August 6, 2012
I’ve been a ‘single’ mom for nearly a week.
Every day it’s a maddening routine of cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, working, writing and trying to eat and exercise. The end of each night feels like a serious accomplishment. No joke.
Each day little things annoy me….like my son’s favorite shoes that’s hard to put on. My long hair that constantly gets yanked. The weight of the infant seat…the hundred degree heat…the sound of a play table…even the stoplights that keep my car still too long because it makes my baby cry. Working out is a miracle. Avoiding an edible reward each night is also a miracle. Having the time (and energy) to write this journal is a miracle!
As I was laying my son down to sleep I was typing out my ‘to do’ list on the notes app on my iphone. I do this often. I write down what I need to buy at the store, what I ate that day and what my plans are hour by hour for the next three days. In addition to my ‘notes’, I also use my Gmail calendar, a small diet journal and a large spiral notebook where I write my ‘6 things to do’ each day. Besides this site, I also journal in my personal diaries – a routine I’ve kept up since I was 9 years old.
My whole life feels like I’m in continuous preparation, action and reflection mode.
I dream. I set goals. I plan. I take action. I reflect. And I repeat.
I don’t always hit my goal – which is why reflection is so key. Whenever I don’t make it to the gym or fail to make a connection I don’t ask myself what my excuse is. I ask myself why I don’t want it badly enough.
This reminds me of when I joined my first beauty pageant when I was 16. There were several beautiful girls competing. Some were taller, others were very curvaceous and each one had their own unique beauty. I was confident, but I knew I wasn’t the prettiest. In fact, in all the contests I’ve competed in and won, I never was the prettiest, or the skinniest, or the tallest.
What I do know…is that I wanted to win the most.
I practiced my talent routine, my walk and my smile daily. I learned how to apply stage makeup, fix fancy hairstyles, and sew sequin on my outfits. I watched old pageant tapes, studied each winner and practiced answering questions. In these efforts I knew that while I could memorize answers, my best bet was to become intimate with my personal philosophies and beliefs. I knew that if I knew myself, then I can answer any question with charm, confidence and most of all, conviction.
I nearly fainted when I found out I won my first pageant. I went on to Canada to win a national Filipina title. This allowed me to represent the Philippines in an international contest in Texas, which I won. I’ve competed in 13 contests in my lifetime and won/placed top 3 in all but one.
That “one” pageant was my very last pageant in 2005. I don’t share this experience often because I can hardly remember it. It was a preliminary to the Miss California America pageant and I had only a couple months to prepare. I was in the middle of my eating disorder. I was heavier than I am today. I felt like I needed to focus on a goal to bring me out of the destructive cycle I was in. I competed but I didn’t win. I didn’t even place – and I don’t remember that day at all.
At the time I was mentally and physically disabled. Thoughts of sadness, life and death haunted me as they always have since I was a little girl. I hid from thoughts of existence, from questions of why I existed…most of all; I felt a spiritual void in my life.
In order to become re-born, you must allow yourself to breakdown…to wallow in the pieces of a former self. That’s what happened to me.
From my first pageant experience to my very last – all documented in my life journals; I was able to evolve through prayer, reflection and acceptance. I became intimate with my spiritual self. Not the symbol I portray as a daughter, sister, student, employee, friend or girlfriend. I became familiar with the endless existence, the God, within me.
As I go about my day – and am able to complete tasks, finish articles, workout and have the energy to read a bedtime book, I know I can do it because of one thing….God. I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). When you life a life dictated by prayer, love and reflection, you become an instrument of his use. When you know the power of Faith, you will sense the power of Faith in Action…and only then will you see true results.
If you want something badly enough, you must know you. In order to know you, you must know the incredible power that exists within you. When you realize this power, your ability to conquer life’s adversities becomes infinite.
I was going through your website and came across your message (below) which revitalized my faith in Him. I have been studying so hard for the engineering exams next week, so hard that I get only 5 hours of sleep and still had to work on top of that. I’ve been out of school for 23 years and failed this exams thrice due to heavy work load. Nevertheless, these outcomes do not dictate my future nor of my wife’s future who has been very supportive of me. In all these busyness my relationship with Him has dwindled. Studies have taken some of my time away from daily prayer, reading and meditating on His word. When I came across what you wrote below, it struck me that He is the only one who keeps us going and be the best we can be. Thank you for this. You have been used at such a time as this to inspire and guide someone. From a future mechanical engineer.
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). When you life a life dictated by prayer, love and reflection, you become an instrument of his use. When you know the power of Faith, you will sense the power of Faith in Action…and only then will you see true results.”
P.S. I’m a big fitness buff too, an avid hiker and trekker. I will show your program to my wife.