‘Hopeless Romantic Syndrome’

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I don’t know if it’s proper for me to give my reflection regarding this phenomenon called ‘Hopeless Romantic Syndrome’.

Every time I check my Facebook account, I cannot but ask myself why millennial lovers of today are fond of posting bitter thoughts or insights and #hugots about love. Actually, I myself also have this kind of tendency whenever I experience the disease of love. It’s so funny and nosy to think about that myself, who is questioning this phenomenon, also being carried away by the current of this trend sometimes.

Why is there an inescapable tendency to experience to be ‘Hopeless Romantic’? This is the main question that boggles my mind now as I ponder the mystery of it. An irresistible reality that we tend to avoid, but we experience unexpectedly-this is what’s meant to be ‘Hopeless Romantic’ which we have to accept that we had a first-hand experience of it.

Is it wrong to expect or hope for a love that is not meant for you? Is not everyone destined to find love? Is it bad to love someone who’s not destined to you? These are some of the questions I encountered whenever I am talking or chatting with a Hopeless Romantic person. I cannot also deny the fact that I also ask these questions within the bottom of my head and heart when love seems so absurd sometimes. So, I know what it feels to be Hopeless Romantic.

I know what it means to be rejected despite all the efforts, sacrifices, creativities, honesties, and sincerities that you manifest for the person whom you loved most.

It’s really painful and embarrassing to be labeled as Hopeless Romantic. Sometimes we asked, why there’s an experience of pain in loving. Actually, for me, we cannot love without pain. Pain helps us to realize that love is not cheap. It gives motivations for us to be still and to move on despite all the flaws and hurts in loving truly, madly, deeply.

And so, to be Hopeless Romantic is not something to be avoid, but it’s an opportunity that need to accept with conviction. To be Hopeless Romantic is not the end of everything about love. Today, I know you’re Hopeless Romantic. Don’t be afraid. You’re not lacking of something about loving genuinely. What matters most in true love is you love. It’s unavoidable that sometimes you fail. It’s okay at least you loved.

You know, I am very proud of you and I appreciate you as being a hopeless romantic person because you’re true lover. You’re unique and be proud of it. Even though the person that you loved most doesn’t recognize the authenticity and the candor of your love that beats within your heart, it doesn’t matter. What matters most is you’re not lacking in loving truthfully and faithfully.

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The Goodness in Sadness

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After watching Inside Out I am astounded and stunned by the way how the character coped up with her emotional instability. Sadness saved her from a miserable situation which led her to open up with her mother and father of what’s going on with her life. It’s good to reflect on that there’s goodness in sadness most especially when there are conflicts that we can’t understand inside. Why sadness? What makes sadness unique and helpful in realizing the importance of openness and humility in life? While pondering on the movie, I am deeply touched when she stopped the bus, went back to her father and mother, and opened up her situation to them. For me, that is the most important part of the movie, and on that instance I became aware about the goodness in sadness. Sadness gives depth and deep connection with others especially to those whom we loved most (our family, friends, and loved ones). Only through sadness that makes a crucial connection transform into a significant encounter that will really make us understand how important to consider a relationship with depth.

We don’t like and want to be sad. When we speak about sadness we tend to stay away from it because we don’t want to. We like always to feel happy and enjoy life at its fullest. But, have we realized that we cannot be happy without sadness? Have we also realized that only in sadness that we may be able to recognize true happiness and enjoyment in life? It’s an irony indeed that the only thing will help us to be saved from emotional unsteadiness is sadness. It’s only through sadness that we may be able to fathom, appreciate, understand, and apprehend the deepness of our being. Sadness knows and also teaches us how to take care of our beings. When we feel sad, it’s not a type of curse or bitterness but an opportunity or a motivation for us to understand what’s going on in our lives and to open up those things to those who understand us and care for us most especially our family. Let us not be afraid to face sadness in life. Accept it and learn from it because it is through it that will make us a better person and a better “we” in life. Sadness is not an enemy, but a friend that will lead us to say hello and to befriend with Happiness.

Laying Down One’s Life for One’s Friends

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13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you (John 15:13-14).

When I was a high school student, my teacher in Christian Living Education asked us to choose a bible passage from the four gospels and make it as a slogan. As I searched for some beautiful bible passages from the gospel through Google, I was captivated by the message of John 15: 13-14. Actually, when I was a high school student, I don’t exactly know the meaning of it. My attention was just spellbound on its message and so I chose it as my bible passage for the slogan. Sixteen years ago, I encountered that bible passage from the Gospel of John for the first time.

Last Thursday of our discussion before the finals for the first semester in Johannine Writings, I encountered it again for the second time and it was a special encounter because our excellent and kind-hearted professor in Johannine Writings Fr. Jun Lingad, SDB explained to us the real meaning and gist of John 15: 13-14. I am really inspired, amazed, and mesmerized by his explanation about the passage. According to him, it is the core of the Last Supper account of Jesus in the Gospel of John. It gives the theme for the entire account of the Last Supper in John which is Last Supper: A Commandment of Love. It is in doing the commandment of God with faith that we may be able to love the Lord with all of our hearts, with all our soul, and with all our strength. It is in doing with believing that we may be able to feel and recognize that we are no longer slaves but friends of God. One of the concrete examples of being a true friend for others is what Jesus did for all of us who consider us as friends, i.e. he laid down his life for us for the sake of loving us as friends. What a beautiful manifestation of love that is deeply rooted in faith!

The Bible passage does not only inspire us, but it also challenges us and invites us to do the same. Laying down one’s life for one’s friends could also be manifested in our day to day lives like sacrificing our own self-interest and comfort zones for the sake of loving those who are not being loved and also those who does not love us. However, it is easy to say than to do it. It takes courage and faith in doing this noble and worthy expression of love rooted in faith for our friends; not just only for those whom we know and those who loved us, but also for those who does not love us and persecute us. I was not able to know this things when I first met this passage sixteen years ago. What I just knew about it was it talks about unconditional love God has for all of us. But last Thursday, that first impression on the passage which I encountered when I was a high school student was nurtured and cherished; thanks to Fr. Jun for giving a wonderful explanation about the passage, and it really enthused me to see and consider that bible passage as the main theme or main perspective for my life.

Now, as I always encounter this passage as I flip the scripture especially the Gospel of John, I have now this kind of understanding about it; 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you (John 15:13-14)-it means God invites me and challenges me to be a genuine Christ for others in different walks of life. God loved each and every one of us despite our differences, shortcomings, and beliefs. God’s love is universal. This should be my way of understanding about love. This should be my conviction why I must believe in the power of love which rooted on God who is love. At the end of the day, in everything that I do and encounter in life, it must be overruled by a moving and motivating principle in life, i.e. LOVE rooted in FAITH; and the best example for this is Christ who laid his life for me for the sake of loving the “I am” in me. This should be me, and this should be my identity as a creature of God who created me out of love and mercy.