More than a decade ago, I said goodbye not only to the place where I was born and raised but also to my own family. It was the most intense realization to my senses, a piercing experience if not the most painful one. Whether you are the one who leaves or the one who will be left behind; saying the word “goodbye” is always an awful feeling.
Summer time is the time of the year where people from the U.S. Military personnel move to their next duty stations after a three to six-year assignment in Okinawa. Sayonara parties are almost on a weekly basis, whether a good friend or just an acquaintance – you cannot evade the word goodbye, sayonara or adios!
Just a week ago, my good Christian friend has just left and bid us goodbye. In the next few more weeks, one of my favorite students will be moving out too, and I can’t do anything but to accept the fact that change is constant. But I have realized that acceptance is a coexistent of change. Acceptance is a mixture between our mental state and feelings in any given situation.
Acceptance to change is as good as the art of letting go. Letting go of the physical loss of a good friend is not the end of the world. You can always continue the friendship just by clicking your keyboard, or dialing his/her number or you may even just text it out to keep up with them.
But that is not the case when you have chosen to “change for the better”. I could still remember when I used to enjoy shopping: yes, buying clothes and shoes was one of my weakest points, to the extent of looking forward to it every pay day. It is something deep within that I could not control – something that gives me a feeling of satisfaction because it compensates my
hard works. I even used to tell myself; why I should feel guilty of buying those things, I work hard, I earned the money, and thus, I deserve it. Not until one day I have realized that the same excuse is not an excuse for me to become greedy. Greed is as awful as covetousness – it could walk with you, run with you, sleep with you, eat with you and the worst thing is: it could haunt you! It will haunt you in the end if you have realized that something is wrong and you needed a change of heart. Correct! Accept that you have become greedy, accept the fact to change and say goodbye to an old habit, is the key to a change of heart.
For so long, we have gone astray to the love of our Lord because of our greed. We tend to be self-centered and think only of the things that make us feel good. Sure, it’s easy to spend your money on useless things but do we find it easy to share some of our blessings to the needy? Yes it is easy to become a slave driver if you’re the boss, but do you find it easy to reach out to your subordinates and know how they feel? I know it is easy to be in authority as I work in a Customer Service set-up; but putting myself in their shoes has always been in my daily request up above, the same way that these people would understand my point of view. People tend to complain and whine so quickly without looking first in the mirror. Maybe seeing your reflection is the first step to change, when the moment that you feel the need to release the grip on your old sinful habits – that is the perfect time to let go and say GOODBYE to your old self.
More than half the decade ago, I have bid GOODBYE to materialism and greed but I will never say GOODBYE to the Lord. As is it written in Philippians 3:7 But what things were gain to me, I counted loss for Christ.
by Stephanie Jones Jallorina
Imagine!... stepping out from your busy city life now quite a thousand miles away and finding yourself in skimpies and shades, walking on sunshine, and under your nose, inhaling the summer breeze that is salty yet cooling and soothing your skin slowly bathe by the sun blaze. Imagine!...a sight to behold that invites you to go near to the long stretch of a picturesque and solitary paradise. Imagine!...feeling in between your toes the sugary-fine white sand and sometimes get soft massage from crushing coral reefs that start to naturally form again. Imagine!...finally soaking yourself wet in the warm crystal-clear blue waters and the lush green vegetation, enjoying swimming or snorkeling or rekindling your passion for scuba diving, kiteboarding, wakeboarding and parasailing; your deal of adventure. And when you get exhausted, you head back at bay only to fill your belly with mouth-watering fresh sea cuisines! Imagine!... meditating in the tranquil atmosphere of a tropical bliss, or simply basking in the sunshine of the beach while waiting for the sumptuos meal you just partaken to simmer. Imagine!...sailing off into the blazing sunset on a pristine white yacht, cruising from island to island while experiencing the joy of the sea wind. Imagine!...when night falls and all neon lights are on, you get to choose to mingle with party tourists and locals circling around a bonfire or with lovely ladies dancing with fire, or you settle to somewhere a little more quiet or with low music background humming yourself to sleep on a hammock in your cottage’s veranda.
Beach is one of the top ten destinations during summer if not the top most. Even if you are a beach bum ravaged by years of sun, beach is happiness; it is something not given, it is something taken. If we are at Philippines on summer, we surely find time to go to the beach. We resort to beach escapades primarily because ours is a tropically hot country that sometimes even trigger people to fume mad about life uncertainties. I can think of only one thing that would prevent you from going to the beach – a mishap; exactly!
I have gathered forgettable experiences that drive away Epi and Yani to beach locations for a long time. Epi was six when he and his cousins were playing the fastest swim test from one fishing boat to the next, one after the other. He was happy to have the last turn thinking it would give him more ideas how to swim his swiftest to outwin his five cousins but little did he know that all the strokes and energy exerted by his cousins to make it to the top started to form small waves that paddled away the other boat increasing its gap from the other. When finally it was Epi’s turn, he had a hard time swimming till he got crumps and rest became a nightmare to him. Yani was first year high when her family and their friends went to another island for some celebration. While all the adults are busy gossiping and other kids making sand castles at the seashore, the small yet adventurous Yani bet she could hurdle the waves through the big boat that brought them to the island. She did well on her first two attempts she handled the anchor wire ropes for support but she lost count when suddenly she was pulled by the rope instead. The moment she became sensible she found herself lying on the shore with her parents so worried about her mishap. She trembles upon learning she got drown and could have been killed had she not been saved by her cousin from hitting her head hard on the boat. Since then, it has been horrifying for Yani to keep recalling the face of her parents whenever she sees the beach; telling her as if not to get back there. It has been traumatic for both Epi and Yani everytime they get near the beach that they want to forget that part of their life.
But just like life’s challenges they had to face their waterloo; they had to learn to overcome their fears. Beach Boys’ Endless Summer hit off and remained on the album chart for three years in the 70s for selling multi-million record. Also, Bruce Brown's movie of the same title was a classic for glorifying surfing in a round-the-world search for the perfect wave. Both remains a poignant metaphor for the similarities between the changing surf and life. For many, surfing is seemingly a dangerous beach sport but danger can be elsewhere hence fear not the past, fear not the present, nor the future.
Remember, happiness is something not given; it is something taken. Imagine!...me counting cars with surfboards overtaking me, unknowing where they are heading, and me has yet to drive-thru the airport. I am “stoked,” one of the main terms used by surfers around the world to refer to a mixed feeling of anxiety and happiness towards the waves breaking. I can feel it to my bones they will have a grand time they resort to the beach even once this summer.