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Love

Dear readers, haven’t you noticed how loosely we use the L word. We say “I love you”, but do we really love in a tangible way? Quarantine has had me thinking….. maybe too much by the way.

I’ve also had my grandparents in my thoughts a lot lately.

My grandparents weren’t people fond of words, they were folks of action. They could easily be the poster children for Home Depot’s catch phrase, “How doers get more done”. They excelled at doing. They excelled at loving.

My grandfather provided for his family out of love and responsibility in a time where resources were scarce. I have made my personal mission to interrogate my mom about her childhood (or what she can remember of it). Before time, which never hesitates, takes her physically away from me.

Covid19 has made my trips home less frequent, however our conversations on the phone have become quite long. They begin with business as usual, and then move on to the stories of her childhood, all it takes is a short question to get things going. A story that often comes up is how her mom sewed all of her daughters undergarments including her own by hand. Putting it into perspective and knowing the amount of daughters she had, that was a heavy load.

I can imagine her stitching with a concentrated gaze, with the needle chanting the phrase “I love you” over and over….. it was the only way she knew how to love. Caring and working for her family.

Expressing our feeling is liberating and equally fulfilling. However, like Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh in his book “How to Love” writes, “To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love.”

Love is a practice.

We need to teach ourselves to practice love in its many dimensions. For me, it’s taking my grandparents doing and adding powerful words forming boundless expressions of love in its purest form. It’s feeling the warmth of its caress in my life expressed in tangible and intangible manifestations.

Love is a way of life. A life full of days worth living. It’s not that things will be easier, but rather that life will become more easier to live. No human being has a promise of eternal summer. But, loving and being loved make winters easier to bear.

So my dear friends, next time you come across the words “I love you”, please think of a way to express healing in a world full of disruption and violence.

And remember be kind to yourself, stay safe and thanks for stopping by.

Hasta Pronto!

Faith

When You Don’t Dig Eternal Life

Dear readers,  Christians have this thing about eternal life.  The answer for all our tribulations lay in the after life, or better said in eternity.  Forget expanding our hearts, kindness, friendship to all, compassion and the most important of all acceptance and renunciation.

I just don’t  dig all the eternal life thing as a whole, specially if I have to rely on hope for happiness and joy in my eternal life.  Life can become a drag if I’m waiting to pass to be able to achieve happiness, missing on in so much in the here and now.

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photo credit via morguefile

As Christians we shouldn’t be trying to achieve happiness or  joy in a posterior life when what we should be doing is aiming to be the happiest we can here and now, in this present moment.

One of my favorite authors Thich Nhat Hanh brings living in the present moment to it’s maximum expression.  This incredible Zen Master is by far a man from which I have learnt many lessons on life.  I think perspective can only be gained when you listen and understand other people’s point’s of view and if I don’t share their  faith that’s even better.   Perspective is a gift you can make to yourself and the best part is that it costs you nothing. 

As  a Christian when taking Jesus out of the frivolous theological constructs that try to explain everything through dogma.  I have come to understand that Jesus wasn’t foreign to living mindfully in his teachings.  He preached a simple and straight forward message,  over and over he would bring the importance of living today as if it was our last.  Jesus not only taught, but also practiced deep compassion and love to his neighbor.  I believe earnestly  that he listened with compassion.  Laying himself as a model for all of us who aimed to practice and live Christianity to our best.

Let me cut to the chase and establish my point, eternal life seems amazing if I think that I will become one with God the Creator, but also it looses a little bit of its bling if I don’t pursue joy and happiness in this moment in my life waiting for it in eternity.

Let’s not do eternal life a  disfavor trying to aim for it when we are miserable in the here and now.  Let’s find joy in today and live our day as if was our last, loving ourselves and our neighbor deeply and fully to our best of  knowledge and eternity will take care of itself without us yearning for it.

Be compassionate with yourself and others and thanks for stopping by. Hasta pronto!