Sunday, June 22, 2014

Do You Love Yourself?

I closed the book just as I reached page 75 of Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I never thought the book is this amazing. I heard about this several times, but never attempted to even browse it in bookstores. This book was just recommended to me by my cousin, who is a passionate teacher. She let me borrow her own copy. She said it's her favorite.

Just like my eldest sister, I think that it's best to read novels that use first person perspective. Not only that it looks like a journal writing to me, but it makes me feel like the persona herself is confiding to me and wanting me to be directly involved in her life. Moreover, the book is wonderfully written. I like Elizabeth Gilbert's diction, metaphors and humor. She also has the skill of describing things as if they're in front of you. 

I'm writing this not because I want to write a book review of a novel which I haven't even finished reading yet (just on page 75 out of 445 pages!), but because there's a part of it which I want to contemplate on. Warning: I'm not good at determining what's spoiling and what's not. I only know that if you get to tell how the book ended, that would probably be spoiling. And since I haven't finished it yet, I'm pretty sure I'm not gonna do that in the next paragraphs.

Well, there's just this part in the book wherein Liz (Elizabeth Gilbert) saw herself in the mirror of her workplace's elevator. For some reason, she didn't recognize her reflection as herself but as one of her good friends. She stepped closer to the reflection and smiled, eventually realizing that it was actually her.

I realized that I seldom see myself as a friend. Although, I regularly get in touch with my thoughts and feelings through journal writing and contemplation, I still thought that it was difficult to see myself as two separate beings (without being mistaken for having a psychiatric disorder.) However, when I read that part, I felt that it's possible and befriending myself is something which I actually need.

I know that for years, I've not been that good to myself. I get guilty easily and most often than not, unnecessarily. When things involving me go wrong, I feel like I am responsible for it. I often think that if it's not something I did, it's probably something I didn't do. I even get ashamed of myself over little things. I always think, "I could have done it better, or didn't do something like that at all." I often scold myself and get angry at myself. For me, it's always about other people. I'd tell myself, "Forget me, I can do something about it. But other people? They don't know everything about you, so they just react to what you say or do." 

This part of Elizabeth Gilbert's book made me realize that "loving myself" is one important thing I still haven't mastered despite the 22 years of constantly having myself as a company. If only I had realized this fully earlier, probably, I now have "Elaine" as one of my bestfriends. But it's just amazing to know that I can actually care about myself just like how I want to care about others; that it's possible to see myself as if I'm looking at somebody else; that I can say my name as dearly as I would state the name of the person I love, and; that I can feed, bathe and dress myself while thinking, "I don't want Elaine to go hungry; she might get an ulcer," or "I'm going to wash sweat and dirt off of Elaine's skin and put a nice fitting pajama on her, so she'll have a goodnight's sleep," or "I want Elaine to look presentable, so she'll feel confident about herself," or "I want Elaine to be at her best, so she could reach her dreams." 

Funny this may seem but I hope that someday, when I see myself in a mirrored wall just like Liz, I wouldn't just smile at my reflection but run to her for a hug.

Friday, June 20, 2014

That Day When Charles Talked to Professor X

Date: Now

Dearest Future Self,

I want you. Yes, I want you now.

If only I could reach you,
I know I'd be forever glad.

If only I could touch you,
and explore you,
I'd be whole.

If only I could get to know more about you,
I would surely love it.

But I must not stop waiting.
I must not stop reaching.
Because only through persistence,
real hardwork,
limitless patience,
and unceasing desire,
will I be certain
that that day would come
when you'll finally be,
not only reachable,
or touchable
or real and tangible,
but ultimately,

Sincerely and perpetually yours,
Your Old Self

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I am happy today

I am happy today
because when I woke up in the morning,
it was cold, the rain was pouring.

I am happy today
because when I opened my book, 
it said,
"Start Clean Each Day."

I am happy today
because my father prepared me a hearty breakfast,
 tasty bacon partnered with sunny side up egg
plus a cup of sweet melon juice.

I am happy today
because the cold wind welcomed me
when I opened my door
the time my father pulled down the car near the office.

I am happy today
because I learned something new at work,
and I was able to apply most of them right away.

I am happy today
because I saw how the large windows of the office
became artfully blurred and fogged by the sudden burst of rain.

I am happy today
because I finished another day of work
and that tomorrow's going to be my rest day.

I am happy today
I'm declaring it now as I am writing this,
 even if the day hasn't ended yet.

I am happy today
because I want to
and I'm choosing to.

I am happy today
and tomorrow, I promise,
I'll be happy again. :)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Because We Don't Really Know

Even the most outspoken person won't tell you everything that's inside his head. 

One cannot know a person's entirety and say that he has the right to judge.

Who could claim that he knows EVERYTHING about his mother, father, brother, sister, best friend or lover? What more to a person you just saw walking along the street or eating at the table next to yours?

The thing is we don't really know.

We don't really know if he's been having a rough day at school/work,
or if he's not feeling well
or if he's just got heartbroken
or if he has a developmental crisis
or if he was raised that way
or if he's been exposed to that environment 
or if he has a dark past
or if he's keeping a secret
or if he hasn't learned that lesson yet
or if he's just different from you
or if he, too, doesn't know.

We're just looking at the tip of an iceberg, they say.

Don't judge.
Don't hate. 
Be considerate.
Be kind. 
Always understand.

Why should we?

Because we don't really know.

Or rather, 

they don't really know.