The Impact of Being Remorseless

Or “How I got fired for not being contrite”

So.

I was recently fired from my job as a Fulfillment Associate from Amazon (manual labor) and I was fired on the premise that I violated safety protocol and upon explaining myself I was viewed as apathetic, while I thought I was being professional.

After roughly 10 minutes of question and answer, if I was aware of what I was doing and so on, when I was handed my final paycheck, I smiled, shook hands, grabbed my stuff and walked out the door. Didn’t even look back once. I sat in my truck, in the parking lot, and… I tried to think about what just happened. ‘Did I say something wrong?’ ‘I thought I was being honest.’ And the strangest thing overcame me… it was…

Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I was mulling over the preparations of explaining this to my family, I’ve never been fired before, and didn’t really know what to expect. But I did and it felt easier than I thought. My brother-in-law convinced me to go to my Muay Thai class later on that day and I did. when I got back, I ate and heard that my sister wanted to talk to me before more time had passed.

Her tone was a mix of anger and disappointment, I thought she was trying to attack me at some points, but I didn’t retaliate. And again, my tone, my expression, my very presence was blank. During the lecture, it came up that I didn’t actually feel anything about what I did (although in my mind, I knew I didn’t do anything serious), that I should be feeling remorse about the whole situation. For one, my family did depend partly on my income for food and whatnot; it provided a sense of relief for my family members, me having my own income; and ultimately, I believe that it showed that I was growing up and on the path of growing into my own individual.

So at the end, I asked her, “How do I feel remorse?” and she listed reasons that were similar to what I listed above. And it was strange hearing these reasons. They made sense, my having a job was important, if not for myself, for my family. And yet… I wasn’t truly happy. I felt stuck, especially on my path to Medical School, which was always on the back of my mind. I didn’t know what to do, how to close that gap between where I currently am and where I want to go.

But why didn’t I feel anything? This was my very first official job and I got fired in less than a year! Why am I not feeling anything? Am I so disconnected from my own emotions that I can’t feel the impact of something as significant as being fired from a job?

So I started reflecting…

‘I’m not that disconnected, I couldn’t be. If I was, then I wouldn’t have behaved the way I did when my father died.’

The next day, I learned that it wasn’t just I alone who was fired. It was 3 people total, all of us who happened to be within 10 feet of each other…

‘Wait a minute… Three people? In one day? Each of them with their own reasons and one after the other? That’s not right. That couldn’t be right…’

After a while, pieces start coming together, and I get a clearer image of the whole situation. And in hindsight, I trusted people at their word, without question, and without any common sense.

‘Of course, they’d fire me if I gave them a statement saying I did what I did, I didn’t ask for the evidence they supposedly had, I didn’t defend myself in any manner, I just plain agreed to whatever they said… Idiot.’

And now, because I refused to feel anything, remorse or otherwise, I’m now unemployed and kicking myself for letting my guard down and believing them to be honorable people. But something isn’t right…

Something isn’t letting me feel down. If anything, I feel somewhat… Liberated.

How can this be? Why? And then it hits me…

‘Father, I walk the path you set before me, although I do not know where it leads.’ ‘Father please guide me, in your infinite grace, for I feel lost.’

These words, and many, many more, are words that I have said in prayers to God. Maybe I didn’t feel remorse at the time because God didn’t want me to, maybe in the back of my mind, He told me, ‘I have a plan for you.’ Maybe, this was supposed to happen, to place me where I must go.

It was modest hope, but then I was looking at studentdoctor.net and found something rather interesting: my local University has a post-bachelor’s program, a chance to re-take science classes that I didn’t do so well in, to re-take the MCAT and get a higher grade, to right the wrongs I’ve done to myself academically, and to be a stronger applicant for Medical school.

All this time, I felt like I had back-up plans, but I didn’t really put any stock in those plans, until I saw this. This is where I must go, I immediately thanked God for this. I may not know what remorse is, but I definitely know what gratitude is! And I definitely know when an opportunity knocks on my door!

I think I’ve found my path, more importantly, the path that God has placed before me.

… Oh, and for the record:

re·morse

rəˈmôrs/
noun
  1. deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed.
    “they were filled with remorse and shame”
    synonyms: contrition, deep regret, repentance, penitence, guilt, compunction,remorsefulness, ruefulness, contriteness; More

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“Okay, Lord, I surrender…”

Several days ago, I was praying.

It was an ordinary day, nothing special happened to have spurred anything, but that night, in my prayers, I saw many things.

They were plans of how to get into medical school, ‘Become a PA then use that experience to…’ ‘Become an EMT and…’ ‘Volunteer and do this and…’ And. And. And.

Over and over again, scenarios ran through my mind, all these different routes in order to please, wow, astonish, fascinate, interest a group of people, I believed, would decide my fate.

All of these plans and more, for the sole purpose of making me seem more than what I am right now in the eyes of people who have never heard of me before…

Then a memory came. It was my sister. We were driving and she was listening to these very same ideas and her response was, “I think you’re not sticking to any of these plans is because you’re trying to do this all on your own. On your own strength.” she elaborated on the fact that none of these plans had a solid moral center. The moral center. In other words, none of these plans I had made, had God in mind.

Then each scenario faded away, and I was left in the emptiness of my mind. It was then I came to a conclusion: All my life, I was struggling, fighting, crawling my way through. Each milestone had to be drenched in my blood, sweat, and tears, so that way, I alone can claim it. And yet, it felt so hollow. My bachelor’s degree that sits on the wall before me, is just a piece of paper to my mind, a reminder that I owe money to businesses and that I’m still not in medical school.

Where was God in all that? I think a better question would be: Where did I put God in all of that?

I thanked God for laying my father to rest, and He lessened my pain. But I didn’t really plan out my future with God’s guidance, I merely said things like, “This is a good idea.I’ll do that.” and, “It’ll look good on my resume/application.” Not once had I really thought, “I think this is where God wants me to go.”

And I think that’s been my problem this entire time. Being the youngest out of 7 kids, you don’t get to claim a lot as your own, which became ingrained in one’s mind that ‘it has to be you, and only you. Otherwise, it wasn’t you who did it.’ (In all honesty, I don’t know why I thought like this, but this way of thinking stuck with me for some time.) So I’ve done something I never thought I’d do. I simply let go. In the middle of that night, on my knees, and before God (I’d like to think), I surrendered and placed my Cross before Him. My hopes, my fears, my victories, and even my defeats, I placed it all in His hands. And now, I feel… different. It’s strange, almost. But I definitely feel that something is different. So needless to say, I don’t know how or when something is going to happen, but whatever comes my way, I’ll leave it in God’s hands.

But I have to make sure that I do my upmost each and every day, trust God when he’s trying to tell me something in the middle of the fray, and trust that small voice that says, “Listen.” Otherwise, I’ll miss every opportunity.

It’s been several days now, and I am starting to tell when God is trying to tell me something and the repercussions of when I don’t listen. Heh, talk about your trial by fire.

I’m not usually one to go through life without some sort of plan for the future, but right now, the plan is: Surrender to God.

Know Thyself – Or Maybe I Don’t

One thing I’ve always tried my best at is to know how I will react when faced with a particular situation. I’d imagine myself being the talkative drunk, or that blank situation is where I’ll be silent until some outside force compels me to speak, and so on.

But time and time again, I’ve found myself surprized at my own reactions, lately. And it’s got me thinking, “Maybe I don’t know myself as well as I thought I did.”

I mean, I often imagine and have prayed for courage and when I had that Presence about me, I was scared, genuinely, to the point where, I switched from praying the Rosary to praying a normal prayer, just so that I wouldn’t feel that pass by me.

Branching off of that, I never imagined myself having the Faith, but not believing in it. All these years and I’m just saying the words, rote and completely hollow. I know this to be true, because I should’ve remembered that God is with me, especially when I’m scared, so when I was fearful of the Presence, I didn’t let God take control, nor did I ask him for courage or strength during this time. All I did was tell myself that I wasn’t afraid.

Taking it one step further, I asked myself, “How is it possible to feel fear and lose to it?” and thoughts of V for Vendetta came to mind, “There is more than flesh beneath this mask, there’s an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof!”

And it hit me. I felt fear, lost, weak, all because of the simple fact that at my center I didn’t really have one singular idea or concept to set as my core. I’ve written my own manifesto, and I have ideals and morals that I uphold, but to have one stand above all else, a Motto, so to speak, this is what I was lacking, something intangible, that I would risk everything to uphold.

Various resources often tell me that my best phrase is “I am” so this is something that must remain ‘ahead’ of that phrase, so I chose something that doesn’t start with “I am”.

I was never given the gift of paranormal sight from God, and I’m perfectly fine without it, quite honestly, I’d probably scream like a 5-year-old girl should I have the ability to actually see the Presence that haunted me for a time, and to truthfully write that, is a sad thing in of itself. So I blending a mixture of my beliefs and values to make this idea:

“To see the face of God.”

This is perfect for someone like me, because it’ll resonate with me on various levels:

  • Should I be faced with a life-or-death situation, I’ll remember to be good until the last moment
  • Should someone need help, to any degree, I’ll offer what I can, due to the fact that by helping them, I’m helping Christ, in Christ’s name
  • It’ll remind me to stay strong in the face of various temptations, fear, anger, lust, and so on, because if I give in, then I won’t see God’s Face
  • As of this moment, I don’t have the ability to see God’s Face whenever I pray, so it’s a goal to aim for, even if I never achieve it, but I don’t plan on to, I just plan on keep going forward

So this will be my Center. A rhetorical idea that cannot be altered due to it’s unending nature… Almost like a labrynth, yet, it holds true to what I hold dear to my heart.

So now all that’s left is to make sure this idea, this concept to life, is burned into my thoughts, and becomes the center of my being, my flame.

For God, for my family and friends, and for myself.

And The Waltz Goes On

Man, it’s been while since I’ve typed an entry, so I’ve got a few things to update with.

Firstly, Upon taking my Mom to her Diabetics class, the instructing RN informed me of the progress of her son, who’s signed up for a Masters Program in Orthotics and Prosthetics. Days later, and I still can’t get that idea out of my head, “You better make sure you love working with your hands.” She told me. Oh lady, if only you knew. So naturally, I looked into it:

  • Prosthetics: artificial limbs custom-made for those who have missing limbs themselves.
  • Orthotics: Bone-setting and slinging of limbs to help their recovery

It’s interesting, I would be in the Medical World, but I’d be on an interesting side of that world, I’ve always dreamed of becoming a doctor, and yet, I can see myself completely immersed in this new world of prosthetics.  I’ve no idea I’d be so into this idea, not to mention that this would be a completely interesting route to Medical School, I even looked up the latest news on Prosthetic limbs, a Bionic Arm that can move Eggs from one carton to another without it cracking. My scientific interest more than piqued! ‘What if I can build an arm that can switch to a Power Drill? Or a Hammer for Nails? Or even something similar to Megaman’s Weapon Change ability!’ Heh heh, This is what I meant. Nena tells me that this interest is because God is trying to tell me something, maybe this is where my destiny lies. Well, I’ve gotta work to get the requirements fulfilled in this.

Secondly, I got this interesting email. It was from a girl who read a profile I had written on a dating website, since the website required money, I simply put an email address for potentials to get to me. Sure enough, she responded to it, we’ve been emailing each other since Monday. It’s going well so far, God only knows where this will lead, but I’m learning to be more open minded to any and all opportunities. After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

So that’s all I have so far, I’m currently in the process of making these goals come to fruition, but it’s going to take some time, and in my case, a Leap of Faith.

Also, I just recently learned that Sir Anthony Hopkins wrote a Waltz piece 50 years ago and only recently heard it here! I knew the man was great, and I love Anthony Hopkins, but I never knew he wrote anything like this!

Heavenly Things

I saw Heaven Is For Real, and I’ve gotta say, I really liked it. Not just the visualization of what Heaven is, but I also liked how it showed people who claimed to have faith, and yet, when faced with an innocent child echoing the truth about that faith, they’re filled with discomfort and resistance.

But one thing that stuck with me, is the idea that if God gave you something, especially something you’re deeply attached to, and simply touched it with divinity, how will you react?

So naturally, I asked myself this question… But that’s the thing. Nearly everyday, I’m faced with something that at least has some touch of divinity, granted, no one here claims to have sat on Jesus’ lap, but the faith is strong here, and knowing that God gives us what we need, I can honestly say, that this is enough.

For example, I took my mom to her Diabetics class and the Nurse who was teaching, after telling me about her 19-year-old, newly single daughter, told me about her son and he was in a program in Loma Linda getting a Master’s in Science in Prosthetics and Orthotics.

That sounded really cool to me, prosthetics more so than orthotics, my mind immediately went to a toy my brother had, a plastic robotic arm that had levers that you can pull in order to move the fingers. I loved that toy… I wonder what happened to it. Well, in either case, The nurse/instructor told me that you had to be good with your hands to be part of that program, and I was thinking to myself, ‘I wonder if she ever tried changing a transmission on a car?’ So naturally, I looked into it, somewhat, and it sounds very intriguing.

I was explaining it to my sister the day after, and after she gave me a scolding look about the daughter part, she told me that this is something I should look into, after all, I like working with my hands and that, this could be a sign from God trying to tell me something. Robotics, Science, Medicine, Working with Hands, Helping people, Creating things; it all seems to fit together.

Well, heh, in all honesty, I’ve no idea, when I pray the Rosary tonight, I’m definitely going to pray for guidance and direction. This sounds like a good option, to speak the truth, and I really like it, imagine me making a prosthetic heart for those who don’t have any, powered by your own blood, although I’d have to figure out how to synchronize it with the nervous system, it would need to pump faster when you need it to, and so on.

You know, one thing I have to admit, whenever I see someone with a missing limb, there’s something of a shock that waves through my body, almost as if I’ve been pricked by a thousand needles at once, I have no idea why this happens to me, but it’s something that always does happen. To give a leg to those who have none to stand on, To shake a hand when they’ve lost it, To complete an individual when they have come to you in pieces.

So here’s the question for me: Is God pointing me in a new direction, trying to get me to take this new route, or is this something else entirely?

Picking up the Sword Again

After I said good night to my mother, she asked me if I still prayed the Rosary, to which I responded that I hadn’t due to my mind wandering to less than Holy places during the Rosary, and that the regular prayer is more intimate and helpful to me. But she suggested that I take it up again because it’s not about me, but it’s because God wants us to.

In my prayers, I’ve always asked to be a good man in God’s eyes, and when I wasn’t, to guide me back to being one through whatever means. And in one way or another, God provides me with an opportunity, sometimes, I’m wise enough to see it, other times, I’m not.

So after this hiatus, I think I will pray the Rosary tonight, I do need to find ways to follow Christ and become closer to Him. If I can just focus on that, and use all of my skills to maintain that focus, I should be able to not wonder into sinful things.

I’ve always liked the Rosary, and even though I have a necklace version of it, I have always maintained the idea that it’s a tool, not a piece of jewelry, utilized for strength, courage, need, balance, and overall faith-building… Heh, all of the things that I’d like present in my own life.

If I really think about it, I have a lot of things to pray for, in nearly all areas and levels in my life, and yet, at the same time, I would feel somewhat guilty praying for myself. I’m not praying for anything petty, like money or fame, I’ve prayed for forgiveness, strength, courage, wisdom, and not just for me, but for my family and friends as well.

Maybe tonight, this is what I should pray for: Clarity. The clarity to see my faults and to fix them, not just for my sake, but so that I can be the best man that I can be.

The Best Time to Plant a Tree

There’s a Chinese Proverb that goes, “The best time to plant a Tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is right now.” And that’s what my family and I did at the end of Easter: We planted two trees.

Dubbed “Salad Trees” one of them bears 6 different fruits and the other bears 4 different types of Peaches, and they’re just awesome! I cannot wait until they come to fruition. But what I loved best about this experience, is the gardening.

The digging up of the old trees, clearing the holes to place the new ones, the stretching of the roots, the spreading of the Peat Moss and gardening soil mix, and the eventual placing and planting of the tree. It took us several hours, of digging, and chopping, and pulling, with no small amount of sweat and effort, but the end results were more than satisfactory.

So I guess to put this into a larger prospective, Easter is about the Suffering, Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ, we had two fruitless trees, and we chopped them down and pulled them out at the roots in order to make room for two trees that do bear fruit, and although we didn’t do anything symbolizing crucifixion, I can’t help but feel that these trees help me see Christ in life. I know now that God can answer one’s prayers at any moment in time, even when one has forgotten that one had asked for it, and I learned this with a cute girl who worked at the Cashier.

Heh, I prayed for God to show me what my fate would be on this particular area in my life, and there she was, smiling and chatting with me small talk. Her name is Sam. But I digress.

In the end, this Easter has been very revealing, in terms of what I know, believe, and how to view my relationship with God. I can only hope that these experiences stay with me as I would like to learn from them as much as possible.