Even When It Hurts

Gosh! Pins & needles. Pins & needles!!!

Gosh! Pins & needles. Pins & needles!!!

Life hurts sometimes. It hurts to feel at times that even though you’ve given so much and yet the people around you take you for granted. It hurts when things don’t go your way. It hurts when it your prayers are unanswered.

All of us have gone through the above and here’s how I deal with these feelings when I feel like giving up and am at an all-time low sometimes.

  1. I talk to God about how I feel. This happens a lot in my head & in my heart.
  2. I read scripture. Scripture comforts me for some reason. It just does.
  3. I remind myself that God is my vindicator whenever things seem to be so against me.
  4. I always tell myself that everything happens in God’s timing and being patient even though it’s hard it’s the only way to go. It’s a daily process for some things and it can be the gosh darn hardest thing you ever have to do to release something so close & dear to You into the Lord’s Hands.
  5. I try to get out and do things; and I make it a point to smile cos’ somehow smiling always helps to lift me up from the doldrums.
  6. I press on. I grit my teeth and I just push on in life; trusting God with what’s next even though the circumstances are otherwise and the people around me tell me otherwise. No one else can be responsible for my decisions but myself; after all is said and done I am the one who has to live with the consequences & effects of my actions.

Take a minute to smile today and here’s a short passage from Mark 12 for those of us who need a reminder that Jesus sees all and knows all that we have done in giving. Better yet, He is the perfect judge and knows our motives best; whether we do it for the applause of men or whether we do it truly out of a heart that just wants to give. Enjoy.

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

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Value & Acceptance

Are you alone in the crowd?

Are you alone in the crowd?

I know I haven’t blogged in awhile … I guess I’m learning to shut up more instead of expressing what’s going on inside my head & heart. It doesn’t seem to make sense these days to wear my heart out on my sleeves but here’s one of the rare posts that I will be making based on what’s happening in my life right now.

2009 is starting out to be pretty busy. There’s a tonne to do at work. Some clearing up of audit stuff for the record label PLUS there’s a bit of an evolution happening at cell. Got hit by a few hard hits over the weekend but I’m surviving. Something feels different inside and I guess I’m sad to have temporarily lost a friendship that’s been blessing to me for the past year. Life “happens”. As always.

Here’s something I learned today as I was counseling a friend which turned out to be a big revelation to me too. I’ll sum it up below:

“We only get hurt by people because of the value we place on our friendship with them. The truth is not everyone values us the same way and perhaps we shouldn’t value them as much in terms of taking to heart what they say. Not everyone knows us through and through and we end up getting unnecessarily hurt by these people.”

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we get hurt sometimes becomes of how much we value certain people. Some people just don’t value our friendship as much and sadly they don’t take the effort or time to get to know us well enough. Actions & comments are made loosely and that’s when we get hurt. The worse part is people who don’t appreciate us enough and we end up feeling rejected.

I’m still figuring it out but I am learning that we don’t need to be accepted by everyone. It’s the acceptance of the ones who take the time to see beyond the external that should matter most. It hurts a whole lot when much is given to a person but nothing is given back in return. It cuts deep when a person refuses to break out of their own mindsets about us. It kills us when we are misjudged and presumptions made based on false impressions. Not many truly bother to see beyond what is on the outside. Not many are able to. After all don’t we all judge a book by its cover most times? Some of you would say no … but I would challenge you to ask yourself that question again and think real hard about it because you’ll find that you won’t like the answer that surfaces within.

The point I’m trying to make is this … I’m learning for myself that we can only give someone love & care only if that person allows it. We can only give as much as the person wants to receive; beyond that it’s very difficult to touch a person’s heart if that person is closed off. Isn’t it sad that we are able to close ourselves off to love because we have far-flung expectations? We don’t truly appreciate the choices that are presented before us because we’re always looking far far away for better options or choices; not realising that the best options are already there in front of us.

Maybe at the end of the day it’s about us accepting ourselves first before others can accept us. Maybe the value of our relationships start with the value we place on ourselves? We put far too much value on what other people think of us but the fact is that no one can truly know what’s inside us except us & God. So why do we put so much stock on what others say about us? Is that the reason why we end up getting hurt & disappointed? Now that’s a thought for us to chew on …

I don’t really know what I’m trying say in this post; maybe some of you have insights that would evolve or change my view on this but I think I’m close to the mark on this. I’m still sorting my own thoughts though so don’t take what I have to say today as the Gospel truth. Anyways, give all this a thought; hopefully some of you would make better sense of what I’ve been mulling on. I’d love to hear your own insights on this matter.

Till next time.

Anger Management

Angry Donald!

Angry Donald!

I’ve been thinking a lot about anger and in my own experience of it not much good comes out of it. When I’m angry I get riled up and for the most part unable to think straight or see reason. The worst part I guess is how prolonged anger & bitterness can affect one’s health.

Forgiving someone for hurting us is tough. It’s taken me 3 years to work through my issues and at times it felt so very unfair that I was the one burdened with the hurt. It’s not an experience that I would wish on anyone but it does make me question the benefits of loving someone especially when there are unsaid expectations. Unconditional love isn’t something that comes natural for people.

Having said all that … I’ve come to learn that anger management is all about turning the other cheek and forgiving the parties who wronged us. Better that than to hold a grudge cos’ sometimes hurt can come through misunderstandings too. It’s difficult but I’m doing the best I can to give people the benefit of the doubt. It’s tough though cos’ I find it a little difficult to trust people and right now it’s more natural for me to view things negatively rather than positively.

At the end of the day I really want to be settled in myself. There’s just so much to take on in life and I truly just want to be content. Being less angry certainly is something worthwhile to have in life. Wouldn’t all of you agree?

Elusive Freedom

Hi everyone, I’ve been battling my thoughts & emotions a lot especially in the last 2 weeks. It’s tough when I don’t really understand why my heart still hurts after so long. My best bud J-son tells me that I know what I need to do and perhaps I do. But it just seems like such a chicken & egg thing cos’ it’s hard to ignore the hurt that’s so palpable when I get up in the morning. It’s FRUSTRATING!!! Sigh …

I don’t know if I still want to be with her or if I just want to move on and be with someone else. The worst part is that I don’t know how I can be with anyone else with such damaged emotions. When I sit down and close my eyes; a picture of my heart appears and I see it still bleeding & hurting. It’s sad that the people you love have such power to hurt you. For the most part I’ve succeeded in not looking back at things but it’s just come back all of a sudden with a vengeance in the past month or so.

At any rate I’ve had a huge measure of peace today after attending church at our brand new Dream Centre. It was strange being in such a huge place and at the start I felt so overwhelmed by all the people. I feel that DUMC as a whole is such a big place and I’m glad that at the very least we have cell groups that meet and minister to the needs at a micro level. It’s awesome being a part of this church and I’m a bit sad that with all my disappointments & heartache that I’m just not able to contribute to the church but I hope to be up & running soon. There is a part of me that just can’t wait to write a new stageplay and to take up cell leadership again. For now I guess I just gotta receive and really get deeper into God in this difficult period of my life. Here are some pix I took of our brand new sanctuary … AWESOME no?

My view from upstairs. Huge ain't it?

My view from upstairs. Huge ain't it?

Presenting the DUMC Dream Centre!

Presenting the DUMC Dream Centre!

There! I’ve gotten all of my negative thoughts out of my system, it’s time to get back to some Metroid Prime 2: Echoes after finish Metroid Prime 3: Corruption for the Wii. In time I hope to really live life out there with more freedom in my heart. Pray for me guys … in the meantime I wish everyone out there happy thoughts and lotsa love! I leave you guys with this cute picture I took of some kids playing at 1U in the concourse area … they made me feel happy cos’ life is good really isn’t it?

Life's full of colour to a child.

Life's full of colour to a child.

Travel Fever 2007

The past few months have been filled with lotsa traveling. I feel really blessed to be able to go to so many different places and to be able to enjoy myself without pining for someone all the time. I thank God so much for how He’s been working in my heart but there’s still a long way to go to recover after all the hurt that’s been inflicted upon me.

Anyways … just thinking about the places I’ve been to in the past few months amazes me lots. Here’s a list of places that I’ve hit since the start of 2007! I’ll try to put it in chronological order as best I can.

  • Ipoh
  • Singapore (3 times already so far, once for Phantom of the Opera, once for our Esplanade gig & last month for Eagles Leadership Conference)
  • Port Dickson
  • Cambodia
  • Malacca

And in a few days time I’ll be off to Bandung, Indonesia! Yippee! This will be my first time in Indonesia and I am most looking forward to it! I’ll get to see a real live volcano!

It’s been a tiring August filled with travelling plus I’ve been consolidating stuff for our label Four Forty Records. At the same time I’m working through a lot of my personal issues with Ps Mike & my buddy J-son. There’s just so much to do and at times I wonder how God’s gonna fix up the mess in my heart. I memorised Romans 12:12 and have been repeating it to myself daily to help me get through the times when I struggle with hopelessness & the pain that revisits me time & time again. The verse gives me strength and I’m thankful that I have God’s Word to hide in my heart.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction & faithful in prayer.”

Depressing thoughts aside … I had a very memorable weekend hitting Malacca and hanging out a bit with some local celebrities during a shoot with NTV7 on Sunday. Anuar Zain is such a cool guy and it was easy chatting with him while we were eating lunch and waiting for rehearsals to start. I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable and it made me realise that celebrities are just people like you and me. 😉

I got to meet Sheila Majid again (last time I met her was at the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 launch) and she’s very, very nice. I am truly privileged to be a part of the music industry and in some ways I still can’t believe I get to meet the very people I used to watch on TV or listen to on the radio. At the same time I’m finding a new faith & belief in Malaysian singers & musicians. I feel ashamed to have not paid more attention because we have such wonderful talent right here in our own backyard … I wish our radio stations would do more to give room for the English scene to grow. We’re missing out on a lot of good music in favour of all the Akons, Gwens & Avrils! We really should give local music a shot cos’ there are real gems there!!!

Cheers & do remember to check out Juwita & the other local artistes I met on TV this Merdeka! Tune in to NTV7 at 8:30pm on the 31st of August to catch the Nite of Soulful Stars Merdeka Special!

That’s enough from me today-lah. Click on the pix below to check out some of the shots I took over last weekend & share a bit of my life in the Malaysian music scene.

Ju @ last weekend's Salvation Army Fund Raiser.

Ju @ last weekend's Salvation Army Fund Raiser.

DiGi CelebriTeen Semi-Finals, Malacca.

DiGi CelebriTeen Semi-Finals, Malacca.

Ju, Anuar Zain, Kathy Ibrahim, Datuk Shake & Sheila Majid.

Ju, Anuar Zain, Kathy Ibrahim, Datuk Shake & Sheila Majid.