Maturity

What does it mean to be referred to as “more mature” (or implied to be “less mature”) than someone?

I’m not sure.

Does everyone hold the same definition of “Maturity” to begin with?

It is the first time I heard of such a reference used on me. I couldn’t fathom what it meant. I asked how that person would define Maturity. The reply didn’t help me understand.

“The way things are handled; whether it was dealt with logically…”.

As I pondered over that reply, it suddenly dawned on me: It hasn’t crossed my mind, ever, to see people this way – by their ‘Maturity’.

How, does a 33 year old adult not have the ability to judge others’ maturity?

Perhaps in the past decade (and more) of mental struggle to accept my mood disorder, I lived in a parallel Universe I created for myself.

What recently moulded me is the kindness I received in my struggles. The love that helped heal me. The people who accepted me as I am. The ones who judged me not in my foolishness, but saw who I really am when my mind had those brief periods of clarity. Lucid thought. And sensible living.

From the above kindness, unearned and undeserved, I saw I have no position to measure anyone by any means. I slowly learned to accept everyone as equal souls. Equal, yet with unique ups and downs.

What’s this ‘equal’ I speak of? Everyone shares equal potential – to express care and concern; and to communicate kindness.

Then I asked myself, “Alright, so I do not categorise people via their levels of maturity. But it makes me no different when I use ‘Love’ as a yardstick. I’m still ‘judging’. No?”

I’m not sure if I’m qualified to judge the different ways each person chooses to love?

One thing I am sure of? Sincerity moves my heart. Kindness touches my soul. And deep inside I sing a song of gratitude to experiencing each new level of love. Inimitable love.

Healing is a journey. And the path of Maturity. I believe, is a journey too.

If anything, it is Sincerity and Kindness that I pray I may continue to Mature in.

That, I suppose, is a ‘Maturity’ that I can better understand.

 

Melancholy

Thoughts take shape. Formed into words.

An incessant stream of joyful peace has reduced to a puzzling drop.

 

Slow fog thickening.

On her knees, an unseeing crawler gropes her way.

Through this fog, her exploration manifests into writing.

Here She writes.

Melancholy makes her write.

 

A familiar fog she presumed gone; is back.

She knows this fog. She doesn’t know how vast it is.

But she knows what it is.

And because she knows, her melancholic mind can map its way.

The paths taken, the paths yet to be; Melancholy makes her write.

 

Here. An “X’. In a sea of greys. She is here.

Soon she will be there.

Where? Where the fog clears, where her heart and soul unite.

When? How? Melancholy doesn’t say ‘Now’.

She can’t see clearly but she can write lucidly.

So she writes. Melancholy makes her write.

 

Silly

Feeling Silly. How is that so?

She didn’t see a need to package her words. Nor rethink her phrases.

How they would sound. How they make her seem.

She wasn’t aware that would make her seem silly.

Until something inside told her so.

Something inside. What could it be?

Ego, id, or the guarded mask of adulthood she forgot to wear?

Feeling Silly. How is that so?

When she chose. To be.

 

She is silly. With people she trusts enough. She doesn’t mind being silly.

Or does she?

 

Humility

A deep sense of peace came upon me as this word came to mind. I had just ended a refreshing session of morning exercise, only to gaze into space and see a word “humility” in my mind’s eye.

Odd. Why did this word come at this time? My mind was blank, only to have this word come out of nowhere. Inspired, a short passage flowed from my heart:

Humility sees the other person’s good intentions.
Humility never sees a need to be defensive or get angry about ego bruising.
Humility is keen to learn.

Humility is an open door that allows light to shine into the rooms of my heart.
Humility sees. It seeks to understand.

Humility appreciates. Humility cherishes.

Humility. Humility. Humility.

The same day this word came to mind, just 10 hours after a peace-filled reflection on Humility; a situation arose for me to practice humility.

I am sad to reveal that I failed. The doors of my heart were locked with pride and anger. It took a kind aunt to slowly counsel me with love and caring concern.

I wish Humility could happen more often, instead of Anger which so easily fills my being these days. Once again, I am humbled.

Humility, as I read or heard somewhere, is a virtue of all virtues. The toughest of them all. It is no wonder there is a prayer and litany for Humility – of which I hardly give notice. Perhaps this is God’s call for me to pray this prayer; to let every thought word and deed be led by a heart that constantly seeks out Humility.

I am thankful for three key people in my life who embody such grace – my mum, my aunt, my granny.

I do have such a long way to go.

But I guess that is also where Humility begins, doesn’t it?

Thank You :)

“what is life, if not lived in gratitude?
what is gratitude, if not felt with the heart?
what is a heart, if not filled with love?”

In Loving Gratitude,
me

A friend told me to “please stop saying thank you”. It got me thinking; did I say it too much?

I didn’t realise this until I was told to stop doing it – then I imagined how sad my life would be if I stopped having reasons to say “Thank you”.

When I say “thank you”; it is because I feel it. I truly feel it: this deep surge of gratitude for whatever ‘insignificant’ deed/incident. However small it is, it got my attention, it captured my heart.

And each time my heart is moved: I get reminded that I am truly alive.

I guess for someone who has frequent bouts of bipolar depression & slips into general disinterest; being able to feel truly alive is a big celebration.

It is beyond words.

No wait. Two words sum it up beautifully. And I want to celebrate it with you. Yes, you.

“Thank you” 🙂

Love. But how?

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, & with all your mind.

This is the greatest & the 1st commandment. The 2nd is like it:

You shall love your neighbour as yourself.

The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments

Matthew 22:37-40

The question is, how do I love? I do not know how to love, Lord. I thought I did, but I gave up. I recently came to a point that I decided I had best be alone. I have come to prefer solitude over company – so that I may never have to let anyone down; never have to offend anyone; quietly learn to co exist peacefully with others and offer up prayers for them– without going the extra mile to mingle. I have grown tired of my human condition, and also of the many unloving things people do unwittingly. I do not blame them for being unloving. But I do see that we live in a world that knows no love. True Unselfish Love.

I do not know how to love– yet I know what is unloving. Funny huh?!

St.Paul writes a Hymn of love. Perfect Love of God:

LOVE  is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous. LOVE is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude. It does not seek its own interests, it is not quick tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH. LOVE  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. LOVE never fails.

REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH.

This truth, what is it? Truth. The truth — I suppose, is LOVE itself. Because St.Paul explains if we have everything (all knowledge, eloquence, ability etc) but no love, we are nothing (1Corinthians13:1-3)

Then I look back at what I wrote above -about my preference for solitude. I admit – that is self-seeking. I am protecting my own interests. From what? From disappointment. But as God’s definition of Christian love showsLOVE BELIEVES ALL THINGS.

I used to live in a bubble. I still do. I feel that people SHOULD be kind. People SHOULD believe in second chances. That people SHOULD NOT gossip/backstab. That if there is any unhappiness, one SHOULD approach the other and gently clear the air — so that the person concerned CAN grow into a better individual. Or if there is no way we can feedback to the person involved– then at least avoid speaking bad of the person. I had always felt this way. . . Until I saw people whom I trusted do the most unloving things I thought true friends wouldn’t do. I couldn’t bring myself to love them. I felt disgust within me. And then I felt disgusted at myself for feeling this way toward them.

LOVE DOES NOT BROOD IN INJURY, IT DOES NOT REJOICE OVER WRONGDOING. .. . BUT REJOICES WITH THE TRUTH.

I failed to see the truth — the truth is — we are all flawed. My perfect little thought bubble of human relationships. The people I allowed into my little bubble of idealism. They are MY NEIGHBOUR.

LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF.  

How would I like myself to be loved?

I would like to be given second chances. I would like to be remembered for the joy and goodness I bring to this world. I would like to be given space when I tire (but that is me alone, how do I know how others would like to be treated?). I would like to be understood for my good intentions — and not be misinterpreted and misconstrued by others. And so… this is how I should love my neighbour, isn’t it? The least I can do is give my heart to understanding them – and if I cannot understand them, then at least — BELIEVE in goodness. Believe in the goodness that they are capable of. Because — that is truly how I want to be loved.

Because I feel sad by the unloving experiences I have received (and given out to others, sadly)– I wish not to face this sadness anymore. Thus my preference for solitude. Because, when you are alone with Christ – Jesus who is pure love, never disappoints. I love the gentle peace, the quiet embrace, and the silence. The silence through which my soul sings in gratitude for making it through each day.

Then, in the silence, I also receive this message: Love me. Love my people.

God is a God of relationship. He is not a lonely God.

And so, I am called to respond.

Love. But how?

“Have I tried? Have I really tried to love this way? By doing, by trying, this is the only way to learn to love. Day by Day- to practise – to try, to fail – but it’s okay. It is a progress & needs preparation. It is worthwhile in the end. It is to enrich.  Start over. Again & Again. We are on a journey. WE ARE NOT THERE YET. “

[heard during Advent Recollection  (with Verbum Dei missionaries]

Frances, fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. For I am your God. I will strengthen you, & help you, & uphold you with my right hand of justice. Fear not. I will help you. (Isaiah 41:10,13)

Have courage to step forward. Start with a step. One step to Love. To stumble.. to fall… And then, to Love. Again and Again.

Because Love hopes all thingsand.. Love never ends. 

This is how. This is what Love is really about. Are you ready, Frances?

 

Late have I loved You

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new…

My heart can echo these words;

for late have I loved you Lord, ever Beautiful ever New.

..

How wonderful it is to be able to echo these words!

What grace it is to be able to come to this knowledge that I love you Lord.

..

The world is a thrilling and exciting place, Lord.

The world is ever colourful, ever noisy with its many attractions.

Amidst all these, I live.  Yet am I truly alive?

..

Nothing is hidden from you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new.

The late nights, my insatiable quests for more possessions, for more

entertainments, did they really satisfy me?

..

O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, nothing is hidden from you.

Yet these things seem to draw me on;

And for a while I was happy…

“I do not need you, Lord. I am happy doing what I’m doing.”

Yet, there seems a void in the depth of my soul.

..

Like a zombie, Lord I exist and one day blends into another.

I’m moving and acting.  Yet am I truly alive?

Nothing excites and everything seems tasteless.

What is amiss soul?

..

It is empty, nothing. There’s nothing, only a dark void.

I am cold and half alive, till you Lord reached out your hand,

lifted me up from this emptiness and nothingness, and placed your

love in my heart.

..

O Beauty ever ancient, ever true…

Late have I loved You.