Monday, December 18, 2017

A beautiful reflection from Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writing from his prison cell to Renate and Eberhard Bethge on Christmas Eve, 1943, fifteen months before his own death by execution:

There is nothing that can replace the absence of someone dear to us, and one should not even attempt to do so. One must simply hold out and endure it. 

At first that sounds very hard, but at the same time it is also a great comfort. For to the extent the emptiness truly remains unfilled one remains connected to the other person through it. 

It is wrong to say that God fills the emptiness. God in no way fills it but much more leaves it precisely unfilled and thus helps us preserve—even in pain—the authentic relationship. 

Further more, the more beautiful and full the remembrances, the more difficult the separation. 

But gratitude transforms the torment of memory into silent joy. One bears what was lovely in the past not as a thorn but as a precious gift deep within, a hidden treasure of which one can always be certain.

—Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, vol. 8, Letters and Papers from Prison (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2009), letter no. 89, page 238.

Copy pasted from the Gospel Coalition

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Idealistic Ruminations

Saw a Facebook video of a gang-related murder today.
A bit shaken inside.

Created a small sense of urgency in idealistic and realistic me.
To use the resources I have to help Malaysia become a safer place one day.

Such that these incidents become less "normal".
That safety like in Singapore would be the new "normal".

One day.
I hope.

I feel that I am called to keep my citizenship for the possibility of returning to Malaysia to serve.

I think that after I have served in a great place like MBB, then I would be ready.

Well. That is one of the possible routes.

I have yet to think through how exactly this would play out.


'la fa mi do do re.... fa mi do do... la la do so... fa fa mi la so fa...

Is it from a k-drama? or a song at a wedding dinner?

Like the tune.
The freedom tune.
The give up tune.

But what am I giving up really?

Giving up on God or on self?


Maybe I should write a collection of stories to share. Probably of my own mistakes. And of stories that made me stop to think.

So that if anything happens. And I never reach the frequency that resonates. It's okay.

I mean I never met LKY personally but reading books/interviews written about LKY is a way to really witness LKY's mind and heart.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

A give up rant

Ahhh. Reset tools are not working.

I like stuff that soften hard hearts. 

Right now I think the heart is hard (alert: prepare to fall hard).

I think (hope) I am close to getting a good enough job offer and I am neglecting interview preparation for a possibly very good job. Sigh.

I have no more spirit. No more energy. It has been two weeks. 10 days worth of annual leave! How am I going to survive when I get back to work?

I just want to give up and maybe not exist.

I have not been exercising/practicing the spiritual disciplines. I think this lethargy is one of the consequences.

Give up. Give up. Give up. If only I never existed. I would not have to go through all this pain and struggle. It is not a fight I have chosen to be in. I know this struggle, this fight is normal. But I never chose to be in the normal.

Perhaps by writing these negative thoughts down, thoughts might become clearer. Maybe?


In a story, there should be  a beginning, a conflict, the fight, and a good ending/conclusion.

I don't even want to write or think through things to write a good story.

I just want to give up.

To give up on giving thanks. To give up on trying to turn things around without anyone else's support. To give up on finding a better way to work and learn. To give up on this job search. To give up on entertaining or encouraging or listening to the people around me. To give up on looking for inspiration. To give up on friends and family and everything.

I'm just so tired I want to give up so much of the time.

Patience they say. Perseverance they say. Maybe not they say, but I say.



The Lord said so.


Should I keep trying just because the Lord said so?

Some part of me says that this journey is an adventure. That each day is a gift, a new way to spend time - whether on entertainment (I liked watching Revolutionary Love recently... a lot of the underlying values, the rich/poor cultural dissonance, the senior management and average employee work relationship, the covering for colleagues' vulnerabilities, the mini-miracles, the team spirit - resonates with the real stories I heard or experienced. ) or on work and people.

I just feel like there's no possibly happy future for me. I look around, and I am like, nope, I don't really want any of these things.

Sometimes I wish I took up that earlier job offer - would have provided some financial security, would have received a senior HR manager's mentoring advice.

I have no desire for the startup job, though it paid better.

I think I am just very elitist.

But anyone who has tasted good stuff, just don't want to go back to the bad stuff.


I'll go take a shower, and maybe try to rewire my obviously flawed thinking.

Sometimes, it just feels like no one is going to help me rewire.

Or those that do, may not help in the best way.

I suppose that's why I am supposed to figure things out - in a way that fits my story.


Tired. Shower. Be right back. Maybe.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Reset tools

Whenever I hear Spirited Away, I am reminded of how *playing* music helped me to reset emotionally when I was younger.

But now, I can't play the same musical instrument.

Have to switch from keyboards to maybe voice.

A lot more verbal empathy and encouragement words and tones and stories.

It is different.

Doesn't have quite the same childhood impact.

But way way way more versatile.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Reflections on a grand wedding weekend

I enjoy grand weddings! Usually the venue, the food, the presentation, etc are pretty.

Draws both admiration and envy.

I feel that the way they organize the wedding events are often a reflection of their personalities.

Some don't talk much, but appreciate luxury and grandeur.

Some talk a lot and are more fun, under-appreciate guests' comfort.

Some talk deep stuff in a boring way.

Some talk mundane stuff in an interesting way.

Some dance and dramatize.

Some remain so still.

Anyway, it was nice.
Am still rethinking whether I should proceed to go to a new friend's wedding. I really don't know. Should I go or not?
I miss Hope. Accidentally called for Hope at home. And mummy reminded me he's gone. I miss calling Hope.
Thank God for creating  fond memories.
I thought I was going to nail today's behavioral interview. I completely screwed it up. I was so long-winded and cluttered. Content was fine. Delivery wasn't fine. I hope it does not become a deal breaker. It could. I don't know.
Remembering that a colleague mentioned that my best quality was honesty is a comforting thing.
Whatever the case, lessons learned. Thoughts expressed. Onward!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Reflections on abuse and closed communities


"Tan told Annie’s colleague that she was “fully OK", that she was acting “like a child", and that she tended to “exaggerate over small issues”. - An extract from a news article on a legal abuse case.

Also recently read a TGC article about a documentary on Hasidic Jews' insular community - and the people who left these closed cultures with pain and trauma.


From a psychological perspective, it is another case of denying feelings, pretending things are fine, which slows progression to a true peaceful solution.

Used to wonder why people did not just leave or do the right thing. Now I appreciate how limited their emotional/mental capacity must have been. Both abuser and victim. 

Shall remember what God has inspired plenty of people to do despite sin. Schools and churches were set up to educate people, to stem sin and ignorance and pain.