The long and winding road

The long and winding road

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me her
Lead me to your door

The wild and windy night
That the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears
Crying for the day
Why leave me standing here
Let me know the way
Many times I’ve been alone
And many times I’ve cried
Any way you’ll never know
The many ways I’ve tried

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

Lyrics above written by Paul McCarthney of the world popular and famous musical group,the Beatles in the 1970’s.

It is in my opinion these meaningful lyrics speak of a spiritual tone and could be a reminder of a spiritual seeker on a long and winding road,like all of us on a pilgrimage into the self,whether we are conscious of it or not.

And where is this long and winding road leading to?
….…towards the door of our hearts into finding the absolute truth.
Here the seeker is pleading not to be left waiting outside the door and asking to be led to the way back in.

How long we have forgotten to get back on track,the many,many times we felt lost and lonely,left abandoned in the dark and afraid,cried and tried……..we have gone wayward along our life’s journey with a myriad of distractions but still we remember somehow that there is a place of refuge to come home to….to our true self,our original being of pure clear light of consciousness.

Along this long and winding journey home,we would have fallen in love,gone through lots and lots of heartbreaks(not only romantically but from the people who have been allowed in our lives),deaths,births,tragedies,triumphs,sadness,joys,success and failures,riches and poverty,losses and gains…..we would have learned a tremendous amount of lessons of life and we would have taught lessons to others as well(knowingly or unknowingly).

During this walk up the road,it will not be all a straight path or smooth easy travels,there will be rocky patches,muddy puddles,thick jungles to cut through but more complex is the sudden stop at crossroads,a time of needing further directions,to make decisions and a feeling of being overwhelmed with regrets,doubts,overcomed by a frenzy of fear and desperation,perhaps even impatience to reach a destination,a goal.We face many temporary,testing blockages,hindrances and obstacles,with faith and true purpose,we keep treading on.

What do we do at the crossroads encountering four directions,which road do we choose to keep continuing on?

In the event of facing a crossroad……we simply choose any direction! What ever road we take it will be a step forward to a clearer vision,a step to experience,a chance to learn and grow.The relieving and comforting reminder is that the road will never disappear,it is always open till we have come home to ourselves.Even after many deviations,diversions and divergence we come again to merge with the road leading home.There is truly no shortcut on this journey,the path will be as it will be!

The worse is to let the fear keep us trapped in that location or situation without being open and courageous to venture on…..without venturing,how do we know whats true and how do we experience our inner capabilities of strength,courage,wisdom and be open to resiliency.

From every hurdle jumped and accomplished along this road,doors will be closing behind and new doors opening,in the end,we are only truly learning to let go,putting down every tool,accessory,baggage,burdens that we have carried along.The road eases and walking becomes effortless.

This journey may take a long time to traverse on,it may be rigorous and ardous but it is not an impossible task to undertake!

What will become of us on this spiritual quest?
…..Aware!,Awake! and Conscious!……

The door opens to possibilities and freedom
To those who are unafraid to walk through it
And experience the Unknown!

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Do we want to hear that voice seeking us?

 

In truth,what are we seeking for in life?…..it seems like we go round in circles,finding for something to fulfill our lives,yet we know inside ourselves that nothing is enough,unsatisfying and mundane.

We go about doing the same things day in and day out…we dont know what it is that seems to be beckoning us……..we do the same chores,interact positively/negatively with our family and friends,colleagues,socially we try to meet new ones,experiment with all kinds of exciting/unexciting ventures,we do this and that,go here and there,afraid of boredom and feeling restless.We might find some sort of comfort in religious activities.Sometimes, sad to say, the ones dear and close to us can become monotonous to be with.Our unconscious addictions and habituated unhealthy living patterns can be so mentally draining and emotionally frustrating to carry on with………….

Yes,eventhough,it may appear that we are contented with our lives,jobs and everyday living, quite often we might find ourselves saying secretly…….”when will I find some peace and quiet,when will there be more to life than all these same old things, I hate this life,I can’t take/cope with this anymore,I am unhappy/sad/disturbed,I wish I could run away and hide somewhere,etc,etc”……………..

Yes, we can STOP,give ourselves permission to listen to our inner needs! Most often we push our limits,disregard to care for ourselves,are we helping those we say we love if we are unhappy,unfulfilled and openly or quietly disturbed.Can we sincerely and altruistically bring peace,love and comfort to others in our disarray state of being?Do we truly want to find peace and loving-kindness for ourselves and others and make this world a better place to live in?

As Sufi poet and mystic Rumi says……”what you are seeking is seeking you”……………..
Truly, each one of us is seeking that voice of Truth and Love which has been buried deep under the rubble of fear and selfish desires,insecurities(boundaries) and worldly attachments….that voice beckons with every heartbeat and is very faint under all that heavily weighted affictions on top………..we can only hear that still small voice seeking us when we seek it out in the practise of humility and surrendering to the unknown Silence………………..

Un-become………………
Fear not the Unknown……………..
it already knows You…..
on the other side……Love awaits
its voice hauntingly sweet…it frightens!
it is no seduction……..
it is the sound of Yourself…..
the voice of Truth
calling for a Change to come Home……..
crying from Within
promising to lead you Home safely………………
Unbecome to its fear

spiritual ride on the human road

A spiritual ride on the human road

 

“no one saves us but ourselves.No one can and no one may,we ourselves must walk the path.”

~~~~~~ Buddha~~~~~~~~~

 

In November 1998 when I came back from working as a registered nurse in the emergency department at a military hospital smacked in the middle of a desert of Saudi Arabia after only 3 months there.I came back to Vancouver,Canada, a broken being.I realised that I had lost everything literally,I saw myself broken into so many pieces,like a messed up jigsaw puzzle.

All the pieces were there but the only thing that I had to do was to painstakingly find each and every single piece and fit them back together to make it into a beautiful whole picture of that persona named Celestine(my given birth name).

 

From seeing this truth of my brokenness and intense unnecessary suffering which I felt was like being driven to the darkness of insanity,I strove to find the truth of my life and my spiritual walk in this human realm……………I had no idea what to do at first but slowly,as I spent many many hours of quiet time in earnest seeking and asking to lead me the way and show me what I should do,doors began to open one by one. I knew very strongly within my being that I will do all that I needed to do to put an end to all my self-created miseries!

The spiritual path of reconciliation had began to open up for me……as I looked into my past faults, mistakes and transgressions,buckets of tears poured from my being…the beginning of my heart tenderizing.loosening and softening,being made pliable and I slowly began to feel a deep compassion for myself and for others……how have I been hurt so much and how have I been capable of hurting others so much too……..

Thus began the urgent,desperate and dire need to seek spiritual knowledge and guidance.The slow transformation process of my inner being was quietly developing while I walked on the human road facing harsh and subtle realities of life as I experienced each one and opened myself in awareness to learn lessons from all of it,to gently move on and let go……………………..

 

What is this journey we most often term and hear as‘the spiritual journey’?

 

This term spiritual is mostly associated with a religious affliation and its various devotional practises eg.Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism Islam,Hinduism,Sikhism,etc.etc………

Well what happens to those who are not related or who do not practice or belong to any one religious sect/group…are they classified as not having or practising any spiritual values?So what becomes of them?Are they doomed to not reach enlightenment or find that kingdom of heaven?

In truth, whether we have any association with a particular religious belief or none at all,we are all on this spiritual journey,on this human road together,we are all spiritual beings of light…..the only thing is that the light(love) we are within is obscured by the barriers/walls we have created out of fear,attachments,desires, addictions,grasping/clinging and ego-centredness(selfishness and greed).

13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic Jalal-adin Rumi says………”your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

We are all on this journey into our hearts,to open fully its door to love,wisdom,forgiveness,compassion,kindly actions and to live wisely in order to benefit all of creation.

 

The whole of creation,this earth,this world we live in,our given parents,children,spouses,families,friends,social,religious,political and work environment as well as strangers are our spiritual teachers….as we traverse closely with each and every human being,are we being aware that we are affected by each one to a certain extend that we could end up experiencing some kind of mental,emotional or physical entanglements that maybe pleasant or unpleasant.We too will be their spiritual teachers as we react,interact with each one,as we learn or not learn from all our encounters.There is the tendency to blame,look negatively and not take responsibility for unpleasant actions,there is also the tendency to take pleasant encounters for granted and the grasping for more of it………..

 

Why do we need to practise some sort of spiritual discipline?

 

The purpose of spiritual practises such as praying,reflection, keeping quiet times/retreats,listening/reading soulful and spiritual messages and teachings,watching our thoughts, feelings, actions and speech,doing kindly actions,practising benevolent speech,intentions and acts, charitable deeds(volunteering for the needy,perhaps animal shelters),spending time in nature,outdoors(gardening,enjoying the company of birds and animals),being grateful and gracious,meditation and conscious breathing,perhaps yoga and joining a local spiritual group,joining the local library for free access to self-help/spiritual books,writing ,seeking counselling,healthy lifestyle of simple exercises and diet,etc,etc……..all these help us do away with ignorance and spending our inner spiritual energies wastefully and carelessly,which brings on more stress,fatigue and restlessness within ourself and to others.We need to harness these innate spiritual energy centers in us(the chakras)in order that we can see all living phenomena within ourselves and humanity with clarity,with precise truth and clearly in such a wisdom-filled and understanding way where we can be in harmony and at peace and our hearts can be used for whats its meant to be…..to Love!When we can honestly care for ourselves,we can truly care for another being………

 

Prior to working in Saudi Arabia, I had always felt a‘sick’feeling, a sense of emptiness and wastefulness of my life hence the term”running around like a chicken without its head”…….aimless and meaningless!

 

We practise spiritually healthy living to be wise,prudent and to put on the light within us in order to be able to see where we are treading on instead of living in darkness where we get knocked around,falling constantly and unnecessarily, fumbling our way on the human road,hurting ourselves and others causing suffering over and over again.

 

It is true that as we journey along the spiritual path as well as on the road of human interactions,we will constantly face numerous challenges,difficulties,uncalled for circumstances,tragedies,losses(griefs),so called failures,dissappoinments and betrayals as well as triumphs, joyful/peaceful states, happiness and blesssings…….

 

We cannot be selective and guarded(putting up boundaries) or choose only the good and discard what is not in favour for our benefits………we can learn to be like the willow in the wind,to be humble and flexible….to bend and accept and understand that all phenomena is passing just like the wind………there are no enemies,the Buddha said the only enemy we have is our monkey mind which we need to tame!

 

We are walking on the path whereby we are purifying/cleansing out our inner/outer negative energies and learning to grow towards higher conscious states with each happy/unhappy life situation we experience.

 

When we can find a little time ,make a little effort,we can start making the space for us to know our true selves.We can learn to love ourselves and not be deluded(fooled) by the stories the external illusory(opinionated) world tells us to belief and conjure whats good for us and how we are suppose to live our lives(and this I might be bold to say includes dogmatic and indoctrinated religious beliefs)…………..the answer we seek is buried deep within each being…….only in that deep sacred space within…….can we truly come to know ourselves and be freed of ideologies we have been so conditioned all our lives and have set limitations upon ourselves to go about our lives wastefully…………

 

We can sit and ponder and reflect and meditate and start the divine romance with ourselves…..that which we so much are looking for in someone else or something else to fulfill in us………we can scan our being for the goodness we have done,or capable of doing,as well as be truthful for all the mistakes, faults,regrets and unhealthy living we chose to pick up along the way of our lives.How easy it gets to not be responsible for our own emotional, mental,physical and spiritual confusions,turmoils and discomforts in our lives and simply inflict blames upon others,situations and things in order to exonerate ourselves from guilts and fears, shames and feeling vulnerable to be hurt and to hurt.

 

We can sit by ourselves for a while and see that how beautiful,noble and courageous we would feel if we were to make that journey inward to look for the truth instead of depending on the world,the opinion of others and situations to try and make us happy and fulfilled and bring peace of mind……..fulfillment and happiness come from within(as attested by most enlightened spiritual beings)………we need to make a radical self effort.…

Yes,we can go to church or the mosque or any place of religious worship and pray and practise our tradional religious beliefs and rituals and teachings but what good do we do for ourselves, when we come out of that place of worship, we soon find that we fall back into our mundane activities again and carry our disturbed and troubled state of mind and remain unchanged to bettering ourselves spiritually,we soon forget the reverence and sacredness of our religious teachings/practises.

As a young schoolgirl,I had a great love for sitting in a quiet church and praying in a simple way,lighting a candle when I could as an act of having light for myself and all those I pray for.I still enjoy sitting in the quietude of a church and lighting a candle till today….I have always thought it to be a time being alone and quiet with my ‘God’ in a sacred space,now I sit in a church to meditate,to still the mind,to be away for a while alone in loving presence……

 

Being born and raised Catholic,yes I have attended all religious services most of my life,quite devotedly, but there is a but…….while attending and performing these practises dilligently,I was somehow constantly confused and felt divided internally and have secretly questioned my belief, where was it bringing me to,why was I still unhappy,not at peace,after going to confession to a priest,why did I come out to repeat my mistakes over and over,why was there so much suffering still in the world if people were faithfully practising their various religions,how could I be like the saints and love like they did,most importantly, I wanted to know the truth of my existence and all these practises,why was I committing the same ‘sickness’over and over….I wanted all these to end!

There was a continuous inner conflict battling within my tormented being, I knew that I was a wreck,messed up,broken and lost….. yet I knew that I had a precious soul inside of my being and that nobody could take it away from me,that there was another part of me that could be manifested,the good side,that beautiful part was intact,wanting to emerge…….the good and bad were at war within me…how was I going to continue in my life,what will be of me? I soon realised that by questioning and needing answers for the truth,by acknowledging our discontents,we on the spiritual path of seeking……as Jesus said…..”seek and you will find,ask and it shall be given,knock and the door will be opened”

 

Praying and attending religious activities and instructions must evoke a sense of awareness and reverence.It is the seeking of truth of the spiritual teachings and how it applies to our lives and what can we do to bring about peace within ourselves and to others,its not about thinking or trying to be good,pious and doing our religious duty.Religiousity can also be a sort of obsession and addiction if it becomes too rigid and obligatory and following blindly.In truth, I believe there should be one universal religion….the religion of the Heart,the religion of Love!

 

Jesus did not practise Christianity,he shared his teachings on love(compassion) and forgiveness and pointed the way to look within ourselves for the kingdom of heaven,Buddha was not Buddhist,he taught and shared the noble truths of sufferings and the way out of it.They were great enlightened beings,wise enough to look for the truth and love within themselves and shared their teachings to help humanity find the way,the light and the truth to end all un-necessary pain and suffering…………

 

 

How long have we gone unattended,unaware and allowed the ego(lower self centred entity) to drain our minds, being and psyche(spiritual self) to such a wasted state of merely existing to how the world(others) wants us to act, to be, to live?Its no wonder the world is full of varying uncontrollable addictions that cannot be contained and not easy to be eradicated….its worsening by the minute…people are becoming uncommunicative/unresponsive to kindness and love and peace for each other…its all about what ‘makes me happy’in the materialistic and selfish,egoistic way……people frown upon or are disturbed and feel defensive about spiritual messages and teachings…. for there is the only fear that it may be against their way of living and the wanting to continue living the way according to the illusory world(the way of suffering).I myself at some point in my life prior to being spiritually awake felt defensive and resentful about listening to spiritual lessons and teachings…….I felt it made me afraid of seeing the truth about myself in a guilty,shameful way.While I was in Saudi Arabia,I will use the harse word hate, I hated to hear and felt resentful about listening to the Muslim prayer call 5 times a day wherever I was…in the bus, in the hospital, in the apartment,the call seemed everywhere,I was literally disturbed and annoyed by it,it felt like a hard nudge calling me to face the truth and I wanted to ignore it so badly.Now I I think those calls are so beautiful,so meaningful,to me it feels like the divine(God is callling us in a personal way).I have great reverence for it and all religious traditions as I realise my one-ness with the whole of creation!

 

So what do we do,we can ponder…..we can take courage and honesty to reflect, about how we are being affected and plagued by unhappiness and suffering and how we too are making others suffer because of our selfishness and our own suffering…we can go way back to our childhood,our adulthood,back to any period of our time and see how we have been affected………we can use the power of forgiveness to change and make peace and let go and start anew!

 

I have come to learn on the spiritual journey there is no state or prize to receive or achieve,there is only the full attention and awareness of Being Present to everything that is happening in the moment…..be it happiness and sadness, praise and blame,loss and gain…I am simply being here and now to deal with everything as it is………I become Human and Humane,understanding, respecting and accepting everything and everyone as it is with no judgements or conditions.I now live in a seniors independent facility with 30 other residents with different temperaments and characters of their own……I deal with them with respect and kindness and understanding of their nature,to some I am playful and loving,holding their hands,giving a hug, laughing and singing as they will be,there are some who I don’t speak to as they wish so…….I have learned to become simple and content and quietly living my life…………….

 

The spiritual journey is about having a gentle approach of ourselves,of looking within our being instead of having a misconception that one must turn to some form of rigid religious practise and beliefs whereby we try to be good,holy or become pious. It is not being hard-pressed with ourselves or desirous to reach a goal or state of enlightenment but a slow gradual transformation process whereby we open the gates of our hearts,trying to find an understanding of the restless and sometimes tormented mind and its creation of suffering.We thus can start manifesting our full potential to be of help and benefit ourselves and others on this human journey together.

 

A new land, a new life

A new land,a new life!

May 1992…..I arrived at Vancouver International airport,my sister was at the airport to welcome me.Although I was in Vancouver a year earlier,everything seemed new to me…….I felt overwhelmed,frightened,yet excited to begin my new life, a place where I will call it home.
There also to welcome me in their Richmond home,was my nephew Alexander,who I met for the first time and an animal friend,the very gentle dog a collie namedKyroh(my sister’s dog).My eyes and heart felt wide opened in awe and anticipation of whats to come of the days/weeks/month/years ahead…where do I begin?What do I do?who’s to know what will become of me,now that I have landed in a new country.I have left so much behind….I cannot go back!My mind was overfilled with how to start a new life…….I had only my bags of clothes with me,while other household furniture and personal things were still behind in Singapore waiting to be shipped.This is no more a holiday but a real life situation where I have to start over again….another chapter….a new life story at age 35 began!

 

Before leaving for Canada…..I had many goodbye parties,saying goodbyes was hard yet there was a positive,joyful spirit felt within me…a looking forward to a new beginning with bouts of apprehension as well………….what was truly important to me was to feel and know the happiness and well wishes of family and friends for me!
Significantly also,I made courageous efforts to meet up with the ex-spouses(2 of them)….I sat with each of them separately to offer my thanks to them for the better times and also to say sorry for my wrongdoings….I knew I had to make amends for my own peace of mind as I embark on an unknown journey…. I never saw them as ‘enemies’or a regrettable part of my life but because of the pain I had suffered from going thru 2 very traumatic divorces…..I had evolved and moved on with a positive outlook of life….to be a better person…..and I thank them for being the catalysts for my moving forward to new challenges………I forgave and closed the last chapter of my life in Singapore! I opened a new one as I landed in BC!

 

Each day in this beautiful country felt like a door opened as a new morning arrived……..everyday was a ‘miracle’….meeting new people,new situation developes,new inspirations and creativeness arises….from one thing leading to another …….it felt like everything had been planted and waiting for me to walk right in the door!

I remember my first week…I was invited to a spiritual retreat and met a nun who introduced me to the owner of catholic bookshop and soon before a month in Vancouver….I had my first job,then came car lessons and soon driving my first car( never driven before).My momentous time was renting my first apartment close to where my sister lived within the time of 3 months after arrival…………………..by now I was making new friends and exploring around in my car…….my new found adventure began! I also had the opportunity to expand my flair and ‘love’ for emergency nursing by taking the course at the British Columbia Institute of technology and specialising in it…………………..so much more challenges took place,heartbreaks and downturns,achievements and joyous moments….and lots and lots of travel……….
In my 25 years living in BC, I made 2 very short visits back to Singappore,the last being 15years ago……….

 

Most importantly in 1998………another new change ripened………my spiritual transformative journey….a journey inwards into my Being……….
Changes and challenges and new beginnings are an inevtitable part of our lives….if we allow ourselves the courage to move to the direction of life’s open invitations be it in heartbreaks,unhappy situations,victorious moments,negative outcomes and day to day occurences………we experience the power of our inner strength and wisdom of discernment, growth and evolvement for the benefit of ourselves and others.

 

Moving to the unknown

Moving to the Unknown

January 1991……..my 6 weeks vacation in British Columbia,Canada.I had just gone thru for the 2nd time around……a heartbreaking divorce.I knew it was not something drastic that would make my life crumble and wither away but instead a painful situation that I had to go thru in order to better myself…

So at the constant invitations and beckoning from my sister Angela and her then husband Iain(who both have become Canadian citizens and live in British Columbia at that time)…….I took the courage to take some time off work(mostly unpaid leave)from nursing at the emergency department in a Singapore hospital and fly to this far away land for a long holiday where I thought I could try to regain my strength and inner vitality after struggling thru the broken-ness and betrayal of somebody I thought I had invested my life and so called love in…………….I was going thru mental and emotional torments/anguish.…as what could be called the roller-coaster effect….ups and downs,highs and lows.Despite my active social and ‘fun’living life at the time to drown the pains….there was an inner fire as I will always remember being felt within me…….I would find myself enjoying the comforting quietness of an empty church,sitting in silence and allowing myself to mentally speak of finding relief for all the pains of my life and asking for guidance and strength ………..

I have come to the crossroads of my life,a time for deep reflection and adjusting to life’s directions.I was filled with fear but knew there was fearlessness existing inside of me….something I knew I had to exercise in order to overcome this ‘bad’time.

 

While on this holiday in British Columbia,I went with my sister and Iain to the world famous ski resort of Whistler/Blackcomb mountain where they have a time share cabin………..on the way up there,I heard this popular song playing…”From a distance”by Bette Midler……my heart was beginning to open to its words,I was being moved,being touched,being called.A picture of me standing on top of Blackcomb……..I felt on top of the world surrounded by these glorious,majestic mountains…my mind was singing with the Bette Midler’s song,playing over and over,especially so the words….”from a distance,God is watching me”…”there is hope,there is harmony,there is peace.”

‘YES’….I said to myself…..I said yes to the calling to come and live in BC,Canada and felt a surge of relieve swell in me at that moment,I  knew I would make all efforts to take a big step for transition to move in this direction.More than a year later………in May 1992……I was in BC,a chance for new environment to begin my life…unknown challenges,openings and opportunities …..ahead to face!

 

Prior to my moving to this beautiful new land,Canada……I was plagued by fear,fear of the unknown,fear of my own insecurities,fear of leaving all those who are close and dear to me, my family, my friends,fear of leaving familiar surroundings,life and living,fear of adapting to a new climate and way of life….fear of not being to enjoy my favourite Asian foods….fear,fear,fear of almost everything…..and of course the fear of failure……………….I had to make a decision….do I drop the whole idea and plan to move or take up the challenge to move and start anew.It was heavy on my mind and heart!I was crying out for help to make a decision.

 

One very early in the morning before dawn,while still dark……I took a walk to the beach close to where I lived……I sat on the sand while the sun was coming up…..the sea was so still and everything seemed so quiet,I was in reflective contemplation of my decision to move…….I felt so loved,so blessed and with a stick I picked up I wrote so boldly and hugely on the sand……the word…”GOD”and beamed with joy and walked back home.That very night,I had a significant dream pertaining to my decision………..in that dream,I remember……..I had to make a decision,there were 2 doors and I was to open the right one,if I opened the wrong door,I would be blown into bits…….so in my dream,I felt so scared too and chose to open the door on the right with feelings of trepidations,felt even while in my dream……as I opened the door….it felt good and relieving and I went thru……I got up and immediately I knew I had to move to Canada without a doubt….and here I am in Canada still today 25 years later…after so much excitements,adventures and life changing challenges….the door opens and we walk in and experience each realm ……there is no failure or success……its all about the experiences,lessons to learn and teach and grow from and to be of help!

 

We all have stories to share,we all face challenges,we can choose to allow challenges to disable us trapped in our fears or we can choose to transcend all sufferings and be of help to others who might be quietly or openly seeking for affirmations and encouragements on each our life journey…..

 

Fear of the unknown is a genuine fear….when we dare to face it….we overcome fear itself,we experience courage and find it within ourselves,no one can give it to us………………………..

 

Tribute to the loving man I called Father

In memory of the love my father left behind before leaving this world…………………………

A few months before his death,(June 11th,cannot remember the year, probably more than 30 years ago)I believe my father had a near death experience…….he was found unresponsive by my mother in bed….she panicked and woke up the whole household quite late into the night and called me( I lived not far away)so I ran all the way………when I arrived he came round,he seemed in a daze.I remember he said to us children…..”why are you all here around the bed,go back to sleep,its late!”.He went back to sleep and I went home thinking he was okay.Apparently,the next day, my father told my mother that he saw himself in a beautiful garden filled with bright light and that he had seen his parents and loved ones who had passed long before………………

 

Secretly I liked my father’s story,I did not disbelief him for I knew he wouldnt know how to make up stories like that and besides he used to yell at us children if he thought we were telling lies…..he constantly reminded us not to tell lies…the one thing he detested very strongly!

 

After that late night incident, my father seemed to be more subdued in his demeanor,almost like his personality changed overnight ….he became quieter,softer,reserved almost contemplative and he could be seen holding and reading a prayer book most of the time.

 

It seems that sides had been switched,my mother used to be the quiet one and my father was the ‘yeller’,always jumpy, concerned ,worried,scolding and trying to keep us children in order,yet I loved his good side of kindness,simplicity,prayerfulness and friendliness to all who came to the home.

 

But it appeared that mother now became the one to ‘jump’ and nagged at us children after father turned quiet…….one particular story to relate about the change in my father is………

The story of us two older rascals,my sister Nina, myself and my late ex husband Frank….we enjoyed very much to take short trips away to Tioman Island in Malaysia for snorkelling,sunbathing/swimming,fishing and hiking adventures.One time while we were having a snorkelling fiesta,all three of us almost drowned due to a strong current that came up suddenly,Frank and I managed to swim back to the boat but Nina could still be seen struggling for her life……a lady from the boat threw a buoy to her and jumped in to the water to rescue her….we came home and told each other that we better not tell daddy about this near drowning mishap….all too soon the truth came out……we were surprised to see that it was my mother who went raving mad about the near drowning incident and my father was cool and calm and he told my mother….”as long as they came back safe and sound,thats all that matters”……..wow! we saw the big change in my father,something spiritually mysterious happened to him that night for sure!

 

Another lovely thing I vividly remembered of my father before he was taken to the hospital ICU for congestive heart failure after the ‘near-death’ experience months before was that he began asking for forgiveness from almost everyone who came into his contact,family, friends,acquiantances ,practically anyone he met…….it was a very humbling gesture to witness from my perspective now,but at that time,I didnt see it as a time for him to be humble but saw it as some sort of foolishness on his part..…

 

I see it now as he must have known his time was ending and needed to make peace with everyone.As I write this,I can truly see his good and charitable heart and the legacy he left for us to learn from!

 

I remember while he was in hospital…..I would visit him,sit beside him quietly and we both would not say a word……the silence spoke of my quiet love for him and I believed he knew it!

 

Not long after his hospital discharge, he passed away very suddenly and very peacefully on my mother;s shoulder while preparing food for my brothers before their going to school.
He was very young…..62years,only one year older than me now.

 

Strangely,my father had a premonition that he was going leave us ….as the night before his death,he went round the dining table while we the family were having dinner….he went to each one,touched us on the shoulder and told us to take care of ourselves…to my mother he said to her “I will take care of you”…to which I do believe, my mother was well taken care of after his passing.To my sister in law,Coco,he asked for a dance, he liked to show off his skills at tap dancing.

 

That night he left us with a caring reminder of himself….. the last dinner I had with my father……….

 

I say thank you daddy for the love you left us, a silent love that was well meant .If there was one thing I would do with you if you were alive today will be to sit and say the rosary with you! I know you will definitely love that very much!

 

My father never did see his grandchildren or great-granchildren but knowing his tender heart he would have showered them all with love and spoilt them rotten!
He was a loving man!

 

 

Let Love lead the way!

Every moment of our lives, we can do something beautiful……especially when we feel alone, when we feel down,when we feel restless,we can simply look within ourselves and find one small positive attribute of kindness to give away…….from within …..a smile, a word, a spontaneous act, a small donation to a charity,a walk in nature to see the birds, to hear the leaves rustling and feel that we are blessed.When we kiss our child, our grandchild, when we can embrace ourselves in tenderness to know that we can feel and relate to the suffering of others….when we can caress our pets and know that we can care …….when we can listen to a spiritual word of comfort and know that there are teachers of truth who are available on the internet, thru books…we can open up ourselves to knowledge and ways to find healing for ourselves in courses and therapies…..so we are not alone to deal with our pains and inner difficulties………there is always a friend somewhere to help guide us and be with us …if only we ask, we seek and we knock,perhaps on heaven’s door ……….we also can be humble and grateful for the love we already are Within……….we can always open to love and be loved when we are not afraid to allow love lead the way……….