FAITH, FAMILY AND FRIENDS – LIFE’S ENDURING GEMS

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Have you ever wondered if there’s a need to pause introspectively in your preoccupied life?  Not just a quick look inside your inner world, but a reflective check on what you are and where you’re headed.

Scary isn’t it and daunting in a way.  Yet in order for you to grow, this exercise is a welcome necessity.  Whoever said that an unexamined life is life of mere existence contains a germ of truth.

Some signposts you can go by in this examination are the values of faith, family, and friends. These values invite very interesting revelations. Some discerned and demonstrated in the open, some shared in strict confidence, and still some kept between yourself and possibly something divine.

In the face of all these circumstances, respect and trust of other’s privacy is the rule.  Such guidelines already speak tons of your humanity, consideration and understanding of fellow beings travelling along life’s circuitous world.

I heard once a wise and true saying of people not intentionally driving their lives to the pits.  Nobody really wants a mixed up life. Everyone wants a life of comfort, harmony, and peace. In the process of having a life of ease, man’s free will and personal choices jumble up the ways and methods of arriving at such a goal.

However, there’s hope with the saying that there are angels or good –- natured people who do care and help.  A naïve belief in a way, but just try it with some sensibility.  The result might just surprise you.

Take this gem of faith or call it gift as somehow it’s freely given and instilled in your innermost soul.  It’s a firm and complete belief in something good and desired with no demonstrated evidence as to its proven existence.  It can be spiritual or religious depending on how you perceive it.  With faith comes the onrush of anticipated hope and certainty at the end of the rainbow.  It cannot be crushed despite challenges.  A sense of tenacity and perseverance accompanies this gift always hopeful the desired outcome is granted.  If not, faith rises to try again and again and will give way to peaceful resignation should the end not be achieved.

Another wonderful and at times underrated gem is family.  The family you’re born into is a given.  Along the way, you establish  kinship with people who, despite no blood relations, become more family.  How is this so?  It’s the type and intensity of relationship that knows no bounds except each other’s welfare and well being.  Another naïve viewpoint, yet it does develop and exist.  If only people sincerely care for each other first, with no hidden agenda or vested interest, that should be a fine start.  The caring carries with it the huge responsibility of sustaining with even little acts of random kindness. Anything good to survive does  entail some work.  Nothing can be left to chance to work its way.  At times, prudence, discretion, and balance work together for the right dosage to touch the innermost self.  A loving heart will know what works and what doesn’t.  There are no hard and fast rules, just the rule of the Golden Mean.  Do unto others what you would like done to you.

The third gem is friends.  You can have all kinds of friends – casual acquaintances, good friends, and keeper friends.  A beautiful sharing by John MCarthy, SJ is appropriate for this section.  He talks about spiritual conversation, which is defined not by the subject matter of discussion, but rather by the quality of listening and the quality of speaking.  He goes on to say that it assumes speaking from the heart, sharing felt knowledge or what is truly from your reflective experience.  It does not concern what others may think, nor is it rooted in power or self seeking.  It simply shares one’s inner awareness based on active listening in the stirrings of one’s heart.  Trust opens a conversation, instills freedom, and enables each person to speak and listen freely.  Keeper friends inspire spiritual conversation.  The beauty of such friendships is being able to pick up where you left off despite some passage of time.

 

By Dolly Punsalan Castillo