Category: Dealing with Hardships

fork in the road

Healing the Fear of Making the Wrong Decision

Growing up in a religious environment, there had always been an emphasis on discerning and following "God's will" for one's life. There was this notion that God had a plan for every single one of us and that our job was to do our best to yield to that plan—ranging from following whatever vocation we ...

Top 4 Lessons I Learned from the Past Year

A part of me was somewhat reluctant to look back at the past year—not because it was particularly atrocious, but because it was tinted with a bittersweet note. Looking back at wonderful memories also reminds me of the people I shared them with who are no longer in my life in the same capacity they ...

Change is Hard: Why Knowing This Frees Us From Shame

It occurred to me that most of the things I say in this blog aren't exactly new; they're simply reminders of things that people already know but perhaps forgot. Most of us already know that we should, in theory, love ourselves. We know that authenticity is better than self-abandonment or chronic people-pleasing. We know that ...

bandage

Ripping the Bandaid Off: A Metaphor for Healing

I threw some bandages over some small cuts I had, because they stung like crazy whenever I showered or whenever they scraped against materials. What I didn't realize was that the bandages would end up irritating my skin even more; apparently I had some kind of allergic reaction to the adhesive. I eventually had no ...

The Space Where Healing Happens

A few weeks ago, something happened that triggered me. By "triggered", I don't mean being overly sensitive or easily offended (as the word seems to suggest these days). I mean that something happened, which was so reminiscent of a traumatic memory from my past, that I literally felt as if I had been transported back ...

Woman floating in the water.

A Small New Year’s Reminder

As the new year approaches, we can't help but look back at the past year and consider how far we've come and where we're heading next. For many of us, 2020 has felt like being in quicksand: as much as we've tried to wriggle ourselves free, we can't help but feel somewhat stuck. Many of ...

Man looking at his reflection in a puddle.

20/20 Vision: A Year of Awareness

At the start of 2020, people used the hashtag #2020vision to describe how they would pursue their new year's resolutions with razor sharp focus. That, of course, was drastically put on hold, as we progressed through the very year that would derail everyone's plans. My experience was similar: rather than pursuing my goals with absolute ...

My grandmother's memoir, written by hand in nine notebooks.

My Grandmother’s Memoir: Finding Meaning for the Past, Present, and Future

I never really knew my grandmother. But that all changed when I discovered she had begun writing her own memoir. It turned out that nine notebooks that made up my grandmother's memoir had been sent to my mom in Canada from the Philippines several years ago. They were handwritten in English and Tagalog, collecting dust ...

Checklist

7 Things to “Stock Up” on During a Pandemic (Hint: They Aren’t Sold in Grocery Stores)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that's sweeping across the globe, here are seven things we could all stock up on that wouldn't tip humanity towards the brink of extinction or cause unnecessary chaos (unlike that toilet paper fiasco). Good news: they are absolutely free, they are not susceptible to shortages (no hoarding needed ...

Enjoying vs. Enduring Life — Which One Are You Doing?

Last week, Vancouver was hit with its first snowfall of the season. As expected, the rain-accustomed city basically shut down when the snow reached its peak; bridges started to close, buses stopped running, cars got stuck, and classes got cancelled. And, sure enough, my lovely but prone-to-worry mother sent me a flood of texts urging ...