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.

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Honour Thy Father and Thy Mother

I have been absent for a long while now.   This morning, I sat myself down  and quickly pen this down to share my thoughts and feelings with you before I do my other chores.

I love watching CSI’s series. 

Today, a scene in CSI NY  (sorry turned the episode on halfway so did not know the title),  was about one of the CSI staff visiting his aged father in a home.  He wanted his father to remember how abusive he was towards him and kept pushing his father to remember.  He wanted his father to apologise to him and feel  the guilt.  He wanted his father to feel his own anger  of being an abused son.  Unfortunately, his aged father cannot remember.  He was so angry and hurt that his father cannot feel what he wanted him to feel.

Towards the end of the series, his superior spoke with him.  He shared to his superior  how much he wanted his father to feel his pain of being an abused son.  Throughout the conversation with his superior,  what he really wanted was to have his father back; the moment as a young boy whom his dad would take him to the record store to buy records.   He wanted to hurt his father but yet wanted to forgive him but couldn’t.  He wanted to release the pain he was carrying.  His superior said this “you wanted to remember him as a good dad.  You carrying the baggage will make it harder for you to accept him. He is also a victim.”

In the last scene, he reminisces his happy days by sharing a record he loved (his father’s collection with his girlfriend who told him that she is there to journey with him.

I enjoy CSI for many reasons.  There are so many lessons one can learn.  I love lessons like what I have watched today.

My own aged father can be annoying because of his stubbornness.  He argues with all of us even when he cannot remember that he did something but denied it.  He was not always there for me growing up and in certain ways, I felt what that actor felt in the moment.  It is  true for me, that I wish I had the father who would dote on me when I was 4 years old.  He would take me around on his bike and spend so much time with me when he could.  He was not abusive but avoid confrontation when there was any at home. 

On the other hand, I see him a fragile man getting older by the day and living his 2nd childhood except that physically he is an adult.  I am thankful today, I am reminded that my father was also a victim of circumstances and he did his best he knew how then.  He was who he was.

I am thankful he is still around and able to be with me and for me to care for  him together with my aged mum too.  I will do my best to provide and care for them with God’s grace. Yes, I have to sacrifice certain freedom and also postpone things I want to do for myself.  I know God has better plans for me and I trust Him to live my life.

4th Commandment –  Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

— Exodus 20:12 

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A Fruitful Day

Today has been a very productive and fulfilling day. Not only have I filled my tummy with delicious local fare but also filled my spirit with positivity.

It is a challenge to plan to meet up with friends or go places or just to have fun because every weekend is filled with tasks, errands, calls for assistance, etc.  I have put aside many things I want to do for myself.    I also feel guilty when I do not stay home to spend time or even be there physically for my aged parents every weekend.  Almost every Saturday and Sunday is filled with activities outside.

I finally decided to take my shoes to my shoemaker in the city for repairs.  At the same time, meet up with a good friend to visit and also go on a food spree.  Talk about killing more than 2 birds with one stone.   With half the day to spend, I could say that those hours were fulfilling and filled with motivation.

It was important for me to have at least one motivation or to make a difference to someone or even learn something from someone. I had all of them today.

When I went to my shoe maker, she was wearing a face mask and a cap and I knew what she was going through.  We chatted about her condition and she is still going through chemotherapy.  She is optimistic and living as every other day.  I pray she would recover and need not go through the series of chemo.

Then I met a wonderful 73 year old widow, Cynthia (I wrote about her in my Facebook page),  who was cleaning tables making sure walk in customers have clean tables to enjoy their meals.  She would greet everyone and smile.  I greeted her and got to know her .  She really inspired me with her pleasant and cheerful personality.  She has good work ethics and she enjoyed what she was doing.  Walking around, making sure all the tables were clean and trays put away, despite having rheumatoid arthritis.  She continued to work because she wanted to keep herself busy.  She lost her husband a year ago.  She has 3 sons and 5  grandchildren (I believe).  All doing very well.  She did not want to trouble them and wanted to be independent.

She told me to keep smiling because I bring sunlight to people who see me smile.  I think that was so beautiful.  A stranger who gave me ‘silver boxes’ like that.  This affirmation made a difference to me.  It has been a long time, since someone said that to me; or I have not been smiling that much.

Cynthia

Then meeting up with my good friend and going on an eating spree was something I have not done for a while.  It was fun.  We had small portions of many different types of food where she lived.  It was fun.  The roasted duck, meatball soup, braised pork, coffee from another state, shaved ice with fruits, watercress in sugar water….

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Wanted to have our King of all fruits – Durian, to end our spree but we could not find any.

We stopped by a little truck selling roasted pork and had a good chat with the boss.  He is young and handsome.  Jeremy is his name.  He said that when he has extras and bits and pieces,  he would give away to homes. It was good and my friend gave her number to him so that he can call (hopefully) to give her so that she can share them with poor communities that she knows. What a great day to meet like-minded people.

It was truly a day of pure fun and hanging out with good company.

Dinner was done for the day with so much calories during lunch.  Still I took my parents out for  dinner and hang with them

Overall, today was a good day and I can remember what I did. Usually I would run around like crazy and forget what I had done for the day.  There is so much to tell about today but my brain can only remind me so much for now.  Tired I guess!

Thank God for an inspiring and fun day!  How was yours?

CREED for OPTIMIST

In his CREED for OPTIMIST, Christian D. Larsen tell you how you can become somebody!

 

Be STRONG that nothing can disturb your PEACE of MIND.

Talk HEALTH, HAPPINESS, and PROSPERITY to EVERY PERSON you meet.

Make ALL your FRIENDS feel there is SOMETHING SPECIAL in them.

Look at the SUNNY SIDE of EVERYTHING.

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THINK only of the BEST, WORK only for the BEST and EXPECT only the BEST.

Be as ENTHUSIASTIC about the SUCCESS of others as you are about your own.

FORGET the mistakes of the past and PRESS on to the GREATER ACHIEVEMENTS of the FUTURE.  

GIVE EVERYONE A SMILE 

Spend so much time IMPROVING YOURSELF that you have no time left to criticize others.

Be too big for worry and too NOBLE for anger.

 

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My Father’s simple advice

After work I  stopped by  my regular mamak (Indian Muslim) shop to buy their favourite roti pratha and the Tarik.  The roti canai man asked me “Where is Tata and Pati?” “Why so long, don’t come?”

“They are at home and I am here to ‘ta pau’ (pack) for them.”  Immediately, he prepared my orders.  The Teh Tarik man also  asked, “Tata and Pati want teh tarik?” and I nodded. He replied “Ok”

It was heartwarming every time I hear strangers,  waiters and food vendors call my parents, ‘Tata, Pati’ or Atok, Nenek or even Kong Kong, Poh Poh…..

My family have always been blessed with good friendships and relationships with strangers who would be there in our times of need.  These are the blessings of which my father always taught us since young, that “No matter what people do to us, we must always be good.  It is because we will receive the blessings when the time comes.”  He is right.  Even at 85, he still holds fast to his philosophy of always treat people good even when they treat us otherwise.

My father does not hold grudges.  He gets angry for a while and then he forgives and forgets, literally.

When we were poor and had very little, he would always say we are grateful we have a roof and some food on the table. A man with simple needs and simple demands in life.   I have never heard him complained about not having enough.  To him, what he had in front of him was suffice.  He was also one of those who did not like quarrels and fights at home.  He always would leave the house when my mother wanted to punish me and that was one of the things I used to resent him for.  He was not there to support and help me.

He was away for 4 years when I was only 6 years old. I had a hard time coping without a father.  However, mum and I would travel by bus or train to visit him in the North part of the country during the holidays.  I would write him letters every day since I was 7 years old and that got me interested in letter writing until the keyboard got me lazy to write (ha…ha…ha…).

He would open his door to help anyone in need.  I remembered him helping the community he was living with by building a playground for the children there.  He was a strong and keen in building things.  I think he got some friends to help him.  I only remember certain things he did there.

To him, hurting people hurt ourselves and God is always watching what we do.   He never asked for recognition nor fame.  He would shy away when people complimented him. He would say,”Oh.. we must help one another.”

I give tribute to my father today by writing this to appreciate him and to remember the simple philosophy he has.  It is a tough act to follow even for me.  Pa,thank you for being my father. I love you and I am glad I can take care of you at this age.

You believe you are strong till today because God is watching over you and every thing is planned by Him.  Even at this age, you still hold on to being good and be trusting. “Always do good and have a clean heart.”  That is your simple advice.

 

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Make a Difference

“The right attitude can help us overcome life’s handicaps.”

I HAVE had encounters with strangers who approached me because they were curious about my physical condition. They couldn’t figure out why I looked so cheerful despite my disability.

Many years ago, I was approached by a gentleman while sitting in the car, waiting for my father who was running some errands. The car door was ajar. He shared a little about himself. He was a successful consultant, financially stable, had a girlfriend but he was still unhappy. Something was missing inside of him. He said that he should be happy with all that he had achieved. He was curious why I was in sitting in my dad’s car, singing to myself.

He asked: “Aren’t you depressed having a leg like that? Why do you look so happy?”

That took me by surprise. I tried to understand what he was trying to tell me. I explained that there was nothing I could do to change my disability and that I had learned to be happy with what I have. Complaining would not help me one jot. So I try to make the best of every situation. Of course, life can be difficult because I have to face all sorts of trials. As long as I am in a crowd, I would be looked at differently.

He also shared with me how strangers helped him without asking for anything in return, which surprised him. In his world, everything had a price tag. He related to me one rainy day when a woman offered to shelter him with her umbrella as he headed to a telephone booth to make a call. He was touched that she did not mind getting her clothes wet to share her umbrella with a stranger.

He began to encounter more people who were different from him. I was one of them.

That incident left an imprint on my life. I was in my early twenties then, and often wondered about the purpose of my existence. I believe that man was sent to me to help me see my worth.

He had everything going for him, and yet he was struggling to find meaning in life. He wanted to live life fully, and not just exist. He thought that by achieving material success, he would find fulfilment. But he found that it was not true. I provided an opportunity for him to look into himself.

We chatted for a while and he left with what I had said to him. He told me that he had a lot of thinking to do.

That conversation gave me a little encouragement which I needed badly at that time. I went home awed by what had happened: a physically-abled man actually came to me to seek some answers. I was glad my father took his time otherwise I would not have had the opportunity to make a difference in that man’s life.

 There was another unforgettable encounter when I went to repair my braces or calipers. The man who was repairing it was a wheelchair-user. He was a drug addict who had given up on life. One day, he was so stoned that he slept on the railway track. A passing train crushed his legs.

 He may have lost his legs, but he found a new lease of life. He even got married and worked among the disabled.

He spoke to me one day and said: “You know, I really admire your bravery.”

I was taken aback and asked what he meant.

He replied: “You are the only girl I know who dares to wear skirts and shorts with your calipers on. I’m sure people would stare at your leg. Most people would cover their braces.”

I looked at him and said: “I have no reason to be ashamed of my braces and my leg. I’ve never felt the need to hide my braces.”

He nodded and smiled. He told me that I was strong and encouraged me to keep up the spirit.

During a visit to Penang years ago, I dropped by a bank to withdraw some cash. As I was waiting for my number to be called, an old lady who sat next to me initiated a conversation. She asked me where I had my caliper made.

She explained that her granddaughter was also a polio victim and was told to wear leg braces but they didn’t know where to get the braces. I gave her the address and she thanked me and told me that I was a brave girl. I asked her why.

She said she had seen few disabled persons like me walking around town. Most of them would stay home as they were reluctant to come out. She was glad to have met me. She wanted to encourage her granddaughter to come out of her shell and try to live a normal life.

Today, I realise I can make a difference as a disabled person. I have survived trials and traumas, and come out stronger. I can touch lives in simple or profound ways, and contribute to society, too.

I do not want to be like a tree that stands firmly on the ground but bears no fruits, with branches that cannot give shelter to birds, and no leaves to provide shade during a hot day. Just standing there, not living. Dried up and given up. I may be broken many times over but I’m not beaten.

I can make a difference for myself and among able-bodied people when I speak up or make my way into the able-bodied world.

My existence as a disabled person does make people wonder what their own lives are all about. That gives me a new sense of purpose and puts a spring into my every step.

Strength

Published in The Star (as Shining Star)

Are you aware of your senses?

I used to complain a lot about my physical disability and asked God why He cursed me.  Deep within I was always searching for the answer to my ‘curse’.  I refused to accept there were other people worse off than me.

Today, I am still awed and amazed how this woman in her time, overcame her disabilites and made it to leave such legacy till today. Without the current techonolgy advancement, she made it through and prove that it was and is possible to live amazing lives.

A real woman of substance.

A rebellious child lost in darkness but she became a woman who gave light and hope to the world.   Are we living in the dark literally, or do we see light without our eyes?

 

Have you tried closing your eyes smelling, listening, touching and seeing with your heart.

 

 

Please comment and share your thoughts of this video. I would love to hear and learn from you.

 

“Once I knew only darkness and stillness….my life was without past or future…..   but a little word from the fingers of another fell into my hand that clutched at emptiness, and my heart leaped to the rapture of living.”  –  Helen Keller.