Loss And Love Are Both From The Opposite Ends Of The Same Rainbow

“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.” – Kahlil Gibran.

I mourn the loss of a loved one I have come to know fondly as Nai-Nai, which means, grandmother.

She never married. Never had any children of her own. And yet, it is obvious for all to see, that her Presence and Absence were greatly felt…

…by the ones she loved.

In the 5 years that we’ve met, she’s often asked, “Kei Si Cham Cha, ah?” 

In the Chinese culture, when an elder asks you that question, literally, it means, “When will you serve (me) tea?” But its more an expression of desire to see you married, and to be served tea during the wedding’s tea ceremony, so they too can share in the sweetness of your happiness.

Most of all, it is pretty much an open declaration that you are loved.

~

It is in this moment of coming together, to grieve and mourn for our beloved Nai-Nai, that I was told by Mama, that they too, had mourned the loss of me… I was stunned. Who is Nai-Nai and Mama, in relation to me? 

Nai-Nai was the nanny of Mama, and she stayed on to become the nanny to Mama’s boys. And her boys were very good friends with this boy who stayed up the hill, but spent most of his time down the hill, at their home, doing what boys do best. They ate together, jammed together, fought together, laughed together, and through the years, grew up together.

Nai-Nai, Mama, Papa and the whole family, had embraced this boy from up the hill, like one of their own. When I came into the picture, I had not guessed, that I too, would come to be loved fiercely as one of their own.

After the break up, I learnt that the family had been heartbroken, along with me. And what they did to honour the sanctity of that loss, as I found out today, first from one of the boys, and then from Mama herself…

…silent me with Love. 

I didn’t know what to say.

Except, a quiet thank you.

“The best feeling in the world is knowing your Presence and Absence both mean something to someone.”

In her own way, this is Nai-Nai’s final gift to me.

~

I guess at the end of my grandmother story, all I’m trying to say is:

Are you willing to go through a painful time of Loss, to discover a beautiful depth of LoveThey are both from the opposite ends of the same rainbow. Your time of Loss, will eventually lead you to Love…

…Deeper, harder, stronger.

And sometimes, as Nai-Nai has so lovingly shown, Love is a Question.

~

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Like the sun, sky and clouds, Love has always been there for you–though you have it not in your hands.

I just got back from a two week Silent Retreat in Chiang Mai, Thailand–the land of the Flying Lanterns.

It has been an epic Spiritual Journey through the inner labyrinth of my being, with many twists and turns that led to the centre of my soul.

I faced my Fear of Fears and the two monsters from the land of Me-Me-Me and Perfectionism. Instead of running away, this time, I said hello and embraced them openly. I saw the sadness and emptiness in their eyes.

All they wanted was Love. All they needed to know, is that despite how unlovable they seem to appear to be, at all times, they are Loved.

All along, the lonely Me-Me-Me “monster” belonged in the land of We.

All along, the Perfectionism “monster” just needed a pair of new eyes, made in love and of love, to see I’m Perfect in the word Imperfect.

And so, I learnt and am learning still, to tame my inner fiery dragon by befriending the beast within. To kiss my inner frog and not to be afraid of my own shadows. All along, we are a bit of darkness, a bit of light. Half “angel”, half “devil”. And yet, through all the bad, our Creator sees so much good in us, and has so much Faith, Hope and Love in us, for us.

‎~

On the last day of the Silent Retreat, after breakfast, on the way to the laundry to collect my clothes, I stopped at every path where the sun shone, to catch the sunlight. Off the path, I spotted a burst of sun rays gleaming through the trees of the labyrinth. It was a detour, but I headed straight in its direction, breathing in the sun and exhaling to see my breath, like a puff of smoke, evaporating in the chilly cool morning air.

Like a child, I went about catching sunlight with my hair, my skin, my eyes.

Then, all of a sudden, this Question came to me like a poem: Can you catch the sunlight? Can you slice a sky? Can you bottle up a cloud?

It is there, for you, though you have it not in your hands.

So why must you hold Love in your hands to believe you have Love? 

This stopped me right in my tracks. I was aware I was being gifted with another Lesson, in Love. And as I pondered it, a smile broke across my face. My Teacher was still with me, loving me with another gift of Truth.

To drive home the lesson, after collecting my pile of clothes, halfway back to my room and stopping to admire the Donggol Bird up on the tree with Jacqui, with the clean clothes still piled all over my left arm…

…I looked down at both my hands and saw that I wasn’t holding my pouch with the alarm clock! I forgot to bring a watch to the retreat.

So I half ran back to the laundry to look for it, but it wasn’t there. Went back to the dining hall’s table where I had breakfast, but it wasn’t there. Desperate, I even went looking into the rubbish bin–and it wasn’t there!

My heart sank.

On the way back to my room, it occurred to me that I might have slung it on my left wrist. I looked beneath the piles and piles of clothes, sure enough, my pouch was right there! Hah! Lesson: What I thought was lost, what I went searching for, was always there with me–all along.

And so today, I share this little piece of my journey with you, as a reminder that LOVE is with you. Immanuel is with You. Always will be.

If, like me, you’ve been searching for Love in all the wrong places and came back empty, may this serve as a reminder that what you thought was lost or have been looking for, has always been with you, is yours.

Many a times, we feel the need to hold, touch, and see it in our hands to believe it’s real.“Blessed are you who have not seen, and yet believed.”

Have Faith. Have Hope. That LOVE transcends the form of a boy-girl relationship. If you are not in a relationship right now, it doesn’t mean you are not loved or lovable. Our whole purpose on earth is to Be Love and to Be Loved. Love comes in many ways and forms, and it begins by recognising first and foremost that Love is you, is yours–and is with you.

Like the sun, sky and clouds–Love has always been there for you.

The process of waiting for the one, for two to become one, begins with enjoying your relationship with the One. It is how you can feel truly embraced within, with Love, even in moments of silence and solitude.

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

1 Year Anniversary To The Death Of “Me”

AK’s “Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart” is on repeat.

I haven’t been listening to it for some time now. But its haunting melody was singing in my head in the first few minutes running up to midnight:

The 1 Year Anniversary To The Death Of “Me”.

Last year this date, at exactly 3am, 3 hours before boarding the flight to Chiang Mai, I found out it’s the end of the road for the both of us (ex-bf & I). It doesn’t matter now, how I found out about it or why it happened. It has served its purpose. And I’ve gained by learning an invaluable lesson.

That time of bitter pain? Turned out to be the sweetest gift.

A gift of Growth, Courage, Wisdom, Healing, Forgiveness, Faith and LOVE.

I didn’t realise this immediately of course. On the first page of my book (this may change), I was free falling to the death of “me” as I knew it…

“The window and the view beyond was my chance to disappear, into clouds and nothingness. Surely anything was better than this crushing weight of despair. My mind is spinning in a hurricane of questions howling for answers, but there was none to be found.

I am strapped in, 15,000 feet up in the air, flying further and further away from life as I knew it, to who knows what?

Everything was a blur now, including that cab ride from the airport to the monastery. 

My first time in Chiang Mai, but I was only aware of one thing—a monster of a pain that had me wondering how am I still alive? 

When mom announced we’ve arrived—true to my morbid state of mind—I looked up and saw a funeral parlour.”

It was my first time to a Silent Retreat and my first time meeting the Spiritual Directors, Rinda and Simon. After settling in and a brief getting to know you session, Rinda took us through the scriptures, to explore the importance of finding our True Identity and our motives for being there.

During this time, my attention was drifting in and out.

The pain, like a thousand jagged knives, was cutting me up.

So my eyes ran further than the scripture she had pointed out, to John 12: 23-25. Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But it if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

My heart, skipped, a beat.

Here I am, totally ready to die and be gone, and He is telling me, it’s the time for God to be glorified and that my moment of crashing and ‘dying’ is necessary for my future growth. I felt like He was talking right to me!

“Death” had to happen. The “old me” wasn’t serving me anymore. It’s time for my first-class UPGRADE. And that involves a lot of GROWING UP and Growing Pains. So the “new me”–which is the real me–can come Alive.

As I marvelled at this insight, Rinda concluded the session with, “Our stories will never be our own stories, it interweaves with others.

Our weakness will be somebody’s strength, our pain someone’s healing. Be reformed inside, then you can transform others!”

‎‎~

I just thought of sharing my heart out with you today, because it’s nice to know you’re never alone–whatever it may be, you are going through.

I shall leave you with 3 Love notes:

Romans 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

2 Corinthians 12:9 “My Grace is sufficient for you, for My Power is made Perfect In Weakness.”

And a sweet message from Mom, to me (and now to you): “Let go, sweetheart. For until you do, the good will always be the enemy of the best. Unless you release the ‘good’, the best cannot come.

Let your hands be open towards Him…

…and let Him place His gift into those open hands.”

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Why A Hold Up Can Be Good For You

It’s been a loonnng day. 3 something in the morning to be exact. A little while ago, I had spent some time with 2 Samuel 22 and the same verse had caught my eye, “O Lord, You are my Light! You make my darkness bright.” I knew I wanted to share it on facebook, so I did, and by the time I crawled back into bed, I was ready to sleep!

*Lights off!*

My head hits the pillow and it was the sweetest feeling in the world. But just before I could drift off into blissdom and beyond, in comes a bee!

A manic, buzzing bee! Right next to my pillow! URGH. Why does it always happen on nights when I’m the most tired and badly in need of sleep!

So I got up, pulled open the curtain and pushed open the window, hoping the bee would find its way out. Then I waited, and waited and waited.

But the bee just kept banging away at the wall. Even when I used my hand phone’s light to guide it out the window, it just kept flying up and down!

So all I could do was wait…

…and look out the window.

That’s when the most beautiful sight greeted my eyes!  A rich dark blanket of diamond dusts… stars… a whole constellation of it. 🙂

I didn’t even have to strain my eyes. The stars were so clear tonight…

…And they were taking turns winking at me, one by one! 🙂

As I crept closer to the window, I could hear the sound of crickets and feel the cool night breeze, caressing my face. All my feelings of irritation melted away to peace, contentment… and sweet pleasure.

What a LOVELY way to end the night and go to sleep, thanks to the bee!

By the way, the bee disappeared after I was done enjoying the view! It never flew out the window, I would’ve heard it if it did. Isn’t that just amazing? 

~

Today, could it be your HOLD-UP is an opportunity for you to LOOK-UP?

Could the “delay” you’re experiencing really be a surprising “delight”?

Open your eyes.

Sometimes, all it takes is a shift in perspective to see Light in a frustrating situation, and make your darkness bright. At all times, God, is holding us in the palm of His hands. If we learn to see through His eyes of Love, we can have Faith that even a hold-up, is allowed for a bee-autiful purpose!

Love,

Mish.

****

“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture

Why Cry Over Spilt Curry?

Guilt trips are no fun.

So why do we put ourselves through it over and over again? Why do we let it last longer than it should? How can we turn these mindless excursions into a mindful journey?

I’ve learned that “one magic word” holds the key to it all.

And here’s the messy and guilty way I learned that word: I’ve got a hot thing for curries. So when dinner was served at an Indian Wedding last Saturday, the 8 different curries looked like heaven on a platter!

Since the dishes were set on a rotating plate, I scooped each type of curry on mom’s plate and mine as fast as I could, “so others could get their turn” I reasoned to myself. But deep down, I knew I was just kidding myself. I was anxious and eager to get a helping of every type of curry, before it ran out! And you know, it’s totally fine to love curry that much. But when we make up false stories to deny our truth, we feel guilty.

And when we feel guilty about something, sometimes it seems easier to pretend it never happened. But I assure you, that’s the way a guilt-trip lasts longer. It’s best to face it.

Meanwhile, huge drops of curry were splattered all over the table like a bloody crime scene screaming for attention from everyone. I cringed at the messy sight, threw a paper napkin over it, and kept on eating.

Out of sight, out of mind.

I wish!

The next day, and the day after, and the day after, I couldn’t forget that messy scene! 3 whole days agonizing over my ‘table manners’ is no fun.

This really, really annoyed me.

What happened to being comfortable in my own skin? Or not needing people’s approval? Or not worrying about people’s opinion of me? Or being my own best friend? Why is my worst self-critic back in full force?!

Then the phrase “Don’t Cry Over Spilt Milk” came to mind–with a twist.

The past few days, I’ve been trying to “Shhhhhhhhhhhhh” that scene out of my head. But no amount of shushing made my mind quiet.  What you resist, persists! So tonight, I knew it’s not so much about “Don’t”, but trying to understand “WHY”. WHY am I ‘Crying’ Over Spilt Curry?

Why is the magic word.

The moment Why was asked, the answer came. I saw that my inner mirror was pointing out to me what my Impatience and “Greedy-Curry” self looked like. It was an honest look into ME and I didn’t like the picture at all! I’ve been moving  up and UP, soaring through my journey of growth and self-love. All’s been good, all’s been great. Suddenly, crashing back to earth, getting in touch with my “imperfect” self freaked me out!

But the running ends here now. I am choosing to face up to some painful truths about myself. And I am choosing to LOVE me where I am, FORGIVE me for my imperfections and LEARN from me. This was the whole point of the “inner nagging”. It was pulling me to pay attention to something I denied existed. And the moment I stopped still long enough to see into me, the mindless guilt-trip excursions turned into a meaningful journey.

I am learning that it’s okay to be imperfect. The lesson is not to deny our imperfections! And on a lighter side, to trust there is enough curry for everyone. There’s no need to rush. Stay calm, and enjoy the curry!

Instead of tripping ourselves up over the million “should’ves, could’ves, would’ves”, can we stop to understand Why we did what we did? Remember, “Why” is the magic word. And after learning the lesson, can we practice self-love, forgive ourselves, and let ourselves go? Our inner struggles are basically invitations to stop struggling, stay still, be calm, get clear, and choose again.

Choose mindfully.

Spicy Love,

Mish.

****

“The Growth of one blesses all. I am committed to grow in Love.” – Julia Cameron

The Love Culture on FB: https://www.facebook.com/theloveculture