December 5, 2006
24 Hour Fitness celebrated its holiday party this past weekend and it was fun! Not only were we able to spend some special time with colleagues outside of a work environment, but we were also able to laugh, interact, dance and celebrate a time of the year when life is full of festivities, food, fun and family.
In honor of this celebrated month, I watched “The Nativity Story”, a story about the Immaculate Conception and birth of Jesus Christ. Like Passion of the Christ, I was moved to tears and was made aware of the blessed life we have all been given today.
While I’ve received inquiries via email from people regarding my experiences with faith, I’ve never publicly expounded on the topic of my religious beliefs…And as much as I write of spirituality and philosophy, I hardly use extensive, religious terminology in my journals.
Today I feel the need and desire to express my personal experience with God.
I firmly believe the 2 greatest gifts my parents ever gave me were Life and my Christian Faith. I was raised Catholic and was taught how to pray at a young age. I recall at the age of 4 pensively observing the billions of people who shared this world with me and knew I was only a grain of sand in comparison. I can distinctly remember the first time I felt jealousy, anger, resentment, frustration, compassion, empathy and love. As each emotion passed through my psyche, I questioned what had caused it, and how I can prevent or promote those feelings in the future.
My faith was tested throughout high school when I was tormented by strangers who didn’t like me for any valid cause.
A lot of peers misinterpreted my shyness, kindness and aloofness to be ‘fake’ and un-real. As much as I wanted to change schools, drop out, and fight back, instead I cried, sometimes hiding in a small closet in my room, crying and praying that I would be protected from the intimidation I felt on a daily basis.
My faith was tested when I was undergoing a spiritually debilitating eating disorder. There were moments when I felt alone, abandoned and afraid of myself and the thoughts that hindered inside my head. As much as I wanted to revert back to my original way of living and static way of thinking…instead, I submitted myself. I fondly remember sleeping underneath the chilly night sky with my dog, in an effort to allow God to look at me, his child, suffering and in need of guidance and salvation.
Unlike my practices in my youth, I started breaking down the closet doors that once created feelings of security and allowed my spirit to unearth and present itself anchored against the terror of this world.
All that I have achieved in my life I accredit to God. The lessons learned, the strength earned and the blessings given were all gained during my periods of internal and external adversity.
When I started sensing God’s presence, I began feeling an overwhelming, almost intoxicating, spirit of Love surrounding me. I suddenly had the courage to do so many things I feared…I traveled alone internationally, I quit my job, I started taking calculated risks. I constantly wandered
into the perils of the unknown because I knew I was protected by an invisible shield. This shield only descended when I connected to energy with people, places and things that resonated with my own loving
I abandoned my long standing fear of death – for I knew that at any moment I could die at peace knowing that I had lived each day with love and empathy to the world around me. I could die happy knowing that the love permeated through my human body while alive, would exist and ‘live on’ past my physical remains when I passed. In choices then and now, a lot of people thought I was crazy, irrational and ‘dreamy’ in my decisions to take on challenging journeys, but I knew that ‘something else’ was now guiding me and my only choice was to follow.
This overwhelming passion impelled me to write, to travel, to share and to help people who underwent difficult challenges. I also recently connected with special people of similar beliefs who un-knowningly gave me the courage to write this revealing journal entry today.
We are all journeying through this life in a quest to unveil who we really are, once we start undergoing challenges and begin breaking down the bricks of a house we think we own, only then can we truly see the foundation that
keeps us strong and everlasting. I have fallen ‘naked’ in front of my faith many times, but in this humble awareness I found myself, my true self…the one that existed before the tribulations of
this world influenced my spiritual outlook.
This is a very special time of year – a time for not just presents, but for reflection, remembrance, reverence and rejoice. Peace be with all of you and God Bless.
Journal Pictures: December 5, 2006
This was a very cool ice sculpture.
We call him Emac – the best buyer in the world!
Nancy, Tameca and me striking a pose –
Ryan was the luckiest man in the room for 2 seconds
The women of our 24seven Team!
I was a solo player that night!
On the trolley back to the parking lot – it was cooolldd!
My brother and I Sunday afternoon at my Uncle’s performance in Sinag Tala!