Thursday, February 25, 2010

In Hindsight

Chapter I

She was the one he wanted most, but also the one he couldn't bear to disappoint and fail. He was so sure of his worthlessness and incapacity to make her happy that he did not have the courage to risk it all with her.  He would rather let her go and suffer alone, than 'inflict himself on her' and see her unhappy, unfulfilled.

She was also the one he feared the most. He was a man so used to living alone, coping with loneliness, that any possibility of deep joy, love and fulfillment was seen as a threat.  He admitted that for the very first time, he felt happy and alive loving her, being with her, hoping for her..and yet he knew he wouldn't be able to bear it and recover if their love ever ended, if they parted. He was so sure that was the kind of pain and brokenness he would never be able to recover from. And that caused him so much fear; so much that love did not stand a chance.

In the end, there is one basic truth for him that he was never able to heal.  It is his belief that he is broken and unworthy, and that everything he touches is cursed to fail. Every decision he made, all the pain he caused both of them stemmed from that belief. The problem is, his belief is an illusion to her. And her belief in his perfection is an illusion to him. How can such dissonance breed and nurture love and an everlasting union?  It was all doomed since the beginning.

Chapter II

In the beginning, my steps were fraught with uncertainty. You were new, different, surprisingly refreshing and truthfully, undoubtedly threatening to the facade of self-contentment I've so painstakingly perfected. It didn't take long for me to feel, that the certainty in your spirit was more than enough to plant my feet firmly on this journey of spiritual partnership.

When I look back at how we started, remembering how you were, the things you wrote or said, I always feel a sense of innocence or purity about you. You really were a breath of fresh air and for a change, I loved how secure you've always made me feel; how reassured I've always been, stable and secure with your intentions, affection and love. With this sense of security, this calmness you brought into my life, I knew I could do so much more, be so much more of who I am meant to be. I've also always seen you as an equal and I've always felt I could be my self around you. Only in this state of comfort, truthfulness and freedom can one truly grow. When we could be our true selves, that's when we make space for evolution; space for our souls to feel free to strive for anything we desire to be and in the process giving greater chance for our highest selves to be realized...only when we feel free to be our genuine selves. And that is the greatest gift meeting you, loving you, and being loved by you have given me.  Not only do you honor me at both my best and worst, you encourage me to accept my self as well, even those parts I am not at peace with. Your love healed and continues to heal and I will always be grateful for that.

Our relationship is far from perfect. But it's in the bumps and imperfect edges that we are able to constantly affirm our commitment to grow together, our commitment to embrace even each other's sacred intransigence.    

I feel blessed, beyond words, to be loved by someone like you. And I am equally blessed for having the privilege of loving you. They say happiness is more difficult to articulate and write about, compared to pain and sorrow. In agreement with this, I can only echo words from a timeless love song at this point and hope these words are enough to capture how my heart beats for you...

Time after time 
I tell myself that i’m
So lucky to be loving you
So lucky to be
The one you run to see
In the evening, when the day is through
I only know what I know
The passing years will show
You’ve kept my love so young, so new
And time after time
You’ll hear me say that i’m
So lucky to be loving you

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Romancing the Month of February Part IV: Clarity or Insanity?

We are nearing the end of February which means all this pure mush is about to end soon.  As my second to the last Valentine entry, I have chosen a few of my personal 'quotable quotes' gleaned mostly from years of drama in my own life. I write them here with the hope that at least someone else would be able to find clarity through these words, through these years of insanity.  As I have said before, sometimes we find the most clarity amidst brokenness, hopelessness and heartache.  And there lies the promise of lasting growth.

Not until we heal ourselves of our tendencies to think less of ourselves than who we really are and what we are really capable of, can we truly deeply love and commit.  When we no longer feel a sense of inadequacy about our souls, then that is the time when we can really give of ourselves.  For that's what love and relationships are truly about...not about taking or thinking of what you can get out of the other person, but what you can give of yourself, what contribution you can make.
♥ ♥ ♥
Whether I quit and leave now or ride this out and watch us drift apart, it will hurt.  There is no other way of camouflaging or sugar-coating it.  Losing you is losing you.  That is as plain as it can get.
♥ ♥ ♥
It hurts but I can't fight alone.  And I can't fight for someone who doesn't want to be fought for.
♥ ♥ ♥
We need to be still and allow ourselves to really feel the pain so that in our greater understanding of it, we may be able to think more clearly of how to heal it.
 ♥ ♥ ♥
I can't waste my time either putting everything on hold for you, or investing every part of me in the dream of us.
  ♥ ♥ ♥
One of the most unloving things you can do to yourself is to make your dream of a future with someone as the premise for your present choices.
  ♥ ♥ ♥
Letting go is to let go of the hope that once was.
♥ ♥ ♥
When you love, you're changed forever.  Love never leaves you and never lets you be the same person again.
♥ ♥ ♥ 
Loving is not about the costs, but the hope for a priceless gain.
♥ ♥ ♥  
What a wonderful existence this is…to be certain that we are all conscious and active participants in this mysterious tapestry of love!  There is no greater comfort, peace and joy, no better ending to a love story, than in knowing that you were also freely, consciously chosen by the one you chose.

Friday, February 19, 2010

And Here Goes Another Theme Song...

I've never been extremely spontaneous when it came to blogging but now that I'm truly getting the hang of this, it would be fair to say that you'd see a greater degree of spontaneity (translate: more trivial or random thoughts but hopefully still entertaining).  Let me experiment for a bit here and see how this goes.

Well, as part of my 'spontaneity experiment', I'd like to admit now that I've just gotten another one of my 'obsessive' attacks.  This is when I hear a song and fall in love with it, try to find out as much as I can about it, look for it online and find out if there are different versions of it from different artists and then play it over and over and over again....and again....This tendency for fixation is the explanation behind my Itunes having different versions of 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' which I played like a broken record during the holidays.This is also why I spent one night searching for different versions of "The Man That Got Away" after being reminded of the song by the movie "P.S. I Love You".  It's tempting to give you more examples but it might just start another on!

I just got done watching a 'House' episode ("Remorse") that I recorded a few weeks ago and I got bewitched by the song they played towards the end.  I had no idea what the song was but the line "why try to change me now" kept repeating so I thought that was my best bet as far as the title is concerned. Fortunately, after using google and confirming everything via youtube, I found out that the song's title is indeed "Why Try To Change Me Now" sung by Fiona Apple.  The song has that old 1950's or '60s jazzy vibe which I ABSOLUTELY love and die for, and I wondered if it was a remake.  After googling a bit more, I found that the song is a Cy Coleman original (an American composer, song writer and jazz pianist) and interpreted by various artists.  It's an endearing song, to say the least and now I'm officially hooked. It's got that element of melancholy that I always fall for, coupled with amusing lyrics that one can easily relate to.  At least I can, with my 'inner world' and sentimentality.  I will resist the temptation to analyze the song at this point and let you just enjoy it for what it is.

The song is now stuck in my head and I've been humming it non-stop.  It's a good, relaxing tune though, with the piano playing in the background.  It's haunting and bewitching, like I've already said.  Listening to it evokes images of lounging in a piano bar, or being by your lonesome maybe with a cigarette (if you smoke), vodka (if you drink), or just being catatonic in your bed one lazy evening.  See / hear for yourself!  

Click on these links to listen to the different versions via youtube videos:  Fiona Apple, Cy Coleman himself, Frank Sinatra, Beverly Kenney, and Johnny Holiday.  If anyone finds any other good versions of this song, please let me know.  What else is an obsessed person to do, right?  ;)

Here are the lyrics:

Why Try To Change Me Now

I'm sentimental
So I walk in the rain
I've got some habits
even I cant explain

Could start for the corner / I go to the corner
 and Turn up in Spain / and I end up in Spain
Why try to change me now

I sit and daydream
I've got daydreams galore
Cigarette ashes
There they go on the floor
I /I'll go away weekends
And leave my keys in the door
But why try to change me now

Why can't I be more conventional
People talk
People stare
So I try
But that's not for me
Cuz I can't see
My kind of crazy world
Go passing me by

So let people wonder
Let 'em laugh
Let 'em frown
You know I'll love you
Till the moon's upside down
Don't you remember
I was always your clown
Why try to change me now

Don't you remember
I was always your clown
Why try to change me

Why try to change me now     

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Ash Wednesday Thoughts...

Alright.  I've decided to take on the challenge and to be honest, just the thought of it requires that I muster every drop of determination in my body.

In the spirit of the Lenten season, I have decided to sacrifice Facebook (FB). I've chosen Facebook because I figured this is the one thing that I feel is most difficult to give up right now but can or should be given up.  It needs to be something important enough to me for it to be considered a sacrifice.  I said sacrifice because I don't want to have any of you thinking that I'm totally giving it up for the whole season.  It's more of a Facebook 'diet' and not a full-blast deprivation lest I completely lose my mind (like most fanatical-all-for-deprivation-let-me-completely-starve-myself 'dieters' out there).  And believe me, it's going to be a HUGE sacrifice because, though I admit this with much hesitation, let's face it...I'm addicted.  Hi, I'm Joy and I'm a Facebook addict. I do turn on my computer first thing in the morning and log on to FB.  As soon as I serve my son his breakfast, even before I feed myself, I sneak into the other room to sit in front of my laptop just so I can check out the latest Farmville and Cafe World rewards, giveaways and latest 'gifts'.  Before I know it, the slice of bread I've toasted for myself has turned cold and rock hard, all because I've been too absorbed 'harvesting', 'planting', 'cooking', 'redecorating' and 'gifting' in my virtual worlds.  Upon realizing how unattractive breakfast has now become, I then just opt to further waste more time entertaining myself by browsing through my friends' latest statuses and posting comments for a few.

By this time, guilt sets in and then I decide to go back to my son and my household chores for a few hours.  But for every bit of break needed from these chores, I still go back to my laptop for you-know-what.  So there.  They say the first step to recovery is honesty and there it is.  I've let it out into the world wide web and there's no taking it back.  I have now committed myself to my Lenten sacrifice and I have all of you as my witnesses.  With this is the hope that even after Lent, I'd still be less of an addict, to say the least.

So here are the details of how I'm planning to accomplish this.

Like I said, totally giving it up is not realistic for me and I don't want to set myself up for total failure.  At the same time, I want it to be difficult enough to even count for Lent.  Therefore, in terms of time spent, I've decided that I will limit my FB time (browsing, commenting, posting and playing games) to only two hours per week.  

But this means I cannot (and would be silly to choose to) sit in front of my computer for one day and consume all two hours.  At the same time, I think the 2hrs per week limit is realistic enough for me to still keep my sanity and give me my dose of entertainment without going overboard.  With this, it would feel as a sacrifice but at the same time, urge me to do more productive and worthwhile things like play with Noah, read more, write more and organize whatever needs organizing inside the home.  

I will have a notebook beside my laptop to keep track of my FB time when I log on.  I will also keep an alarm to help me keep to my daily limits.  All this will start by Monday of next week, February 22 and end on Easter. Hopefully, my brain synapses would have been amply trained by that time.  I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed.  I am encouraging support from my FB friends and help me 'monitor' myself.  Of course this is primarily an honor-system sort of thing but I'm giving you all the authority to call my attention when you feel my FB visibility getting way too much again.  

I know I'll most likely end up losing my 'rank' in the games I play on FB (i.e. I won't have as much 'experience points' planting and cooking on Farmville and Cafe World) but that's just the thing.  I'm doing this with the hope that what I lose in my virtual world I'll gain in the real spiritual world.  All that spare time should not only make me engage more in the physical world but also make me reflect more on the true meaning of Lent.

Have you thought about your own sacrifices yet, assuming you observe Lent of course?  May God/the Universe bless us all!        

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Romancing the Month of February Part III: Big Screen Mush

I've never had a year when some newspaper or magazine writer did not publish their own favorite romantic movie lines in celebration of Valentine's Day.  So, in keeping with this tradition, I'm publishing my own.  I'm encouraging you, readers, to please contribute your own favorites under the comments box.  That should make it more interactive, hence, more fun!  

And have to say "Awwwwww"  ♥ ♥ ♥  after reading every entry!  

*I guarantee there will be tough times.  And I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us will want out.  But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, that I'll regret it for the rest of my life...because I know in my heart, you're the only one for me.

*You make me wanna be a better man.

*...the thing is, what I'm trying to say is, very inarticulately, is that, in fact, despite appearances, I like you...Very much.....Just as you are.

*She's more real to me than anything I've ever known.

* One man I can never meet...him I would like to give my whole heart to.

*Fermina I have waited for this opportunity for 51 years, nine months and four days. That is... how long I have loved you from the first moment I cast eyes on you un... until now. 

*Think of love as a state of grace, not the means to anything, but the alpha and omega. An end in itself. 

* I love much, so much...and I want to make you happy.  I need to make you happy, for me to even have a shot at being happy.

*You see I never stopped loving you, even though I couldn't see you.

*Tell Him I'm sorry. I'm too human. Too weak. Tell Him I can't keep my promises. I'm tired of being without you.

*I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

We're not a mistake just because we don't have any money. And we are gonna last. You know how I know?....because I still wake up every morning and the first thing I want to do is see your face.

And for the dark, animal side in us---

*You're like my own personal brand of heroin.

And for the finale, here's a great line for those going through a heartbreaking break-up and as a result, have begun questioning their self-worth---

The Joy Luck Club
*Losing him does not matter. It is you who will be found...and cherished."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Romancing the Month of February Part II: How To Make Someone Love You Back

When I was in college in the 90's, I got a hold of this 'piece' from a friend of mine and it was spreading around our organization at the time, giving everyone who read it a good laugh somehow.  I have no idea who the original author is and I wish I had kept a copy of the whole thing.  If the original author ever reads this, I apologize.  I'm now only working off of memory and we all know how that goes!  

Anyway, this is a conversation between two people, where, presumably, one is in love with the other and is desperate to be loved back.  Since I'm female, I've opted for person 1 to be the girl (G).  Every section or dialogue represents a certain strategy as to how you can make someone love you back.  I've decided to make that as its title since the original one eludes me right now.

How To Make Someone Love You Back -----

G: Do you love me?
B: No
G: I have a fat bank account!
Technique:  Bribery


G: Do you love me?
B: No
G: I'll see you at my funeral.
Technique:  Guilt trip
G: Do you love me?
B: No
G: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you!!!!!!!! 
Technique: Act hysterical.
G: Do you love me?
B: No
G: I absolutely agree with you.
Technique:  Reverse psychology
G: Do you love me?
B: No
G: I know where you live.
Technique:  Threaten him
(And here is my absolute favorite!)---

G: Do you love me?
B: No
G: Yes you do!
Technique:  Confuse him.

Well, there it is!  And remember, if the above strategies still don't work, I'd say some good old-fashioned love spell should do it!  Happy Hearts Month!  

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Romancing the Month of February

For as long as I can remember, I've always hated Valentine's Day.  And when I say 'hate', I mean the obscene kind that just puts the word 'abominate' to shame.  In my view, aside from V-day being a huge marketing ploy, it is extremely discriminatory.  This is the only holiday I know that groups people into 'committed vs. non-committed', 'attached vs. single', 'loved vs. not- or un-loved' and to some extent, the 'attractive vs. not'!  

For a holiday that is supposed to be all about love, I've always thought there was something a bit cruel about V-day and I'm certainly no stranger to this cruelty.  It's not a big secret that for a very, VERY long time, I was single.  As expected, most of my V-days were either spent pining for someone who either didn't know I exist (or was in limbo with), or simply spent wallowing in some form of self-pity well guised in poised indifference as I hung out with my equally angst-filled girl friends.  I've always found it extremely difficult not to feel sorry for myself during those times when everyone around me walked around with a bouquet of roses; or when I witnessed someone being serenaded and offered creative expressions of undying love.  During those times, in college most especially, I never failed to question my self-worth. Year after year, one question, in all its possible forms, kept popping up:  Why them and not me?...What is wrong with me that I'm still unattached?...And as Charlotte York from Sex & the City asked with such exasperation...."Where is he??!!?"  For me, no other day on the calendar made me feel more alone and lonely than Valentine's Day.

Fast forward to when I found my permanent Valentine, my husband.  I thought for sure that I would feel differently but honestly, I don't.  Not even having a partner, an obliged date, changed my perceptions regarding V-day.  I hate the commercialism surrounding it and the hype that, to me, just doesn't make sense.      

I do, however, enjoy one thing about Valentine's Day.  It's the fact that it gives everyone the license to unleash their sticky-gooey-saccharine-sweet-mushy selves.  If you do think about this more thoroughly, that IS what Valentine's Day should be about.  Legend has it that St. Valentine was a 3rd century Roman priest.  At the time, the Roman Emperor felt that single/unmarried men made for better soldiers since he observed that married soldiers tended to go off to wars only half-heartedly as they did not really want to leave their wives and families behind.  The emperor then outlawed marriages to young men.  The priest Valentine, feeling this to be unjust, decided to go against the emperor and continued to perform marriage rites in secret.  When he was later found out, the emperor ordered for Valentine to be captured and put to death.

As you can see from the legend, St. Valentine is honored and considered heroic because he was a true romantic;  not so much for his expressions of love towards his partner---he did not even really have one---but because of his belief in giving people the right to express their commitment to each other.  His heroism lies in his choice to fight against all odds to defend romance, love and commitment.  In other words, he was a real sucker for romance!

So let's not kid ourselves and say that Vday is about 'LOVE' in general.  It's about romantic love.  But like St. Valentine, Vday should really not be confined only to those with partners.  It is for everyone who believes in love and romance and in my view, is really a day that encourages us all to look within ourselves and see how in our own little, CREATIVE ways, we can express that sense of romance, that belief in love, without giving in to commercialism.  Let's take advantage of our license to be all mushy and celebrate all that is poetic within us!  


For the whole month of February, all my blogs will be about love and romance. It will be fair to say (or warn you) that I will be milking my 'Valentine's Day License' 'till the last drop!  So to you, my dear readers, enjoy the ride and I hope we shall all enjoy being sticky-gooey together!  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥