Musing no. 19: Freedom

What is freedom?

What does it entail? Does it mean you are genuinely free from that which enslaves you? Or is it just an illusion that keeps you in chains in a way that makes you think you’re in control?

Is freedom being by yourself, or having the ability to enjoy whatever state you’re in?

Is freedom being surrounded by people who feel the same, or being secure in your solitude?

Is freedom the ability to travel, when you could enjoy what’s around you without cost?

Is freedom your ability to speak without hindrance, or the ability to speak and not hurt anyone with your words?

 

What is it?

Is it defined by someone else telling you what you need to do to feel free, or is it defined by your ability to decipher that which benefits you most?

Is it a way for you to practice your “free-ness” by not being tied down to one person, and just jump from one to another on a whim?

Is it really freedom when you confine yourself in a belief solely yours?

I don’t know either.

 

I think true freedom is found when you have peace with what you do, and don’t hurt those around you; and yet find fortune in what’s within, what’s surrounding, those who are there, those who are everywhere. And you feel love and are able to love–without holding back. THAT is freedom.

 

 

Break: Desiderata

So someone on IG sent me out looking for this poem. I loved it. I love it. Love it.
Desiderata
 
Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
 
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
 
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
 
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
 
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.
 
Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Musing no. 18: I’m an introvert.

I talk a lot. In fact, I talk so much you think I was a confident, outgoing individual that enjoys speaking to people about everything and loving it when people give me attention when I speak.

I don’t.

I cringe when people look at me when I start speaking. I act. I’m a great actress, in fact, I can make you feel like I’m really excited about what I’m talking about; whereas I’m actually nervous and scared you’d not want to listen to me.

I love listening to you, though. I love when you answer my questions with more than just one sentence, with the essence of your being slightly shared as you engage in conversation with me. That, I love. 

But I was not always like this.

I used to be the one who raised her hand when the teacher asked questions.

I used to be the one who volunteered to make friends with new people at church so they felt at home– those my age and behind.

I used to love being the center of attention and being in the spotlight. 
But then we moved; we moved to a country where I knew no one, kept myself isolated, and my comfort was writing a poem/prayer/letter every night for two and a half years straight. I listened to the saddest music, and the angriest music; I wrote in my blood, and pierced myself. It comforted me. 

I comforted me.

  Nothing anyone did for me mattered because no one did anything for me that mattered.

  FIghting everything by myself was no easy task, because no one listened to me when I asked for help.

Justifying abuse done to myself was not ideal to deal with, by myself. 

Trust me, I know. I’ve been there. 
Listen to your child when they speak of something that bothers them. Otherwise, they’ll just try to fix themselves to no fixable point, and confuse your effort to gloss over it with no care.

I talk a lot. In fact, you probably thought I was okay talking about this.

I’d rather write it out.

Musing no. 17: In Remembrance

TW: graphic content.

You hear them arriving. “Another one,” you murmur under your breath, as dust and dirt on dried sweat slowly flake off your brow… You know that there’s no chance, yet you have to fix this again, somehow. 

One by one you see them walking, or carried–maybe, assisted–being herded by medevac into the tent. An arm, a leg, two arms, both legs… an arm and a leg–all missing. Then the ones on the carrier…gone. And then you see the one–if lucky, two–who are so shaken you can tell that they wished they were blind, that there could be Mother’s skirt they could hide behind, but their shock is glossed over by guilt. 

“That should have been me,” their eyes tell you, as they pass you by, knowing at some point throughout this tour they will have to–no, they will NEED to talk to you about it. You have seen this, time and again. You, yourself, wonder, “Am I becoming numb of this?”

“Sir, we need you in the tent,” your assistant tells you. You follow him with your Book in tow, knowing it’s time; some are not going to make it but they seek some sort of transcendental comfort before they move on. 

“Home. I want to go home. Tell me Chaplain, am I going to make it home? It doesn’t have to be this one. How about the next one? The one you spoke about two days ago?”

So you reassure this young man, telling him that yes, he is going to make it home, as long as he commits his spirit and believes that Jesus is the Way and no one else. Sometimes, you question all these things happening and what you have been preaching in believing after they come back from the field like this, but you quickly rebuke yourself. “Stop, Jack, you know better than to question the Creator,” you chastise yourself.

You go back to your tent in anguish over the thought of the wives and children some of them left behind, the siblings they grew up with, or the parents who won’t be able to know that their child is gone–sometimes their only child–and won’t know about it until a few days, sometimes weeks, after.

Yet, you write about it in your journal. You write to remember for them, and hope that the souls you have spoken to indeed found peace and did enough–most importantly believed enough–that they could be where peace lies. Past the blue skies, that encompass all the the earth that somehow cost them–and demanded–their lives.

And now they lie in peace.

___________________
Enjoy that barbecue. The sun, the beach, the drinks, peace. But remember the fallen, remember the fallen. 

Enjoy the sky’s blue hue. The sand, the grill, the food, calm. But remember the fallen, remember the fallen.

But don’t just “Enjoy.” Live your life worthy of another life. Don’t burden yourself with living it too perfectly, though.
 Live it in a way that reminds you of how they were when they were here.
 Live your life to help those in need, to fight for those who don’t have a voice, to not stand on the side when those who are discriminated against struggle. Be their voice–those alive and those who’ve gone. 
Live your life, and take care of yourself. Your life is precious and you know that because those who did not have to, gave theirs so you can have and keep yours. 

Live for them. Don’t make it your sole purpose, but live a life that thanks them for what they did. 

Remember the presence they had. Remember how they were at home. Remember how they were in training. Remember how they smiled, ate, laughed, breathed, joked around, cried, chewed–every little thing they did that made them who they were, what they were, to you.

Remember the fallen–the brothers and sisters that were not your flesh and blood, but did more than your flesh and blood. Meant more than your flesh and blood.

And don’t forget those who felled themselves, too. They were still fighting that war when they got home.

And to those who are still here–just remember it, but don’t live in it. 

Live in the now, in remembrance.

Musing no. 16: The Doc

I was sitting in the waiting room because my lungs keep doing this thing where they stop working and make me cough and it feels like my chest is getting stabbed. Wth.
So I went to get checked (finally) after four days of coughing and not breathing and waking up not breathing because I died in my dreams. 

She was pleasant. 

She walked in, asked me how I was, placed me on a nebulizer treatment right tf away, and told me she wanted to do an X-ray on my chest, a STAT CTA scan on my blood stream to make sure I didn’t have blood clots or a pulmonary embolism, and to go to the emergency room if I still felt the same. Handed me a note to pick up my doctors note at the front desk, schedule the damned appointments, and reminded me to pick up my antibiotics, inhaler, and a nasal antihistamine to make sure it wasn’t allergies. And she places me on a second nebulizer treatment because this time, she hears rattling when I breathe, now. She said go to the emergency room if you can’t get this fixed by Friday. 
It’s Sunday night. I still feel the same. I didn’t go to no emergency room. I ain’t no sissy. I ain’t no sissy.


But I have to go see her tomorrow and tell her that I have to babysit this cat for a whole week.
While struggling to breathe.
Smart right?

Well I’m kind of broke, after having to pay 2x rent for 2 months. Coz I pick really awesome friends. Whatever.

But hey, I’ll see the doc tomorrow and she’s gonna put me on another nebulizer treatment, tell me to go to the emergency room again, and run around like she can pump me with all the medication so she can fix me.
While I just sit and wait to die.

Lol

I’m not. But it’s interesting that a stranger cares more about my ability to breathe than I do. 

Breathe in. 

Breathe out. 

Musing no. 15: That deep Low

Let me bring us back to 2005.

Hello, Lo of 2005. What have you done?

You went by “Lorie,” then you removed the “e” and it’s been “Lori” ever since. You’re a mess. In fact, you feel the exact same loneliness and brokenness from that time in 2005. Right? You just left everything you knew (for 2 years, anyway, since you’re gonna be moving 19 more times right after this), and then plunged into a culture you do not know, a language you do not speak, and a country whose airport smells like food. Whose country airport smells like food????

But after all the loneliness, suffering, learning to speak a language that will later on influence what you want to do in life, etc. etc.

*insert motivational quote here*

But today I feel low.

2017 Lo feels low.

It’s okay, though. I’ve gone through a lot the last few years.

I forgot what I was headed to with this post.

I’m gonna go nap for a bit and do a re-write later.

Musing no. 14: Kintsugi

So I felt broken. I still feel that way sometimes. I felt I had it together, had the perfect everything. Everyone thought everything was going well for me. From the outside I was pristine.

From the inside I had cracks slowly breaking through the outside.

I tried to drown it with justification. I tried to blame myself. Actually, I blame myself. It’s mostly my fault anyway. 

I feel like I’m never enough. And when I begin saying this, I can tell what people hide. I can tell when you act differently around me. I can tell when the way you touch me is different, the way you look at me. The way you don’t look at me. Why don’t you look at me? I suffocate people. 

My concern for their safety suffocates people.

And it was broken. My giant dam of emotions broke. It poured out. I had no control. I broke down. I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t want to breathe. I was tired. I was alone. I got given up on. I got given up on.

After pouring my heart, my wishes, my soul, my poetry, my desires, everything you would invest in someone who promises to love you the way you love them–it just all trickled down the drain. Forgotten, set aside, shoved aside.

And I broke. 

And I hurt.

And I felt alone.

And I was alone.
So I bring all my broken pieces back to God–again–for the ump-teenth time. And cry. At His feet. Because I gave my love to someone who didn’t love Him more than me. I need someone who loves God more than me, who wants to grow in faith with God with me, and seeks His will and doesn’t doubt it.

Someone who runs to God when he is hurting, because he knows humans will fail him; I need someone who won’t hurt me because he thinks the carnal desires that take over him are what makes him human. Yes, they are. But if you claim to have a relationship with God, why live like that?
I’m tired of dating. I’m tired of wishing to be with someone who reciprocates and loves me the way I love them.

So I’ll wait. 

Learned my lesson again. 

So this time, I’ll wait. 

Maybe my love will come back someday. 

Only heaven knows.
And my broken pieces will be fused back together with the sliver of gold that takes over because of the Love I can always hold onto. 

Musing no. 13: Pray

Ok I’m done being upset. It’s in Your hands now. Everything I am and have. I’m tired of pretending I have everything under control, because clearly I’ve only set You aside. Learned–yet again–that I shouldn’t do that. People have and will let me down, and I need to learn that only You are my constant, in times of my struggles. No matter how unwanted I feel, worthless, directionless, and lonely, You still love me. Unwaveringly. 

Musing no. 12: Prayers

Most of you don’t know I speak 4 languages. Only 4. I’m working on the other 6, since I do want to end up knowing at least 10 functional ones before I die.
But I pray in Ilocano. My language closest to my heart. Pray to the God who gives you love when all you feel for yourself is hate. 
He won’t let you be by yourself without His unending support and love. 

It sounds stupid, after wallowing in depression for almost 3 weeks. But I find my comfort in Him. ❤️
Humans will fail you, no matter who they are, they will. 

God. Will.

Never. Leave you.

March 17, 2017, 2:04 AM

Dear Future Husband,

I don’t know where you are right now. I don’t know where I am either. But I hope that you will be able to know that I already love you even if I don’t know who you are yet. Maybe I’ve just met you.

My heart feels peace knowing that someday we will be together. Maybe our paths have crossed. Or maybe our paths just crossed. Maybe I haven’t met you yet. But I am happy to feel I will not end up and die alone.

I want you to grow with me. Encourage me when I do things to make our family better. I’ll encourage you to keep doing what makes you happy and won’t nag you for working so hard. I will make you tea when you get home. I’ll rub your shoulders and won’t stop kissing you when we’re sitting on the couch together. I will cook You meals with my whole heart. I will make sure you love them, too. I will make you all the baked cookies and goods you want. I’ll watch all the action movies, play all the video games, and horse around with you when you feel like being goofy, because I’m pretty goofy.

I don’t know if my heart will still be around, but I know that God will use your patience to heal my heart. And I will heal yours.

I don’t know why I’m writing this right now, but it feels right. I feel at peace.

-Lo