Sr. Lorie Nuñez

Motivation

  • To share God’s love to the World.

Ministry

  • Muslim & Christian Dialogue:
  • Silsilah – Interfaith Forum for Peace, Harmony, & Solidarity
  • Teaching ESL at Xavier University
    • Ateneo de Cagayan

Missions

  • Philippines
  • Brazil
  • Canada

Personal Message

Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

LESSONS FROM HANNAH

Children possess a great deal of wisdom when they join us here in this world. I have known this for many years and have always loved being around them. However, it was only after I returned home to the Philippines and was able to spend time with my two year old grandniece, Hannah, that I discovered just how wise these little beings really are.

Hannah played a special role in my journey home. From the first time I saw her at the airport when I arrived from Toronto up until this very moment, no time spent with Hannah passes by without some learning about life. And in many ways, I see her as one of my most effective teachers.

So I thought it would be fun to share some of the personal growth lessons I have learned from Hannah over the past two years. Every one of these lessons has had a significant impact on my life.

1. “Ala Lalang ma? Ule na ta!” (Lalang is not in? Let’s go home!)

This was Hannah’s response when she and her mom wanted to surprise me with a visit but had to wait for hours in the office because I was still in class. In her innocence, Hannah was very clear about what she wanted and what she didn’t want. For me this is essential to recognizing the goals of one’s journey.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Grieve

Hannah cries easily with tears flowing like raindrops. If something is upsetting for her, she responds in a number of different ways depending upon her level of frustration. If she does not like something, she’ll say, “No!” If she really does not like something, she’ll shake her head vigorously and let out a loud, “Nooooo, ahhhhh!” Her greatest level of dislike is expressed by rolling on the floor, kicking her legs, and wailing, “Ayaw naaaaaah!” over and over as she covers her face with her little hands crying with all her heart.

Being able to fully express my feelings was a liberating experience when I learned that my mother was going home to God. I cried my heart out, grieving for the loss that I was experiencing. Sometimes it felt like the sadness would never let up. While these feelings can be frightening and overwhelming, they are normal reactions to loss. Accepting them as part of the grieving process is necessary for healing. There is no right or wrong way to grieve — but there are healthy ways to cope with the pain. Grief that is expressed and experienced has a potential for healing that eventually can strengthen and enrich life.

3. Know When to Ask For Help.

Let’s face it, there are some things that a two year old just can’t do yet. Hannah is pretty good about trying to do things. And she is also pretty good about accepting what she can’t yet do and saying, “Di balo…” (I can’t do it). Her interest in doing new things and her willingness to ask for help is a powerful lesson for someone like me: a die-hard do it yourselfer. I have spent countless hours trying to figure something out when I could have easily asked for someone to help me.

Knowing when and how to ask for help is an important life skill to master. And I am learning from a master.

4. Don’t be Attached to what you have Accomplished (or 2 Seconds Ago)

Hannah is a prolific artist. She cranks out paintings and drawings faster than the fastest graffiti artist. And the beautiful thing about her creativity is that once she’s done, she’s done. She has no attachment to the painting she has just created. She puts her piles of artwork into the recycling bin as easily as the Tibetan monks sweep their intricate sand mandalas back into dust while chanting “’tis a way to tidy up.”

I have a hard time letting go of stuff I created 10 years ago! My little grandniece’s willingness to let go of her creations leaves her open to the flow of creativity. She is not attached to what she painted yesterday. She does not compare what she is doing today with what came before. She is free to be open and just let it flow.

5. Singing Makes Everything Better

No matter how traumatic a situation might be, whether it’s an overtired and cranky before bed tooth brushing meltdown or a big boo-boo, singing makes it better. Hannah has a fascination with Barney and she can sing all sorts of Barney songs. I sing with her every chance I get. We sing the silly Hannah on the bus song together. We sing our favorite clap your hands fun song, and so on.

Singing is fun. Singing makes you smile. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was research showing that singing releases endorphins. Yet, most of us adult types tend to sing far too little. The 7 Dwarfs knew what they were doing when they whistled while they worked! So try adding a bit more singing into your daily diet.

6. Dance Like No One’s Watching (Even When You’ve Made Sure that Everyone is!)

Hannah loves to dance. And when she does, she lets it all hang out. She makes up new dance moves on a regular basis. There’s the running back and forth dance, the sneaky dance, the jumping up and down dance, the spin around until you fall down dance, and of course Hannah’s famous Jiggy-Jiggy low low dance! Even when watching the DVD Mama Mia (her favourite after Barney) she will take your hands to dance with her.

Somewhere along the way, most of us lose that uninhibited ability to express ourselves. The voices of self-doubt come in and we become self-conscious of our performance. Watching Hannah dance with all her heart, whether she’s alone or in front of a crowd, is a great reminder of the innocence and joy that we all have inside of us. Isn’t it time we start letting a little more of it out?

These are some of the lessons that I have learned from Hannah. These are what I think are essential to our letting-go journey. Try it and you will see yourself soaring high with love.