1

Angga kag Bangungot

The round dining table at 4PM is still a busy port of the garlic-chicken-and-tomatoes I cooked for lunch, a tray of fruits and calamansi, some used water glasses, a plate with a fish, tomatoes and greens drawn on its face, spice shakers, a grocery list, and stuff that have yet to be delivered home to their racks and shelves. It’s a still life that’s not as instagrammy or pinterest-worthy in an age that screams for attention, but this round table proudly enshrines my achievement for the day. The centerpiece of its soy-sauce-stained crochet surface are two finger bowls, one with half a teaspoon of salt, and the other with a tiny-teaspoon hill of brown sugar.

 

In a low-sodium, diabetic household, the amount of salt and sugar that go into our meals have to be counted, and for my sanity, I have started counting these spoonfuls of restraint as an achievement in a current life stage that’s bereft of any accolade I can call my own. On some days, I can call these domestic milestones as personal achievements for my health, and mama’s health. On drier days, I embrace them as career achievements as caregiver and cook. By drier days, I mean those days when my real, paying project contracts are few and far between.

 

But on hindsight, God’s Providence has not failed us ever, not even once – it’s only my discontent that blinds me to this time-tested assurance – and it makes me realize that my driest days are not my lack of projects that can keep up with or exceed my corporate past. My driest days, the days when I would smash the garlic along with any breakable nearby, those days when I would continue to weep long after the onions have been minced with gigil, are those when I ruthlessly, mercilessly criticize myself.

 

When these dreaded days come, I would start to question my worth, refer back to my past, and replay the exciting lives of friends and past colleagues, all superimposed over my crouching self in thinning simagol. I would play a batuta-toting, police to my convicted self, interrogating and squeezing my handcuffed self dry, seeing myself through the lens of disappointment, under the warped illumination of a swinging bulb. And then I would shift into a chef and shred every part of my life’s craziest decisions and messiest conquests until all I am is a heap of frayed chicken breast. In my family, the silent wish of each one is a whole roast chicken with four legs and four thighs because the pecho is an unwanted chunk of white rubber. So to be a chicken breast, much worse, a chicken breast in shreds is the unkindest metaphor I can use for myself.

 

The problem with my self criticism does not end in chicken breasts. It ends in my going to Mama for affection, for her to gather my shreddedness and butter me up with praise and affirmation. In a word, angga. But Mama, never expressive nor demonstrative, would only amplify God’s silence, and I would break loose in my needy histrionics. I would forget that Mama should be the object of my care, and that she must be handled most delicately, like how she looked after me when I was a baby. I forget that at 30, I am no longer a baby.

 

This caregiving thing is something else. Once, I caught on TV a Holy Week teaser of the movie, Caregiver, where Sharon’s character, a jaded caregiver, said, “Bakit, may nag aalaga ba sa akin?”

 

Wham! Did she just repeat my monologue to Mama? Since that teaser, I pulled up a chair, put off the cooking, and sat through a frenzy of commercials and teleserye marathons just to catch the movie rerun.

 

After a very tiring and sick week, last night ended in a nightmare. It was a long dream with so many morbid elements in it, and in the dream, I was mostly in bed, lying, watching the erratic scenes unfold. There was a part in it where I was planning the funeral of my father. Apparently, in that dream, and at my present age, he had not yet been buried. The other parts were a blur, but in the last part I saw myself lying, resting in bed, a black shoe box by my feet. Then I heard someone say that some Tony needs to be buried already, and a barking dog was supposed to get this Tony. The barking dog charged towards me, and aimed at the black shoe box. Apparently, the innocent-looking box that I shared the bed with contained the dead Tony. But when the dog grabbed the casket box by its teeth, I get dragged along as if an unseen chain connects me with the box. Supine and helpless, I was like the Trojan, Hector, dragged through the dirt in defeat. I tried to mouth the words of the Lord’s Prayer, but there was a force that seemed to smother a pillow over my face and my soul – I wanted to cross over, to escape, to wake up, but what was most frightening was that when I knew it was a dream, I struggled even to wake up. But when I did, and thank Papa God, I did, I prayed the Rosary in shock, and wondered if what I just experienced had been a “bangungot.”

 

While recounting the dream, I felt quite uncomfortable, the horror still searing when I write, and the riddle in its scenes so unsettling. I still don’t know what it all meant, if it ever was a bangungot –I leave it to Him. Lately I have been coughing and getting easily tired and all achey everywhere, and so, for now, the supposed “bangungot” tells me to go easy on myself. Like, if I pressured and repeated to another person the unkind words I would say to myself, how would that other person feel? If, for example, I tell a Santiago, that he or she is a pair of chicken breasts, wouldn’t he erupt in rage?

 

So, today, I take time to pause and do some self-care. I luxuriate in a very, very long bath, layering scents on, trusting that God is taking care of everything around me while I am “away.” One by one, I lay a gem on each achievement God has allowed me to reap these past months: my versions of chicken adobo, chicken pochero – de Cebu, de Bacolod, de Himamaylan, de carinderia, guinataan nga langka with pinakas, savory oatmeal patties, crunchy bihon, pork humba, KBL, pork and beans, paella, pinakbet, my various vegetable stews, nutty stir-fries, chunky lumpia fillings, and countless kitchen improvisations. All within our low-sodium, low-sugar daily allowance.

 

It’s 9:10PM, and the moms and caregivers in other homes must be propping their legs up by now for Primetime Bida. Pinterest moms must be instagramming their children’s #ootd and their family’s #foodporn by now, and repinning another round of #pegs for tomorrow’s #diy and organizing #lifehacks. Back here, #ATM, my round table is still a crazed Cebu Pacific terminal of delayed dishwashing and derailed dreams, and I’m not so sure if still life remains still, especially with the unwelcome colony around the sugar hill. But everything is where it should be, and I’m so #Zen right now. And, despite my “spiritual training***,” I’m always so stubborn to recognize this: that I am truly, truly blessed –no hedge, no tag on that one – and that indeed, I am…alagang-alaga kag sobra ka palangga.

 

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for inspiring me to write today, April 6, 2016.

 

**Writing this, or anything that exposes my weakness and vulnerabilities, is always so daunting. I’m making myself a specimen pinned on its ends to be examined publicly. Many times, when I put posts up in my blog, I always feel the urge to take them down for fear of “merise!” and of being judged and jeered at in my nakedness. When does a tell-all become awkward for me and for the readers who personally know me? What are the boundaries of self protection? What happens if I keep these hidden to the grave to protect myself? What is there to protect? What is there to prove? (“I have nothing to prove, and everything to tell…,” says my silly, little cinema voice, who is different from the proverbial little voice in my head.)

Much, much stronger than self protection is the strong need to impart human experience – my experience, or whoever else’s – as honestly as I could. I believe that this is my way of… (here, cursor blinks for a full ten minutes of blankness)… I really don’t know. (three more minutes, in case something comes out of me… nothing.). Keber.

 

***My little spiritual training as a prayer guide, and as a servant in a Catholic community. My learning curve may not be impressive, I’ve had a “thousands starts and stops,” but I’m learning.🙂

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An Exposition of Weakness and the Wisdom of OPM

To the pockmarked moon who
sighs over my beauty,
You bring me better days despite
the countless times I howled
and bored craters on your face.

At 30, I should be at the prime of my career, at the peak of my productivity. That’s the instruction of my 18-year-old self. But things got bumpy at 25, and the instruction was completely overturned at 28. Like the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, I have much to say on paper, but I am still quite empty-handed on deadline year.

It is 2:17 AM now, and I am looking at my mother who is fast asleep. We share a room so I can monitor her easily. It used to be an issue for me, having come from five years of independence, and a whole lifetime of not sharing a room with anybody. But now, her vision is imaginary, so it doesn’t matter. I wonder sometimes if she can still remember how I look, or how she looks, now that to her the mirror is just a shapeless vacuum of light.

I must be asleep by now after a day of full-time daughterhood. This role calls me to rise early for Mama’s breakfast of oats and fruit. Her bath water, lukewarm, is prepared and I wheel her to the bathroom. Then after her morning medicines, she has her second breakfast of bread, and a pinch of coffee on hot water. It’s a whole production of wheeling, lifting, adjusting pillows, bed-turning, and responding to requests. And in between, there’s the “back office” work of changing diapers, brushing her teeth and dentures, and shuttling her to and from the toilet for a chance at success, which like life, is often littered with false alarms and roadblocks.

I can usually begin the day’s work by the time the radio already plays “Provincial Jail.” But the lilting saga of inmates lining up for an uninspired, unseasoned meal of “tinuktok nga langka” and “bugas nga NGA” always finds me falling asleep instead. So much for the prime of my career, the peak of my productivity. I look back at my 18-year-old self and give her an apologetic smile. That young idealistic girl never expected it to be like this at 30.

But that 18-year-old also never expected that her future self would learn, experience, and for the first time, be truly convinced of the most important thing in her life. At 30, I have come to believe in love, a love that never runs out, that never abandons, that never belittles or rejects, that never dies. And that love is for me, as it is for everyone. This kind of love is not a wish, or a theory. Contrary to one of the poems I wrote in my turbulent 20s, about God and the gods “twisting the truth,” this kind of love is the absolute truth. God never twists the truth. God never changes.

Mama’s sickness and paralysis, and the many circumstances that surrounded it, were an opening for me to understand, experience, and discover so much about that love.
One night, for instance, when I slept beside Mama, I began to wonder how two people can be side by side without worry, with guards down, defenceless in the night. Wicked as I am, what was stopping me from pushing Mama over for space while I was smashed, motionless against the wall?

Wicked as I am, what moves me to freshen, wash and perfume her bed after she wets it, when I could just easily let it dry out without a change of sheets?

Wicked as I am, what makes me see beyond the unspeakable when cleaning up my mother’s mess?

What makes me stay?

If it were not for love, then what? If it were not for God loving me and modelling love for me, then how come?

Many times, I still think of what could have been if I didn’t come home and leave the world, so to speak. There are dark moments when I question my tendency for absolutes, and my aversion to compromise; when I mourn my weakness and lack. But with how my early experience of loss has wired me – the death of my father, and some proud but poor choices – I take the wager, which is the kind of life I lead now. It is this life where daughterhood to the Father, and to my mother is my first ministry.

This week, when Mama’s caregiver took a break, my favorite pa-consuselo, karaoke-happy anthem while I do the chores has been this OPM classic,

Balutin mo ako sa hiwaga ng iyong pagmamahal
Hayaang matakpan ang kinang na di magtatagal
Mabuti pa kaya’y maging bituing walang ningning
Kung kapalit nito’y walang paglaho mong pagtingin

All the rest can wait. Indefinitely. I don’t care anymore. All the dreams can suspend in mid-air, and as they do, I pray that God runs his hands on each dream, so that I will not have anything in my heart that is not His.

As He does this to me, the pruning, the sloughing off, the binding, I feel how it is all very painful; and I don’t mean it to be abstract, but I feel a real pain in my heart, in my ego and pride. But unlike before, the pain I feel is not the hopeless, desperate kind, like when I wrote this during my “Gabing Pusikit” (Dark Night) years ago,

She limped to heaven by way of her crosses
Finally, she got there, but it had run out of business.

Instead, it is the kind of pain that makes me feel Jesus is present all the more, and that I don’t want anybody else to touch it or peruse it but He alone. And thus, I offer Him this beautiful coming together of a Universal Truth, (pardon me, I am not as good with Bible verses as I am with karaoke!)

Itago mo ako sa lilim nang iyong pagmamahal
Hide me in the shadow of your wing
Limutin ang mapaglarong kinang ng tagumpay
What does it profit a man if he gains the world but loses
his soul / love
Sa piling mo ngayon, ako’y bituing walang ningning
In my weakness, I am strong in Christ
Nagkukubli sa liwanag at kislap ng ating pag-ibig
That I may decrease, and Christ may increase

Finally, to my 18-year-old self, I am happy to announce to you that at 30, on the week of my birthday, I received from the God of Love, my dearest Abba, Father, this gift: He promised me the certainty that by His grace, with His help, with his great mercy for a wretched woman, I will come home to him lovingly broken, used, and fulfilled… because He loves me.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

0

To the pockmarked moon who
sighs over my beauty,
You have brought me better days despite
the countless times I howled
and bored craters on your face.

At 30, I should be at the prime of my career, at the peak of my productivity. That’s the instruction of my 18-year-old self. But things got bumpy at 25, and the instruction was completely overturned at 28. Like the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, I have much to say on paper, but I am still quite empty-handed on deadline year.

It is 2:17 AM now, and I am looking at my mother who is fast asleep. We share a room so I can monitor her easily. It used to be an issue for me, having come from five years of independence, and a whole lifetime of not sharing a room with anybody. But now, her vision is imaginary, so it doesn’t matter. I wonder sometimes if she can still remember how I look, or how she looks, now that to her the mirror is just a shapeless vacuum of light.

I must be asleep by now after a day of full-time daughterhood. This role calls me to rise early for Mama’s breakfast of oats and fruit. Her bath water, lukewarm, is prepared and I wheel her to the bathroom. Then after her morning medicines, she has her second breakfast of bread, and a pinch of coffee on hot water. It’s a whole production of wheeling, lifting, adjusting pillows, bed-turning, and responding to requests. And in between, there’s the “back office” work of changing diapers, brushing her teeth and dentures, and shuttling her to and from the toilet for a chance at success, which like life, is often littered with false alarms and roadblocks.

Settling down for the day’s work and writing then can only happen when the radio already plays “Provincial Jail.” But the lilting saga of inmates lining up for an uninspired, unseasoned meal of “tinuktok nga langka” and “bugas nga NGA” always finds me falling asleep instead. So much for the prime of my career, the peak of my productivity. I look back at my 18-year-old self and give her an apologetic smile. That young idealistic girl never expected it to be like this at 30.

But that 18-year-old also never expected that her future self would learn, experience, and for the first time, be truly convinced of the most important thing in her life. At 30, I have come to believe in love, a love that never runs out, that never abandons, that never belittles or rejects, that never dies. And that love is for me, as it is for everyone. This kind of love is not a wish, or a theory. Contrary to one of the poems I wrote in my turbulent 20s, about God and the gods “twisting the truth,” this kind of love is the absolute truth. God never twists the truth. God never changes.

Mama’s sickness and paralysis, and the many circumstances that surrounded it, were an opening for me to understand, experience, and discover so much about that love.
One night, for instance, when I slept beside Mama, I began to wonder how two people can be side by side without worry, with guards down, defenceless in the night. Wicked as I am, what was stopping me from pushing Mama over for space while I was smashed, motionless against the wall?

Wicked as I am, what moves me to freshen, wash and perfume her bed after she wets it, when I could just easily let it dry out without a change of sheets?

Wicked as I am, what makes me see beyond the unspeakable when cleaning up my mother’s mess?

What makes me stay?

If it were not for love, then what? If it were not for God loving me and modelling love for me, then how come?

Many times, I still think of what could have been if I didn’t come home and leave the world, so to speak. There are dark moments when I question my tendency for absolutes, and my aversion to compromise; when I mourn my weakness and lack. But with how my early experience of loss has wired me – the death of my father, and some proud but poor choices – I take the wager, which is the kind of life I lead now. It is this life where daughterhood to the Father, and to my mother is my first ministry.

This week, when Mama’s caregiver took a break, my favorite pa-consuselo, karaoke-happy anthem while I do the chores has been this OPM classic,

Balutin mo ako sa hiwaga ng iyong pagmamahal
Hayaang matakpan ang kinang na di magtatagal
Mabuti pa kaya’y maging bituing walang ningning
Kung kapalit nito’y walang paglaho mong pagtingin

All the rest can wait. Indefinitely. I don’t care anymore. All the dreams can suspend in mid-air, and as they do, I pray that God runs his hands on each dream, so that I will not have anything in my heart that is not His.

As He does this to me, the pruning, the sloughing off, the binding, I feel how it is all very painful; and I don’t mean it to be abstract, but I feel a real pain in my heart, in my ego and pride. But unlike before, the pain I feel is not the hopeless, desperate kind, like when I wrote this during my “Gabing Pusikit” (Dark Night) years ago,

She limped to heaven by way of her crosses
Finally, she got there, but it had run out of business.

Instead, it is the kind of pain that makes me feel Jesus is present all the more, and that I don’t want anybody else to touch it or peruse it but He alone. And thus, I offer Him this beautiful juxtaposition, (pardon me, I am not good with exact Bible verses)

Itago mo ako sa lilim nang iyong pagmamahal Hide me in the shadow of your wing
Limutin ang mapaglarong kinang ng tagumpay What does it profit a man if he gains…
Sa piling mo ngayon, ako’y bituing walang ningning In my weakness, I am strong in Christ
Nagkukubli sa liwanag at kislap ng ating pag-ibig That I may decrease, and Christ may
increase

Finally, to my 18-year-old self, I am happy to announce to you that at 30, on the week of my birthday, I received from the God of Love, my dearest Abba, Father, this gift: He promised me the certainty that by His grace, with His help, with his great mercy for a wretched woman, I will come home to him lovingly broken, used, and fulfilled… because He loves me.
Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

0

How my “currency” has devalued; why it’s okay

An old habit of a former boss when preparing for a meeting or a mixer was to do a background check on the “important” people expected to attend. Her background check was not so much about a thorough assessment of these people’s character, but it was an attempt to store up as much fodder for small talk. She loved to tell me about how Marcos would gather a team of researchers to find out about a dignitary’s personal interests. If this dignitary liked hunting, for example, the researchers would supply the late dictator with information about hunting seasons, methods and gear, and quiz him with hunting jargon until he sounded like a pro long engaged in the sport. In my former boss’s case, I was the researcher and assembler of her talking points. I also went through the daily drill of reading five newspapers a day – without leaving out a section, not even the obituary (especially not the obituary!). If she sent me on my own, she would always ask if I did my homework well enough to lubricate my conversations with these “important” people.

While we asked the dignitary or “important” person about how he usually spends his vacations, we cared largely about the impression we made on him. The kind of empathy we showed by having the same special interests as he does, and the rounds of wine that loosened our tongues so we’d speak his language, made us at par with them, familiar, and therefore, more credible. Truly, a self-serving exercise.

It was similar to how a college kid would carefully curate his favorite movies, music genres, and books, and practice his social speech in front of the mirror. This would come handy when he finds himself in a bar / cafe / book store next to a beautiful stranger. Picking out from his mental rolodex of special interests, he can lay down a piece of his awesomeness on the table, and he’d be watchful not to reveal that he secretly loves to sing “Mr. DJ” and “High School Life.” (I had the mental rolodex, but never the bar/cafe/bookstore-and-beautiful-stranger opportunity. If ever there was that opportunity, my “awesomeness” was probably the missing link.)

When I look back at that old self, I could say that was a shrewd tactic – both the college kid’s curated litany of interests, and the former boss’s projection of how much she knows, and how fast she can keep up. I remember how these canned fodder kept me on my toes for the latest trends, the talk of the town, the memes of the moment. There was an obsession on ensuring we weren’t too mainstream or too esoteric, an anxiety over forgetting or mixing up social cue cards – the sorbet is meant to cleanse the palate in between courses, the sherbet is a dessert. By all means, we had to skirt the massive idiotic regions of our brains, those nether parts that led me to ask an ambassador if he’s ever been to Europe – to salvage the faux pas, my former boss stepped in, and then privately lectured me on the perils of not doing my “script” and my “character work” – she herself was a wordsmith and actor. The idea then was for the conversations to seem mature, cinematic and worth transcribing for Woody Allen’s use, or at least for the cheap, easy glory of a facebook post.

I broke loose from that world after sometime, and I realize that my present self does not use that currency in my conversations anymore. I have not met any CEO or ambassador to woo in my new life, and I have been living under a rock inaccessible by the facebook newsfeed. If I assemble talking points now, I wouldn’t know what industry buzzwords to pepper these with other than “weh,” “eh di wow,” and “pag may time.” You see, my currency has devalued.

With this devaluation, I see myself coming to a conversation armed with nothing. When I ask questions, I ask out of the sheer truth that I do not know. I find myself oftentimes shushed both by brilliance and naïveté. Other people’s brilliance stupefies me, and my own naïveté makes me silently respond, “it’s valid, and it’s okay.” There is no paranoia that begs to be masked by the old life’s pompous, contrived wisdom. If before, the old currency requires a steady ping pong of ideas, the new currency gives more room for silence that is not as awkward. A smile is more than enough to fill in the gap. And more and more, I’m learning how to let go of a tendency to rabidly analyze something into shreds, because it’s more delightful and honest to ponder on it, repeat it to myself, as in a serenade, until Providence decides whether to reveal to me what it means, or to keep it locked in her bosom forever. Sounds like a PLW prayer method!

This new currency can work for me now. Devalued, silly, less ambitions, unprepared, but polite and patient. Ideally, its only intention is love, its fodder is joy and genuine concern for the other, and its fruit is peace. This may be the only currency that will have value in eternity.

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Still, Small Talk with That Still, Small Voice (an excerpt from a longer SHH reflection)

I hang on to the feeling and the blessing too much. When I don’t get the high from a spiritual encounter, I get discouraged. When circumstances are not as abundant or conveniently arranged, my fangs show. Where is my inconsistency coming from?

The still, small voice then asks me, “What are you after? Are you after God’s blessings? Are you obsessed with the emotions, the peace and comfort that are associated with God? Are you after God himself?”

Further, the still, small voice asks, “Are the blessings God himself? Are the emotions, the peace and comfort God himself? How would you recognize that it is God Himself?”

I don’t understand, Still Small Voice. Please explain. (love you.).

And so, Still, Small Voice tells me, “In your relationship with your boyfriend…”

I don’t have a boyfriend, I interrupt Still, Small Voice. But I give in anyway.

“In your relationship with your boyfriend, did you invite him in your life because you were after his money (blessings)? Or are you obsessed only with the feelings you get when you are alone with your boyfriend? Or are you after your boyfriend for who he is, in fortune or failure, and that even when he turns up with bad breath or awful shoes, his presence would be enough for you?”

“Is the money your boyfriend himself? Is the intimacy your boyfriend himself?”

Ah, okay. Long, hard, pregnant, life-changing pause.

Still, Small Voice continues his speech. “Let’s say, you have a long distance relationship with your boyfriend. If he calls you on the phone, how would you recognize that it is him on the other end of the line?”

I know his voice, of course, because we talk every day, and at every opportunity. (I thought you said you don’t have a boyfriend?)

“If you didn’t talk to him often, would you know him deeper, let alone recognize his voice?”

No.

“There you go. Now you know what to do.”

Get a boyfriend?

“No,” says Still, Small Voice, ever patient. “Find out if it’s God or the blessing or the feeling that you’re really after.”

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In The Tempest Most Severe

I get a lump in my throat as the First Friday Mass opens with this song.

Heart of Jesus, meek and mild –
Hear oh hear your feeble child
In the tempest most severe
Heart of Jesus hear.

I had not known how to pray or what to feel before a supertyphoon. Admittedly, there had been a squeak of worry in my prayers, and many flashbacks of my Roxas and Tacloban days.

But where I fail to be a Christian of strong faith, God comes to the rescue with this love song. He sends the Holy Spirit for the right words. Gently, the Holy Spirit transforms the worry into surrender. Through a song so often repeated on a First Friday, He shows his face as the God of Eternal newness.

He prods me to call on Jesus whose heart, meek and mild, can never ignore anyone who begs and reaches out to him. By giving up his divinity to become human, Jesus identifies with my being feeble and vulnerable in a constantly shifting and threatened world. Jesus can never ignore or misinterpret or oversimplify any kind of feebleness because no one has ever become as feeble as he was on the Cross.

“In the tempest most severe,” this is where the lump in my throat weakens its hold and bursts, remembering the words of Edgar Allan Poe:

“Beauty of whatever kind, in its supreme development, invariably excites the sensitive soul to tears.”

In this case, the beauty that excites my sensitive, feeble soul is that today, in the threat of “the tempest most severe,” God is not silent.

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Hurt people hurt people… but not in our time!

Deconstructed fairytales and literature launched this year
magnify this truth — hurt people tend to hurt people. Elphaba
in the Wizard of Oz was unloved and unpopular. Maleficent had
been betrayed. Elsa had lost trust in the world. As a defense
mechanism, these fictional villains had hardened with
unforgiveness, had isolated themselves in fear, or had sought
violent revenge.
By no means is this a way to condone or justify
revenge or spite and wrongdoing, but this recurring theme at
best encourages empathy. It brings to mind this reality: the
world today is terribly hurt and betrayed and it needs a lot of
healing.
But I am optimistic that the world is evolving, too, and
the collective mentality is recognizing the good more and
more. Little by little, our generation is turning to healthy ways,
consciously going eco-friendly, becoming more charitable, and
we have Pope Francis! Little by little, too, we will be entering a
time that conquers hate only with love, defeats violence with
genuine kindness, heals revenge with unlimited forgiveness.
Hurt people tend to hurt people, but, with God’s grace, it will
end in our generation. It will end because you and I choose to
start loving like Jesus today.