Heart on the cross!


[Image via]

A few minutes ago, before I said good night to my siblings and began pounding my fingertips on the keyboard, I nonchalantly exclaimed (as if it had to be heard), “I need to write about my Holy week reflection! Otherwise, Holy week won’t happen!” A complete exaggeration.

Now here I am, a little clueless on how to write what I need to write. My mind has been scattered these past few weeks (should I say months?) and my emotions have been a perfect panorama of a storm. Some days are calm and peaceful. While there are days filled with worry and unsolicited pain, of which I was either the inflicted or the inflictor.

I’m stating these with no intentions of jiving into the drama of the season. I’m stating these as facts. For some reason, I have been a little more difficult than usual to both myself and the people around me. I beat myself for not being good enough, and it follows that I treat people the same way I’ve been treating myself. You think it stops there? I’ve also been consequentially angry at myself for being the way I’ve been (as if that would help anything).

“Lord! Make me less of a human!” I found myself desperately shouting in my head while I was at church yesterday. Had I been more of a supernatural, I would have enough capacity to understand other humans and be extra patient with them when needed. I wouldn’t even have to worry about my own flaws because I would have less of them, if not none! It was quite a fun plan to play around with in my head. Fool.

The inescapable truth is that I have the kind of patience the size of a peanut, a positivism that’s as fickle as a flickering light bulb, and an understanding that can sometimes be akin to that of a sloth’s. It’s enough to make anyone go, ‘It’s a bad time to be a human.’

Yet a single glance at the crucifix — taken in the proper context and in the proper disposition — made me feel just how loved I have been in spite myself. Do you know what that’s like? To know that you are loved in spite your mucky self? That mixed feeling of gratitude and hope is what I call elation.

If only I would acknowledge it more, then I’d be able to open my eyes to how this love raises me to a level above my own; how it sets me apart from all other things. If only I would constantly live my life in His presence, then I would be able to see this very same love in other people. I’d start seeing them through His eyes, with tender affection of patience and understanding. This very same love will free me from anger, pain, hatred, pride, arrogance, and my twisted sense of entitlement in picking on people’s flaws — as well as mine!

I was told that when people know they are loved, they feel powerful; as if they are capable of everything beyond their measly human abilities. I hope I give this love the justification it deserves.  Maybe by then I could start living a life of peace with God, His children, and myself.

Must-listen: Empty Space by Bukas Palad

What moving on is all about.

How do you know if you have moved on?

The blog title was striking. Font size and style was as average as all the other titles in my WordPress feed and yet it seemed like that particular one was laid out in big bold letters just for me.

I have been asking myself the same question. I want a clear cut assessment that says “Yay! You’ve made it to the finish line!”

You see, I worry. I worry when I get these little nudges on the heart when I’m at a place we used to visit a lot. I worry when I feel like letting out a thoughtful sigh when a familiar song plays on the radio. I worry when my little almost-natural reactions seem as if they should be taken with caution; as signs of me living in the past.

It was after reading the entry that I got my confirmation. Memories, most especially when they have been stamped by unexpected pain, are impossible to unlearn. I know we humans are goal-oriented. But in terms of moving on, there is no finish line.

“The pain will still be there, I believe. It will never go away. But it is not that searing pain felt from the initial lashing. It is more of a dulled pain, like a scar, like a memory that is slowly fading. You know it happened. You have the scar to prove it. You have the photo framed. It is just that you can’t remember the details anymore.” (via Because my 2012 is a certified a bestseller)

True? Definitely. Moving on is not synonymous to forgetting; nor is it something comparable to hitting ‘delete’. It isn’t even close to me going back to who I was before I met him. Him and everything we used to share — the embarrassingly boisterous laughters as well as the tears shed — are now part and parcel of who I am.

“… you know you’re an adult when you start to realize that some sorrows in life will never go away. You learn to carry them with you in ways that enrich rather than debilitate your life, in ways that make you wise. But the dark and knubby places in the fabric, the tapestry of your life, remain.” — Strong Women Strong Hearts

So it will never go away. Some places and songs will nudge and make me remember the past while I live and actively participate in the present. To quote the blogger, “that is not ugly. In fact it is beautiful. It shows the resilience and power of the human soul.” Now I can stop worrying and continue moving on in my life with the assurance that I’m very much headed towards tomorrow.

We fell in love with Fridays. On a Friday began the cold war that eventually broke us.

If you ask me now, my Fridays are still pretty awesome.

3 of a kind: heart-melting classic musical songs

I’m here to share with you my top 3 heart-melting songs from musicals I grew to love. Come and revisit the 1900’s with me!

1. He’ll always need your love, and so he’ll get your love.

This is Lady Thiang, the Emperor’s first wife, singing Something Wonderful to Ms. Anna Leonowens in the 1956 movie adaptation The King And I. Ms. Anna, having been disgruntled by the quirks of the Emperor, wanted to leave and head back to America. Lady Thiang went to Ms. Anna, begged her to stay, and sang to her about loving an imperfect man who merits her love because of the good he possesses, however small or meager.

“This is a man you’ll forgive and forgive, and help protect, as long as you live. He will not always say what you would have him say, but now and then he’ll say something wonderful… A man who needs your love can be wonderful.”

I always thought Lady Thiang was crazy. But now looking back, I realize maybe I was crazy for thinking she was. For one cannot say she has genuinely loved until she has learned to embrace the imperfections as well as the perfections of the person she claims she loves.

Listen: 3:02 mins!


2. Her joys, her woes, her highs, her lows, are second nature to me now.

Meet bitter ol’ Professor Higgins from My Fair Lady of 1964! This particular song, I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face, gets me every time. It’s a scene of him walking alone to his house, after hearing the news from Eliza Doolittle that she was getting married to an English socialite named Freddie. In this song he swings back and forth hurt and angry to a man in slow but painful realization of Eliza’s importance to him.

“Damn! Damn! Damn! I’ve grown accustomed to her face… I was serenely independent and content before we met; surely I could always be that way again- and yet I’ve grown accustomed to her look; accustomed to her voice; accustomed to her face.”

It’s almost amusing — not in a mocking way — how some people (including me at times) realize the importance of a beloved once he or she has walked out the door; and how proud we are to admit to no one else but only to ourselves how much we need that beloved in our lives.

Watch: 7:25 mins!


3. I should have had the whirl to change into a girl, to learn the way the creatures think!

“What’s wrong Jenny, where are you these days?” King Arthur of Camelot (1965) whispers to himself as he baffles his thoughts about Guinevere, his wife and queen. Here he sings and reminisces about a conversation he had with his warlock teacher, Merlin, about matters on How To Handle A Woman.

“How to handle a woman? There’s a way,” said the wise old man, “A way known by ev’ry woman since the whole rigmarole began.”

“Do I flatter her?” I begged him answer. “Do I threaten or cajole or plead? Do I brood or play the gay romancer?”

Said he, smiling: “No indeed. How to handle a woman? Mark me well, I will tell you, sir: The way to handle a woman is to love her…simply love her… Merely love her…love her…love her.”

Their story did not end on a happy note. But when you look closely into the highs and most especially into the lulls of their time together, you know for a fact that King Arthur loved his wife through and through — even though he barely understood her.

Watch: 4:18 mins!


How about you, do you have a favorite musical song? :)