By Irene Wong
September, 2016: Respond to possibilities based on mutual fulfillment which creates the life and well-being you desire for you, being willing to try new things, saying yes or no, until a fulfilling resonance is reached.
“When one door of happiness closes, another one opens. But so often we looked so long at the closed one that we do not see the one that has just been opened for us.” Helen Keller
When Charlotte invited me to do the reflection on possibilities, my immediate reaction was I cannot do it. What can I possibly write? Can I open up my thoughts and reveal my inner feelings? Besides, I am not spiritual at all. All these were tainted by fear and inabilities in myself. With some prayers & a lot of encouragement from Charlotte I picked up the courage & agreed. I focus on how much fun it is to just try, recall & Learn, then share with others.
Possibilities for me are dreams, realities that lie ahead of me. It is purely potential, an open door for me to explore & try. These are endless in our lives. Possibility makes me do things or not do them. Which ones I chose and how I have responded has shaped me to what I am today. It was a learning experience all through.
The possibility of going to the Olympic Games drove me to train vigorously. The possibility of wanting to be a Maryknoll missionary lead me to enter the Novitiate in Topsfield. Saying yes to marriage was a union hoping to have a happy family. Being a single-mom was venturing out to hardship. What if I had not responded to these possibilities? Would I have discovered my short-comings, weaknesses, & capabilities? Would I have known what special skills God had bestowed on me, what gave me fulfillment, satisfaction & made me happy?
Committing oneself to another to live can be a complex and complicated choice. Creating a warm, loving, caring environment required compromise, openness, acceptance, patience, & tolerance. Above all, the readiness to listen & confrontation when necessary. I realized in my marriage all these qualities were missing. The silence in our relationship was killing us, resulted in tension, stress & emotional damage to the child. Basically, there was no love in the marriage, the essential ingredient. The best for survival was separation.
Life as a single parent was very challenging. Day to day living was a multi-tasking & a balancing act. Social life, keeping in touch with friends were none. To be spiritually attentive was almost impossible when the mind was constantly bombarded with needy problems. I don’t always have the know-how or the answers. But I have a lot of motivations, & a zest for life. By Facing & working through the different demanding situations, struggling along, lots of trials & errors brought accomplishment. In the process of doing, listening and learning I get better in managing my life. God was definitely by my side because gradually came joy & happiness and the sense of fulfillment. “With faith all things are possible, without faith nothing is possible .”
The best about possibilities is that it is always there in front of us, calling. The recognition of what went wrong presents another chance to fix it. As more mistakes were made I gained more insight & better understanding and the possibility of success increased. My journey to accomplish each goal was full of discoveries, obstacles, surprises, bitter-sweet moments. There was always satisfaction on completion. Each step brought me closer to God because I realized that without His help it would not have been for me to arrive.
In 2013 the possibility of a ’65 group reunion was an idea, a vision for 6 (you know who they are) enthusiastic and hopeful individuals. They went forward preparing, organizing and planning. Barbara set up the “basecamp” to give info, to reflect and communicate. A lot of time, energy, personal sacrifices must have been made by these devoted women in pursuing their goal. Countless efforts of consideration, re-planning, scheduling until it was finalized. This meaningful event energized me and I looked forward to attending the reunion.
If I do not seek possibility, I just exist. Taking chances, readiness to respond is what made life exciting, broadened my horizon, appreciation for family and friends. In God I find what He had in store for me. My grandchildren are grown, in school and I have no family responsibility. Now I can let go of many things. Sogyal Rinpoche said:
“although we have been made to believe that letting go we end with nothing, but life itself reveals again and again the opposite, that letting go is the path to freedom.” The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying
“If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” Suzukiroshi
I guess now I am an expert. As I age there is no need to dream big, to change life styles, search for jobs, acquire unnecessary material goods. I look to simplify my life, have peace of mind above all else. I thank God that it is still a possibility for me to do daily chores, walk, drive and take care of myself. Now I just live by the possibility that each day I wake up I can be the best person God wants me to be. I thank Him for bringing me through the different possibilities. The reward for me cannot be measured. Hopefully I could continue to go through being a wholesome person, a decent human being, loving God & caring for others.