Lately, I notice that I have been having unhealthy thoughts and feeling spiritually dry. I have been trying to pray, but I easily get distracted. I thought it must have been that ‘time of the month’ kasi halos every month naman akong nakakaranas ng ganitong pakiramdam.
But I should know better. It may be more than just that. Ayoko rin namang mag overthink by making a big deal out of nothing, pero I also must be careful to not immediately dismiss what needs to be processed for it to be addressed accordingly.
In this time when I know I need to pray even more, tsaka ko pa nararanasan for whatever reason na parang hindi ko yata feel na magdasal (and I tend to beat myself up for that kasi parang ang ungrateful ko naman).
At kahit sinusubukan ko, masyadong maingay sa isip ko. But amidst of this, I am certain that God is still with me even when it doesn’t feel like He is. How do I know? Well…
God often speaks subtly through the daily, ordinary ways and means
It could be some videos or talks by Bo Sanchez or Matt Fradd that I watch on YouTube; that virtual conference with the Carmelite Sisters on Podbean or on Zoom; that Facebook Live by my favorite author, C.D. de Guzman a.k.a. FGirlWriter or the stories that she writes; in my daily Bible readings, daily Mass on TV, or daily Rosary prayer with my family; that e-mail I received; or even in the casual, random conversations and encounters with other people, God can make His presence felt and get His message delivered.
But I also have to do my part. I need to make it a habit to desire to seek His presence and be more attentive to His promptings, to step aside and give Him room in every task I do, to choose to walk with Him and work for and alongside Him everyday, and I have to repeatedly turn my focus back to Him multiple times a day.
Amidst all the chaos and uncertainties around, there are still many blessings to be thankful for
Cliché ba? Hahaha. Pero totoo. Iba iba tayo ng sitwasyon at mga pinagdaraanan, but if we think about it, kapag naghanap talaga tayo ng ipagpapasalamat, no matter how few they may seem, may mahahanap at mahahanap pa rin talaga.
In practicing gratitude, napapractice din ang mindfulness. By paying more attention to simple, seemingly ordinary, regular blessings that I receive daily—mula pa lang sa paggising for a new day, naigagalaw ko ang mga kamay at paa ko, gumagana ang senses ko, nakakabangon ako without any ache or any physical help from someone or something, etc.—tsaka yung apartment, tubig, kuryente, pagkain, pati nga cable, wifi, transportation, sapat na pera panggastos o pambayad sa bills, syempre napakalaking biyaya na.
Hindi rin naman tamang maging insensitive at maging apathetic or indifferent sa mga adversities and unfortunate circumstances ng ibang tao sa paligid, pero hindi rin naman dapat ma-stuck doon ang focus ko. I also need to actively look for, be aware of, and appreciate the graces that the Lord faithfully and generously provides amidst of this all.
God continuously gives opportunities and reminders to talk to Him and turn our focus back to Him
When I get that feeling na parang pwede naman akong hindi na muna magdasal, magsimba, o magbasa ng Bible, that is when I get prompted by the Lord that this is a reminder na lalo pa ngang magdasal, to persevere all the more in doing what I don’t feel like doing. Kasi, alam ni Lord na mas lalong hindi makakatulong at mas makakapagpalala pa nga kapag nagpatuloy ako sa katamaran o sa discouragement.
Pwede naman talagang mag skip. Hindi naman ‘to talagang sapilitan eh. But from my experience, I get even more spiritually drained whenever I do skip or take these exercises for granted. Spiritual discipline is essential to grow in faith and to stay connected to the Lord.
Marami nga palang pwedeng gawin, pero pinakamahalaga pa rin is to pray. Also, to serve—yung maglaan ng time, energy, and even resources para makatulong sa ibang tao in any possible way we can—kasi it brings our focus to the Lord and to what He wants us to do, which brings us closer to Jesus and makes us even more zealous (joyful, excited, eager, determined) to stay intimately connected with Him.
NOTE TO MYSELF
Kapag hindi mo gustong magdasal, o kapag nahihirapan kang magdasal, alalahanin mo at pagkatiwalaan mo na nasa tabi mo pa rin si Lord. Nakabantay pa rin Siya sa’yo kahit hindi mo maramdaman o kahit masyado kang preoccupied ng kung anumang mga bagay.
Isa pa, reach out (even virtually) to a friend, or to someone whom you consider as an expert or more knowledgeable and trustworthy. Sabi nga rin ng isang kakilala ko, don’t isolate yourself (emotionally) kahit pa yun ang mas gusto nating gawin at the moment.
Also, make use of the resources that are within your reach to help you stay spiritually nourished like online streaming, websites, apps, virtual conferences, podcasts, books (e-books and printed), etc.
Last but absolutely never the least, practice gratitude. Oo, cliché na kung cliché! Many people on social media are talking about it and you may, at some point feel like you’re already saturated by it, na parang overrated na siguro ang dating to some of you. But as for me, it is effective.
Being grateful does not have to stay inside of us. Mas magandang i-express outwardly para mas maramdaman din ng iba at para mas maraming mapasaya sana. At kapag mas aware ka na marami kang maipagpapasalamat, may motivation ka pa rin. Actually, kahit nga wala kang sabihin eh, even when you just sit with the Lord, that’s so much better than staying away.
P.S. For more resources or information about videos, apps, websites, just comment or send me a message. I am more than happy to share with you what I have.
Photos are from: Unsplash and Pixabay