You Gotta Have Faith: 10 Lessons of My 2010

It’s funny and surreal how fast time flies. It felt like a million dozen days going through the year but now looking back, it seems like it was just yesterday when we celebrated New Year at the Baguio Country Club. 2010 was quite a year for me. So many many many lessons learned. If I’ll be asked to sum up my 2010 in one word, it’ll definitely be FAITH!

I am writing this at 3am, five days before 2011 and once again, I’d like to assess what have gone of my 2010. I love doing this because I want to see to it that as another year passes by, I have learned from all the joyful and hurtful experiences the Lord sent me this year. And so here is my 2010 in 10 simple but meaningful lessons:

01 Family is what Matters.
I went through a difficult emotional breakdown 3rd quarter of this year and I swear to God I wouldn't have survived it if not for the love, support, prayers and understanding of my family most especially of my mom and my sister. I have to commend my sister for really stepping up during my time of weakness; for untiringly comforting me and showering me with words of encouragement , constantly reminding me that I’m not alone. I know I wouldn't have triumphed through all those panic attacks if she weren't by my side. Love and take care your family most importantly your immediate one. Never hesitate in expressing your love for them, splurge and spoil them, as much as you can be there in every moment, and stick with them because they’re the ones who’ll be with you when you reach rock bottom.

02 Happiness is a Feeling not a Choice
I hate it when people tell me happiness is a choice! Because it’s not! In this life, it’s either you’re happy or you’re sad. It’s either you’re celebrating or you’re miserable. For obtaining happiness by just choosing to be happy is not genuine happiness that comes from within but sadness under the disguise of a transient bliss.

03 Adjust and Compromise but Never Lose Your Core
It’s inevitable in this life to make “pakikisama” and “pakikibagay” for you to survive. You can’t act as if you’re the most important human being. You can never live alone in your bubble forever because time will come and it will burst. Sometimes, you have to do things even if it’s not what you want and it’s not who you are. You need to be flexible and adjust because the situation calls for it. You need to compromise because life isn’t always about how you want it to be. As a matter of fact, it’s about how humble you can be to sacrifice what you want with what is right and what you should do. Every day we have to find the perfect balance but always bear in mind that compromising can only do so much. Never ever let it change your inner being. The goodness of who you are as a person is still what matters at the end of the day.

04 If you’re Miserable, Do Something about It!
I know this is easier said than done. And trust me; I know the feeling of this dilemma by heart. It’ll literally drive you insane! But always remember that you are miserable because something is wrong, either in your life as a whole, or in your career, in your family, in your love life, etc. I also know for a fact that choices specifically involving your family, your career, and your relationships are the hardest to deal with but you got to start from somewhere. Life is too short to be living it in constant misery. If you’re miserable that only goes to show that you’re not happy anymore and always ask yourself, what’s the point of staying? What’s the point of holding on if it’s keeping me miserable? You have to face reality and eliminate what’s making you so unhappy. Don’t be afraid to take risks by letting go especially if it’s the best solution there is.

05 Honesty is not Always the Best Policy.
“I don’t give a damn! I’ll say what’s in my mind.” I used to live with this principle at heart but this year, I’ve learned to tame down. I now fully understand the depth of how hurtful words can be. It stays with you and damages relationships to great extent. It’s harder now with Facebook and Twitter around when you can go online anytime and lash out your anger and bitterness to the world. But it’s proven that we regret almost half if not everything that we said during moments of sudden burst of anger. This year I learned that sometimes, it doesn’t hurt to just keep your displeasure to someone/something to yourself. After all, not everything should be left out in the open. And it really pays to not only be prudent with what you say and how you react, it’s also more rewarding that you know you were sensitive enough with others’ emotions.

06 Be True to Yourself
I swear the worst thing you can do to yourself is pretend to be ok when you’re not. Pretend to be happy when you feel the other way around. And pretend to be someone you’re not and will never be. Show your true emotions, admit it and own it! Most importantly, celebrate your own uniqueness. Live out your passion! As much as you can, don’t force yourself in doing things you’re not fond of. It’s very important to have your heart in whatever you’re doing. I know that as a consequence for living out your passion, you have to give up and forego of some things or maybe for some, a lot of things. But you have to be brave enough to stand up and take the risk of what will ultimately make you happy.

07 Live in the Moment
Perhaps my biggest problem this year is failing to live in the NOW! I am so busy stressing in the past and worrying the future. In so doing, I failed to enjoy every moment of my present and that’s so devastating to realize. I’d like to share this quote from Mother Theresa that I read from the latest issue of the Kris Aquino Magazine, “Be happy in the moment—that’s enough. Each moment is all we need—not more.”

08 Positivity is Something You Thrive For
Just watch the 7pm news and you’ll see how much negativity and evil is surrounding us. Life is already very depressing as it is and so it’s on you to always look for the bright side of things. But mind you, this isn’t very easy to do. Positivity is something that doesn’t come naturally in a world full of negative vibe. It is something you work hard for and takes a lot of effort obtaining. And so don’t deprive yourself of things that make you happy for sometimes, even the worst days of failure can be cooled down by a new pair of shoes or a hot fudge sundae.

I don’t think I even have to expound the power of prayer. Instead, I’ll share lyrics of the song “On My Knees” by Jaci Velasquez. It expresses everything I have to say and believe about prayer.
There are days
when I feel
The best of me
is ready to begin (the end)
Then there's (the) days
when I feel
I'm letting go
and soaring on the wind
'Cause I've learned in laughter or in pain
How to survive!

I get on my knees! (x2)
There I am before the Love
That changes me
See I don't know how
But there's power
When I'm on my knees

I can be
in a crowd
Or by myself
and almost anywhere
When I feel
there's a need
To talk with God
He is Emmanuel
When I close my eyes,
no darkness there
There's only light!

I get on my knees (x2)
There I am before the Love that changes me
See I don't know how, but there's power
In the blue skies, in the midnight
When I'm on my knees
I get on my knees (x2)
There I am before the Love
That changes me
See I don't know how, but there's power
When I'm on my, oh, when I'm on my
When I'm on my knees

10 Your FAITH will See You Through
I am far from being perfect but I’d like to believe I am a better person now than
I was a year ago. I don’t want to sound so preachy and pretend to be holy. I am still a sinner like everyone else. I am still a person who commits mistakes and falls short of temptations every now and then. What I can honestly say now is that whatever disappointments, failures, frustrations, hardships, and mistakes I've done and encountered this year have definitely brought me closer to God. This year was an awakening for me in many ways and I am proud to say that now, I have a renewed relationship with the Lord.

2010 to me, means FAITH, because my experiences this year thought me a lot of what faith is really all about. It’s easy to say I have faith in the Lord but it entails a whole lot of gravity in the essence of the word. It’s not just the belief to something/someone that is not seen or heard. Faith to me, now, is the complete and utter surrender of everything to God. And I mean everything even to the smallest of decisions I have to make. This year I was reminded that we human beings are expected to “live by faith” which ultimately means putting everything of your everyday life to Him and Him alone.

As I’ve said, life is already very depressing as it is and I can’t think of any better way how to even last a day if not for His love and undoubted presence in our lives. We are here because of Him and I swear without Him, we are just as helpless as we could ever be. As we usher in another year, maybe like me, some of you also feel anxious and fears what lies ahead… what’s in store for you, your family, your career, your love life, your health on 2011. So many things can happen, so many things can change in a blink of an eye but that’s what “living by faith” means…giving it all up to Jesus who will certainly see us though every waking minute.

2010 thought me a lot of wonderful and meaningful lessons and I now find myself ending my prayers like this:
I lift up all my worries and fears to you oh Lord.
I trust you with all my heart and forever will my
FAITH rest upon you. Please see me through…
The Lord Jesus Christ is our only hope in this cruel, hopeless, rotting world but surrendering your Faith to Him doesn’t necessarily mean a life free of sadness and hurt. Surely, these two culprits will still bump us along the roads of 2011 together with their ever loyal companions--disappointment and frustration—but with God’s grace and loving mercy, I’m sure that we will all see it through the challenges of 2011 if we’ll rest our FAITH in Him.

Happy New Year Everyone and to GOD be the glory forever!

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