A X’mas Reminiscence

I remember my first Christmas presents; I was 5 years old then. There were 3 colorful boxes under the Christmas tree, all of them were meant for me of course; I was the only child my parents had that time. I had a younger sister, Juliet, who passed away while still in the infancy stage. My younger brother, Hermes was born 9 years apart from me. Back to the Christmas presents – the contents of the boxes were a binocular, some Lego and a model aircraft – toys that I cherished for many years. We weren’t rich but we were contented with whatever we had.

For many years my family enjoyed wonderful celebrations during Christmas. Mum would prepare various cookies, cakes and several delicious dishes as if we were celebrating Gawai Dayak. Dad would invite his colleagues to our home and we had joyful gatherings. Before that, on Christmas’ eve we usually attend a midnight mass at the Catholic church. At one time, I was part of the choir group. Those were the blissful years.

The wise ones often remind us: Always expect the unexpected. Nothing prepared me for the tragedies that followed. Dad passed away when I was 26 years old. Two years later, my one and only brother also passed away. There were no words to describe my sorrows and sufferings. I know, all of us are destined to die anyway, but my father and my brother were gone too soon… they didn’t even get to see me wear a wedding dress.

These days during the festive seasons, mum no longer bake the cookies and cakes that I used to adore. We rarely have open house. A quiet Christmas is what we usually have.

In my quest for happiness, I stumbled countless times. Every time I got up from my fall, I realized I became stronger. Pablo Picasso was right: “The older you get the stronger the wind gets – and it’s always in your face.” Along the path, I encountered various kind, wise souls that offered invaluable comfort and advice; still, experience is the best teacher of all. I realized the true happiness that I seek comes from within me, while the mundane pleasures of everyday life are derived from something outside of me. The people I have met throughout my life, whether good, bad or neutral, somehow delivered some lessons for me. I forgave those who have wronged me. Bitterness and hatred serve only to cramp one’s style so I tried to avoid those. I made mistakes too but I choose to forgive myself and happily let go of the past. Forgiveness is letting go of the past. I realized inner peace can only be achieved when I practice forgiveness. Peace is the most beautiful ornament that anyone could’ve ever worn. Keengganan untuk memberi kemaafan adalah bagai meminum racun tikus lalu mengharapkan tikus mati, atau – menggenggam bara api akhirnya membakar diri sendiri.

I hope to purify all my bad karma. My greatest enemy was myself. I fought hard in the war between me and my inner demons. “It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell.” – Buddha

Prophet Muhammad was quoted as saying:- “The most excellent Jihad is that for the conquest of self.”

Here I am, thankfully with my humbleness still powerfully intact; shaped and molded by life experiences, looking forward to a bright and blessed future. Life is not entirely cruel to me. I’m grateful for having a loving and supportive life partner. Everyday feels like Christmas with the gift of unconditional love that we and our families shower upon each other. Jodoh, pertemuan, rezeki dan ajal di tangan Yang Maha Esa.

“The soul mate. The one you feel vibrate when they are a thousand miles away. The one you hear whisper when they think about you. The one who lets you move freely but embraces your shadow from afar. That one. The one you feel like you have known for a million years.” -Rebelle Society

Who knows what the future holds?

“You can’t stop the future
You can’t rewind the past
The only way to learn the secret
…is to press play.”

– Jay Asher, Thirteen Reasons Why

Life is an unexpected gift. I’m truly thankful to be alive and given a chance at growth and spiritual evolution. Appreciate what you have; remember the impermanence of things…

May peace be upon you and your loved ones. Have a meaningful celebration!


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