Ever since I went to Church Simplified last September 25, I have been skirting around the corners, finding the best day to write about my thoughts on Pastor Bebo’s message on escape. The weeks following that Sunday consisted of a slew of emotional roller coasters, creative exhaustion, intellectual burnouts, and me getting home at 2 in the morning, craving for nothing more than a good night’s rest.
I think today is a great day to finally write about escape, especially now that the timing is apt. Though I have been under the weather, I have a bit of downtime to spare today. And what better way to spend it than by writing.
Life has been slapping me hard and sharp on the face for the past few days, and all I wanted to do was to find an exit from it all. A temporary lull, which would eventually lead me to forget the trouble I have brewed for not only myself, but more importantly, for the people I care and love. This outpour of hurt and pain that stemmed from my own stupidity and recklessness made me realize the weight of my actions’ consequences. And trust me when I say that the weight anchored me down to the ground, and so were the people I loved.
Then everything I learned that day in Church Simplified hit me in an instant:
The problem when we try to cower from our troubles is that they will always haunt us no matter where we are. If we try to escape, we will always be faced with the same problem, the same issues, and worse, we would still be that same person who didn’t make things right. In effect, the hurt you caused becomes amplified, leaving you in a bigger mess than where you first started. You think you’re a winner because you “overcame” the predicament unscathed and untouched, but in reality, you are the universe’s biggest loser because you do not have anyone by your side—not even yourself.
I wrote in my last entry that the future is unsure, but I am learning that the choices we decide to do today make us sure of the person we will be in the future. And I want to be a better person because we were all destined to live a heroic life. We are all the result of the decisions we make, and I want to own up for my mistakes, and make more responsible choices in the future. I realized that there is a fine line between losing yourself in life and losing who you are because of life. And everyone pretty much knew I was on the latter end.
I have the alibata translation of “Courage” tattooed on my left wrist, and it has always served as a constant reminder to face my fears, and now I realized that courage means doing what’s right even if though it’s the most difficult thing to do.
I remember watching a TED Talk by Brene Brown on The Power of Vulnerability, and she said:
And that is precisely why I chose that word to be permanently part of my life—because I want to live with courage. I want to tell the story of who I am with my whole heart. And living, knowing that I have made awful choices in the past and refusing to face the consequences makes me the total opposite of what I claim I stand for. And I do not want that to be my story. Brené Brown also said that we need the courage to be imperfect. We need to love and forgive ourselves before we can fully love and be kind to others. This, I have been learning the hard way.
I confided to one of my closest friends, Ejohn, about the pickle I was in. He told me to look at my biggest influencers in my life, particularly books, narrowed down to my favorite: Harry Potter. And reminded me that I have always looked up to Harry Potter as my hero because he displayed courage unlike any other. He chose to fight despite all the tempting and grandiose forms of escape he had. He could have been the world’s second most powerful wizard. He could’ve had everything he wanted in an instant. But what happens if you are a seventeen year old with the whole world on his shoulders? You choose to be courageous and you do what is right.
Finally, live life backwards. Pastor Bebo mentioned how cemeteries are such melting pots of goals that were never reached, poems that were never written, songs that were never sung, and dreams that were never fulfilled. This is why we need to perceive the connection between our choices and the consequences that come with them. Sometimes, it’s hard to see that the things we do in a single minute have consequences because we think that it’ll just be “in the moment”, but life doesn’t work that way. The choices we make are always bigger than the moment, and they can affect the people around us, especially those we love and love us. Just like a domino effect, we can’t push back; we can only choose to push in a different direction.
The great escape is staying put, and welcoming the consequences of your actions with courage. I want the decisions I make today to become the healing bond of my past. Starting today, I want to have that sense of clarity and focus when it comes to my intentions and motives in making choices.
I choose to die empty and to live backwards, simply because it’s the best way we can ever live.