Self Talk

Because of The Feast’s series ‘Unleashed: Breaking Free from the Shackles of Unforgiveness’, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about forgiveness and how heavily it can weigh on us.

Bro. JB Rodriguez shared his story of a forgiving heart while being interviewed by Bro. Bo Sanchez. I did agree with him that when we are hurt, our first instinct may not be to jump at the chance to offer our forgiveness. Sometimes, we just don’t want to forgive someone, period!

It’s the last thing we want to do. Instead, we would rather sit in safety with our dear friends anger and stubbornness.

We face the world with arrogance and empty dreams to fill up our longing for acceptance and love.

Self Talk

Turn down the volume of your negative inner voice and create a nurturing inner voice to take it’s place. When you make a mistake, forgive yourself, learn from it, and move on instead of obsessing about it. Equally important, don’t allow anyone else to dwell on your mistakes or shortcomings or to expect perfection from you.

If forgiveness is such an integral part of finding inner peace, why does it seem like a burden on our to do list?

We tend to think that if we forgive the people who have hurt us, they’re being let off the hook. Even worse- they might do it again.

By forgiving, we become vulnerable once again, which may feel like an invitation to be hurt once more.

The truth is, whether you choose to forgive someone or not you have no control over whether they hurt you.

We cannot control the actions of others, but we can control the actions we carry out in our daily lives.

An empowered heart that offers forgiveness is able to grieve and liberate itself.

Don’t allow yourself to be anchored by anger and resentment.

Try to remember that we are all doing our best, and offer your compassion. Forgive yourself, for it will allow you to forgive others.

You’ll know when you’ve truly forgiven someone because you’ll feel it in every part of you. You’ll feel the sensation of lightness and relief within you once you are ready to forgive.

When we forgive someone, we free ourselves from the pain and anger their betrayal brought onto us. We let go of the resentment that we harbored within ourselves like a guarded ship yearning to set sail.

Seek the positive in the situation. Take the lessons you’ve learned with you, and remember that each experience is a teacher of it’s own kind.

Avoid negative self-talk.

Make a conscious effort to monitor the way you process information. If you are constantly dwelling on past issues and using negative words to describe yourself, or your goals, you must make a habit of retraining your brain.

Self-talk actually sends messages to your subconscious brain to form habits that coincide with what you are thinking.

If you continue to use the same negative self-talk, your subconscious will keep your habits aligned with the familiarity of past (and possibly bad) habits. On the flip side, using positive self-talk aids in reprogramming your brain to start forming goal-oriented habits.

This was our activity for the Awesome Kids Ministry and we encouraged the children to affirm themselves positively.

Positive affirmations are the personal short statements that help to derive desired outcomes.

Below is a list of positive affirmations that will help you get started. We also encourage you to create your own to be specific to your needs.

Self-Belief
I love myself for who I am
• Fear is only a feeling; it cannot hold me back
• I know that I can master anything
• Today I am willing to fail in order to succeed
• I have the strength to make my dreams come true
• I trust in myself
• I am proud of myself for even daring to try
• Today I put my full trust in my inner guidance
• I grow in strength with every forward step I take
• I release my hesitation and make room for victory
• I can do anything I set my mind to do
• I like myself better each day
• I am capable and strong
• I am a winner
• I am a deserving human being
• I am able to easily handle any problem I face

Healthy Body
I enjoy exercising more each day
• I choose to eat healthy food
• Each day I move closer to my ideal weight
• I deserve a trim, beautiful, fit & healthy body
• Today I love my body fully, deeply and joyfully
• My body has its own wisdom and I trust that wisdom completely
• My body is simply a projection of my beliefs about myself
• I am growing more beautiful and luminous every day
• I choose to see the divine perfection in every cell of my body
• As I love myself, I allow others to love me too
• Flaws are transformed by love and acceptance
• Today I choose to honor my beauty, my strength and my uniqueness
• I love the way I feel when I take good care of myself
• Today my own well-being is my top priority

Assertive
I state my feelings with confidence
• I am always treated with consideration and respect
• I believe in and trust myself
• I choose to respond to criticism in a constructive way
• I see criticism as information that empowers me
• I always feel safe and secure on the inside
• I graciously accept compliments from others
• I express my feelings and opinions honestly and openly
• I have a powerful positive mental attitude
• I allow others to make their own choices
• Others may influence my decisions, but the final choice is mine
• I feel powerful and confident
• I know that my potential is unlimited
• My assertiveness enriches my relationships
• I feel comfortable with the decisions I make
• My feelings of self esteem are strong
• My feelings of self worth are strong
• I have high self confidence
• I realize I have the right to change my mind

Success
I easily achieve my goals
• I have absolute faith in my success
• Success in mine to be enjoyed
• I am successful in all that I do
• I have everything I need to succeed
• I am living my dream
• I am experiencing fantastic success
• Today I open my mind to the endless opportunities surrounding me.
• I boldly act on great opportunities when I see them.
• My intuition leads me to the most lucrative opportunities.
• An opportunity is simply a possibility until I act on it.
• Today I see each moment as a new opportunity to express my greatness.
• I expand my awareness of the hidden potential in each experience.
• Each decision I make creates new opportunities.

Self-Love
I am filled with light, love and peace
• I treat myself with kindness and respect
• I give myself permission to shine
• I honor the best parts of myself and share them with others
• I am proud of all I have accomplished
• Today I give myself permission to be greater than my fears
• I am my own best friend and cheerleader
• I have many qualities, traits and talents that make me unique
• I am a valuable human being
• I love myself just the way I am
• I love and forgive myself for any past mistakes
• I look in the mirror and I love what I see
• I recognize my many strengths

Battalion

I would like to share this picture taken 24 years ago during our Citizen Army Training (CAT) days in high school.

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“Be an Encourager: When you encourage others, you boost their self-esteem, enhance their self-confidence, make them work harder, lift their spirits and make them successful in their endeavors. Encouragement goes straight to the heart and is always available. Be an encourager. Always.” Photo credits to Batch Lima (1996) Adjutant Joseph Delgado. 

I was the First Battalion Commander back then.

CAT (Citizen Army Training) was part of the fourth year high school curriculum in the 90s.

To be at the top, my fellow CAT officers endured all the physical, mental and emotional trainings.

Just like the military, we have to go through the drill and formation.

Our CAT uniform was the fatigues or battledress, a military suit.

I was part of Batch Lima (1996), our corp commander was a lady who stood tall amidst strings of challenges.

We were the triumphant group who took home the Championship trophy for the Best CAT Platoon of the Division of City Schools Manil held at Araullo High School.

Our training was spearheaded by the Naval Reserve Command (NAVRESCOM) officers.

We have continually exemplified that honor is not a medal pinned to our chests but a way of life embedded in our hearts.

We were always encouraged to have an overflowing love for service and integrity.

We thrived in the spirit of volunteerism and bayanihan.

“Champions are those who never quit,” this quote inspired us to never give up easily.

We were required to memorize this poem by heart.

Don’t Quit

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won if he’d stuck it out.
Don’t give up, though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than
It seems to a faint and faltering man;
Often the struggler has given up
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late, when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are –
It may be near when it seems afar;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you mustn’t quit.

Indeed, quiting was never an option before and until today.

Whatever life throws at you, remain grounded, head held high and never give up.

He Cares

Grace-filled.

Inspiring.

Empowering.

More than 200 kids from the poorest of the poor in the neighborhood of Quezon City taught me today the deeper meaning of true love.

Every Saturday, they looked forward to the feeding party led by Bro. Joe Dean Solas, a lay missionary who devoted his life in fulfilling God’s call of faith and hope.

He Cares Mission, a street children caring center started in 1996 with a humble promise made by Bro. Joe Dean to two little street children that they will never be hungry again.

 

He Cares

Together with our Light Group, Bro. Joe Dean Sola (seated in cap) was a source of inspiration to many. He founded He Cares, they takes care of street children, offering five programs that cater to the children’s spirituality, health, family, life, education, and livelihood.

The day started with prayer and thanksgiving through worship songs.

Then a short program followed. I took charge of the games.

It was not easy at first.

It was difficult.

Very challenging.

But, I learned to let go.

I just smiled a lot and I let God took full control.

I knew they enjoyed it.

Their smiles and loudest cheers took my breath away.

They have been to a lot of challenges.

A few minutes of fun and laughter was all that matters.

They are still kids after all.

It was the first outreach activity for 2018 of our Light Group (LG).

I was grateful to Bro. Mark and Sis. Lorrie Calangian together with their children Lance and Chase for sharing their service love.

They tagged me along for a road trip from Cavite to the City of Stars and it was a memorable journey.

After the short program, the volunteers prepared for a sumptuous feast of spaghetti, fried chicken, rice, water turned into iced tea, fruit salad and a mini pancake with choco fillings donated by a generous Japanese businessman who visits the center monthly.

The feeding party was organized by Bro. Joe Dean with love.

Lots of it.

He encouraged the volunteers to always smile.

Every table were assigned to a feeding facilitator that helped the children on their needs.

I met Kathleen, a kindergarten student who had difficulties finishing her food. Her seatmates encouraged her to wipe out the fried chix and rice. She brought home the fruit salad.

After the feeding party, the volunteers were led to a short thanksgiving prayer and had lunch. I met other volunteers who have the same passion of serving others.

A short presentation about a new vision for He Cares in the coming years was shared.

Help build the He Cares Mission Promised Land – a sustainable farm community that aims to go beyond feeding and giving shelter for a day, towards giving a meaningful and abundant life day after day after day.

To know more about the program visit http://www.hecaresmission.com and find ways on how you can make a difference.

Bro. Joe Dean toured us around the He Cares Mission Center and mingled with the fulltime workers.

Their story of selfless love was inspiring.

I encouraged you to volunteer now.

Visit them at No. 9 Mines St., Project 6, Quezon City or contact them at (+63) 02 928-8910 or (+63) 02 453-0100. You can also email: hecaresfoundation@gmail.com.

They also accept donation thru bank account name:

He Cares Foundation, Inc.
Bank of the Philippines
Savings Account #1953093053

Women

Quaipo visit today and the world commemorates International Women’s Day 2018, a day to reflect on the changing female role in society.

I thanked the Lord for all the great women who work diligently each day to bring more love into their homes, communities, and the world at large: mothers, sisters, friends, teachers, activists, volunteers, authors, and more.

Quiapo

March 8th is International Women’s Day (IWD), observed throughout the world as a day of action for women, a time to seek specific improvements in women’s lives and to commit to ending the suffering that women experience merely because they are women.

Outside the church, a group of women have a rally. They voiced out their concerns on justice and governance.

I watched how passionate women on the streets fighting for their rights.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed since the early 1900’s – a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.

International Women’s Day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action.

To set aside just one day to remind ourselves to treat more than half the human population of the world, or any segment of it, as fully human, is a challenge that calls us to grow as God’s people.

Our celebrations of each other must be constant individual celebrations of respect and gratitude celebrating each day by each of us for each person in our lives.

Please join me in prayer:

Gracious God of all that is, we give you thanks for the endless possibilities of life as you have set it before and around us.

The many ways of being human make possible endless ways to serve you and each other.

We are tempted to judge some kinds of living or thinking as better, worse, good, bad, acceptable, offensive – without understanding what our differences make possible for all of us.

Turn our heads and our hearts, O Holy One, so we see the wonders of difference and the limits of prejudice.

Enter the heart and mind of each person to see each other person, every difference, all ways of being fully human, as gifts from you to all of us, in a world that needs all the gifts and help you give to and through us.

Amen.

Risks

Do you like to take risks?

When we stop taking risks, we stop living life.

We are never 100% prepared to start something new, but taking risks is so important!

I started this blog just to share my story but along the way, I learned a lot.

Risks

If you’re not taking risks, you’re not enjoying life.

From meeting new people and writing my encounter with them.

I also relearned the rudiments of English grammar.

Writista, a fellow blogger shared her Top 10 grammatical mistakes made by Filipinos:

#10. “Alright” and “All Right”
We see the word “alright” everywhere, and it’s begun entering the major dictionaries, but for formal writing, such as academic papers and business correspondence, you should still use the two-word version.

#9. “Pinaka-Latest”
“Latest” is already in the superlative, meaning there nothing “later” than it. “Most latest” is just redundant. Therefore, “pinaka-latest” is also redundant. But I have to admit, it’s pretty catchy. That’s probably why local showbiz specials love to use it.

#8. “More + Adjective-er”
Phrases like “more harder” and “more brighter” just give me more headaches. Just say “harder” or “brighter,” okay?

#7. “Your” and “You’re”
Two words that should never, ever, ever be interchanged, at least if you want to be taken seriously as a writer.

“Your” is a possessive adjective. In other words, it is used to express possession: “Your job.” “You’re” is a contraction of two words: the pronoun “you” and the verb “are.” Therefore, it’s always “you’re welcome“ and not “your welcome.”

#6. “Its” and “It’s”
This is almost identical to “you” and “you’re.” Use “its” to express possession: “I scratched its fur.” “It’s” is a contraction of “it” and “is.” Therefore, always write “it’s nice” and never “its nice.”

#5. “Their” and “They’re” and “There”
Same banana. “Their” is a possessive adjective, “They’re” is a contraction, and “There” refers to a place: “I’m going there.”

#4. “He” and “She”
“Clara’s there na. He’s, ah, I mean, she’s waiting for you.”

This happens because most Filipinos think in Tagalog, in which the word “siya” means both “he” and she.” This tiny difference between English and Tagalog trips up millions of Filipinos on a daily basis.

#3. “Already”
“She went there already.”

This sounds correct to a Filipino, but the correct use is “She already went there.” Personally, this still sounds a bit off. I would say “She has already gone there.” But that’s just me.

#2. The Ellipsis
This is one of the most abused punctuation marks in the history of humankind. Simply put, an ellipsis is the formal term for the three dots (“…”) that follow some types of sentences. Filipinos love to abuse it in the following ways:

By using only 2 dots: ..
By using more than 3: …….. (of course, there are some instances in which 4 dots are acceptable)
By using it several times in a single sentence: “Oh… Well… I’ll see you later, then…”

#1. Pluralizing all the wrong words
I visibly wince whenever I hear Filipinos add “-s” to the wrong words. “Fats.” “Furnitures.” “Evidences.” “Stuffs.” Stuffs. For the love of God, all of these words are already in the plural form. And saying “anyways” instead of “anyway” has always struck me as being singularly pretentious.

37

Today, we had a thanksgiving mass for the 37 years of love, service and faith of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila – Student Catholic Action (PLM-SCA). Fr. Santosh Kumar Digal from India presided the Holy Eucharist and he said that for our behavior to fit with that of our Lord Jesus, a gesture of humility is fundamental.

Jesus exhorted us to bear witness of our Christian life through our example, the consistency of our life and the honesty of our intentions.

We must behave, mostly, for the sake of our love for God and the glory of the Father. As we can read in the Catechism of the Church, «God created everything for man but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all Creation back to Him».

I would like to commend Liz Manalang, a student servant leader who stood tall amidst great challenges. A torchbearer of the organization whose passion and commitment is a source of inspiration to many. Together with our members, our gratitude to all for keeping the flame always ablaze.

Many thanks to Ate Shionie Tabada, our PLM Campus Minister for all the love and support.

Special shout out to all our alumni all over the world for your unwavering hope in our vision and mission to bring more young people closer to God.

There were times we want to give up but God’s relentless love conquers our fear and our doubts. He is the source of our strength. He is our biggest why – the reason for our being.

Our hearts remain steadfast and full of zeal to continue and to strive harder.

Let us remain faithful and committed.

To more years of loving and serving the Lord!

37

“Lord Jesus, teach me to be generous; to serve you as you deserve to be served; to give without counting the cost; to fight without counting the wounds; to work without seeking the rest; to spend my life without expecting any other reward than the knowledge that I do Your holy will. Amen.” 

A Brief History of SCA

In the Philippines, the Student Catholic Action was founded in 1936. Since then, it has undergone a gradual process of development and expansion. Evolving from a loosely formed city-wide association in the early years it has established itself as a well-knit organization with SCA Units in practically all educational institutions in the Archdiocese of Manila.

Demonstrating adaptability as one of its main assets, SCA first concerned itself with the problem of education in the state university.

It was here that the first unit was formed by Columban Father Edward J. McCarthy in 1936 at the University of the Philippines-Manila. It was formally approved by his grace, Archbishop Michael O’ Doherty on April 12, 1936.

During the occupation era the impetus of the early enthusiasm of SCA maintained the organization for a short time. Registered with the Japanese authorities “SCA for secular colleges and universities,” the organization continued with its regular student Masses but eventually, due to lack of priestly assistance, all activities gradually ceased.

After the war in 1948, with the archbishop’s request in Manila, an immediate objective of establishing religion classes in non-sectarian and public schools was called for. SCA was revived and expanded for the main purpose of providing many catechists required for this work not only in Catholic Schools. SCA then had an increasing influence until such time it did not only focus on catechism but also embraced the SIX AIMS (presently the SCA Areas of Concern).

In 1969, during the heightened student activism on Martial Law Years, student organizations including SCA was banned due to the infiltration of the leftists. Other arch/dioceses however continued the program in their own. CBCP abolished SCA in 1985 and the national coordination was lost. In 1998, CBCP, through the efforts of Bp Rolando J. Tria Tirona, ECY Chairman and Ms. Teresita E. Nitorreda, SCA gained back its national structure and was granted a mandate as a recognized youth organization by the Episcopal Commission on Youth.

Choices

Today is a day of reflection.

I saw a very inspiring short story and thought of sharing it to you.

Jerry was the kind of guy you love to hate. He was always in a good mood and always had something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!”

He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, “I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”

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Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.”

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested. “Yes it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.” I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business. He left the back door open one morning and was held up at gun point by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma centre.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he said, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “The first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied.

“Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live, or I could choose to die. I chose to live. “Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked.

Jerry continued, “The paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the emergency room and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read, ‘He’s a dead man.’ I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big, burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry.

“She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes,’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, “I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead.”

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully.

Life has so many wonderful things to focus on!

You are abundantly blessed!