What life isn’t

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I have an inquiring mind. I always study and try to learn. I’ve always asked, “Is this all there is to it? What is the purpose? We are born. We learn. We grow. We die.” Yet asking what life is all about hasn’t led me to as many answers as asking what life isn’t about did.

First of all, we are born into a family where there is love. But with love, there is pain and disappointment; unless we learn how to love unconditionally. There are rewards for good behaviors; but there are also circumstances we cannot erase for those not so good behaviors.

I believe every family unit has a set of dysfunctions. They’re never fun. And there is a difference between mentioning them with sadness and hope, and trying to cover them with love and compassion, versus using them as a knife to cut someone. If you’re that type, please don’t ask how those words slipped. They usually have a way of spilling out, if they’ve taken residence in your heart.

So the bottom line is, life isn’t something we measure and value based on what we think it ought to be. It isn’t limited. It isn’t still enough for us to weigh. It isn’t light enough for us to carry. It isn’t transparent enough for us to see all of its details. It isn’t simple enough for us to explain its many facets. Life isn’t unless we’re living it fully.

I pray for those who have not understood the dynamics of a true family that chooses to stand together through it all. I pray they will have a renewed heart and learn to appreciate the awesome love that binds all of its members into eternity; without a discriminating word.

This little one on the swing is my only grandson Zane. He’s a year old. I hope I’ll be around long enough to answer some of those questions for him. And who knows, maybe by then, I might have few more answers. Blessings…

Alis Cerrahyan

This morning

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This is the view from my front porch. It rarely snows in Virginia Beach. So it is a bittersweet experience. We enjoy looking at it; but because the city isn’t equipped to clear it away, driving is a huge problem.

I’m a hairdresser. I know customers will cancel their appointments today. Who can blame them? But I had to be at the shop, just so I would answer the phone when they called.

So I’m sitting in my chair, with a cup of coffee in my hand, looking out and staring at this beautiful white picture. I’m awake; but not really; because I know it’ll be a long day with no customers to work on. However, I have this incredible sense of gratitude I feel I must express.

What can I be grateful for this morning? I am alive and well! I have a healthy body/mind that can’t be bothered with outward conditions. I take this God-given life very seriously. And through every stage of it, I’m proud to announce He’s humbled me with further goodness and accomplishments. I’m sixty. Yet I feel as though my life has just begun. And every morning is another new beginning.

I’m grateful for having two beautiful children – inside and out – who continue to look up to me, love and support me; even though some of my past mistakes could’ve been life altering. They’ve always been there for me, just as I’ve done with them.

I’m grateful for this business I’ve owned for twenty seven years. It provided for my kids and I; as well as for my parents. I didn’t think I could last twenty seven days when I was signing the lease, let alone twenty seven years. Every moment of it has been a blessing. Mistakes were made along the way, but nothing debilitating.

I’m also grateful for having a book published – Dance Like Nobody’s Watching – since this one appeared out of nowhere. Many people have asked, “How did you find a publisher? Do you know how hard it is to find one?” My response was and still is, “I didn’t even know I had written a book!” I was simply asking a customer of mine if she would kindly read a few pages of my journal and give some constructive criticism. I had known her for more than twenty years, but didn’t realize she was an editor until she mentioned it that one particular day. She quickly contacted me back and said, “Whatever this is Alis, I will publish it for you!!!” I’m still baffled every time I go on amazon and read the reviews. It almost feels like they could be talking about someone else; because it’s a bit hard to comprehend I could write well enough in English, since I’m an immigrant.

My coffee is no longer hot. I need to refill my cup. But my heart is warm with fond memories God blessed me with; the many fearful stages that turned into victories; and most of all, with so much more ahead to be grateful for. Because with Him…there’s only good! I pray I’m contagious this morning!

Alis Cerrahyan

Daddy

I had an amazing time during Christmas break. Both my children came home and stayed a week. My only brother drove for thirteen hours with his three children as well. It was about nine of us, huddled and happy, for ten days.

Our final night together was the most magical one, as we all tried to savor every minute of it. We lingered at the table for hours, telling jokes and laughing, and making great memories. By the time everyone went to bed, I was left with a massive amount of dishes. They quickly found their way to the dishwasher, as the leftovers were being snugly tucked away into the fridge.

I finally turned off all the lights, sat on the sofa – the sofa that had been my bed for over a week, since all bedrooms were being occupied by the guests – and admired the lights on the Christmas tree. Peace filled my heart. I said a quick prayer, thanking God for the awesome blessing. I also mentioned daddy saying, “He would’ve been proud of us tonight…I wish he could’ve seen us…” Daddy passed away ten years ago. He was seventy eight. The thought of him still warms my heart. My eyes were teary for a second, as I pulled the covers over my head and fell asleep on the sofa.

The next morning, my son woke up first, and said, “Good morning… you two sure were having a good ole time on the sofa last night.” He smiled. “Us two?” I asked. He said, “You and your brother. I got up to use the bathroom and saw you two chatting away. He was doing most of the talking though.” I asked, “Were the lights on?” He said,”No…just the Christmas tree lights.” Then I told him that by that time everyone had already gone to bed; that I too was asleep; and that it was most likely our daddy who had visited us just to let us know he was proud of us.

You see, daddy and my brother sound alike. It would be hard to tell them apart. I truly believe, even though I didn’t get a chance to see him in person, daddy wanted for us to know he was still very much a part of our family. So it would be fair to conclude that he was my first visitor this year, the early morning of New Year’s Day. What a blessing! God is good!

Alis Cerrahyan

Daily Prompt: Float

via Daily Prompt: Float

Being extremely delicate and sensitive as a kid, just about anything and everything intimidated me growing up. I remember having panic attacks if and when a friend of mine would reprimand me over something silly. I didn’t know how to defend myself. All I did was to lock myself into my bedroom and cry bitter tears, until I no longer could.

One of the memories  from those frightening years is the fact that occasionally I dreamt of being in water – unclean water – where I would struggle just to be able to float little longer, until I would make it to the shore. And occasionally, I would have a little baby on my back; as if I was also trying to swim to a place of safety for both of us. Most of this – I now know – was because of dysfunctional family issues; where the little me was trying, desperately, to protect a much younger sibling.

The other nightmare was about falling into a vast emptiness; a bottomless pit and total darkness. This one was far worse. So I guess after a while, I learned to appreciate the earlier episodes where trying to float within muddy waters didn’t bother me as much as it used to.

Today, those have become distant memories. I’m thankful that, both my brother and I, didn’t put our children through unnecessary torments. Forgiveness has wiped everything clean; and if anything, we both chose to demonstrate how it should’ve been all along by treating our children with unconditional love. Time and patience make quite a team when inner cleansing becomes a must.

Daily Prompt: Interior

via Daily Prompt: Interior

I remember a time when appearances were extremely important to me. My space had to be tidy and clean, and organized, and color coordinated, and spotless, etc. I couldn’t relax and enjoy my surroundings unless everything was in order. The same applied to my clothing, my hair, and my make-up. I needed to look and feel impressive. For some reason, others’ opinion of me meant a lot.

I’m certainly glad I’ve shed a good portion of such insecurities that caused me to second guess myself almost all the time. Life’s harsh lessons and disappointments helped me develop an inner strength I didn’t know was possible; especially for me; because I was very timid as a kid. Then I realized my opinion of who I was mattered just as much. And in time, as I started heeding the inner voice that whispered words of wisdom, I placed less and less emphasis on trying to please others.

Today, I’m quite happy to announce that most of those life altering weaknesses have been buried; and I’m no longer concerned about appearances. For me, the inner peace and worth are far more valuable than looking and sounding impressive. The exterior can be deceiving. It’s a facade. Yet the interior hides eternal goods that can only be seen and appreciated by a caring soul.

Interior

href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/interior/”>Interior

I remember a time when appearances were extremely important to me. My space had to be tidy and clean, and organized, and color coordinated, and spotless, etc. I couldn’t relax and enjoy my surroundings unless everything was in order. The same applied to my clothing, my hair, and my make-up. I needed to look and feel impressive. For some reason, others’ opinion of me meant a lot.

I’m certainly glad I’ve shed a good portion of such insecurities that caused me to second guess myself almost all the time. Life’s harsh lessons and disappointments helped me develop an inner strength I didn’t know was possible; especially for me; because I was very timid as a kid. Then I realized my opinion of who I was mattered just as much. And in time, as I started heeding the inner voice that whispered words of wisdom, I placed less and less emphasis on trying to please others.

Today, I’m quite happy to announce that most of those life altering weaknesses have been buried; and I’m no longer concerned about appearances. For me, the inner peace and worth are far more valuable than looking and sounding impressive. The exterior can be deceiving. It’s a facade. Yet the interior hides eternal goods that can only be seen by a caring heart.

  • Alis Cerrahyan