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I’ve moved

Moved my blog to a new address and given it a new title. I didn’t want to contribute to any sibling rivalry between my two sons. :-) See you at sinulatan.wordpress.com!

Profound emotions

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the most profound emotions are the negative ones. On the contrary, I believe that negative emotions are a cop out. I believe that sadness and anger, for example, are mainly the result of one’s inability to see the bigger picture. Some would argue that feelings are neither right or wrong. I believe that’s partly true. At the onset, negative feelings are understandable. However, if we let these negative feelings/emotions rule our lives. If we allow ourselves to dwell in these negative feelings, then we are not exercising our full capacity to understand, to seek the truth, to be truly human.

I say this of my recent observation back in Cebu where I noticed a gallery of artwork, and a mural right outside that gallery where the emotions being conveyed were about sadness, about anger. There were some that conveyed happiness, but it was depicted in a sarcastic manner, as if the artist was embarrassed by the emotion.

I say the most profound emotion is that which emanates from love. When you choose to love someone despite your awareness of their shortcomings, beautiful and very positive emotions emanate from it. Emotions that give you a sense of happiness that you should not be ashamed of.

Sadness is not profound. Happiness from love is.

A phrase I overheard last Sunday afternoon: Things are thieves of time. The more you own or desire them, the more time you have to sacrifice by working to keep or acquire them.

This is particularly relevant at this stage in my life when I’m beginning to ask whether the things that I’m able to acquire are worth the sacrifice I’m making with the relationships in my life. Not that I’ve been burning bridges, but a little neglect here and forgetting to touch base every now and then can add up and before you know it…you know what I mean.

I hope you won’t have to go through these concerns during your time. I hope that you won’t have to face a decision between life and working to acquire things (and if you must, that you always choose life). I hope that you have better luck weaving your way through this world and I hope you always find yourself successful in nurturing the relationships you have with family and friends. I hope you always know that working and “things” exist to support life and relationships and not the other way around.

I hope you don’t let yourself be lured by the temptations of things which are, I think, the root cause of many worries in life.

Husbands and Wives

I had a wonderful time with your mommy during the Marriage Encounter weekend hosted by Bukas Loob sa Diyos. One thing that stuck with me is this paraphrased passage from the Bible:

Wives, be subordinate to your husbands for the husband is the head of the family…husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church.

Your mom and I initially reacted with consternation: why this very male dominated view of married life? Why should the requirement on the wife be so much as to almost degrade her as a second class citizen in the marriage?

What we didn’t notice which our spiritual director, Fr. Gerry Juarez, pointed out very well was the part about the husband’s duty:

Love your wife just as Christ loved the church.

Recall that Christ died for the church. This means that I as a husband must give up my life for the sake of your mommy. If the situation calls for it, I should not hesitate to favor her well being over mine. I have to admit that this has been my mistake in the past. Even as your mom and I were married, I continued to think more of a bachelor and to favor things that give me pleasure. I was even critical to your mother for not being perfect. Perhaps I was not vocal about my critique, but thoughts are sneaky little things and they always find ways to come out whether through words or actions.

The marriage encounter has done a wonderful thing to me and your mom and I hope that, when the time comes, you will also participate in such an event as it will help you live a full and happy life with the partner of your choosing.

Success

The feeling of success DOES NOT emanate from the achievement of goals.

The feeling of success stems from your own personal knowledge that you did what was possible and necessary to achieve the goal. In which case, when you don’t achieve your goal, then you can say that it was not the time and move on or, even better, improve on your next attempt.

You’ll probably become familiar with this feeling as you grow up and notice it even more when this feeling is absent. The time you feel like a failure is when you feel something gnawing inside, reminding you that you deliberately missed a spot. Don’t ever ignore that feeling because that’s your conscience talking to you; learning to ignore one’s conscience is the worst thing any person can do to himself. So acknowledge it and, next time, don’t deliberately miss a spot.

Being open to mom and dad

Being able to talk to us about anything (and i mean anything) is a very important thing because it’s in all sorts of parent-child conversations (even uncomfortable ones like *grimace* sex and teenage pregnancy talks) that we get to learn a lot of things from one another. It’s also during any of these conversation when we get to support one another and feel closer as a family.

One of the worst thing that can happen is when one member (parents included) start to feel that that they can’t talk openly to the rest of the family. Things will start to breakdown from there.

Mikey and Christian, if any of you start feeling that you can’t talk openly to me or your mom, let us know. Your openess towards us is something that i look forward to and hold dear.

Of Penises and Vaginas

I’d like you to think about this, son, when you are of a mature enough age: why is it taboo to mention one’s own genitals in public? Most people refer to their penis or vagina as “private parts,” Oprah calls her vagina “Va Jay Jay,” others would rather say “down there.”

But if we consider ourselves exact replicas of our maker, why are we ashamed to openly talk about these body parts that are just as normal as an arm or a leg. In fact, it’s the one body part that makes real the gift of life. Why are we so ashamed of it?

It’s a social taboo that has been so ingrained in our minds that, I must admit, even as I question this social norm right now, I would still probably be unable to talk straight about penises and vaginas under normal circumstances.

Don’t get me wrong, the point of this post isn’t to tell you that you should go and say “penis” or “vagina” day in and day out as you grow up without fear of social consequences. What I’m asking you to do instead is to NOT stop asking questions like this. Do not let your curiosity about life and the world around you be stifled by social norms and beliefs. Be always curious and strive to learn and understand because I think that this is one of the ways to live in harmony with reality.