HOPE AGAINST WINTER BLUES

Some days are intolerable, and I struggle to keep my head above water.
The weather forecast is not promising, and the cabin fever is overtaking my emotions.
How do you battle the thoughts in your head? Those thoughts are not your reality. They are only lies determined to overpower you.

When the thoughts are more potent than your willingness to see them as what they are, fake, they can take you into a dark tunnel. Feed your mind with encouraging words from a good book or the Word of God before you spiral into a never-ending rollercoaster ride.

This thought will subside when the sun is out, and you get to resume life. If you can not find your way back to reality, seek help before it is too late. Decisions made during these trial times could be irrevocable. Speak to that thought with authority and keep them under your feet. They are not more powerful than the Spirit that lives inside you.

Call to the Lord in prayer, and don’t give up hope. These hard times will not last forever. Christ died to assure that in Him, you are victorious. Claim your victory and shut down confusion and doubt now.

Here are some ideas you can do to help improve your mood.

Seek professional help if sadness starts to interfere with your everyday life.

  • Go for a walk, or go shopping. A combination of both will be great.
  • Get out and enjoy the sunlight as much as possible.
  • Don’t isolate yourself. Talk to a trusted friend.
  • Keep a healthy diet.
  • Wait, confident that you will be better. It takes time to get out of a depression episode.
  • If you have thoughts of suicide, Call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

You are not alone; help is a call away. There is no shame in reaching out for help.

IS YOUR HUT ON FIRE?

There was a man who lost his way at sea. Crashing his boat on a desert island shore, he built a Hut with the wood he managed to salvage from the wreckage. After a while, he adjusted to being without the glitz and glamour of his previous life. One day his Hut caught on fire, and he cried out to the Lord. Why are you allowing this to happen? The Hut is all I have left. Soon after he cried out, a Ship got close to the shore. We came to rescue you, they shouted, to his surprise. How did you find me? He asked. We saw the smoke of the fire you build to alert us (or so goes the story)

It came from nowhere and when we least expected it, how our lives had been turned upside down in a matter of hours, maybe minutes. It was probably a decision we took to better ourselves, or so we thought. Our plans didn’t turn as good as we wanted, and now we ask why.

While merged in depression and despair, we isolate ourselves from others. The ones we open up to can’t help, and the others don’t care enough even pray. We look for answers, but they don’t come fast enough to quench our pain. Oh, Lord, my Hut is on fire, and we cry out in desperation.

Remember to offer your tears as a burnt offering at the altar. The smoke will rise to Heaven as you cry. The answers from Heaven will soon reach you, just like the ship reached the shore to rescue you. Don’t let your Hut catch fire in vain.

Regrets

“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today”

Will Rogers

I often think about the good old days and the days I remember with feelings of regret.

People surrounding you, the ones you do not get to see, may often have an idea about you somewhat far from the truth.

People find you strong because they know your story. You are still standing and, that is how a strong person prove itself. At least according to them.

You had no choice but to move forward. You accomplished almost everything you dreamed of. That is great, but it is not the total picture of who you are and the regrets you carry in the deepest parts of your heart.

We have created a facade from the life we want everyone to see, although behind closed doors we take the mask off. (Very much like the reality these days). In our private rooms, we allow the real us to stand up. It is understandable. We do not want pity or murmurings.

We put on our best smile at work, in front of friends and, church events. No one cares about your story. Why would you tell? That is our mentality and in many instances we are correct. Very few people have time to hear or be interested in what you need to say.

When they ask you in the morning; how are you doing? It is just a greeting, please go on and say that you are okay. There is no time to sit down and chat about your situation, your drama, or your feelings. That only brings them exasperation.

Why I find myself writing about things that happened long ago? I believe some of those memories haunted me as regrets until recently. Thank the Lord for a breakthrough! Thinking and pondering about the reasons and the root of many of my issues I learned it is all too common for many of us.

I regret not taking my father to get the mail without complaining, or not understanding my mother when she did not have time for me. She was busy and I could not see it until I raised my kids. A kid has an infinity of free time. You do not notice it then, but you did not have time for your parents either. You wanted your needs to be met. Yes, you were selfish when you were young.

How did you change when you became a parent? Maybe we did not change much at all. Too busy, too preoccupied about the responsibilities. A little selfish in our free time. I wanted to do my things; cooking, cleaning, crafting and, be at church every Sunday.

I took the kids camping, we fished, enjoyed vacations and many other things. I was not as busy as my parents working at the farm. Then again, time seemed never to be enough to meet the little ones’ requests.

I wish I had put my chores to the side and spend more time hugging and playing. Now they are grown, with families and careers on their own. We are close, we share, and we love each other. No doubt our relationship is good, but sometimes I wish I could do it all over again and changed how I allocated my time when they were little.

I find myself telling them to pay attention to the matters I missed while raising them. I am afraid they will regret not spending precious time with their kids as I sometimes did when raising them. I found the courage to asked them for forgiveness in case I ever lacked on showing them love or affection. You are alright, they say with a smile.

I am intentional these days in how I interact and find ways to give them time and affection. Maybe I will make up for some of the time I missed when I was younger and eager to accomplish my desires, passions, and things I wanted to learn.

Writing about my feelings allowed me to cry, think, evaluate and, understand those feelings a little better. I needed to forgive myself, just as I need to understand and forgive others. I cannot change the past, but I can start afresh. We all made mistakes, and we will make them again. It is life and not perfect.

Asking someone for forgiveness does not mean that you will get it. Do your due diligence and let time bring reconciliation if it is the time to happen. Get your heart right with yourself and with God. Living with regrets is debilitating and counterproductive. Express who you are and let your feelings show.

Do not hold your compliments, your words of encouragement, or expressing love. If you do, you may have missed a precious opportunity. I know I did, and it took me a long time to forgive myself.

Be blessed and free of regrets.

To my school with love

“When I crumble, a stronger version of me rises from the ruins”

unknown

We spend four years of building memories. I remember the old classrooms, the chairs, the blackboard, and the windows across the wall. The door faced the yard where we all played during recess and lunch breaks.

Our First and Second grade teacher was the same lady. So pretty, and serious about the way she taught. She was not as serious or tough as the third-grade teacher, who was her sister. Ms. Garcia, the Fourth-grade teacher was genuinely nice and sweet. It is funny because from her I do not have many memories.

Our minds tend to create a file of the negative impact someone leaves in our heart. It is not often the same for the good of interactions.  The damage from negative thinking is all too frequent. Being tough, too serious, too rude or intolerant tends to stick often in our brain.

Nothing is more vivid in my memory than the students from my classroom and other grades that made my life at school almost impossible to bear. I was too skinny, and that made me a target for rude jokes and cruel comparison with cartoon characters with similar looks. I often was not allowed to play with others because the color of my eyes. They were different color somewhat uncommon. Those words and the rejection wounded my self-esteem for years. 

I did not know at the time but a boy across the ocean in a different country and a different school was experiencing the same ordeal. Not because he was skinny, quite the opposite. Name calling and rejection hurt him while he was growing up. He kept the anguish to himself to avoid embarrassment.

It wasn’t your fault, beloved schools, you sheltered and keep us from the rain and the storms that bring the beautiful rainbows.The hurtful memories are from those ignorant, mean, and mischievous kids that turned the new words they were learning to spell into weapons against others.

Life brought that handsome, blue-eyes, tall and now trim boy and me together. I still look almost as skinny but not quite like then. My eyes are still green, I get compliments, I am loved, and accepted. We both succeed in life and love. We have beautiful children and a house full of joy.

School years are tough.  It is okay. Those circumstances make us the strong adults we are today. We do not remember you with regret or pain, but we are happy we don’t have to go through those years again.

My husband always points you out when we visit with his family in the countryside. I may come visit you one day. Bitter sweet times!

Stay there in our memory, for now.

Letter to the child that lives in me

“Don’t stay down for too long, get up and conquer”

Corazón Samaritano

  Hello:

It has been a while since we talked but I have not forgotten about you. Life is so busy these days, you know. I do not have time to play like you used to, but I often remember those days we spent together.

      In my memory the little girl has a special place. She has never been a way for a long of time. The stripe polo shirt, the shorts, and long socks almost to her knees is the image that I cannot seem to erase. Short hair, bangs decorating the forehead. Why is this image so vivid in my memory? I try to dig deep in the memory bank, but I cannot seem to locate the missing file.

I still ask lots of questions even when I know the answers to may of them. It helps me to be accurate and not arrogant. I know you had a hard time with that. You were not trying to sound disrespectful, it was your eagerness to participate in the conversation. They could not understand you and you were too young to tame yourself. It is okay. It paid dividends at the end.

You were so little, pure hearted, full of hope, dreams, and desires. Smart girl, always wanting to learn about life, politics, religion, arts, and crafts. I remember you did not have the same interest for cooking or cleaning the house. Those were mere tasks that do not feed the heart, too easy to accomplish and nothing more than that. Do not worry, I am a great cook. I learned to wash and iron clothes. It came to me amazingly fast. I am still a fast learner just like you were through all your school years. It is a great advantage, that skill stayed with me through life. Do you know that I also learned a lot about politics and religion, and now dabble in the arts? Of course, you know, because we are still close at heart.

    I have many different memories of you around that time and age. Some are happy memories of you running around in the farm. Getting attacked by ants while crossing the neighbor’s fence or falling on a cow drop playing tap. I wonder if that sad memory is the one that made that time unforgettable. It is too sad to share, much less to say it out loud or give it life writing it down. We know. It is our secret.

      I love the little you in my mind. Through you I learned to accept others as they are. I do not want them to experience the same rejection you had to endure. I am glad it made the strong and careering woman that I am today. Thank you for enduring the pain, the sadness, and the trials you went through, little angel. You know, God was there with you! Do you remember Him talking to you through the wind and the movement of the leaves that day at the creek? It was Him; I know because he still talks to me the same way he did to you.

Stay here, in my memory. The journey will one day come to an end.  We will travel together and will never be apart again. All the sad memories will be vanished once and for all. We will enjoy a life that we could never dare to imagine when you were little. I stay in hope and through perseverance conquer most of all my insecurities. Some of them remain. It is okay. They keep me humble. I am happy with my kids and their offsprings. Life turned out better than you could imagine when we were little.

     Goodbye for now. I will write to you gain.

Quizás fue mi culpa

Hoy me siento aquí con una copa de vino a pensar en el pasado que fue en esencia nuestro destino. Así es la vida y no hay que cuestionarla. Las decisiones del pasado nos persiguen y no es en vano lo que dejamos a un lado.

Fue todo un aprendizaje de vida que lamentamos haya llegado con tanta fatiga. En los recuerdos del ayer todavía yo puedo ver el amor con el que siempre desempeñaste tu papel de padre y esposo amoroso. Quizás fue la ignorancia o es el deseo de encontrar a quien poder culpar. Hoy no importa ya, el resultado sigue siendo el mismo.

La reestructuración de la familia dejo huellas en los hijos. Igual nos afectó cuando descubrimos más tarde que fueron terribles desatinos. La relación no llegó con un manual, ni tampoco con un compás para ayudarnos a seguir la dirección que debimos tomar. Si hubiera sido tan fácil quizás estas líneas otro color mostrarían en vez de gris y sombrío, así es como se siente el corazón mío cuando comienzo a recordar.

Vale recalcar que de los once años todavía queda la semilla que germinó en los seres que más amamos, ellas se multiplicaron para darnos aún más consuelo de lo que fue solo un anhelo. Le agradezco a la vida las experiencias vividas y la oportunidad que nos brindaste cuando del suelo dónde nacimos nos sacaste a conocer el extranjero.

Hoy lo más posible es que a ti te debemos muchos de nuestros logros. Nunca me cansaré de reconocer el papel que desempeñaste y las metas que alcanzaste mientras nos brindabas un futuro sólido. Tú iniciaste la marcha de nuestras vidas a la oportunidad prometida en la tierra dónde nos plantaste. Siento regocijo al pensar que a nuestro lado todavía estás y que compartimos él cuidando de los retoños que tanto amamos.

Creceremos y nos haremos viejos cuidando a nuestros nietos. Viviremos con los lindos recuerdos que labramos un día y quedaron en la memoria de nuestros hijos. Gracias por tu amor y tu apoyo incondicional con el que todavía puedo contar. Eres parte importante de mi vida y aunque seguido no te lo diga sé que sabes que vivo con pesar pero más aún con un infinito agradecimiento.

Que Dios siempre guarde las memorias que en un tiempo forjamos como familia en un suelo que muchos solo conocen por cuentos. Mis hijos son vivo ejemplo del honor con el que serviste a tu patria y a tu bandera. Ellos hoy son quienes son porque de ti heredaron la esencia de servir a su país y a la ciudad que los ha visto crecer en hombres de bien. Estamos orgullosos de tus logros desde siempre hasta el fin de nuestra existencia.

Deseamos que continúes con nosotros por años venideros con salud y con las ganas de ver la familia crecer. Hoy entiendo que el destino se forjó con dolor y a pesar de las complicaciones todos salimos triunfantes de los embates que nos esperaban al llegar a esta ciudad. Hoy nuestro nombre es de honra y los que conocen nuestra historia son amigos que nunca se alejan.

Lo logramos, aunque no estemos juntos tampoco estamos totalmente separados. El cariño es un lazo que unió nuestras vidas y los embates solo fueron parte de lecciones aprendidas. Seguimos en comunicación deseándonos a cada uno lo mejor y disfrutando nuestra familia.