Heart on the cross!

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[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!

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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!

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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!

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

We can just agree to disagree.

That looks pretty ugly, no?

The saddest thing I have come to notice about some “serious” relationships is when the couple lose almost everything while being in their romantic bubble. I know of such couples, and I cannot deny my being in one (or two) in the past (being young and idealistic, people DO tend to try to go against “the odds” to validate their being together — even if the only validation required is their sincerest regard for each other, “the odds” being nothing more than a figment of their imagination). They need to be with each other every single minute of the day, constant reports of whereabouts during moments of separation become mandatory, and in the process, everything beyond them two suffers.

I am beginning to wonder what “investing” in a relationship truly means. Is it only restricted to the directly tangible like time and constant physical proximity? Does it not also include understanding, patience, and contentment with the knowledge that the other person is free to reach his/her full potential as a human being naturally destined to do so?

I know what it’s like to always want to be next to a person of romantic interest. There is a pretty fine line between obsession and love, of which we cross over from time to time. But I also know what it’s like to feel the loss of identity while being next to the person, the anxiety of always “needing” and the realization of pathetic self-incapacity that comes with it. When I come to think of it now, stripping our partner off his/her freedom to live life the best way he/she could, is an indicator that our love for the person is not really the love of “the person”, but more of only the love of having someone who can bend to our every need requirement.

The last thing I want to happen is to be the impediment in the life of the person I love; and him to be likewise to mine.

Irreplaceable.

I am open to my dad about a lot of things. The only topic I couldn’t get myself to open up to him were those concerning the matters of the heart. I told him of my shallow crushes, y’know, to peeve him. Lol. Until one night, we found ourselves eating dinner at home, and talking about that one thing I’m not used to telling him: my matter, my heart. I didn’t regret it, to tell you the truth. I actually picked up a lot of insight from the whole conversation — not to mention the new found feeling of liberty for being able to talk to him about something I’m finally confident about [when it comes to its value to me].

“Why do you like this person?” he asked me. I almost choked on the water I was drinking at the time. “Because he’s different,” I said surprising myself with the certainty of my statement.  I thought he was gonna mock me the way I do to him when he’s being cheesy to my mom. Ha ha, thank God he didn’t.

“You have to understand the gift of persons,” he started. “There are qualities in a person you will always get attracted to. And there will always be people better or worse than the object of your admiration. These qualities will change, through time, they will. One day they won’t open the car door for you anymore, or wouldn’t even wash his face before going to bed. But the ‘person’, the unrepeatability of the person, the irreplaceability of the person, the uniqueness of the person in a way that you will never find in any other in the world, that’s what you have to value.”

He went on going about why some people can never settle with someone, because their focus is merely on the quality of persons, and upon seeing someone else “better”, they jump ship, starting a vicious cycle of endless searching for the ‘perfect’ (or should I say the momentarily perfect?).

For a second there I thought he was describing my recently concluded dating life. Lol. I wanted to tell him how familiar that sounded but I chose not to, assuming that he already had an inkling, being my father and all. I guess this is one of the most enlightening lessons I’ve learned so far relationship-wise. It shifted my perspective from initially looking at my object of admiration as a person of qualities, to a person who is irreplaceable, unrepeatable, and that no copy of him can ever be found anywhere else in the world. That this uniqueness, in plain truth, is what actually captivated me, and what moved me in the first place to even  consider feeling something for the person. After dinner I couldn’t help but say to myself, “To love this way has got to be the most beautiful of all ways.”

[ I S E E  Y O U Y O U S E E M E  M A G I C N U M B E R S]

Thoughts and Shadows: Loosening grip.

I will always remember you, and you will remember me, just as we will remember the evening, the rain on the windows, and all the things we’ll always have because we cannot possess them.

[ B R I D A  C O E L H O ]

I had a dream yesterday. My subconscious playing with me in a not-so-nice way. It was and felt  so real to the point that the moment I opened my eyes, I burst into tears. The dream painted a very clear picture of what I have been dreading the most. And although I have conditioned myself to the possibility of eventually losing someone I’d rather not, I wasn’t able to help myself but feel fear and sadness. The only thing that stopped my bawling was this simple reminder: that nothing of this world is fully in our hands.

It is the one universal rule I try to live up to. Nothing in this world is permanent, and it is pointless to give our all in keeping everything we can within our reach. It was a reminder that my life does not belong to me but to God and He will do as He please with it for me to see, know, and love Him better. In truth,  the rest is up to Him, and the best we mortals can do is to live our lives in ultimate appreciation for every single second we are given the chance to live it. To grab every single opportunity to see Him through the people he sends us, to know Him from the trials we go through, and love Him by giving back every bit of ourselves to Him and the people He loves. Whatever happens, I should always have a grateful heart for what He gives me and ALSO for what He rightfully takes away.

If our paths completely separate soon, remember that you are one of the lighthouses God built for me. Perfectly designed to be there in my darkest hour, feet planted on the ground, unconsciously waiting for me to eventually come your way. When I did get to where He put you, you picked me up and carried me far away from the storm wreck. Without questions or hesitations, you did. You are my lighthouse. But I have always been His and He will take me wherever He plans to put me. You were meant to play a significant role in my life. That counts for a lot.

I love you.

The gory day of commercialism.

Instructions for this piece of humorous art were: 1) print 'em out!, 2) give 'em to your friends! and 3) Lose your friends! lol

Almost every year, I’ve had someone else try to make my Valentine’s day “special”. In an effort to do so, I was brought to fancy dinners or to movies, was given flowers or sometimes, when the person didn’t know me at all, milk chocolates — not dark and without nuts. Well those were fun. In the sense that I got to play dress up and became a master of picking up social cues when needed. I also had a reason to go out, since I was asked and it would be a shame if I were to decline such a romantic invite. Lol. This year was no different in the getting-invited department. I had been asked out; for a couple of reasons I cannot seem to wrap my head around. And this year, for every invite, I gave a very unorthodox answer of “it’s nothing more than a social convention. I refuse to conform.” BAM! I think I just killed it. Valentine’s day, I mean.

I’m not a cynic, God no. But if I were to be put through another bunch of cheesy lines, stiff dinners, forced smiles, expectations that ruin the promise of the day, awkward evenings of no pure laughter whatsoever [linked back to stiff dinners] in the attempt to make the day “special”, I might have to hang myself. I might have to shoot myself. I might have to throw myself over some cliff. Ha ha!

Have I established what I intend to establish here? All I’m saying is that the “waiting” or the warranted “forever alone” shouldn’t feel so bad on the event of this gory day full of cut out paper hearts. The day had been commercialized to distracting people from what it’s about. So you be bummed when there are no flowers, no long letters, no fancy dinner, no cheesy movies, etc. When in fact, it rooted back to nothing fancy at all. It was more of St. Valentine’s heroic act of marrying roman couples despite it being banned by the state, making him almost a criminal (more on this in Google.com — Wikipedia would do too lol). There was only the decision coupled with a lot of guts, and the desire to be together for as long as their fragile human bodies would allow them. It was an act to save the purest form of love; that of which commits and binds itself to living with and digesting all the quirks of just one person for the rest of one’s life. Sounds like a lot of work but it’s legit and it does happen, I promise.

No one is sick enough to marry me yet (thank God for that), so I’ll be spending this year’s Valentine’s with my best friends, and in the evening, with a book and a cup of joe. *wink*

P.S. I beg of you. Celebrate it for love. This is like Christmas part two, only instead of candy canes hung on department store windows, you got roses and huge ass glittery hearts.

Time zones and poetic memories.

“I hate to be where she is not, when she is not. And yet, I am always going, and she cannot follow.” [Audrey Niffenegger]

I am a day ahead and he is a day behind. Our talks happen between my first sip of coffee for the day and his last online check before sleep. I wake up to each new day with the goal to make myself busy and tired enough until bed time. I treat each second, each minute, and each hour of every day as a step closer to seeing him again. Can I be any more ridiculous? Probably. I have never had my feet planted on this unfamiliar ground where time ticks in a steady pace. But here, I unexplicably feel safe and I cannot fathom wanting to be anywhere else. Right here where there is liberty in choosing to be lonely, choosing to be self-sustaining until only God knows when. I am beginning to think that maybe this is my poetic memory talking to me. Have I finally come across someone who could [or already had] made every other encounter in my life pale in comparison to that of ours?