It’s the Paper’s Fault

Sometimes, it’s the pen’s fault, but there are times, it is the paper’s.

When I was younger, my mother and I always fight over her big mouth. Seriously, she’s too loud, always talking and reprimanding. It’s as if she always sees something wrong to whatever I do. Especially at mornings, my alarm clock was her lectures. Oh how I hated her for that.(don’t judge me)

I didn’t realize then, that it’s not always the pen’s fault.

When we’re mad or hurt, we always think it’s somebody else’s fault. It’s them who has a problem, it was never us. At least that’s what we often think.

I was writing one afternoon. It was an open letter to God. I was using this newly-bought pen that is really expensive for a student. And as I write, the pen kept on pissing me. The ink kept on fading. And every time it does, I would wave the pen a little, and it’ll write again. But it kept doing that. And I knew I must do something if I want to finish the letter.

I thought of using another pen but before I did, I tried using it to a scratch paper. Just to be sure. And the pen writes so well, as well as it should. Looking at my handwriting, something snapped  at me. The paper I was using was a little glossy. Since it was a letter to God, I thought using that paper was just appropriate.

The thing is, that kind of paper wasn’t appropriate to the pen I was using. And I was right. When I changed the paper into a stationery, the pen’s performances changed as well. The ink wasn’t fading anymore.

I realized this; it’s not always the pen’s fault, sometimes, it’s the paper’s.

There are too many kinds of papers. There are plenty types of pens too. But not every pen inks well to all kinds of papers. (Glossy papers are usually the hardest to write on.)

I think, we, people, should learn this lesson: sometimes, it’s OUR fault. Granted, some people really hurt us, wronged us. But before we point our fingers to anyone, before we said something to others, let’s THINK first. Try to think of what might be the reason why that somebody did it to us.

Reflect!

When I think of the fights I had with my mother when I was younger, I wince. Maybe it was her fault being talkative because hello? She can always choose to reprimand me in a nicer way. But it was my fault that she talks too much in the first place. If I just do the chores properly, or if I just wake up in the morning before breakfast instead of before lunch, maybe my mother wouldn’t have been as talkative as she was.

It wasn’t her fault, it was mine. But that time, I was so annoyed and too mad because of her reprimands, I couldn’t see my own faults. I was focusing on hers.

We often heard that famous break up line: It’s not you, it’s me.

I wonder what will happen if we use that line most often rather than just using it when breaking up. What if every time we’re in disagreement with somebody, we tell that line to ourselves first?

What if, indeed, it was our fault, and not theirs? I wonder how many relationship are restored. I wonder how many friends will still be friends? How many lovers would still be lovers? How many families would’ve been still intact?

I’m not saying we should blame ourselves, I’m saying that we stop blaming others for everything. By reflecting on what happens, we get to know ourselves more. And by that, we’ll be more motivated to change ourselves for the better, not only for our sake, but for the sake of our relationships.

This is true to my relationship with God too. Most of the times, it seems like God doesn’t hear my prayers because most of my prayers were unanswered. It pains me to think that he hears all my supplications and yet do nothing. The thing is, I do believe that God is almighty so He is capable of everything. There’s no prayer that he can’t grant.

So why he doesn’t answer all my prayers? I used to get mad at him because of that. But now, I use this principle. Maybe I’m doing something that isn’t according to his will. And whenever I reflect on my actions and intentions, especially intentions, I learn that it is indeed my fault. Believe me, I am a changed and better person now because of this?

Why?

Because I learned about myself more. And the best way to reach one’s highest potential is knowing oneself well.

Next time, think twice(or more) before putting the blame on the pen, maybe it’s the paper’s.

 

Reflecting,

Lili Marcus  🙂

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Inner Demon

DEMON’s LIES:

‘You can’t do it.’ ‘You’re not good enough.’ ‘You don’t have what it takes. ‘You’re not gonna make it.’

Familiar with those lines? Yes?  Most often, we hear these lines from other people but sometimes, WE say them to ourselves. It’s our ‘Inner Demon’ that makes us say those words.

I’m turning 25 this coming June, and somehow, I can feel the pressure again. I am not getting any younger!!! Yet it seems that I’m still too far to where I want to be.

I want to be a famous writer. And obviously, I’m still not.

Peers, family members, friends and fake friends are now wondering if I really can do it.  The thing is, they’ve been wondering the same thing ever since I dropped the bomb to everyone saying I AM FOCUSING ON WRITING NOW. That was two years ago, and I’m still me, MERE ME.

It’s easy to give in to pressure and get depressed about it but I learned one very important lesson some while ago – the key to one’s success isn’t about proving, or showing, to people that you can, but it’s all about overcoming yourself. Because, at the end of the day, what other people say to me wouldn’t matter, it’s what I tell myself that has great importance.

My Inner Demon is my greatest enemy. For how can I win over others when I can’t even win against my own? How can I prove to others what I can do if I don’t prove myself first of what I’m capable of. How can I show them what I can if I don’t even know what I can, right?

The problem is, my inner demon wouldn’t leave me alone. It’s always there. It’s in my heart, igniting the grief caused by my past failures. It’s in my mind, a pesky, little voice that never stop talking negative, causing me to wallow on self-pity and my self-confidence declining.

Demons are always present. Not just the inner ones. And I’m saying this, not just as a devout Christian, but as a dreamer who is still in this huge endeavor that’s been going on since forever and as a human being who clearly isn’t perfect yet a total perfectionist.

Inside me is this demon I unintentionally allow to dwell. I don’t think I can ever lose this inner demon. No matter what I achieve, and however I did things, this inner demon will always tell me I CAN’T DO IT.

How did I know this?

Because, I know I am not a total failure. I wanted to be a famous writer. I may not be famous (YET) but I am a writer. ALREADY A WRITER. I’m getting nearer to where I’ve always wanted to be. I’ve written several novellas and I have a novel that’s already in deliberation for publication. And i am currently working on a Screenplay (I’ll talk about this in another post). My point I already accomplished something which is actually quite a ‘big thing’ for all aspiring writers, yet does my inner demon stopped talking?

No. There is still this voice inside my head telling me the same negative things I’ve been hearing since forever. No kidding. It didn’t go. Sometimes I wanna yell at my reflection in the mirror so it would shut up. Maybe this is just me talking crazy. I AM CRAZY, by the way!!! But I”m sure all of us, dreamers have this voice in our heads telling us all the negative things possible, crushing our spirit.

I can’t say I made this demon inside my head, that I am responsible for its existence, maybe I do, but the point is, it’s already existing and it will take too much for them to disappear.

But I learned this trick. If this demonic voice decided to stay with me, like forever, well fine. If I can’t get rid of it, I’ll just learn to deal with it in the most effective way I know to intimidate an enemy-SMILING!!!
Yep, I’ll smile. because it’s what I’m good at (aside from writing..lol). I’m that kind of person who deserves the MOST CHEERFUL AWARD in school or in office. I rarely get an enemy. I rarely find myself in misunderstandings. But whenever someone try to annoy me, sabotage, or whatever insecure people do to others, I smile. It’s the most effective payback. It annoys them when they see me smiling no matter what they do to crush me.

That’s what I do with my inner demons, whenever I hear the voice telling me I can’t do it, I’m not good enough or I’ll never make it, I just smile. I’m not befriending them. I just say hi to my demons (inner and the others) and do what I should be doing which is writing.

This inner demon might do and say everything it can to pull me down and crush me, well, it’s best is not enough. Because no matter what happens, I might fall and fail sometimes, I’ll still get back up and do what I was born to do. I’ll still write no matter what happens around me, no matter what other people say and no matter what I tell myself.

Did I already mention that there are more familiar terms synonymous to demons?

DOUBT…and inner demon is SELF-DOUBT.

FEAR, Maybe…

Keep going even though you can’t seem to walk anymore. You can crawl. But don’t let Doubt or fear stop you and glue you in the same place you were yesterday. You may hear your inner demon saying all negative stuffs but can’t listen to it. Keep going, you’ll get there soon.

That’s what I’m doing. I know that if I wait for the demons to shut up before I do something, I will never ever reach my destiny. My greatest fear is to wake up one day, realizing that life has already passed me by. Sometimes, the best way to deal with adversaries is to get used to them, then know their weak point. And then, it will be easier to ignore them as days pass.

No one, not even God, promised that life is beautiful and easy. We have to deal with it in it’s cruelty.

Smiling to demons (and annoying them);

LILI MARCUS

How To Fall In Love by Cecelia Ahern: A Review

How to Fall in LoveHow to Fall in Love by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been reading Ahern’s works since forever and I love her novels because they’re all heartwarming and easy reads. This one isn’t different from all her works. I enjoyed it as much as I did with the others.

The heroine, CHRISTINE is obviously has some issues. Her obsessions with Self-help books shows that she isn’t happy or contented with her life. And more importantly she needs help. She is looking for something(not gonna tell you what). But when she accidentally witnessed a guy who committed a suicide, she became more aware of her self-her problems and the things that she must do. One of those things is to get out of her marriage.

But her husband just can’t get over their sudden separation and kept on pestering her. Christine’s life took a little turn when she, once again, witnessed another guy,ADAM, trying to kill himself. Not wanting to commit the same mistake she did with the previous suicidal guy, she did everything to convince the guy not to do it.

She succeeded and since that day, Adam and Christine were inseparable. Christine, with the help of her self-help books, teaches Adam to love life again, including getting back his ex. And Adam, he still has his issues. He’s depressed but little by little, his improvement is obvious and I remember being glad the way he boomed in the story.

My only slight problem is that I wish the book is longer and I want a more-definite ending. I want to see Adam really into counselling with a real Psychologist. I want to see both of them being sweet to each other because they’re lovers already. It was a happy ending but I want a longer version of the story.

I read this one as I was having a break from writing and it turned out I picked the right book. I needed an easy, loving, heartwarming story. This one is all of those. Though it talks about suicide, it is still an easy read. Not depressing at all.

Thumbs up for Ahern.:) 🙂 🙂

Check out my Goodreads account https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/58341705-lili-marcus

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First Dance

They might say you have two left feet, but dance anyway.

To live is to move. If I say, I am blessed I was born with a body that can move, some would probably find me bragging. What most of us don’t realise is that we are all blessed with bodies that can move. I’ll be saying a fact if I say, each one of us has danced at least once in our lives. I know, most of us, can’t do ballet or waltz. We can’t even do slow dance perfectly. For most of us have two left feet and would be too awkward for dancing.

Or so we believed. The truth is, two left feet isn’t an idiom, it’s a myth that I chose to believe as a lie. There is no such thing as two left feet. It doesn’t exist. You may not agree with me but here’s my point: If there are people who own two left feet, where are those who own two right feet?

I am probably not making any sense but I define dancing as just moving. And not just moving but moving and enjoying the moves. Over the years, people have already set countless rules and guidelines for dancing and for every kind of dance. It seems like they are masters of it that we just go follow them. We conform to certain rules that they’ve set.

Sound familiar? Yes because dancing is so much like LIFE. We’ve heard many metaphors about dancing and life, but I think we don’t really understand them. Or we just choose to see those metaphors in just one facet. How about we turn them a little bit so we can see another of its facets.

Life, like dancing, is full of rules. Rules that were set by people around us. Guidelines that if aren’t followed, criticisms will follow. But we all know that rules suck. Rules and guidelines make people good but not great. In fact, with rules, I don’t think we can reach our highest and enormous potentials. Rules just hold us back and keep us for doing great things that we were born to do.

Dancers should dance because they love to do so. And yes, it seems like they’re following rules and guidelines but actually most famous and great dancers were known for their own techniques. They don’t just dance as they were told. They dance based on their own rhythm. Shouldn’t we be like them?

If we want to be great and reach our highest potentials, let’s live our lives not conforming to other people’s rules. In life, we shouldn’t just move, let’s enjoy every move. And we can’t do that if we are so mindful of rules. Rules are conventional and they’re boring and personally, boring doesn’t suit me.

Let’s learn not to conform with conventional stuffs, how about we start knowing ourselves better and find out what can make us happy. And let’s do them. Just do it-says Nike. (LOL)

Forget the rules. Forget the guidelines. Forget criticisms. Don’t mind what people might say as long as you don’t hurt them in any way, do what makes you happy.

 

My first dance (aside from those dances with my family) was with a good friend who will eventually become my first boyfriend. (He’s actually the only boyfriend I had, though it’s been six years since we broke up, I still haven’t get myself into another relationship.) That dance should be one of the happiest dance of my life, right? But it wasn’t. I just remember it happened, but I forgot how I felt during the dance. It wasn’t memorable.

It was bland because it was forced. No special thing happened because we were too worried what our classmates would say. They say, dance like no one is watching. I say, dance as if the whole world is watching. Show them the best performance they’ll ever see in their lives.

But don’t forget to enjoy every moves you make, that’s what makes it memorable. And that-that is living. Maybe living has many definitions now, but you can always make your own definition. Be creative and innovative. Break some rules. And do step out of your box.

Shakespeare said that the world’s a stage, and now the curtains have opened. What will you do next?

I am already dancing, so join me.

Oh, one more thing, dancing is always better if done with someone. I just said forget what people might say, I didn’t say forget the people entirely.

 

Dancing,

Lili

 

 

Spilled Coffee

liliswordyplanet

What do we do when we spilled our coffee?

I know, it should be spilled milk. But I don’t drink milk so I’m just gonna go with coffee since it has been my companion since I was a little kid. And I am too familiar with coffee stain and it has, somehow, got to do with what I’m going to share.

Spilled coffee and stains. (Haven’t heard of milk stain anyway.)

We all make mistakes, don’t we? We’ve been done wrong by others, haven’t we? But whether it’s our fault or not isn’t the issue I’m going to stress here. Intentional or not, who cares? Instead, let me ask you what you do when you make mistakes?

I often hear that we can identify one’s maturity through his/her decisions. I’m sorry but I disagree. Our maturity shows not on the decisions we make but on how we deal with the…

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Pause

Writing is one of the most tiring profession in the world. Others think once we have the ‘idea’ of what to write, putting it into words would be just as easy as putting a dough in an oven. The truth is, like baking, writing involves several steps before a story is cooked. And worse, not all stories baked are good enough for the taste buds of the readers. So in other words, writing is not at all easy. It’s tiring, even to those who’ve been writing since childhood.

Almost a couple of years ago, I’ve just begun focusing on writing, a friend of mine asked me what I do when I get tired of it. I said, I write. No kidding, when I get tired of writing, I still write. Because writing, much as it is my job, is also my hobby. It’s what makes me happy.

But if someone asks me now the same question, I’d have a different answer. Writing is still my job and hobby. It is still what makes me happy. But almost two long tiring exhausting years have passed. And okay there have been good times for me as a writer. Like I have submitted ten novellas (in Filipino), only two of which were returned as underdeveloped stories. That was success, mind you.

But most of the times, I forgot those successes and dwell on my failures. There are countless WIPs (Work in Progress) in my laptops’ hard drive. I have plenty of unfinished manuscripts I just can’t finish because of few reasons. But to sum it all, I get tired. I get tired of writing, of plotting, of revising or of the story itself.

What do I do now when I get tired? I pause.

In the past couple of years, I’ve been told(advised) plenty of things. Get a proper job that actually pays, get a degree, go socialize more, get yourself a boyfriend, get laid. I think if I would put all their advises into one sentence, it would be this: Stop writing.

They’re concern about me but they don’t don’t know everything. They think they know because of what they see in me, but they don’t know the half. Writing is my life. And if people think that I would stop just because I get tired of it, and nothing seems happening, they’re mistaken.

In life, we don’t stop just because we’re tired. See, why employees, even students have coffee breaks, lunch breaks, snack breaks, month leave and every other rest I don’t know about. They’re not stopping, they’re just having breaks. They can always resume what they’re doing after taking some rest.

We also don’t stop just because nothing is happening. Patience is a virtue, an old saying yet still true even to these days. Those who wait will be rewarded. There is a time for everything. Farmers wait three or more months before their harvest.

Life, as I said  in my post Slow Down, is not just a race, it’s one hell of a race.It is indeed exhausting. So slowing down a bit once in a while is a great idea. But there are just moments that we can’t run anymore. We can’t even walk, we’re numbed. We feel emptied physically and emotionally.

It feels like we’re out of batteries. When moments like these come, a discharge in whatever we’re doing seems like a good idea, but what we don’t realize, what we need is just a recharge. Withdrawal from our dreams isn’t the solution. Renewal is.

Whenever I get tired, I pause. It’s better than stopping. Stopping is no coming back, pause gives me a chance to be renewed and feels great and capable again for whatever I’m doing.

I encourage everyone not to quit, just pause. Sleep, eat, pray, meditate-it’s your choice. Do whatever it is that makes you filled with new energy, enthusiasm and knowledge that you can use when you feel going back to running again.

Whenever we start a certain race, we’re establishing our finish lines at the same time, though we don’t see them yet. Our finish lines are waiting for us so why stop? We’ve come this far anyway.

You’re almost done reading this..

Taking a pause,

Lili

Now ready to resume the race……………

 

 

 

 

Our Favorite Scars

Turn your scars into stars.—–Robert H. Schuller


We’ve all been wounded. In fact, every day, we get wounds. And a big wound or not, deep or not, eventually it will become a scar.

Personally, I hate scars. I guess, most women do. But earlier, my right knee caught my eyes and made me smile. Why? My right knee has been scarred for almost sixteen years now. Yes, I just said I hate scars so why smile while staring at it?

I smile at the memory it added into the chest of happy memories I own.

Big or small, every scar has a memory.

And most of the times, those memories were the most painful ones. Of course, you got wounded, it was painful. And a scar just adds frustration to our dismay. Well, scars are all physically ugly so I guess fretting about them is pretty reasonable. But what we often fail to recognise about a scar is that it means we’re HEALED. It’s amazing how we can smile or laugh at something that once had caused us pain, sometimes even made us cry.

Well, that’s one odd thing about scars. They remind us of a painful past so we can have something to smile at.

My scarred knee reminds me of once a perfect family I had. Not that I don’t have one now. It’s just that I seldom see them these days. I’m already 24 and staying with my family is a bit, well, you know, everyone has to act mature at some point.

I was eight then, and we had this little vacation at my grandfather’s farm. That was one of my happiest childhood memory. A goat, the oldest one I’ve ever seen my whole life, chased me and I tripped. Regardless of the pain it caused me, still it became one of my favorite scars. It reminds me of my childhood and my family and how things were easier when I was younger.

Reminiscing about that wound of mine made me think about Jesus, the ever loving wounded Jesus. Who was beaten and crucified. He got scars too, maybe even more than we can ever imagine or know. But I guess, those scars, those countless scars are also treasured by Jesus Himself. Simply because, YOU are the reason of those scars. YOU, ME, THEM-we are the reasons of His scars.

He offered His body to be scarred yet undoubtedly, never regret what he did, nor resent us. But the thing is we didn’t stop giving him wounds that day, two thousand years ago, at the calvary. Everyday, we still give Jesus new wounds yet we’re not even aware of it most of the time.

But He loves us so much and I can only imagine Jesus smiling every time He looks at his scars He acquired for us, or because of us. Especially those particular scars on his palms and feet. I guess, if I have my own favorite scar, Jesus has his own too. And those are the ones that he got from those three nails.

He was wounded, beaten, pained-physically and emotionally- and He even died. But see, after three days of sorrows and pain, He got up, raised from the dead and with no wounds. What left to Him were scars, and those scars made Him VICTORIOUS.

Those scars, because of those scars, the fall of the enemy began. And we share the victory with Jesus there.

See? Not every scar is ugly. Most of them can be turned into STARS that may guide us through the darkness we’re in or even to the darkness ahead of us, especially the scars we have in our hearts.

Scars mean we WON. We SURVIVED. We LEARNED. We are HEALED. We are BETTER.

GOD BLESS YOU, whoever you are who’s life has been scarred. GOD LOVES YOU and your unbelief won’t and can’t even change that!!

 

Scarred,

Lili