A Spooky kind of Love

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Are you afraid of the dark? Have you encountered some horrific experience that made you not sleep well and even eat well? Actually, only a few of us experience some unexplained thrillers that really give us goosebumps. In order to feel the intensity of the Halloween, some chose to celebrate it with a ‘horrific’ atmosphere or wear creepy costumes for ‘Trick or Treat’. Others just chose to be contended at home with popcorns on their side for a horror-movie marathon like The Walking Dead downloaded in some Torrent sites after a tiring and perspiring visit on their love one’s eternal resting place. Sounds unusual isn’t it? But this is what some people want in order to unwind their selves after endless demands at work and in academic battlefields (Whoa strange! How could you really unwind yourself if you’re having a goosebumps?).

We cannot deny the fact that when we speak about October 31, November 1, or November 2 it’s all about Halloween, horror movies, and visiting the cemeteries. We must also not forget that from these dates that I mentioned (especially November 1) we honor the heroic virtues and examples of the Saints in heaven. Actually, honoring them is more sensible than the undead who are the co-creators and co-initiators of the Halloween mentality. Too much horror kills. Anyway, what I would like to emphasize is not all about the question of what must be really celebrated with dignity, All Saints Day or Halloween; but the spookiest thing that Halloween cannot be overruled, i.e. the ‘horror of love’. What does this thing means?

Have you experienced being ‘friend zoned’ and ‘seen zoned’ by the one you love the most? Have you experienced unexpected break-ups after long years of relationship with someone that you really love and care? After all the sacrifices and efforts that you exerted, have you experienced being rejected by the person you love? These questions are all about the ‘horror of love’ or in a simpler understanding, a spooky kind of love. This is the most terrible and horrendous experience in life which its impact is greater than watching Insidious chapters 1, 2, 3, Japanese horror films, zombie movies like The Walking Dead or The Evil Dead. Experiencing this spooky kind of love is like letting your heart and brain be eaten by the zombies in Plants versus Zombies, is really appalling, bone-shaking, and embarrassing. Just like seeing a ghost or a monster; it will not let you sleep at night, it will make your day the worst day of your life, it will destroy your focus and attention, and it will lose your appetite. Sounds creepy isn’t it, but that’s the reality of experiencing the setbacks of love-relationships. This is one of the ‘dreadful’ mysteries in love-relationship that really creates jitters in our mind and goosebumps in our heart. Pathetic, awful, and discouraging; but there’s wisdom behind it that will really give us the key to a sound love-relationship. Just have a little patience and faith, and it will follow.

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“Aloneliness”

alone_lifeAloneliness”-I don’t even know if this word exists. As I type this word in MS Word, a red line appeared on this word. Although this word may sound erroneous and disgusting for Mr. Webster, for me, it reveals the gist and the fruit of my reflection for today which I would like to share. I believe that as we advance in age and wisdom through the influx of several significant experiences that we encounter in life, we cannot but create our own insights or words just to express it as part of our learning and growth. This is now what I am doing as I encounter today one of the most weighty yet crucial expressions in the realm of love and relationships. Hence, “Aloneliness”. This out-of-this world terminology implies to a decision of choosing to be alone and to move on all by ourselves and our efforts after the tremendous pain, loneliness, and aches of unsuccessful relationships in the past. Encountering that kind of experience and coining it with the word “Aloneliness” made me ponder and questions boggles my mind; how could you face and recompense your past pains, loneliness, and aches if you will handle it all by yourself? How could you even move on and start all over again in life with joy and happiness if you want to do it and face it alone? Henceforth, choosing “Aloneliness” as a principle in life makes me affirm the fact that past pains, loneliness, and aches repeats itself. Actually, we cannot find any answer, solution, and clarification in choosing to encounter our past pains, loneliness, and aches all by ourselves. It’s like we are choosing our own bereavements rather than better joy, life, and love.

We cannot control our past. It happened because it happened. Acceptance is the key for mending the brokenness that we experienced in our own past. Relating it on my own experiences, it was really hard for me to accept all the embarrassments I experienced from the past. I clamor for an instant solution, so I chose to face it all by myself, but it hindered me to move on. Little by little my value system was distorted. My friends and acquaintances suddenly left me alone and did not trust me anymore because of my self-centeredness and narcissistic tendencies. I became pessimistic about relationships and interactions. I thought, my past will be healed and redeemed if I will face it all by myself without relying to any help and support. But, it was a mistake. It was a great breakdown and collapse into my life when I chose to handle my own past pains, loneliness, and aches all by myself.

On that instance when I reached my life’s rock-bottom that opening my heart for support and for possibility to consider another new chapter in my life is very essential and fulfilling. I realized, choosing to encounter your own past nightmares alone is like closing the door of possibility for support system and for love. Loving our past nightmares does not depend on our own opinion, desires, and wants in order to determine it, it depends on how we value the things and the people that became part of our lives and soon will serve as our great help to accept our past nightmares with love. Loving our past nightmares can hurt sometimes, but loving it all by ourselves is not the only thing that perhaps will be able to conquer its pains, loneliness, and aches. Our friends are always there to listen to our deep longings. Our families are always ready to support us through thick and thin. New loves and opportunities are always waiting for us and willing to mend our broken hearts. Thence, No man is an island. This maxim will only be realized, recognized, and appreciated if and only if we open the doors and the windows of our weary hearts. These were the things that I’ve learned as I opened my heart and became sincere on my deep longings to accept and heal my past nightmares. Indeed, loving my own past nightmares made me affirm this insight that popped-up unto my mind; problems and heartbreaks will never be solve all by ourselves. It is better to share it and to say it with all honesty and sincerity and for sure it will mend greater than what we long and expect.

Come What May

Come what may

Come what may

I will love you until my dying day

While I am arranging my new song playlist for my Samsung Galaxy Ace phone, which for me still handy, savvy, and techie even though it’s already faced-out in the market, the song Come What May sang by Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor in the movie Moulin Rouge caught my interest. Actually, it was one of my favorite songs during my high school days after I watched and been fascinated by the movie, a tragic musical-love story movie which tells the story about Christian (Ewan McGregor), a poet/writer, who fell in love with the terminally-ill Moulin Rouge cabaret star Satine (Nicole Kidman). One of my favorite scenes in that movie is when Christian and Satine sang Come What May with passion and fervor. On that scene, love is shown as something beyond space and time, immortal, and perfect which when you let it overrule your heart it seems that everything is such a perfect place and a perfect grace. So, in order that my mind and heart be stirred once again by the unforgettable memories in that movie, I played the song. While listening to the song, my attention was caught by the lyrics which speaks about love as something afar from what we think and perceive about. Thus, the lyrics define love as something immeasurable, incomprehensible, and indestructible in spite of many imperfections and brokenness surrounds it.

As I reflect on the song a question from my curiosity popped-up my mind; “is this one of the manifestations or reflections of how God loves us?” Probably, yes. When God loves us suddenly the world becomes such a perfect place for us and we realize that it moves with such perfect grace because of His love. So, we love because we are loved. St. Bonaventure testified to this by saying that God came into this world because of love, and on that initiative of God we now share the love that He brought to us. That’s why we have the capacity to love. Love is not a mere feeling or romance, but a power to see the goodness and uniqueness of everything despite of its filthiness, woundedness and limitedness. But, love connotes responsibility. In a relationship, when you love someone you really need to die with yourself. Dying with ourselves is not all about giving everything that we have and not giving a space for ourselves; it’s all about being committed in a relationship and not hindering our capacity also to love ourselves. Hence, it is in loving ourselves first that we may be able to be committed in loving others or someone. Indeed, it takes a lot of self-emptying to love like God who has the capacity to see and regard things perfect and gracious in spite of its awful attributes.

Love is a verb. It always tends to act rather than to speak, because it believes that actions speaks louder than words. It’s hard to determine the goodness, uniqueness, and perfection of everything unless we love. In relationship, have we ever thought that when we fall in love it seems that everything is perfect and extraordinary? It’s the same feeling that God felt when He falls in love with us. I cannot exclude myself with this kind of feeling. When I fall in love it seems that there’s no mountain high enough and no river too wide for someone like me who wants to express this love to someone whom I really love and adore. Thus, nothing is impossible when love is put into action. Even though stars may collide, storm clouds may gather, and universe may conspire, love will still remain the same; loving until the end of time. God is really the author of love because He is love. Though His love is something mystical, we are always assure of His love because it has no end and it continues to flourish us every day. That’s why when we fall in love nothing is being left behind. Everything is important, distinctive, and wonderful though dreadful and unpleasant.

MISERANDO ATQUE ELIGENDO

Palm-Sunday-Pictures-1024x512MISERANDO ATQUE ELIGENDO (He has pity on me and has chosen me) -Pope Francis

These are the words that popped in my mind as I reflect upon the readings and the gospel for the Palm Sunday yesterday.

I asked myself; Why? At first glance, it does not connect and jive to the thought and the message that I got in reflecting upon the yesterday’s readings and gospel. What does this motto of Pope Francis would like to express in me as the Holy Week begins? What is the connection of it to Jesus’ passion, suffering, and resurrection?

As I link up the readings and the gospel for the Palm Sunday yesterday, it tells about Jesus’ obedience to the will of His Father and his passion and suffering which presented into something significant and salvific for us believers and followers of Christ. He conspired by the chief priests, his own disciples betrayed him, his witnesses’ testimonies were flawed, the trial was politicized and unjust, yet because of intense love and mercy for us sinners he accepted all these though he was innocent to all the false allegations and accusations against him.

Hence, great and unconditional is the mercy and love of the Lord for all of us, and St. Paul testifies it in his Letter to the Philippians which he said; “Though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance; he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2: 6-9). He humbled himself– a phrase that is very striking and touching indeed as I let it speaks into my life.

He is God, but He humbled himself for the sake of loving me and us completely and unreservedly. How about me? Connecting Pope Francis words MISERANDO ATQUE ELIGENDO to Jesus’ passion, suffering, and death; one thing that I realized is Love that connects the two moving instances. The words of Pope Francis are the challenge of the Palm Sunday for me as I am now coming across to the ambiance and spirit of the Holy Week. Because of God’s mercy and compassion which He fulfilled on the cross, He pitied me and has chosen me to radiate His love for all especially those who are seeking for it.

As I reflect upon it, it’s a tough invitation coming from the Lord. It takes a lot of faith and self-emptying. But, this love is all about. If God sacrificed Himself for the sake of love, how about me who is just a tiny unique organism and sinner in front of the immensity of His mercy and compassion. Thus, Holy Week is moments for me to revitalize, refresh, and renew my commitment to God as His disciple. Indeed, the cross really disturbs me.

As I begin my Holy Week pilgrimage in silence, reparation, reconciliation, and contemplation may the Lord help me to abide in His love. May He also guide my thoughts, words, and actions through his care and kindness.

When Love Hurts

188529_20140424_143329_love-hurts-wallpapers-4-300x297I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

-Daphne RaeLove Until It Hurts

Why is there pain in loving?

Why do we need to accept the fact that when we love someone or something it entails sacrifice and heartaches? These are the many questions that preoccupy my mind when I think of and reflect upon love as a significant aspect of my life.   Plato is right in saying that at the touch of love everyone becomes a poet, but for me we need also to admit into our existence the fact that to be hurt is an inevitable reality when we love sincerely and candidly.  We cannot discover true love unless we recognize and embrace pain in loving.  Hence, it takes courage to love.

When love hurts it is not an indicator for us to give up. It is just a purifying fire that helps us to understand that love is not cheap.  So, we persist in loving sincerely and candidly because we believe that it is something immense and noteworthy.  But, we cannot deny the fact thatit hurts.  It is really not so easy to love.  It requires something to give up and sacrifice in order to learn from its wisdom and to be sway by its impact.  If I will look upon my experiences about love, I could say, there are a lot of times that I got hurt in loving honestly.  I asked myself, why love sometimes unfair?  Every day I struggle in order to be true in loving, but it’s not enough.  It went into the point that I became fool for the sake of love, but it does not suffice still.  As a result, I give up in loving.  It does not anymore ring into my sanity and perception that love is something pleasing and awe-inspiring.  Hence, I became afraid when love hurts my heart.

Suddenly, as I search for a reason about the reality of pain in loving, my mind was captivated with a quote coming from William Shakespeare which says; the courses of true love never did run smooth.  In this insight I realized that true love begins in accepting its pains courageously.  There’s no easy and instant way in loving; every person who abide on it experience first to be brokenhearted.  Indeed, loving is the same in living.  In order to live happily and fulfilled there’s a need to appreciate struggles and sufferings.  Love is always a product of our perseverance and persistence.  Thus, when loving seems so tough and hurting, quitting must not be the immediate reaction.  Just like what I did into my life, after realizing the fact that love resides in every pain, I welcome pain and I continue to love sincerely though it hurts.  The more I continue to love despite the pain that I endure in loving, the more I experience that I am being loved.  Its sounds bitter, but that’s what love is all about. Quitters will never apprehend true love in its tragic sense.  Henceforth, true love exists in the most difficult situation in our lives which for us is unacceptable and intolerable.

On Battling our Weaknesses

Weakness_StrengthWhen I always encounter the word ‘weak’, I cannot but be affected on it.   It simply reminds me that I am a person who is limited and capable of committing mistakes.  But, as I kept on accepting the fact that together with my strengths I have also weaknesses into my life, sometimes I asked myself; why is it hard to reconcile into our lives that our weaknesses could also be an occurring issue?  Why is it hard to escape in this reality?

It’s really hard to settle the fact that we are limited on certain aspects in life.  It’s also undeniable that we sometimes fall on our weaknesses when the struggles for authenticity and perfection become so tough and demanding.  Henceforth, we cannot but cry and grieve when several of our weaknesses haunt us and full us down.  After the tears and sorrows, we easily give up and be complacent with ourselves by saying these words; “I cannot move on because I am weak.  I am tired and hopeless in improving myself because nothing happens.  So, it’s better for me to give in to my weaknesses and just consider it as a normal thing.”  Having this kind of perspective is not a healthy disposition.  This unhealthy disposition will fall us into a negative attitude called mediocrity.  Mediocrity is one of the enemies of optimism.  It destroys our capacity to see the good things in us despite the fact that we have shortcomings and weaknesses in life.  To be honest, when my weaknesses strike me and thump me below the belt, I cannot but escape the reality of acceptance and be mediocre about it.  Later, I realized that the more I become mediocre about my weaknesses the more I become pessimistic about myself.  And that’s what makes me more vulnerable and prone to distrusting myself.

Yes, we are born with certain weaknesses into our lives.  But, our weaknesses are not an indicator for us to give up and improve ourselves.  There are still rooms for improvements and changes in our lives; all we need to do is to find those rooms through optimism and self-introspection.  This may take a lot of our perseverance and courage, but it assures something good and pleasing later on.  I myself could say, that this kind of challenge beneficial into my life.  Only through accepting this kind of challenge I would realize that recognizing my weaknesses is an important factor for strengthening my faith and trust.  Indeed, St. Paul is correct in saying that there’s strength in every weaknesses that we have.  The invitation of St. Paul for me and for all of us is not to be afraid to boast our own weaknesses and to consider it as our boost to move on and persevere in our daily struggles.  Every day, we engage ourselves in an endless battle of conquering our weaknesses.  The only necessary thing as we face this reality is this; DON’T GIVE UP.  Only in not giving up we realize that our weaknesses will lead us into something we aspire for, i.e. eternal bliss that gives LOVE to our restless hearts.

Let not our hearts be restless when our weaknesses strike us back.  Let it be; Accept it; Stay humble, and for sure it will lead us to something good, pleasing, and perfect.

Repentance: The Remedy over Temptation

repentanceIn yesterday’s gospel, we witnessed how Jesus overcomes the pangs of temptation and drove by the Spirit out into the desert.  Afterwards, He went to Galilee and proclaims the Kingdom of God by inviting the people and His followers to repent and believe with it.  It is such an awe to notice in the gospel how Jesus overcome the enticement of Satan and proclaimed to the people the wonderful truths of the Kingdom of God.  How about us who are easily tempted and distracted by the devil looking upon our nature as fragile and limited?

As I reflect upon the gospel yesterday, Jesus gives us a secret in order for us to overcome the temptation of Satan and emerge as victorious, i.e. Repentance.  Yes, our story is different from that of Jesus because we are always falling into temptation.  But, the gospel is inviting us to repent because it is only on this way that we may be able to reject the schemes of Satan and be belonging to the Kingdom of God.  Yes, we recognize that we are not strong in the midst of trials, so we easily give in to temptation.  But, Jesus is reminding us that it is not the end of everything.  We can only repent unless we humble ourselves and admit that we have done something wrong.  Repentance presumes admission of our sin and guilt, and this is what it means to commemorate the sanctity of Lent.  In order to prepare ourselves on our Lenten journey, let us consider into our lives that we won’t be able to believe with firmness that God is merciful and forgiving unless we repent and accept into our lives that we cannot live and be at peace without the presence of God.