“…to burn out the pain, just find a place filled with joy. God created joy as a balm for pain. What are some places, who are some people filled with joy that you can rely on to ease your pain?”
For the past months, I have been blogging about the pain I have been struggling lately. I have talked about letting go by learning to forgive and prayed intensely for the people who have caused this pain. However, I cannot hide the fact that I am still haunted, stalked and caught unaware with just how terrible it is to be extremely hurt by the people you love. Amidst the desire to be free from it, there is always an intense fear of being hurt again. Thus, it is like a cycle that gets you up and down, going round and round–jostling you like crazy.
My husband, being a man, does not totally understand this struggle. All he knows and believes that one should just “move on” and eventually, gets over it. Oh, how I wish it’s as simple as that. You don’t have to face insecurities and doubts; nor be suspicious about anything to everything. How I wish there is no sense of vulnerability and fragility in my heart that I can just simply shout to the world “hey life! Give me your best shot! I can take it!”….no, no, no. I am simply so scared to face the next major disaster in my life for fear that I my never bring myself up again.
Am I sounding like a coward?
Today while I browse around my Facebook page, I came upon a message from one of the applications there. It mentioned about God giving us joy as balm to pain. Somehow it made me realize that it is part of everyone’s life that he or she will have to face varying degrees of pain in life. The only thing that matters is how you deal with it. Yes, you need to pray for God’s grace for forgiveness, letting go and being whole again. It is your choice NOT to let the pain control you, your happiness and your life. Today I choose to ponder the joy God has blessed me; in so doing, I believe eventually I will get over and move away from the pain in my heart.
Who and what are they? Please see my next post.
I welcome silence with a grateful heart.
It’s almost 12 midnight with only the whirring sound of the electric fan keeping me company. Even my pup is surprisingly quiet while she is sleeping the night away. Its been a dreadfully hot day today and after finishing up the last pieces of work I had to do, I can’t help but heave a big sigh of relief. Deep down, I have been looking forward for these four days of rest but it has been so uncomfortably hot! Weather like this has been going on the past week and while others welcome this as better than the constant rain, I can’t help but wish life shouldn’t be so extreme. Extremely hot, extremely cold, extremely tired, extremely stressed, extremely happy (which seems to last for only a few hours) and extremely sad. I guess, I should not be surprise since this is LIFE after all.
Other than the Philippines, there are other countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Spain commemorating “Semana Santa” or Holy Week. Although most Western cultures would give more emphasis on the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Easter Sunday), Holy Week is a time of reflections, repentance and prayer that starts from Palm Sunday on-going toward Easter Sunday. Philippines is a Catholic country with almost 85% Christian population. Thus, it is not surprising that the week sees most people going home to their hometown and taking advantage of the 4 day weekend starting on Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
In some parts of the country, Semana Santa is looked upon as some sort of “street opera” for tourists. You will see multiple crucifixion with people really getting themselves nailed to the cross; marathon chants that starts from Monday climaxing towards Friday with people taking turns praying, singing and chanting the passion of Jesus 24 hours. There are also myriad of flagellation especially on the Northern part of Luzon. Other people are kept busy preparing for their religious floats for the procession. These are mostly owned by the affluent members of the community wherein mostly were handed down from generations to generations. The figures in the carriage is being kept in impeccable condition with their carriage designed beautifully as the family believe that these figures guided them to a comfortable and bountiful life. Most processions happens starting Wednesday but the most awaited would be the one during good Friday with almost everyone in the city or town looking on. During this time,one can feel a seemingly sullen mood with priests continually praying and the crowd joining in. Most Catholics are forbidden to drink and be merry at this time. Those who are fasting and abstaining gain full force as a part of their sacrifice.
Easter morning ushers in a wondrous celebration of joy and merriment! Other than the early morning welcome church services with participants dressed in Roman costumes and children in angel attire, it is a sight to behold as people watches a little girl plays the part of an angel bearing good news that Jesus has risen again. Indeed, this whole week spectacle draws thousands of participants and spectators.
However with all the bustle and hustle of religious affairs going on, many would take advantage of this religious holiday to relax from work and go on a vacation. Mostly, families would go outing to beaches and resorts while others would visit other places out-of-town. Still some people like me who has been bogged down with work welcomes this time to stay home. I may not be a religious fanatic like most Filipinos but deep in my heart I see this time as a time for deep reflections on how much Jesus love and willingly suffered for me. It is also a reminder to forgive the people who have pained me in the past and have been stopping me from moving on. I thrive on this quiet time as I have been struggling in my heart, not because I doubt but because I seem unable to let go of the pain that has been blinding my heart to forgive others.
Can you share how I can forgive?
It is my desire before I can join in the joyful celebration of Easter, I can finally laid to rest the pain in my heart.
There is a plethora of ideas in a writer’s mind. In fact, writers thrive on these ideas to come up with interesting articles that will showcase his skills and style in writing. These days, however, I have been getting lazy, putting off work and feeling depressed. Although these are just common symptoms of people who are overworked and lack of exercise, yet, I felt something’s amiss and brewing up to blow out of proportion.
Yes, every person has to take it easy in life. Understandably we all have to work our butt off especially if you have a family to feed but once you ignore some tell-tale signals that remind you to slow down, you are in for a roller coaster ride.
I just had that roller coaster ride and I had it coming. (Well, my husband had it coming…) After all the ugliness of insecurities, self pity and doubts were spent, I felt a whole LOT better. One thing is for sure, being a true melancholic in nature, I can be very harsh towards myself and my imperfections. Because of this, while others who may be on my shoes would go on with life not caring what others think, I beat up myself because I am not happy and satisfied with what I see.
I thought all this time I have to learn to forgive others because of the pain they have caused me; thinking that this is the main cause why I feel there is no growth in me all these months. However, the moment the roller coaster ride started, all the deep down emotions came surfacing up and amidst the tumbling of words, mixed with pain and tears, I realized I should learn to forgive myself.
Learn to forgive that:
I am fat, a failure and never perfect.
All my life, I live trying to please EVERYONE. Yet, I fall short and end up displeasing everyone. I know I am talented and a fighter but the fight is always because I want to PROVE to everyone I am able and not a failure. It is more of doing things to show others and myself that Charlene is beautiful inside despite the big frame–that her beauty lies deep within the recesses of her heart. In all the fights and battles with others and myself, I end up defeated, broken and spent.
….I felt much better.
After all the tears, I felt a great uplifting in my heart. Then I started writing and words flow as ideas constantly filled my mind.
I hope that the roller coaster ride is a lesson that I will take on seriously and find the means to work on it. Sometimes forgiving others is deemed easier than forgiving oneself. On my own, I know I need HIS strength to see me through this.
If only we have the power to remember only the good and happy times in our lives and save ourselves the pain of remembering the hurts from the past, life would not be so bad at all. Funny how we kid ourselves that we have moved on, yet, our mind has the power of associating the simplest incident, thing and even words that can throw us into the twilight zone of the ugliness of what we all want to erase. Somehow the excruciating pain we all thought we have totally let go grips our hearts once more. More than once, I would ask myself if I have truly let go of the past. Although I admit, there would be good days as I have successfully control my mind on what to think and what not to think to avoid the feeling of pain. However the moment I lower down my guard, my vulnerability takes hold of my heart and I am once again cast into the sea of despair.
Yes, our mind is very powerful. In fact, what our mind can conceive we can achieve. There were various studies about how the mind can control what one feels, think or act but can it truly control the heart? I kept telling myself there is no point remembering the past because it has already happened. I have made my decision and where I am today and what I have is the result of the choices I made. Why then do I still get this dull ache in my heart every time I remember? Is this a curse? Will I have to live all my life saddled with this pain? Will the ugliness never cease haunting me?
Sometimes, we can be too hard on ourselves. We always assume that pain is just like a faucet; you can turn it on and off as often as we want. Somehow I discovered pain does not work this way. It only goes away through the healing powers of time and forgiveness. I realized that I will never move on as I continue to dwell with “what should have been” and the thousands “if onlys” in my life. I have to learn the true meaning of forgiveness, not only towards the people have who have wronged me but myself too, and only then will I be able to see the good that every bad incident in life brings. One way or the other as I cannot truly stop my heart from remembering what happened in the past and the pain that it brought, I can gear my thoughts to the lessons I have learned and the better person I have become. Remembering should not be a curse, but it should be a reminder that we are made tough and able to stand every time we fall.
Achieving perfectionism in life will just be a disappointment to all. There is no perfect person and no perfect life. Sometimes we look at other people who seem to have the best in everything and we wonder how come we can’t be like them? Why do we have to sweat and grind just to put food in our mouth, go through pain just to experience love and acceptance and starve ourselves just so we could shed a bit of those fats in our body? Is loving our life based on society’s definition of success–if we have riches, fame, high-powered jobs, perfect family, a wonderful house and a beautiful body? Reality would tell us loving our life is not based on all these. In fact, these are just icing to the cake. What matters in each person is the spirit within.
To love our life means to love ourselves.
No one is more important, worthy and unique but our own self. It doesn’t mean that if there are others who are richer, more famous or more attractive make them more valuable than you. Remember that there is goodness and love in each person that make them special. Living in this world did not promise a bed of roses. In fact, so many times we would be pushed to the limit to the point of giving up but if we love ourselves and learn to stand every time we fall, these downfalls are just reminders that we can make our lives better. Love our body by taking care of it. Although we cannot achieve a perfect size body, we can always take care of it by putting in what is good and healthy.
To love our life we have to be always thankful for every little blessings we received.
One of the most effective way to be thankful is to keep a journal of every little details that we are blessed with. I love the beauty of each sunset–a reminder of how God has been with me all through the day that has passed; the gentle breeze after every rain that takes away the tiredness of my body; I love how my 6 year son would hug and kiss me when he comes home from school; I love my cellphone when it beeps and I get to receive a message from any of my daughters who live far from me most of all, I love it when I know I have worked hard and the effort I put in is never wasted.
To love our life we should always learn to forgive.
Okay, so maybe we did screw up and made stupid mistakes but this is a process that we all have to go through to be better persons. Mistakes are opportunities for growth. We cannot go through life without making mistakes. It is important to forgive ourselves, avoid the same mistakes and learn from it. Forgiving also means forgiving the people who caused us pain. It is so hard to go through life saddled with so much anger and hatred. Remember, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” Mahatma Gandhi. It takes a strong person to learn to forgive.
To love our life we need to take actions and do our best.
We cannot just simply say “I hate my life because I don’t have a job”. Loving our life means doing our best to achieve our dreams and if we fall short, at least we know deep down we tried. Every one of us are blessed with talents and abilities, it is up to us to define and use it to the betterment of our lives.
In conclusion, loving our life means looking into ourselves and what we have been through; appreciating the person that has come out courageous and better. Being alive is one reason to love our life!