Do you remember who you were 15 years ago? How brave and confident you were? you dreamt big and wonderful things. You nurtured the dream of working in the US as a nurse. You studied hard. You worked hard. You aced your exams without any formal review classes because you can’t afford it. Can you still remember how your heart fluttered and jumped for joy when you got hired in one of the prestigious hospitals in the Philippines? Your dream of working at Philippine Heart Center didn’t remain a dream. It became a reality, your home for three wonderful years.
Then you received a letter, notifying you that your papers were already at the US Embassy in Manila. It’s only a matter of time and you’ll have your immigrant visa. September 30,2004, You have your visa in your hands. You heard the bells ringing in jubilee. Like the heavens,were celebrating with you.
But you made a few wrong decisions here and there. You settled. You compromised your non negotiables. You thought it was love but you were wrong, it was dependency.
You arrived in US with him. You started working in one of the best tertiary hospitals in Florida. It wasn’t a bed of roses. You paid almost 11 years of your life for a decision that you thought was the right one. Everyday you were losing yourself. You were getting sicker. You lost your radiance, your smile and your heart. You were turning into a monster.
Then you woke up one day and said to yourself, you had enough. You were hanging by a thread. You summoned whatever courage that is left in you to walk away from an emotionally and verbally abusive relationship. You did it. You broke free.
And while in recovery an unrequited love for more than 20 years found you. Yeah, he can still vividly remember how you look in your school uniform, your girlish smile and your naivety. You grew up before his very eyes into this beautiful and intelligent lady.
So, it’s been a year since you gained back your freedom. Let me remind you of these things.
1. Keep the Faith – When it was dark and felt like a black hole, God never loses His grip on you.
2. Love yourself – Be whole. Pick up the pieces again. Be the best version of yourself. Strengthen your core. Nurture your heart.
3. Do not settle – you deserve to be happy and loved. Do not give up nor compromise your non negotiables.
4. Financial Freedom – get out of debt. Save and invest.
5. Live a life of joy , gratitude and grace- a paradigm shift looking at the glass half full rather than half empty. As you open your eyes in the morning, thank God for another day and if today wasn’t the best day then thank God that there is still tomorrow. Joy is being happy in the midst of difficulties. You can only experience that if you remained in the Lord. And most of all, as you received grace from God for all your sins, dispense and execute grace as well.
I am looking forward to another great journey with you. You made it out alive in 2015. So, cheers to a beautiful and wonderful 2016!
Bow Bridge, Central Park, New York City