“Orani, Bataan: Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary”

 

 

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Ang Imahen ng Birhen ng Orani

Maraming hiwaga at misteryo ang kasaysayan ng imahen ng Birhen ng Orani. Sinasabing dala ito ng mga Paring Dominikano, nang ibigay sa kanila ang pangangalagang espirituwal ng Bataan noong 1587, kasama ang imahen ng Sto. Domingo de Guzman na nalagak sa Abucay at ni Sta. catalina ng Siena na nalagak naman sa Samal. Sinasabi ng mga ninunong unang nanirahan sa Orani na ang imahen ng Birhen ay tatlong ulit na natagpuan sa lugar ng Orani sa ilalim ng puno ng kamatsile. Una itong natagpuan ng mga katutubong mangangaso sa lugar na iyon. Tatlong ulit din itong ibinalik ng mga taga-Samal sa kanilang bayan (Ang Orani ay itinuring na isang malayong bayro ng Samal nang mga panahong iyon). Napagpasiyahan sa huli na sa Orani na ito patuluyang ilagak at ipagtayo ng kapilya.

Medyo naiiba ang anyo ng imahen ng Birhen ng Orani, kaiba sa mga imahen ng Birhen nadala sa Pilipinas. Kasinlaki ito ng tao, detalyado ang pagkakaukit. May hawak itong batang Hesus sa kaliwa at sa kanan ay isang tungkod. Ang rosaryo ay nakasabit sa kanyang leeg. Tunay nga bang naglakbay patungong Orani ang Birhen?

Ang Pagsilang ng Pamayanan Simbahan

Mula sa pagiging isang malayong baryo ng Samal, noong panahon ng pangangasiwa ng mga unang misyonerong paring Dominikano sa Bataan noong 1588, ang Orani ay naging isang malayang bayan noong 1714 at itinayo ang unang simbahan ng Birhen ng Sto. Rosario na yari sa kawayang buho at may bubong na pawid. Si Padre Diego Ortiz, na dumating sa Pilipinas noong 1712 ang naging unang pari nito. Sa panunungkulan ni Padre Miguel Esquivel pinalaki ang simbahan at ginawang mga batong adobe ang mga dingding, at bubong na yari sa yero noong 1723. Nang salakayin ng Britanya ang Maynila noong 1762, umalis ang mga Dominikano sa Orani at nagtungo sa Hermosa. Bumalik lamang sila pagkaraan ng dalawang taon, at ginawang panlalawigang tanggapan ng kanilang orden ang simbahan.

Noong 1768, sa utos ng Gobernador Heneral, inilipat ni Padre Juan Bautista ang parokya sa mga sekular na pari. Muling pinalaki ang simbahan noong 1792 at nilagyan ng kampanaryo na yari sa bato, ngunit sinira ito ng lindol noong 1852. Muling ipinagawa ito nang maitalaga si Padre Bartolome Alvarez del Manzano noong 1868. Tinapos naman ito ni Padre  Fermin Perez San Julian noong 1891. Ang buong simbahan ay muling nasira noong Marso 16, 1938 nang magkaroon ng malaking sunog sa Orani na tumupok sa ikatlong-kaapat na bahagi ng bayan. Mula sa mga labi ng sunog, muling sinimulan ang pagtatayo ng bagong simbahan sa pammagitan ni Padre Gregorio Florencio. Muling nasira ang simbahan nang sakupin ng mga Hapones ang Orani noong Enero 6, 1942. Sa panahon ng Liberasyon noong Agosto 15, 1945 muling pinakumpuni ito ni Padre Elias Calimbas, isang sundalong pari na natalaga sa Orani. Ang malaking bahagi ng pagpapagawa ay isinakatuparan ni Padre Simplicio Fernandez, na sinundan ng pagpapatapos ni Msgr. Emiliano Santos, na naging Kura Paroko ng bayan hanggang 1982.

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Mahalagang Yugto sa Buhay ng Simbahan at ng Birhen ng Orani

Oktubre 7, 1958 – isang Papal Bull mula sa Papa Pio XII sa Roma ang ipinagkaloob sa simbahan ng Orani upang maputungan ng korona ang Mahal na Birhen ng Sto. Rosario. Ito ay sa tulong at pamamagitan ng Arsobispado ng Maynila.

Abril 18, 1959 – anim na buwan makalipas na ipagkaloob ang Papal Bull, pinutungan ng korona ang Ina at Patrona ng Orani, sa pangunguna ni Msgr. Emilio A. Cinense, Obispo ng Arsobispado ng San Fernando, Pampanga.

Abril 18, 1984 – Muling pinutungan ng korona ng Mabunying Jaime L. Cardinal Sin, Arsobispo ng Maynila, ang Birhen no Orani, kaugnay sa paggunita at alaala ng Pilak na Kaarawan ng Kanyang Korinasyon.

1987 – Ang malaking bahagi ng pagpapalaki ng dating simbahan na pinasimulan nina Padre Antonio Dumaual at Padre Camilo Pacanza ay natapos. Ang bagong altar ng simbahan ay pinasinayaan noong Oktubre 6, 1991 ni Obispo Celso N. Guevarra.

1996 – Sa pangangasiwa ni Msgr. Romeo Banaban, inayos niya ang sakristiya, pinalitan ng mga bagong pintong may ukit na larawan ang simbahan at nilagyan pa ng mga pintong bakal. Ang binagong sakristiya at mga pinto ay pinasinayaan ni Obispo Honesto Ongtiongco, pangalawang Obispo na naitalaga sa Diyosesis ng Balanga.

Agosto 22, 2004 – Itinalagang isang Pambansang Dambana sa Paglalakbay o Pilgrimage Shrine ang Parokyan ng Birhen ng Sto. Rosario ng Orani sa tulong at pamamagitan ni Obispo Socrates B. Villegas, ang pangatlong hirang na Obispo ng Diyosesis ng Balanga.

Abril 18, 2009 – Pagdiriwang ng Gintong Kaarawan ng Koronasyon ng Birhen ng Sto. Rosario ng Orani.

2012 – Muling ipinagawa ang retablo ng Simbahan ng Orani sa pamumuno ni Padre Santos S. Detablan at pinasinayaan nong Oktubre 4, 2012 ni Obispo Ruperto C. Santos, Obispo ng Balanga.

Setyembre 24, 2012 – ipinagkaloob ng Apostolic Paenitentiary sa pangunguna ng Santo Papa Benedicto XVI, ang panghabambuhay na indulgencia plenaria (perpetual plenary indulgence) sa Parokya ng Mahal na Birhen ng Sto. Rosario ng Orani.

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(Ang mga larawan ay kuha noong Marso 30, 2019, Visita Iglesia)

 

“STRESS MANAGEMENT”

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What is Stress?

Stress is a physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension. It is the body’s response to a threatening situation or to change.

Eustress vs Distress

The manner in which stress affects us depends on how we choose to think about stress, and how we respond to it. Eustress is “good stress”, while Distress is “bad stress”.

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What are the Types of Stress?

  • Acute Stress – Stress that we experience on a daily basis. It is brief and specific to the demands and pressures of a particular situation.
  • Episodic Acute Stress – Stress that results from acute problems that happen more frequently than normal. It can add up, making it harder to recover.
  • Chronic Stress – Long term debilitating stress that seems to go on endlessly. It continues to wear people down and can negatively affect relationships and health.

Signs and Symptoms of Stress

  • Cognitive Symptoms – Inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, excessive worrying, seeing only the negative, and poor judgment.
  • Emotional Symptoms – Impatience or irritability, feeling overwhelmed, feeling bad about yourself, and becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody.
  • Behavioral Symptoms – Over or under-eating, sleeping too much or too little, using alcohol, cigarette, or drugs to relax, social withdrawal and isolation, reduced work efficiency or productivity.
  • Physical Symptoms – Aches and pains (e.g. muscle spasms, headaches, back pain), constant tiredness and fatigue, chest pain or rapid heartbeat, gritting or grinding teeth, and cold or sweaty hands, feet.

Common Stressors

  • Major Life Changes – Starting college or transfering to a new school, moving to a new house, loss of a loved one, marriage, pregnancy, break-ups or divorce.
  • Health Issues – Chronic illness, injuries, vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
  • Problems at Work – Job loss, working under dangerous conditions, conflict with co-workers or boss, being unhappy in your job, having a heavy work load, or too much responsibility.
  • Traumatic Events – Accidents, natural calamities and disasters such as fire, earthquake, typhoon, landslides, etc., Physical and sexual violence or abuse, war or acts of terrorism.

Tips for Coping with Stress

  • Take care of your physical health (Eat well-balanced meals; Exercise; Get enough sleep)
  • Do something you enjoy (Read a book, Sing, Watch a movie)
  • Express yourself (Write in a journal; Create an artwork; Make a blog)
  • Be positive (Make a list of the things you are grateful for)
  • Manage your time (Organize your activities, learn to prioritize)
  • Manage your finances (learn how to budget, distnguish your needs from your wants)
  • Learn ways to relax your body (focus on the present; practice deep breathing exercises, meditation or mindfulness; listen to music)
  • Spend time with people who care (share your feelings with a trusted friend or family; spend time with positive people)

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Note: If you continue to feel stressed and unable to cope, consult with a mental health professional who can help you learn ways on how to manage stress more effectively.

Reference: Philippine Mental Health Association, Inc. (The blogger is a member of Philippine Mental Health Association, taking up Master of Arts of Education (MAEd) with major in Administration and Supervision, a Mental Health Advocate)

 

“UNDERSTANDING DEPRESSION”

 

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What is Depression?

  • A mental disorder that presents with feelings of extreme sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration.
  • It can affect people regardless of age, gender, race, religion, and socio-economic status.
  • Often comes with symptoms of anxiety.

Causes of Depression:

  • Exact cause is unknown, but it is thought to be a combination of genetics and life experiences.
  • Difficult life experiences, i.e. loss of a parent in childhood, death of a loved one, termination of employment, or chronic illness, may increase the risk of depression.
  • Certain personality patterns, i.e. difficulty handling stress, low self-esteem, extreme pessimism, may be contributing factors.
  • Lack of support system may increase the risk for the disorder.

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Normal Sadness and Depression:

1.1 Normal Sadness – Natural adaptive reaction to adverse life events; transient feeling that easily passes; and a person may feel bad, but continues to cope with life.

1.2 Depression – “Dysfunctional” response to adverse life events; can linger to weeks, months, or even years; person with clinical depression may feel overwhelmed and hopeless; and mental illness with many more symptoms than an unhappy mood.

Signs and Symptoms of Depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopeless, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, feeling “slowed down”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Changes in sleep patterns: insomnia, early morning wakening or oversleeping
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders or chronic pain
  • Thought of death or suicide, or suicide attempts

NOTE: It you, or someone you know, is experiencing five or more of the above symptoms, over a period of two weeks, or longer, you may have depression. 

It is important to talk with a mental health professional.

Types of Depression:

Clinically, there are three primary types of depression:

  • Major Depression (also known as unipolar depression)
  • Minor Depression (often known as dysthymia; a less severe and often chronic depression
  • Bipolar Disorder (also known as manic depression; periods of depressive cycle with periods of mania)

Depression Facts:

  • One out of ten people suffer from major depression (Kessler, et al., 1994)
  • By 2020, depression will be the 2nd leading cause of world disability (WHO, 2001)
  • By 2030, it is expected to be the largest contributor to disease burden (WHO, 2008)
  • Estimated 121 million people worldwide are affected by depression (WHO, 2001)

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Interventions for Clinical Depression:

  • Medications – There are many different kinds of medications used to treat depression. They are often called antidepressants.
  • Psychotherapy – Also known as talk therapy or counseling.
  • Traditional or Alternative Healing Methods – This includes establishing regular exercise patterns; increasing exposure to light (for winter depression); nutritional supplements; relaxation exercises and meditation; acupuncture.
  • Brain Stimulation Therapies – medical procedures that involve activating or touching the brain directly with electricity, magnets or implants to treat depression.
  • Treatment Research – Researchers continue to seek better and safer treatments for depression. Researchers are also seeking treatments that work more quickly to reduce symptoms of depression, particularly severe and treatment resistant depression.

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Reference: Philippine Mental Health Association, Inc (The blogger is a member of Philippine Mental Health Association, and currently taking up Master of Arts in Education Majoring in Administration and Supervision, An Advocate of Mental Health)

 

“One Day in My Life As a Teacher”

I had been a teacher for twelve years, from 1995 to 2008. This passage of  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow brought inspiration and motivation for those years in teaching service:

I shot an arrow into the air
It fell to the earth I know not where,
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air
It fell to earth I know not where,
For who has sight so keen and strong
That it can follow the flight of a song.

Long, long afterward in a tree,
I found the arrow, still unbroken,
And the song from the beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.

One of the unforgettable moments in my teaching was transcribed in Gapan, Nueva Ecija from 2006 to 2008. Before I transferred in that place, I was a secondary school teacher at Pines City National High School in Baguio City, enjoying a cool and relaxing surrounding and mountain breeze. During a vacation in Gapan, my aunt and relatives told me: “Huwag mong pabayaan ang sarili mong bayan.” (Don’t forget your own hometown). Yes, Gapan is considering as my howetown since my grandmother is a native of that place.  I tried to apply at DepEd division of Gapan City. Luckily, I was accepted. My temporary assignment while I am waiting for a permament teaching position is at Kapalangan National High School in Brgy. Kapalangan. After two weeks, the division office instructed me to report at Macatulang Elementary School located in a far flung barangay of  Macabaklay to handle multi-grade level. The school is located at the boundary of Dona Remedios Trinidad in Bulacan, General Tinio and Gapan in Nueva Ecia. It is challenging for me to teach multi-grade level, since my previous experiences were from secondary school level. Yes, I am qualified to teach for both levels, I graduated Bachelor in Elementary Education (BEEd) and Bachelor in Secondary Education (BSEd), having my teaching license for secondary school level which is also relevant to elementary school level.

The division office introduced my lone co-teacher who instructed me and gave some reminders to follow. There is no other means of transportation to reach the place but to use the “scramler” or mountain motorcycle. We need to bring our week long food consumption for there is no store in the area. Likewise, we need to bring also our clothes for the week. We need to reach the place by Monday, and return to town by Friday. There is no electrity in the area so we need to bring extra full charged battery for Nokia 3310. Cellphone signal is also limited, so we need to look for a place even for one bar signal, or sometimes, if we are expecting for important message from the division office, we should hang our cellphone at the classroom ceiling.

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First day is exciting, but we did not reach the school due to heavy rain in the area. We stayed to the nearest school in the place, Bebit Elementary school which is three kilometers away. My partner’s contact in the area said that heavy rain is still incessant so we decided to go back to town. The following day is a second try. Yes, we reached the place. There are only two classrooms, one for the primary and the other one is for the intermediate. During that day, only few pupils attended the class, they expected we are not be able to arrived due to inclement weather yesterday. Road is still muddy and slippery. I met my pupils, grade one, grade two, and grade three. Seating arrangement is easy, first row is for grade one, the second row is for grade two, and the last one is for grade three.

First day is hard one for me. Fear is evident for their face since it was the first time they met me, and saw a bespectacled man. They asked me: “Sir, ano yang nasa mata mo?” Teaching grade one seems a harakiri to me. How do I begin teaching this young minds to read and write? Unwieldy of effort should apply, adjustment of teaching technique must perform. Teaching grade one pupils  quite different from teaching fourth year high school. I need divine guidance, I need patience and perseverance to be able these children to learn. After couple of months, I transfered to intermediate level, handling grades four to six. I am not a neophyte in teaching this level. In previous years, I experienced to teach grades four to six. Moreover, I still remember my montessori teaching experiences. Yes, when I was in Baguio City, I am a class adviser of Grade Five with Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, American and Filipino tutelage.

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After several months, my colleague teacher called for his new assignment, and new teacher arrived in school. While traveling in the forested area, I met minor accident, yes, small accident that brought damage to my internal organ. I suffered hepatic contusion which resulted to long term liver condition.

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“Long, long afterward in a tree, I found the arrow, still unbroken, and the song from the begining to end, I found again in the heart of a friend.” Teachers’ happiness in unfathomable if learning process transmitted to the pupil learners. Knowledge should be transfered and like an arrow, it must hit the mark. Teaching has joys and tears, but still, it is the most noble profession in this world. It was ten years ago since I left that noble profession, but I still remember that “one day in my life as a teacher.”

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“Disconnect to Reconnect: Understanding Internet Addiction”

What is Internet Addiction (IA)?

Internet Addiction, also known as Problematic Internet Use (PIU) or Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD), is characterized by excessive or poorly controlled pre-occupations, urges, or behaviors regarding internet use that lead to impairment or distress.

One distinct characteristic of internet addiction is excessive “non-essential” time spent online, which is time not related to work or academic pursuits.

Internet use is appealing because it provides immediate reward with minimal delay, similar to the effect of alcohol or drugs.

What are the Types of Internet Addiction (IA)?

  1. Excessive gaming-gambling.
  2. Internet sexual activities or cybersex – pornography, erotic literature, adult fantasy chatrooms, or cybersexual relationships.
  3. Excessive social networking.

What are the Signs of Internet Addiction (IA)*?

  1. Excessive internet use, often associated with a loss of sense of time or a neglect of basic drives;
  2. Withdrawal symptoms (i.e. feelings of anger, tension, and/or depression) when computer is inaccessible;
  3. Tolerance (i.e. increased need for stimulation to achieve satisfaction) resulting in greater need for computer equipment, more software, or more hours of use; and
  4. Adverse consequences, including arguments, lying, poor school or vocational achievement, social isolation, and fatigue.

*Despite the listed criteria, Internet Addiction is not yet recognized as a clinical disorder under DSM-5.

What are Factors Contributing to Internet Addiction (IA)?

  1. Biological Predisposition – genetic characteristics and personality traits (e.g. aggressiveness, low self-esteem, impulsivity, susceptibility to depression and anxiety) make some people more prone to develop IA.
  2. Behavioral Perspective – constant internet use is reinforced by its benefits, such as enjoyment, excitement, and escape from negative real life situations.
  3. Psychological Factors – Internet use can be a coping mechanism for individuals with underlying psychological problems such as those: who see themselves as socially awkward and find computer-mediated communications easier and more appealing than face-to-face interactions; with pre-existing sexual addiction; with negative body image; and, who would like to create a virtual “ideal self” versus their real self.

What are the Harmful Effects of Internet Addiction?

Distorted sense of time-being overly preoccupied with the internet can cause one to lose track of time, leading to:

  • Poor time management
  • Unhealthy sleep habits
  • Poor eating habits (e.g. skipping meals, excessive snacking) leading to weight gain or weight loss
  • Lack of time for personal interactions that leads to relationship problems (e.g. with romantic partner, with parent/child, or with peers)
  • Social isolation
  • Poor academic performance (e.g. lower grades and lesser involvement in school activities)
  • Poor work performance
  • Interference with daily routines

How to Deal with Internet Addiction? 

Have a B – R – E – A – K!

  • Be mindful of your own internet activities. Keep a record of how often and how long you spend time online.
  • Regulate time spent on the internet. Set a limit to your internet use (e.g. 2 hours a day).
  • Engage in other recreational activities. Spend time with others, find new hobbies, and recognize that there are many skills that you can’t acquire on the internet. 
  • Ask for professional help if needed.
  • Know your priorities when using the internet. Make sure to accomplish what you need to do before doing anything else.

Reference: Philippine Mental Health Association, Inc.

 

 

“Understanding Bullying”

What is Bullying?

It is the repeated oppression, pychological or physical, of a less powerful person by a more powerful person or group of persons.

*6,363 cases of bullying were recorded in 2014. This is 21% higher than the 5,236 cases in 2013.

*About 31 incidents of bullying are reported everyday in schools. The Philippine “Anti-Bullying Act of 2013” directs schools to adopt policies aimed at addressing bullying.

*Studies have consistently shown that: Boys are more involved in direct bullying while girls are more involved in indirect bullying.

Forms of Bullying:

  1. Direct forms – Physical Bullying: hitting, pushing, kicking, punching, slapping, and other forms of physical aggression. Verbal Bullying: name-calling, threatening, teasing in a hurtful way, rude remarks and other forms of verbal aggression.
  2. Indirect forms – Social or Relational Bullying: Spreading rumors, ignoring, gossiping, leaving people out, harming someone’s reputation.
  3. Cyber Bullying – A form of aggression that occurs over the internet or through social networking sites. Sending nasty messages and inappropriate emails, sharing someone’s private information without consent, posting inappropriate photos online.

The bully also needs help – Young people who were bullied in the past are twice as likely to become bullies themselves. This leads to a vicious cycle of bully-victim interactions.

Effects of Bullying:

  1. Isolation
  2. Lower self-esteem due to failure to stand their ground
  3. Physical, emotional and psychological harm
  4. Absenteeism
  5. Poorer academic performance
  6. Mental health problems
  7. Suicide

How to Deal With Bullies?

  1. Practice confidence.
  2. Seek advice and help from your parents, teachers, guidance counselors, and other people you trust.
  3. Do not take revenge.
  4. Assertively ask them to stop or tell them how you feel.
  5. Talk to someone else about it.
  6. Only spend time with people who respect you.
  7. Be kind to yourself.
  8. Do things that make you feel good.

“STAND UP. SPEAK OUT.”

Do discourage others from reiforcing the bullying.

Do provide support to the one being bullied.

Don’t reinforce what the bully is doing – don’t praise the bully or laugh when bullying occurs.

Don’t stay quiet – tell an adult about what you witnessed.

Reference: Philippine Mental Health Association, Inc.

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“CHANGES”

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This is how the inspiring poem of Brad Mc Intyre goes:

The maple tree is turning red,
A robin sings his farewell song,
Migrating geese fly overhead;
It won’t be long, it won’t be long.

A farmer plows his lifeless stalks,
His cattle wander toward the barn;
Their streaming nostrils seem to talk
Of winter settling on the farm.

In town, a boy with lunch in hand
Is off to school this autumn day.
While in the window mother stands
Surprised at how time slips away.

All things have their time and place;
No haste with God, yet no delay.
The seasons move with ease and grace,
Remain awhile, then pass away.

Like many chapters in a book,
Our lives unfold from stage to stage.
We must not be afraid to look
Nor hesitate to turn the page.

Change is inevitable in life, it is part of our life, and it makes us to grow. It is a part of journey in life. We encountered different challenges as we travel from day to day. Such challenges will change us, sometimes we felt lost and had no idea on how to keep moving forward. We must not be afraid to turn pages of our life, we need to fight the challenges ahead. Overcoming obstacles in life and adapting some changes will makes us strong person.

There are both positive and negative changes. Positive changes is an affirmative qualities, such as enthusiasm, interest, or optimism. Sometimes we don’t create positive change in our life because we don’t have a big enough desire to do it. Feel the pleasure of what you wish to achieve on a level that makes you grin. Learn to know your values, loves, beliefs and how they fit into your way of change. Negative changes is an expressing refusal or denials, or negativism. Positive changes should be applied and defeat negative changes.

We can not prevent changes, we can anticipate and prepare for change to the best of our abilities. Life after this change may not be the same, but it can still be rewarding and self-fulfilling. The Bible told us: “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6).