Posts

Lonely Nights

I have experienced a lot of lonely nights in my life. Every lonely night hurts but to a different extent. It is not new to me anymore. I have always thought that I am wired for it.

It was Good Friday. The day Jesus Christ died for our salvation. I went to church for the stations and veneration of the cross. The experience was overwhelming. It is good to be reminded of Christ’s passion just to save us and to show His love for us.

I was seated with a woman who had her hair covered with a scarf, with pale skin, and dark circles around her eyes. It seemed to me that she is a cancer patient. The veneration of the cross was a series of standing up and kneeling down. In the middle of it, she got tired and her deep sighs told me she was in pain. I heard the lady beside her told her to just sit down or just stand up so she will not get tired of moving. That’s what she did. After the communion, as we were silently praying. I can hear her cry silently. She might probably be praying for healing. My heart grew heavy. I can feel her pain and helplessness. “Lord, I am offering prayers for the woman beside me. Please grant her healing, Oh Lord.” I mentioned in my prayer. Oh, the joy of praying for others.

We all have a different cross to carry this season of Lent. It’s just up to us whether we look at it as a burden or to carry them joyfully.

I had another lonely night last night. I was scrubbing the bathroom floor while crying. There was a deafening silence in the room. This might sound too dramatic but I felt like I was abandoned by everyone. I can feel the physical pain in my heart. It was too painful; I had to rub it gently so it would calm down. I tried to divert that pain into tiredness. After doing all the cleaning, I went to the bathroom to freshen up. I stared at myself in the mirror. I looked like a mess. I cried for a few minutes. Washed my face and went back to my room to rest. I was home alone. It was too lonely, I was deafened by the complete silence. It was too quiet I can hear my thoughts.

I consoled myself. I fried an egg for dinner. I usually fall on self pity in times like that but that night I couldn’t be more thankful that I have that sunny side up on my plate. “I feel lonely.” I told my egg. The egg made no response. I just decided to eat it. I may be lonely but atleast I am not hungry.

I switched the lights off my room. I originally planned to reflect for the night but my thoughts are too loud. So I just held on my wooden cross instead. Like I always do whenever I feel down. Hugged it so tight until I fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of the night with a heavy heart. The kind wherein you can’t pinpoint which part is hurting. All you know is that a part of it is broken. Shedded a few tears. I wish I can say that it’s just because of the bed bugs’ bite but it wasn’t. It was something else. Something deeper.

I stared into darkness. Evaluated my life. I started to miss home. I just want a hug from my mother. But, no one’s left to hug. I hugged my pillow instead and tried to fall back to sleep. Unsuccessful. But, I am thankful. It gave me the chance to finally reflect. The silence is not deafening anymore; it’s actually comforting. The night is too quiet. I feel like the only person awake and I feel like I have God all to myself. I cried out to God. And though Jesus Christ is dead during that time, I was still able to feel His love. Because hey, He died for my sins.

They say the most beautiful of loves requires the heaviest of sacrifices.

Some has to carry a cross of sickness, just like the woman I sat beside with in church, some has financial difficulties, some has broken relationships, some has problems at work, some has inner struggles they never talk about. The lonely nights are the cross that I have to carry during this season of lent. I have had a lot of it. I was tempted to put my cross down but God’s love sustained me.

We all have to go through our own passion. We all have to die to ourselves just to let others live. We all have to stay in the wilderness (for me, the lonely nights is my own kind of wilderness) so we can experience the joy that comes in the morning. God’s love will pull us through.

I can’t wait for my own Easter.

Thank you, Lord, for the loneliest of nights. It is such a privilege to be hugged by You. I love you. <3

Monsters In My Head (Under My Bed)

You are not good enough. Not smart enough. Not pretty enough. Not cool enough. You’re not even close to the normal standards of the world. Yes. Go ahead. Be insecure. Feel bad about yourself. Feel sorry for yourself. You are nothing but a tiny lonely dot in this big world. Insignificant. Worthless.

Those are some of the words that I am dealing with each time the monsters in my head get too talkative and start poisoning my mind with negative thoughts which eventually get the best out of me; Because I always believe them. I never thought how much power our thoughts have over us. They can easily swing us from a sunshine and happiness factory to a loneliness producing machine. These monsters usually haunt me in the middle of a quiet night when i am all alone and trying to get a decent amount of sleep. I have always thought that they are under my bed but later I realized that they are inside my head following me everywhere I go; whispering louder than my conscience and the friendly voices until I get convinced that I am nothing but a tiny insignificant dot in this big world. The struggle starts and it is real.

I was never somebody’s first choice. I always have to prove myself to people. I have to prove that I am worth their time. I am worth their attention. I remember growing up, I get compared a lot with my cousins. “How come you never wear slippers? Look at your cousin, she has clean feet because she always wears her slipper. How come you are not close to your dad? Look at how close is your cousin to her dad.” Etcetera. Then, on our elementary graduation, I tried my best to be the class valedictorian but someone is always better than I am so I ended up being just the class salutatorian. It is not that my parents are pressuring me to be the best. My parents are the most understanding parents. It is just that I feel the need to achieve something grand; to do something with significance. To be the first at least once in my life.

Then, I grew up and went to high school. That was the time in my life when I achieved a lot. I was the school’s student council president, I was the school paper’s editor in chief, I have competed and won a series of news writing contests on different levels. I even made it to the National level. My teachers were so proud of me. They strongly believed that I will succeed and achieve more in college. And, for a time, I thought I would to.

Here comes college. This is the time when you will start putting your life in perspective. This is the time when you’ll really start building your dreams. The preparation stage for your future career. This is when you will realize that there are hundreds, thousands or even more people who are better than you. Suddenly, I realized that all my achievements in high school don’t matter anymore. I was the average college student. I am the kind of student teachers don’t know exist unless I make my presence known. I have only made it to the honor’s list a few times but I never really excelled in college. I am just the student who studies to pass not to be on the honor roll. I wouldn’t even pass algebra and statistics if I hadn’t been seated beside one of the top students in our class. The monsters in my head told me I should stop trying to achieve some thing and just be okay with the fact that at least I don’t have any failing grades. So, I graduated college. I am just glad I did. No special awards, no recognition, just a single tiny dot in the crowd of students who can’t wait to conquer the “real world” and start building their career.

 Going out into the real world and stepping out of your comfort zone are not easy. It requires a lot of wisdom and courage. You can’t just apply to any available job just for the sake of experience because each step that you will take is a step towards where you want to be. But, you can’t be choosy especially when you are trying to land your first job. After a series of job applications, I have finally decided to give in to my family’s plan to send me to Qatar and work there instead of using all my energy and money looking for a job that will not pay me enough. A year after graduation, I just found myself taking the flight to Doha, Qatar with all my dreams and high hopes in the bag. My life has never been the same since then.

The “real world” is truly harsh. I won’t elaborate on that but my first few years in Doha was not a walk in the park. It destroyed my self esteem. The monsters followed me even if I flew oceans away from them. “Settle for this job because you can’t do better than this. Accept harsh treatment from people because that’s what you deserve. Sell yourself short because you have nothing better to offer.” So, I settled. I have been settling for years and to be honest, I kinda forgot how to believe in myself anymore. I am not even a work in progress. I’m stagnant. Not moving on; not moving forward; not moving at all.

I have been dealing with these monsters in my head for a while now. They leave me restless. They leave me insecure. They leave me frustrated. They leave me struggling.

Then I thought, maybe someday I will be good enough, smart enough, pretty enough and cool enough. Maybe someday the standards of the world won’t apply to me. Maybe someday these monsters in my head will leave me alone. Maybe someday I won’t settle. Maybe someday I will be somebody’s first choice. Maybe someday I won’t have to prove myself anymore. Maybe someday I will find the significance of the tiny place I occupy in this great big world. Maybe someday I will know to whom I belong.

tumblr_nffe0hgKVi1so3z9fo1_500

I BELONG TO GOD. I AM GOD’S BELOVED.

And, someday I will befriend these monsters in my head.

The Rebirth of Summertime Sadness

Can you feel it? The burning sensation of the summer heat?

It’s exciting and alarming all at once.

It causes my heart to beat faster than usual remembering that one summer in my life. That summer that is different from any other summer. That summer when the heat burned twice as much or even more; because it burned not just my skin but also my heart. It left me some scars. It haunts me every now and then like a horror story with an open end. Nobody knows what happened to the characters. Nobody knows what happened next. Nobody knows what happened after she stopped crying behind closed doors. Nobody knows what happened during winter and how she convinced herself that she’s fine. Nobody understands what really happened. Nobody tried.

My mind is so full of voices saying “Find out what happened. Open that door again. It’s not yet the end. Remember everything. Rewrite it. Choose how it ends.” I am overwhelmed by my own thoughts that I forget the much quieter voice saying “Keep calm because it’s over.”

I don’t know why am I remembering this now. But, every time the sun beams at me, it brings sadness that I don’t understand. Every time I stare at it, I see you and it hurts my eyes. I can always choose to look away but I keep on looking because that is my only way to remember you. Because that is who you are, a painful memory.

Then, I remember winter, the cold breeze that calmed my soul, the freezing cold that numbed my heart, the comforting warm hugs that melted the ice that imprisoned my heart and set it free, the strong wind that blew every bad memory away, the gloomy nights that allowed me to cry and gave a much deeper meaning to loneliness, the longer nights that enabled me to hug myself longer in bed (self love).

I think about all the good things that happened right after that summer. They’re so good, I don’t really wanna know what truly happened on that particular summer at all.

Summertime Sadness? Uhhmmm… how about No?

Psalm 30:5

1456542_10153054645723630_5474957918969002995_n

I wasn’t in my best mood for a week. I miss my family. I miss my friends. I miss home. I miss my normal happy self. This whole ‘Me-Time’ thing is getting the best out of me. I never felt so lonely. I spent a couple of sleepless nights thinking about senseless thoughts and asking stupid questions to myself. But, there have also been nights when I overslept because sometimes sleep is the best antidote for trying times. In short, I just plainly exist.

During this time, I know it’s the best time to pray more but I find it hard to pray. I know we should pray the hardest when it is hardest to pray but I just can’t put myself in the mood for prayer (Sorry).  In the morning when I wake up, I just thank God for a brand new day and for the gift of life. That’s it. Very dry. When I get home, I throw my bag in the bed, remove the shoes from my feet, curl up under my blanket and get lost in my own little world. It was hard. Until one day, I said I don’t want to be like that anymore. If I want happiness, I should create it. I rushed to a nearby department store and got myself a colorful bed cover, put them on my bed and did my usual routine (throw bag, remove shoes, curl up under my blanket. Repeat daily.) For a time I was happy but it was a superficial kind of happiness. Eventually, my happy bed cover lost its magic. Worse, i became lonelier than I ever was before. I struggled until one day, I opened my “Daily Bread” and read I pray that meditations would draw us into His presence. Fellowship with Christ is the secret of happiness now and forever.” God also assured me with His words: “I have promised you my presence everywhere you go; I will never, never leave you…”

 For the first time in my life, I celebrated the mass alone and everything’s just perfect. That solitary moment with God is priceless. God really spoke to me in many ways. He spoke to me through songs. During the mass, Don Moen’s ‘I Will Sing’ played. “Lord, you seem so faraway and though I haven’t lost my faith I must confess right now that it’s hard for me to pray. But, as you give the grace with all that’s in my heart, I will sing, I will praise, even in my darkest hour.” I knelt before God, I let my heart talk and as tears rolled down my face, God hugged me so tightly I can’t even let go. When everyone left the church, I sat there alone. That moment of silence I know God hears my heart without me talking. The place was so solemn I can feel God everywhere. The chairs around me might be empty but I never felt alone. Then I realized, it was God who carried me all throughout the lonely week. It was God who made an effort to listen to my heart when I forget to pray. It was God who never left me when no one was there when I cried. It was God who lead me to Him. Then, things made sense the lonely week emptied me so I may receive more of God.

It was God all along.

That night, I came home, threw my bag in the bed, removed my shoes, curl up under my blanket and thanked God for finding me in my brokenness.

“Weeping may endure for the night but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30: 5

My Hand

10615454_10152818941873630_6527412312540942071_n

My hand reaches out for yours

The way the tides reach for the shore

Whether you’ll reach for it or not, I’m not sure

But, I’m sure your hand is what I’ve longed for

You reached for it

And I’m like a rose stung by its own thorns

I didn’t beg for it

But, when our hands touched, I was reborn

My hand was the last hand that you reached for

The last hand that overlapped with yours

The last hand you touched before you opened her door

Before you told her “Baby, you are mine and I am yours.”

</3

Dear Mr. Y

When it comes to you, I am constantly torn between “if it’s meant to be it will be” and “if you really want it go get it.”. Sometimes your presence gets too overwhelming and my poor little heart can only contain so much. My heart and mind are constantly arguing about letting go and holding on a little longer. Every part of my weak heart is struggling to beat for you. But my equally stressed out mind is shouting “ENOUGH!”.

To be completely honest, I feel kinda exhausted. I am too exhausted that I just don’t want to feel it anymore. Hey, loving you is exhausting. But, as exhausting as it is, I would like you to know that I’d still choose you in a million lifetimes, in a thousand worlds, and in any version of reality. I would make sure to find you and I’d choose you over and over again.

But, if your love isn’t going to be greater than your uncertainties and fears, I guess I will have to spend my million lifetimes, thousand worlds, and all my version of reality in forgetting about you. I don’t want to spend eternity holding on to my imaginary “happily ever after”. I’d rather spend my only lifetime in my own world with my only version of reality holding on to something that is real. Because that’s how it is supposed to be and that’s how it’s gonna be from now on.

Prologue

So I was there, staring blankly into a blank Microsoft Word page, thinking about a way to start a love-hate letter. I stared at it for too long that I almost became cross eyed. I don’t even know what I’m looking at anymore. I guess there’s no perfect way to start this kind of letter. I don’t know which part should come first, the hate or the love part. After a few minutes of staring at it blankly, I wrote the first word. It was his name. Just the sight of it gives me butterflies in my stomach and a heavy heart. I almost went numb. I shrug some unwanted thoughts off my head. But, the next thing I know, I’m pressing ‘backspace’ on the keyboard deleting what I just wrote. Then, I clicked on the ‘X’ on the upper right side of the screen to close the application.

“Do you want to save some changes?”
Save. Don’t Save. Cancel.

I clicked on “Don’t Save”. That was it. I am, once again, left with nothing but my unspoken words, unwritten letters and my ever silent screams and heartaches. I secretly succumb to self-destruction. I really thought that it is impossible to break a broken heart but there you are again killing every single part of my heart that feels alive. But, I made a choice. Don’t save. I chose not to save my heart.

Dear Mr. X

There are many things I want to be but when it comes to you, I just want to be the woman you’ve always dreamed of.

I want to be the woman who you’d think about whenever someone asks you a question about love. I want to be the first person who will pop in your mind whenever you hear or read the word LOVE. I want to be the love of your life. I promise you won’t regret it. I promise I won’t be complicated and we will only have awesome memories.

I want to make you happy that you ask yourself if you’re dreaming. So happy that you get a butterfly riot in your stomach whenever you hear my name. So happy that you forget about those times you were sad. So happy you forget about your scars. So happy that smiling hurts and you can’t take it off your face.

I want to be the woman you let your family meet. And, before we do that I will find you beside me, holding my hand, kissing me in my forehead and whispering “Don’t worry. They’ll love you.”. I want to listen to your mother’s story about your childhood as she showcases you baby pictures. I want to hear the things your father has to say about you. I want to hear him tease you that you should treat me the way he treats your mother. I want your sisters to like me as much as I like them. I want them to be the sisters I never had. And you, I want you to watch your family fall in love with me because I love them as much as you do. And, I want you to secretly smile as you do that.

I want to be the woman that you’ll wait for in the altar. I want to be the mother of your children. I want to be the woman you’ll wait for in the altar 50 years after. I want to be the one who will sit beside you as you tell our grandchildren about our epic love story.

I want to be the woman who makes you appreciate the world more. I want to make you see the perfection of the imperfect things. I want to see the world with you so that if there will come a time that I will have to leave you, you can feel me everywhere you go.

I want to be better than what you have imagined. I want to be more than what you have expected me to be. Too perfect that you question if I am real. I want to be the reason why you believe that God wants you to be happy so He gave me to you. I want to be anything you want me to be. I want to make you happy.

I want you to choose me, pick me, love me. And I want to be the one who loves you. I want to love you until it hurts and love you more until it hurts no more. Let me love you. Let me prove to you that no one can love you better than I do. I don’t want to sound desperate but let me. Please. Let me.

But, even if I won’t be all these, I just want to be the woman who loved you with all her heart. The woman who lost herself in loving you. The woman who is a lot stronger because she was forbidden to love you. The woman you could have had and the woman you never had.