Past caught up with me

It has been a while since I have met anyone from my distant past during my youth where my life was filled with questions where life had no purpose.

For the past months, I was busy with work and being a daughter to my elderly parents and reflecting on  where God wanted me to go.  Placing my trust in my creator is one of those where it challenges me to let go of control and allowing Him to journey with me.

Anyway, back to my meeting people of my distant past as a youth. This came to be as this gnawing question “how has my life impacted or just by being me, has any meaning at all, especially during the years where everything seemed wrong, and when I was about to give up.”  That gnawing question was answered a couple of days ago.

A few months ago, I was in a place of gathering and from a far a guy smiled at me and then walked into the hall.  He looked familiar and yet I was not sure.  Then a few days ago, I was back there again and he was seated a few rows behind me.  After the event was over, I walked towards him and called his name ( I was very sure).  His eyes sparkled and he smiled and said, “You remembered my name”. He quickly told he me was sick and also lost a leg and his memory.  He forgot almost everything about his life.  Slowly, he could remember certain things and he said he remembered me (except my name).  His memory told him that I am someone from his past and then he remembered how I inspired him because of my disability and being able to dance so well in functions.  He loved to sing and we used sing together.  After his sickness 7 years ago, he is now teaching music at home but has not sung.  I encouraged him to sing again and I know he can.

We were not close but we were close enough to enjoy each other’s company whenever we met for singing and practice those days.  Somehow, we lost contact and that was more than 20 years.

In that 10 minutes of just getting acquainted again (did not get to details of his sickness which he said he would want to share with me more as he died and came back to life again), I learned so much about him and myself. He is strong and uplifted.  The man with so much joy in his life despite his predicament. He told me he remembered always how inspired he was of me and that I am strength and a positive energy to those I am with.

I am so humbled by his encouragement and affirmation because as a youth, with so much of anger, questions about my existence, I could still inspire others by just being me.

After more than 20 years, I would say that this message gave me  the opportunity to share perhaps with young people of today that –

No matter how shitty life was,  as a human being, we are created for a purpose even when we are at our lowest point in life.  We only just keep pushing forward and live.  JUST LIVE.

Be curious, be adventurous, go out for activities that you like.  Get involved in charity works, serve the community, dance, sing;  just avoid illegal stuff.   The more you get involved, you meet people ;  whether those who will encourage you or ‘trample’ you –  they are actually helping you to grow. Communicate (not fight or argue) with you family members, especially your parents.  I know that parents are dominating but they do it our of love.  Be patient.

The more you keep going the more you grow and see who you are and able to grow from strength to strength and even, at the same time, inspire someone or two during your journey.  The tougher your journey, the stronger you are.  No matter how bad your storm of life is, the sun will always shine at the end of it all.  That’s how life is.  JUST DON’T GIVE UP !!!!!

What you ask will be answered,  in HIS TIME!  Trust yourself because HE created you! He cannot be wrong to create you!

I am writing this as a reminder to myself or anyone who may need this message.

My prayer is that life will lead you to where you want to go.  Journey it with faith and prayer.  Angels are around to guide you.  ‘Devils’ too… they teach you many things of what you should not become.

Ask for help; Learn and learn and keep learning and then share.  Give yourself to others in need.

We are reflections of each other.  Those who criticize you have mirrors that need cleaning, that’s all.  They cannot see more of themselves.

Most importantly, overcome yourself with victory!

extreme_self_confidence

 

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Act of Kindness Today

God

 

It’s been a long time since I walked the morning market.  Hustle and bustle of sellers and buyers.  Fresh vegetables, fruits, trinkets, clothes, bags, dry food, canned food, coconut water, breakfast of sorts, you name it, we have it here in Malaysia.

This morning, I got up early and with my sister, Bel, we took a stroll and joined another sister of ours and my oldest niece and had breakfast.  My niece has her favourite stall that sells the freshest cakes and breads and persuaded to see and then I bought a butter cake home for my old folks.

Both my sister and my niece left but l and I sat at the coffeeshop and had our breakfast when a lady with a file came and asked for donation for a underprivileged centred which is in another state up north.  Usually, we reject such request because there are lots of syndicate involved.  However, today Bel decided that she will not question and just gave a small some. Then we asked the lady if she had breakfast and we wanted to buy her a cuppa.  She declined and thanked us for our kindness.

About 2 minutes later, an Indian gentleman approached our table and greeted us.  We know him as he has been selling lottery tickets for many years and he knows that I do not buy them.  Whenever we meet he would pass me but would greet me.  This morning, he asked how we were and that he has not seen me for a while.  We chatted and wanted to buy him a cuppa too but he declined gently and thanked us.  Then I decided that today I will buy from him since we happened to meet.

I  told Bel that 2 people rejected our offer for a cuppa but we contributed to their effort. That was the least we did.

It is somewhat a beautiful and fulfilling morning and the joy and satisfaction feeling inside of us gave us the sense of purpose that our life today is meaningful.  We are creatures of giving and sharing.  Being selfish is not in our system because you will feel dissatisfied and unhappy.  I do.

The rest of the morning after that we went about getting some soil and pots for our plants and Bel did another act of kindness when she asked the workers in the nursery if they wanted coconut water as they were having a quick bite to fill their hunger pangs while entertaining customers.  So we  did.

What a day it has been for us and I should say that our life bank account has some good deposits today.  I look forward to the rest of today and I want to enjoy every moment including writing this.

We received gifts from a good buddy of ours who went overseas just now and we are grateful because those gifts are blessings from above.

How has your day been today?  Celebrate the small happenings thank the Universe for today’s path and the stops we are going to make before the day ends.

Live every moment, and respond rightly to events that occur.  Be a magnet of positivity and greatness.

  • joie de vivre –

Friday 21 July 2017

Holding Starfish in Air

Today I have had a very personal journey of self.  I am in the world but yet I am in my own world.  Connecting my self with the world outside and the happenings as I interact with strangers and friends wherever I was.

I found my sense of peace and being able to stay calm and be kind to my emotions and my own state of mind is clearly an achievement.  I am so proud of myself.

I allowed my peace in midst of chaos or misbehaved adults.  I chose to speak nicely and not allow anger or impatience take over.  I allowed myself to be more open and vulnerable in a positive manner.  I glued my smile the entire day – inside and out, sending that positive energy and it worked.

I chose to swallow my ego and be patient with my aged and forgetful father who actually put his dentures in our jug of water.  He seemed to be disoriented today.

Today was definitely a good day and a new day for me.

I am starting over and will start over tomorrow.

Be Aware that there are things one cannot control.

Accept situations and people as they are

Achieve success in small portions and continue from there

Acknowledge those victories and celebrate no matter how small or simple it may be.

-Catherine Lim

Strange Encounter

 

We were spending quality time over toast and coffee catching up.  It was such a great breakfast that we just let time pass us by.   Mad and I are really kindred spirit as we share dreams and aspirations to make a difference in the world.  To have this moment was truly something I treasure very much, like a child all excited about the moment.

 People were walking about and some passing by our table. Then suddenly a lady stood at our table obviously trying to express herself.  We were stunned as she stood there for a few seconds before taking the courage to ask me about my caliper.

 She asked, “Is it alright if I ask you about your leg. What is it called?”

I replied, “Sure you can. It is called a caliper”

She then said, “My son wears a plastic cast like and it is giving him blisters. He walks slowly and needs assistance.  I was wondering where you made your caliper.”

I told her, “It is made in XXXXXXXx. Where did you go?”  She showed me the contact and it was the same place. 

 She asked me permission to see my caliper and I showed her how I put a towel to protect my thigh from blisters.

 We invited her to sit with us and chit chat with her. Her  son  is in university aspiring to be a doctor ,and  his physically  challenge because of spina bifida.  She said that he is very strong willed and very intelligent.  She became emotional.  She felt she was not good enough a mother.

 I felt really proud of her and told her, “Kak, you are an inspiration to all mothers because you are a motivator and the pillar of strength to your son. You should be proud of yourself to have a son like him because he is a gift to the world. You have brought him up well. He was given to you by Allah for a reason only HE knows.  Your son definitely is the greatest inspiration and motivation to those around him.  Be proud of yourself Kak,  be proud.”

 She cried as we held hands and chatted about her wonderful son and I shared stories of how some adults who hid themselves from the world because of their shame of their handicap.

 Kak Mumtaz, travels down from Kedah to KL every week to spend time with her son and help him with errands despite him telling her not to trouble herself. She said it was important for her to spend that quality time with him and encourage him because he has difficulty but he never complains.  She told me that it was not easy for a disabled child to enter the university to study medicine.  Her son aspires to be a doctor and I told her that he will be a great doctor because of his passion.  She said it would be very difficult for him to practice here.  Mad and I told her, that nothing is impossible eventhough difficult.  She ought to place her faith in Allah and let Him plan her son’s life mission.

 My life journey is centered in trusting my Creator and have fallen so many times I almost gave up. The calling within is the one that always pushes me to move forward and place myself in His hands.  Today, I can proudly say that He plans everything in HIS Time and not mine.  He has sent many angels into my life and to reach my potential.

 What a fruitful and beautiful day it has been for me. My future is certainly beautiful with my imperfections because through my physical handicap, I am a motivator and an inspiration. It brings joy within me that even money cannot buy.   I am grateful and I am abundantly blessed!

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PRAYER OF ABUNDANCE

let go 3.jpgHave you ever felt in your life where you just cannot find the right prayer some times?   Were there times, you felt you didn’t have any prayer in your mind or heart? Were there moments you were just so overwhelmed with so much of problems and challenges you just don’t know how to pray? What about moments you lose faith that the Universe or God is not on your side you wanted to demand an explanation from Him?

Yes, those were the moments in my life. All my life, I have been taught structured prayers and that those are the prayers to use. As years  went by, with so much of challenges in front of me, I doubted if those prayers were even relevant; it was as though the prayers were not heard at all. It was just empty prayers for me. I wanted something deeper and something more meaningful.

My spiritual journey took me to a very deep experience with my Creator as years went by and when I doubted Him, there would be answers and assurances through angels sent in the form of friends, strangers, homilies and even posters or quotes that would flash in front of my eyes at that point of time.  Amazing ? You bet. Yet, there were times I was so caught up with finding myself, I became blind to His messages.

I was holding on and trying to solve my challenges instead of letting go and empty myself to trust Him. This spiritual awareness slowly became obvious but then, what will happen to the tradition and ways we are supposed to live by? I realized I still can and  at a deeper level because my spiritual relationship with my Creator is deep and profound.

It is so amazing that He has been listening to my search for a deeper relationship and understanding of Him and He has brought me closed to Him through wonderful friends who care to share their lives with me as they themselves have found deep spiritual relationship with God. It is more than just the superficial practice we do every day or every week. A truly spiritual journey with God is one who can

  1.  Understand what it means to let go and let God
  2. What it means to practice unconditional love.
  3. To give of yourself
  4. To share with no expectation
  5. Detachment from things and emotions
  6. Be happy and contented
  7. To give gratitude
  8. Emptying oneself so that one can have Everything

The most important and profound thing I learnt is about just giving gratitude in everything. The only prayer we ever need is just ‘THANK YOU’ to our Creator, for all that we have and for those that we don’t have.I remembered when I was totally empty at point in my life that I felt peace and was filled with that sense of calm and full,  I just kept silent and with felt peace in myself. We all have our own journey and we walk different paths. We all experience spirituality in different ways.

All these years, with all the challenges I faced especially those challenges within me, I have cried out for help to overcome them so I can love and accept ME the Catherine that He created in His Image. As time is not relevant in God’s Time, I found my time is NOW. To Just BE and BEING Catherine is so beautiful and enriching. I found that LOVE of God in Me because My Being is with God and in God. I only need to surrender to empty myself each day for Him to fill it up!

The more, I realise this abundance, the more I receive it and the more I want to give ABUNDANCE. It need not be material things or money; give unconditional love, patience, tolerance, empathy, share knowledge, practice act of kindness in creative and heartful ways. Each day now, I wake up and before I sleep I thank God for His Abundance.

I am truly grateful to my sister in Christ Connie for her spiritual empowerment and my others brothers and sisters of different faiths and life journey who have shared and empowered my life. I know I have also empowered them in my own way.

Whether you believe in God or the Universe or believe nothing, Abundance is there and it is real. Just allow it to come to you and you embrace and send it out to others, more will come to you…

It is difficult and scary sometimes to let go and totally surrender. That’s the challenge of it all. Pray like a little child; trusting and with faith.

My prayer – THANK YOU FOR ABUNDANCE! Even when I feel there is none but deep within I know there is.

If the role is reversed!

As parents, to care for a child from birth to adulthood is no easy task. Changing diapers, feeding, caring for them when they have a fever, bathing them, dressing them, spending those times with them, financially, economically.

Mothers especially, and when fathers play a lesser role in the physical tasks.  Fathers who share those tasks would understand the stress or the joy of caring for a helpless little human.

What if you’re the role has been reversed?  What if you are now caring for your parents; either father or mother or both?  Old and fragile like a baby and requires all the attention your parents gave you as a baby.  Are you doing it or sending them to some elderly home or hiring a nurse to do all the work without you sharing some of the tasks.

I am writing this while both dad and mum are resting after this early morning episode. This is the second episode which both my sister and I were afraid of because the first one we almost lost him. That was last year.

At 3.15 am my mum rang the bell I placed in their room so that she can call us for any emergency. I went to the toilet that time when I heard the bell.   I quickly got my sister and we rushed downstairs and there my father was in the toilet vomiting and he also had diarrhea.  He was throwing out so much of phlegm  and he kept throwing up until nothing was there.  It was painful for him.   My sister being the physical person would help clean him up and I quickly fetched whatever she asked for to discard soiled clothing, etc. I gave him hydration salt water and some warm oats to  fill his empty stomach. The episode went on about 3 times and we fed him after each episode.  It was really tough to see him so weak and yet stubborn, refusing help and to listen to our instruction.  Just like a rebellious little child, but sick and feeling helpless.

He wanted to lie down despite telling him to sit up and rest because the moment he laid down, he would throw up again. That went on until about 5 15 am.  After some gentle coaxing failed, we had to be firm and strict with him which he hated but when I asked him “is it difficult to understand when I ask you to just follow our simple instructions to help you”  He replied,  “Ok, I will follow.”  Of course, he forgot  after that and we reminded him again and again.

After cleaning him up and wherever that was soiled and dirty, we managed to calm his stomach and my partner who is a therapist gave him massages to help his muscles to relax, dad managed to sleep soundly.

I sat down looking at my mum seated at the dining table looking helpless and sad.  I said myself, this role has now been reversed and I cannot imagine how much they have gone through to bring us up. When this role was reversed eversince they started living with us, it taught me so much about myself and how much patience and  sacrifices they made, especially my mother.  My patience was tested when father behaved like a spoilt brat.  Sacrifices, I made, I made that choice even to give up a good career opportunities to be close to them many years ago so it remains as they are my parents.  I have been blessed many times over even with those sacrifices.  Many doors are open when one door is closed.  That is so true till today.

I pray my father to live a little longer so that he can enjoy his life and should he be called home, let him go in peace knowing that we love him.

Our role to be ‘parents’ is our natural duty because they could do it, so can we, as children.  They gave up their dreams, their time, their lives for us. We can do the same.

Money may buy many things and services but it can never replace the time and love spent with them as they have spent their entire lives with us and for us.  Even if they have not, they are still our parents.

My mother used to tell me much later in her life, “whether we eat rice or eat porridge, we are together.  It is not the money, it is the time.”

We are blessed our elderly do not cry because they are neglected or unloved, but they cry because they know they are loved.

Note:  I have to stress that I am not writing this to judge anyone. I am writing to share  my own experience. So, please share your experience (but no judging, thank you).

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Deuteronomy 5:16

‘Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.

Proverbs 23:22

Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.

 

You can save a life

 

Your simple smile can save a life.
Your hug can save a life.
Your laughter can save a life.                                                                                                             Your ‘hello’ can save a life.
Your encouragement can save a life.
Your text message can save a life.
Your email can save a life
Your compliments can save a life.
Your pat on a shoulder can save a life.
Your helping hand can save a life.
Your stories can save a life.                                                                                                                     Your presence can save a life.                                                                                                                 Your prayer can save a life.
You can save a life.

Do you know how powerful every human being is?  We are capable of goodness and greatness.  Our life experience can heal others.  That our life journey and mission whilst creating greatness for ourselves, we also create greatness in others.

Isn’t life a journey ?Not so much to a destination but toward transformation.     

The richest and awesome times of our life also comes come right in the midst of our hardest times.                                                                                                                                                               
God made us to live in community, to laugh and cry, to hurt and celebrate together no matter what we are going through.

Transformation is tough and sometimes we don’t always end up where we want to be but we live in believe because God believes in us. He fills our life with purpose and passion, if we just let Him into our life to walk the journey with us.

The best part of the journey is God of the universe allows us to play our part in changing the world.

The world is you and I.   We need each other.

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