Reflections Before Bedtime #93

On her 17th wedding anniversary, Kusha Alagband shares these words of wisdom:

“The truth is […] your partner may not always spoil you, may not always treat you like a princess. He may forget to complement you every day. Some things fade. Those giddy little stomach flutters fade and you’re then left with reality. There will be days he may even forget to tell you you’re beautiful, even though you need to hear it. There will be days he will forget to say I love you, and on and on. Some things fade, and when they do, what’s left is what’s truly worth fighting for. Love isn’t always beautiful, heck, it’s not even close to being perfect half the time. Despite what some claim, love is not easy. It’s hard work. It requires accountability and responsibility. It’s a commitment. It’s presence. It is a daily practice. Anyone that pretends otherwise, is deeply misguided. Feelings change, the spark dies down and what you’re left with is something you either chose to fight for or you don’t. When you know that even though those things are gone, you’re still willing to fight for every breath,then you know the love is real.”

Happy anniversary to this beautiful couple. May you always fight for your love; may it always be true.

Tuesday Badinage: November 29, 2016

By: Gabriela Yareliz

It’s raining in NYC, today. Christmas decorations are up. The city looks beautiful and glittery, like the movies. I had a hectic morning. Lost my metro card, missed my train, almost didn’t make it into Court on time because of the weather and the long security line wrapped around the building. I made it. The Christmas decor was inspiring me, along the way.

I started thinking about how festive this time is. There is no doubt that the birth of the Messiah is worth celebration. It’s a new life; grace; hope– actually scratch that. It’s not even just hope; it’s a promise. A promise fulfilled. And in a world where everything including promises are broken, a promise kept when our lives depended on it, is worth celebrating. A God who intervenes out of Love; that is worth celebrating. Light has come to shine out of darkness; that is worth celebrating.

Reflections Before Bedtime #92

“Her mind is an unquiet one, words and thoughts and impulses constantly crashing into each other.”
– David Levithan

By: Gabriela Yareliz

Is it bad that I am exhausted from the weekend? I had decided to rest this weekend until I decided to venture to grounds that don’t let me so much as sit down (much less rest), and I decided to satisfy a weird craving for homemade Colombian arepas. I slaved over them for hours, and when it came time to eat, all I wanted to do was collapse on the bed. My friend Cathy said it was a bit like making tortillas from scratch. God help us.

I have found new creative outlets, like cooking more daring and creative pieces of art. I have gone back to old creative outlets, like flipping through magazines.

These days, I am sitting cross-legged on my hardwood floor, wrapping gifts. I am fully anticipating my first real, stress-free vacation after entering the working world.

It feels like the world is changing, and changing quickly. Everything is spinning. Elections, heartbreaks, people quitting, people getting hired, people getting married, people dying– it’s a whirlwind.

It feels like my mind never stops. I wake up feeling exhausted.

In the end, all I do is I reduce. I try to reduce my anxieties into the basics of what is important. I want those important to me to genuinely love me and I want to show them genuine love; I want to be loved and for all the right reasons; I want to do my work to the best of my ability and make food that tastes good.

Not too long ago, I sat on a couch with a man who was interrogating me. He didn’t ask me at what exact time I was born because it simply didn’t occur to him. He covered all the other bases. He was arrogant and disapproving– extremely nosy, to say the least. He made comments with rivers of insinuations running through them, leaving me uncomfortable and cold.

Then, later, I sat on a different couch with the loveliest older woman. She just held my hand affectionately and barely said a word. She just squeezed my hand reassuringly. She was she and I was me. It’s amazing how it’s not even words that can show intent and transparency but something unspoken.

I try to remind myself of that– no matter how many words are clashing in my head, or how many words I long to hear, it’s what’s in my heart that matters, instead.

Baar Baar Dekho– Look Again and Again

img_4155“You were my yesterday, you will be my tomorrow, and you are always my now.” Baar Baar Dekho

The Hindi language is always poetic, just like its films.

When asked what she hopes people will take away from the film Baar Baar Dekho, Katrina Kaif said: “Not to take the people in your life for granted; not to always be striving and pursuing the thought that there is someone better out there. Really think and sit down and evaluate what this person gives to you, and if you see and you respect the depth and you have that love between you, then value it and respect it.” #relationshipgoals

[Image from Bollywood Cat]


By: Gabriela Yareliz

I have within me a solitude where He dwells, and nothing can take that away from me.”
– St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Stores are filled with Christmas decorations. I am already thinking about 2017, and how I want to return to a degree of normalcy. This year, has been one of struggle, perseverance, uncertainty and instability. For example, I moved offices three times, and I am still living out of boxes.

As the new year begins, things that were uncertain before are now certain. I will soon have a stable place to unpack my files, and I will have my prayer wall in my office where I pray for each person I am striving to help. My inspiring quotes will go back up on the wall, and where once there was toughness and self-preservation, a soft cheerfulness will return. Peace.

When we are subjected to trials, we often don’t feel like ourselves. We are weary with heavy armor on. Still, this is when we demonstrate the strength and resolve we are willing to adopt. I have felt like a battered ship in the midst of a storm for too long. Lighting almost split this ship in two.

What I have discovered stays the same is that stillness deep, deep inside. That stillness where God resides. That place in your soul where you can take long walks on dirt paths and lay in fields of daisies. The place where He anchors us. If it weren’t for this anchor, I don’t know where I would be.

I am happy to say that now, finally and at last, it’s time to sail. The Master was in the boat, and finally He said, “Peace, be still.”