should have been. There was this hidden selfishness in me. I realized I wasn't mature enough to really know what "loving God" was. I reckon, I was just in love with the idea of me loving God, and not really doing the act of loving God Himself. 

I realized that such kind of love was the hardest thing to do, and the best yet most difficult way to achieve it is to have that sense of "nothingness". Mother Teresa said that for God to fill You in, you need to empty yourself first. I remember, I prayed for that nothingness before I entered college. I prayed to feel it because I wanted to grow in faith. I realized, God granted it. 

Now, there left the question, "Should I push through with sisterhood?" Maybe not now. Not now that I just learned how to truly love God. There's still too much to learn in the outside world. Maybe not now. Not now that He seems to be calling me for another vocation, and my family apparently needs my help. Maybe not now. Not now that I know I can still serve God without leaving my loved ones behind. Maybe not now. Maybe. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

How to Control Your Temper

It is never right to burst in anger. We don't know where it can bring us. Perhaps, we don't want to go around regretting what we've said and done. However, no matter how we avoid people or things which seem to potentially push us to our limits, getting angry is still inevitable. We, humans, are emotional beings. We cannot stop other people, even those who love us and whom we loved, to hurt us in any way. I, therefore, formulated simple ways on how I could control my temper whenever something or someone puts me to rage: pursed lip breathing, clearing my mind, and praying.

Whenever stressed, our body responds by increasing almost everything in our system - heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and even blood sugar level. Sometimes, if the stress is moderate to severe, we can feel our heart palpitating, head getting heavy, and our fingers cold and trembling. Even our ability to concentrate can break loose. The same happens to our body whenever we're angry. One way to counter this is to do pursed lip breathing. This is done by inhaling deeply through the nose and exhaling with a pursed lip. Experts say that this is effective for relaxing the system and increasing blood flow in the brain. I've done this several times, and it helped me relieve my anger a bit.

Along with the pursed lip breathing, I also clear my mind to control my temper. Just like in meditation, our goal here is to refresh the mind by shaking off everything it contains. Whenever I do this, I close my eyes and relax my body as if trying to fall asleep. Clearing the mind can help take away negativity and anger.

After doing the first two ways, I put my hands together and pray. I ask God for forgiveness and enlightenment. The challenging part here is when guilt kicks in - pride gets hurt. However, when this difficult part is surpassed, controlling the temper becomes a success.

So far, these three ways - pursed lip breathing, clearing one's mind and praying - have already saved me a lot of times from sleepless nights of worry, guilt and regret. Mitch Albom said, ". . . But hatred is a curved blade . . . and the harm we do to others . . . we also do to ourselves." Remember that anger, when not controlled, can lead to hatred. Hatred brings wrath. Wrath can cause insanity.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dear Lord

Dear Lord,

My teachers in Coursera told us to write a gratitude letter to a person whom we have never properly thanked. And I thought, it had to be You.

I'd like to start this gratitude letter with a big big SORRY. I am so sorry, Lord, for I've not been grateful enough. I know You have loved me and is still loving me unto the depths of me. I know, as well, that You've given me all You thought I needed. However, I've never been amply thankful for any of that. All I chose to see was darkness. I've been too perfectionist over my life when I've also been well aware that there's no such thing as 'perfect' life. I want to sincerely say sorry, Lord.

Writing this gratitude letter makes me realize that my life isn't an empty bowl. Actually, it is an overflowing one. You've filled it and still pouring in it gallons of nourishing water. I was expecting for something else. I forgot that Your blood and water is more than enough to keep me alive. I forgot that Your love alone should suffice.

You are in everything, Lord. I can feel You through the sweet refreshing breeze of the morning. I can see You in those calm and brightest rays of the sun. I can smell You in the fragrance of fresh flowers, water and leaves, all combined together. I can touch You by grazing upon the cheek of my loved one. I am surrounded by Your love and beauty, Lord, without me realizing it.

Thank You, Lord. I know that it is You who help us find food to eat and water to drink each day. It is You who shield our shelter from violent earthquakes and heavy rain. You, who protect my loved ones whenever I'm not around to save them. You, who find us money to buy shoes to cover our feet and clothes to warm our body. It is You, and nothing but You, the Great Provider.

You are there for me whenever I thought You're not. I had the most difficult times. My faith came to a point of failing. I even thought You forgot about me. I thought I've become too much of a sinner to lose Your favor. But in the end, I realized that I was completely wrong. You were there, You've been there, and You'll always be there for me. That all I needed was for my eyes to see and my heart to feel that You've been a faithful lover. That there must be the hard times for love to grow.

You are there in my success, happiness and dreams. You lift me in victory, laugh with me, and daydream with me. I forgot how You would love to see me smile, and to hear me speak of beautiful things. I forgot how You would love to put sparkle on my eyes and fill my heart with deep gladness. Thank You, Lord. I am very grateful; no other words could suffice.

Lord, I am genuinely thankful, most especially, for my family, relatives and friends. Truly, Your love is personified in each of them. Living wouldn't be more meaningful without such a great company. I thank You, Lord, for I am surrounded with loving people; for I am cared for; for I am helped in times of need; for I am comforted in times of grief; for I am directed whenever I am lost, and; for I am forgiven whenever I am at fault.

I don't know how to end this letter, Lord. There's just too many things to be thankful for. Was I able to properly thank You? Your goodness is endless...and (aha!) so is this letter...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Can't get yourself to work? Inspire yourself first.

Have you ever felt empty at work? Are you waking up in the morning just because you have to? You know well that you're the one who chose where you are now. More so, you're fully aware that you are to blame if you're already feeling bad at work.

I think, we all have the "bad days." And one possible reason for that is we're not inspired all the time. Whether we love our job or not, it's just that inspiration seems to drain itself like water in a glass with tiny holes. So what are we gonna do? Fill it again. Let's inspire ourselves.

Questions is . . . what inspires you? One good thing I realized about inspiration is that you can get it anywhere. It may be in the form of your favorite song, or of a soothing classical music. You may find it in that picture of your friends or family which you slipped in your wallet. Or maybe, it's in your old notebook - that beautiful piece you wrote when you were in fourth grade. Try to talk to your sibling or trusted friend, and you might get inspiration from the words they're gonna say. If you're studying medicine, you might want to watch an episode of House since Dr. House used to inspire you to become a physician.

Now, let me share to you where I get my inspiration. The problem with me is that the holes of my glass are too large that I empty myself with inspiration easily. In that case, I cannot always bother my loved ones to help bring me back to that game mode. Therefore, I am often provoked to find that inspiration on my own. So here's quite a list of my sources of inspiration. Knowing mine might do some help to you too. It's gonna be great to have the same list as you!   

Sun rays Through Clouds
For me, such sight is holy. What I love about traveling in the morning is having the chance of beholding the vast clear sky. And I don't know why, but whenever I see the sun rays passing through clouds, I feel like Someone's gonna descend from heaven. And I just can't take my eyes of it each time. Merely looking at such view can (abnormally) make me feel at peace.

Self-Help Books
I can't remember where I learned this, but I've been applying this self-help-book-first-thing-in-the-morning rule for 2 years now. A motivational writer said that one way to start your day right is to read an inspirational book or passage. Feed your mind with good words, and good things will come to you. 

What I do is I read a page or more of a certain self-help book each morning. Once I finish it, I put on another book which is again, assigned to be read solely every morning.

Quotable quotes

I think this is effective for most of us, especially today that heaps of quotable quotes are very searchable. One inspirational author said that if you can, post on your wall or anywhere noticeable the quotes or lines that inspire you. This can help you build optimism. I actually tried this once. I pulled out a clean paper, wrote the line, "God promises that good things will come to you" on it, then pasted it on the wall atop of my desk. Now, whenever I see that paper, I remember holding on to God's promise and I start forgetting all my worries.
I also regularly search for quotes on the internet and copy-paste some of them in a folder in my computer. I bet some people do the same thing too. 

Pen and Paper

I love writing. And just like all others out there who love this craft, I do experience writer's block. Nevertheless, what inspires me to stay on my chair and provoke the muse, are the pictures of fountain pens and old notebooks/papers in the internet. When I was still a kid, I was contented looking at the empty pages of notebooks in the market. I felt like I can fill them all in with my writings and drawings. Now that I'm older, it shouldn't just be an ordinary pen but a fountain pen, and the paper must either be from Moleskine or Papemelroti (Just kidding. Hihi.) I actually feel free with just holding a pen or putting my fingers on the keyboard. 

Praying the Rosary

I admit that I seldom pray the rosary. Why say a long prayer when you can utter a short sincere one? However, each time I find that willingness to pray the rosary, and start it...then finish it, I feel my heart bursting with hope and inspiration. Indeed, there is always this strange enlightenment which only praying the rosary can bring.

Aside from the 'rosary' itself, I also find reciting the 'Chaplet of the Divine Mercy' with the same effect. It is the prayer which is said to be taught to Sr. Faustina by Jesus Christ himself. To pray it, you can use the beads of your rosary too.