Last Sunday, I went to EDSA shrine for Mass. I was (ashamed of this fact) LATE. But this has been an improvement because I have not gone there for quite awhile now. It was 8pm that time and I wanted to just go to Mass to THANK God for everything; for being alive, for his daily graces, for the miracle of “manna” in my finances (it is a miracle given my current setup), for friends, for my boyfriend and his family, for love, for saving my home in Caloocan from a fire that ravaged 50 homes, and for the newfound time to rediscover who I am and where I should go next.
I remembered countless times when I went to church with tears streaming on my face. But that day was not one of those. I just had the internal certainty that I need to go to God just to say thanks for sparing me, for letting me have the time to make things right with my life. And I generally whispered a prayer for my friends.
Almost on a daily basis, I talk to a lot of broken people. It’s strange, but for some reason, the people I bond with in various places tend to open up their issues to me with ease. I am quite empathic, and it affects me emotionally when I hear sad stories from people I care about. But it’s part of loving and caring for people– you tend to cry when they cry because you want them to be happy all the time.
Talking about fun stuff is easy. But all these people I’ve truly met in my life showed me that even the bubbliest people are part of the walking wounded. Just now, a very good friend just told me via BBM that she might need to see a shrink. Three hours ago, another close relative whom I love deeply has been isolating herself but she messaged me “I miss you” on Facebook. Even with just those words, I still felt how much in pain she was. Yet another friend abroad told me of her hidden panic modes because she is at her life’s crossroads, and I could not even have coffee with her to talk things over.
I think of all that pain. I think of how people silently suffer in a world where it’s survival of the fittest and man eats man in ruthless competition. I think of walls that people set up at all vantage points. I think of facets of human life that are hidden and how less than one percent of what’s actually going on is seen at every person’s surface.
We look at Facebook timelines and Twitter posts that seem to set up an illusion of perpetual happiness and perfection. But underneath that social media curtain of trying to convince ourselves that positive pop psychology is enough, there are voids and cracks and brokenness at the very core. The cracks of racism, of elitism, of intellectual arrogance, of arrogance in general, of harshness from those who have been treated harshly, and of purely putrid darknesses that words cannot describe.
In this “Look at me, I am awesome. Meanwhile, I need to put YOU down,” culture, it’s quite hard to unveil the suffering souls that are dying underneath. Why put up all these walls? We are all THE SAME. We should all be helping each other.
Why be stubborn and unable to forgive human shortcomings? Why refuse someone’s attempts to make friends because he or she is “not good enough”? Why kill someone’s career or badmouth a co-worker to the bosses just to make sure one goes up? Why have cliques and bash absent classmates on a high school reunion when we can all just co-exist peacefully? Why join the bandwagon of cyber or offline bullying behavior?
I myself am guilty of some of these things at some point; it comes out when I am not guarding my mind and my tongue and my heart. And I keep asking myself, where is this coming from? Why are people like this?
And why flaunt all these things when there is nothing to be proud about, really? It’s not a badge, but a giant barrier that keeps us from being truly connected with each other. Supposedly, all these technologies are about bridging gaps. But there is no technology on earth that can penetrate closed minds and hardened hearts.
I want to make better relationships from now on. I want to turn away from this system of judging and building walls. I want to bring bandaids of comfort to the broken. And I want to stay away from those venomous individuals who suck the life and vitality out of me.
I want to keep the passions of my youth. I want to be the girl who, even at age 27, is able to keep aiming for the good dreams of her teenage years. I want to be myself at its very best.
And most of all, I want to talk to the walking wounded when it’s most needed and write about hope afterwards. No, it’s not the published conversations but the ones that are privately processed through face time and among people who are willing to show who they really are, vacation trips, social positions, and competitions notwithstanding.
I still have threads and traces of those conversations when I met up with old friends and bonded with my family since the start of this month. And I know that I can still continue to hope for the best with those virtual bandaids for the walking dead. Like a tiny spark, I want to keep authenticity ignited in everything that I have to do with the rest of my life.
And to be able to do that, I think I should run more to the Source of soul bandaids Himself without being late when He needs me on a one-hour date every Sunday. And yes, I hope to be restored and steered towards what He made me for so that I can walk with the wounded with all the gentleness I could muster. <3