011017: Day 13
Alarm clocks. Not to mention that they are no longer of any use to me, but they are, to the highest degree, irritating and exasperating. Instead of being pulled up from my bed, I am all the more pulled back under my covers.
I could have gotten up when the first alarm went off, but my body clock refused to be disciplined for a while. My sleep cycle is still adjusting from the luxury of a vacation’s unlimited sleep. In the past few months, I would have checked my phone first thing in the morning to see a message from a certain man. I would perk up a bit, send back a message, and next thing I know, I am already awake. When I had nightmares, I would tell him how awful it felt to start the day mind-tired. When I had anxiety attacks, he would discern it. When my heart is distressed, I would rant on him. (Note: This man is not my Karel.)
But things and times have changed now. I am certain he has not changed—his kindness, thoughtfulness, and being intentional. But as 2016 was ending, our converged road started to separate into a fork, and we both decided to say our goodbyes for whatever was supposed to grow between us. It was a proud moment for both of us — to talk about it with no inhibitions and bitterness; to give each other freedom: me — the space to heal, and him — the opportunity to explore. I am not expecting for another chance with him. If the friendship—the neutrality—that we mutually chose to remain between us should be left as it is, then so be it. I do not intend to find “something more” in it.
The reason why I am writing about these…
…is because I learned something valuable from the two experiences: wake-up calls and attachment.
I believe that every day there are several alarm clocks which wake us up. We get irritated on people and things and situations and anything and everything. Instead of being pulled out from our exasperation and negativity, we often choose to be pulled back under the covers, under the comfort of remaining pissed off. Because it is undoubtedly and terribly more difficult to choose to change our perception of people, things, and situations, than murmur, grumble, and complain. Interestingly, our human frailties become our comfort zones.
In relation, the depth of our attachment to a certain person has also something to do with how much we value our comfort zones. Oftentimes, to depend on a person’s presence in our lives is much more acceptable than parting ways (and lives) from him/her. We cringe at the thought of letting go. Saying goodbye is, if not never, the last option in our much-invested relationships.
When things are going incredibly wonderful in our lives, we tend to navigate our day-to-day events as if there are no alarm clocks ringing inside our heads, telling us to slow down. Or to stop. Or to change ways.
But people hardly ever grow in comfort.
So pain comes. Brokenness parks in your garage as if it owns your life, not hesitating to enter through your front door even without your invitation. Then, and only then, are you compelled to change.
011817: Day 21
I remember in the early days of my burning desire to know God for who He is, I would gobble up the Bible verses and meditate on them for hours and hours, sometimes even missing to take my meals on time. The words in the Bible seemed to leap out of the pages and walk around the room as if they are living beings. I could not get enough of the revelations that kept coming on my famished heart and spirit; I always wanted for more.
Reading on Psalms 3 today brought me back the memories of my first love — God and His Word. As I try to reenact David’s prayer to God in the midst of his distress, I slowly found myself on a similar dilemma as his.
“Lord, how they have increased who trouble me! Many are they who rise up against me,” David cried out. The tone of his voice sounded like a child reporting to his father about the kid bullying him in school—the sound of a child so secured in his father’s love. And it tore me up. Because I finally realized how far I have drifted away from the security of God’s wisdom. I packed my belongings and left the only place I have always felt at peace — God’s presence. I stormed out of His house, determined to do things on my own way, at my own pace, feeling so lofty and full of myself. And now, when I think about it, I could only sigh on the folly of my self-centered desires.
But David’s heart is captivating. His is as human as mine — as ours — and yet the book of Psalms would show a man’s heart captivated by God—the God and Lord he would dearly call out to in practically every circumstance of his life. When in troubles, in persecution, in impending death, his heart did not waver on running towards God.
And I just couldn’t shake off that heart-attitude that David possessed: a heart so attached to God. It made me remember my clingy-ness to my Karel; I can still feel the unquenchable longing for him no matter how much distance separates us or how we never had any communication for months—I would always find myself falling back into his arms. The parallelism convicted my heart, not in a condemning way, but towards repentance (turning back to God). I asked myself an easy question that is too difficult to answer myself: “To whom do I first run to when things in my life are getting out of hand?” There was an undeniable pain within me — but the good kind of pain. Pain which wakes me up, somewhat irritating, so that I would get my body off my bed of fake roses.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
The question tagged along other more questions, which I must say were most likely formulated by the Holy Spirit, to further purify my heart’s intentions and desires. The reasons behind the why and who I run to when in trouble revealed these things:
- How deep I trust God — or how I actually lack faith in God
- How much I depend on the help of people — instead of God’s
- How I’d rather deal things on my own — instead of allowing God to work out His will in my life in His time
To be detailing out these meditations seems unrelated to being heartbroken from a guy — at least that is what the secular world would point out. But it is not. Because nothing is too human, too boring, or too trivial, for God not to care for in the lives of the very creation He breathed His life into.
Rephrasing what I have said in the earlier part of this article: pain wakes us up. To experience your heart being torn into pieces wakes you up. It wakes you up to take a deep look on what you failed to give attention to before when you were still in euphoria. Having your heart seemingly irreparable wakes you up to know your heart’s loyalties—to where your heart actually confides in and finds its security.