June 11, 2010

Can we live a frustrated free life? Or do we even want to live a frustrated free live? No one likes being frustrated because that usually means that the situation is out of their control. Frustration can also happen to people who are simply overwhelmed.

Everyone has a capacity to handle frustration to a certain point, but what defines a person is how they handle the situation. Do they handle it by starting the blame game – blaming other people or the situation, or do they introspect and see part they might have contributed and own up to that part. Tonight I was faced with a situation that would have easily frustrated me if I hadn’t been faced with a bigger frustration earlier. The following pictures will tell the story more than I can describe with words.

Mess #1

Mess #2

I have been making the same shake for the past 2 weeks, but this is the first time I made such a mess. I was simply careless and distracted as my hand accidentally knocked the glass over with milk and protein powder in it. I wish I could say that I was smiling and whistling away while cleaning it up. Needless to say, I was irritated and very unhappy. It just had to be done and no one else to be blamed. It was just an unfortunate accident caused by my own carelessness. There was no point of channeling my frustration by screaming, or maybe blame it on the glass that it was there in the way of my swinging hand. Although, that would probably make a good blog story.

As I eluded above, I had a bigger frustration earlier in the day. The frustration mainly related to being blamed for something that I shouldn’t have been put in the situation in the first place. Yes, there were things that I should’ve been paying more attention to and I dropped the ball. I admit that. Maybe I dropped the ball because I didn’t know I had the ball to begin with and somehow it was assumed that I was responsible for it. Or maybe it was just a miscommunication that can happen to anyone.

Either way, there were somethings I learned from this incident. I learned to be more explicit to voice my concern when I spot a potential sticky situation. Leaving it up to assumptions, usually doesn’t turn out so well. I probably should’ve extracted myself from the situation where I didn’t want to get involved in.  I also learned to be careful whenever I make a commitment to someone. Does that agreement unfairly put other people in the bind as well, even though the other person may never been given a chance to agree/disagree on the deal?

As I said above, frustration is usually caused by either overwhelmed and/or things going out of control. Unfortunately today, I bear the brunt of someone’s frustration and I had to deal with my own frustration. The most difficult part was that it was coming from someone I care and respect a lot. Someone that has been there for me through my hard time.

As I was reflecting about this situation, I was reminded of Proverbs 16:32

Better a patient man than a warrior,
a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.

I so needed this reminder for myself.


Cut to grow

April 5, 2010

I bought a bunch of house plants toward the end of last fall at Lowe’s when they had sales. Since it was my first time doing this, I figured if I kill the plants, at least they were on sale, right? But because I was totally new at this, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t move any of the plants out of their temporary small plastic pot. I did water them frequently, and for some, that was too frequent because I didn’t even take out the decoration plastic that covers the base of the pot causing the water to not able to drain and it drowned my plants. I didn’t even know this was going on until someone who knows more about house plants told me the plastic for decoration needs to go away and the pots are too small. The temporary pots weren’t meant for long term.

So, this past weekend, we went to Lowe’s to get bigger pots and some high quality soil. We transplanted all the houseplants to the newly purchased pots. We replaced the soil and remove and dried out leaves and flowers.

As I was working on the plants, it occurred to me that there’s parallelism to be drawn between the whole transplanting and pruning with my life or life in general.

1. A plant can only grow so much if the roots were limited by a crammed small pot. The larger the pot is, the more space the roots can grow into, which will cause the plant to grow healthier and bigger. A lot of times, limitations were put in our lives, whether from someone we allow speaking into our lives, or we do it on our own. Fear can also be a big factor for this, or simply not knowing that breaking the limitations was even an option.

To break through and overcome the limitations, sometimes, we need to “transplant” ourselves to a healthier environment. That may means to get a new set of friends or maybe new habits, or maybe new job. Whatever the limitation is, if it becomes the wall in your life and if you want to keep growing, you might need to transplant.

2. Sometimes, I like to try to hold on to something that used to be good and helpful a little bit too long. It was like the decorative plastic and the small pot that looked good but were meant for temporary place. Sometimes it was just comfortable and convenient to just leave the way things are regardless of how destructive they can be if they have passed their time. It’s like a battery that’s left in for too long that the juice started to ooze out and damage the electronic.

3. When I was hurt, sometimes I hold resentment toward the person, or the situation. That could cause my relationship with the person to dry up like the brown leaves or dried up flowers. Until I was willing to let go and forgive, it was like leaving the brown leaves on the plant and hoping the plant will be able to have a healthy growth, which is not likely to happen. So, by cutting off the dead leaves, I’m essentially saying that I’m letting go anything I can use against the person. By doing that, as the new growth with the plant is stimulated, my relationship with other people will be also.

Hopeful Spring

March 29, 2010


I took this picture over the weekend. This is the result of my back breaking hard work last fall. It was hard to work so hard and not seeing the result for another 4 months or so. About a week and half ago, I started to see green leaves sprouting all over the place. It made my day. I was pleasantly surprised that it actually worked. I can actually grow stuff..:)

I think life tends to work the same way.  We don’t always see the results right away, but we do the hard work now and many times incrementally continuing that hard work, trusting it will pay off down the road. Something I learned several days ago that in order to have a significant moving forward in life, “I need to do today what I can do, to enable me to do tomorrow what I can’t do today”. Translation:  set a goal and start doing things intentionally to achieve the goal.

We all have seasons in life. Some seasons are so bad that we can’t wait to get it over with. Some seasons are so good, we don’t ever want it to end. As long as I know the season change is coming, I can anticipate and make adjustments to it, but when a season of life is abruptly terminated, that’s when I lost my bearing and it took me a while to stand back up. It’s almost like in the movie “Truman Show”, when Truman escaped at night and they have to make an abrupt night to day transformation.

The blooming of beautiful flowers, which signifying the arrival of spring, gives me a good reminder that at every gloomy winter, spring is just around the corner to greet those who don’t lose hope.