Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Friendship Beyond Time and Distance

When was the last time we saw each other?
I cannot remember the exact date.
How many miles are you away from me?
I do not know.
Mountains and oceans and seas
And numerous countries are between us
But they do not matter because we know we are friends
And that is all we need to know
To continue caring for each other.
True friendship is that which is beyond time
Time does not cause a friendship’s downfall
But it does deepen it.
True friendship is also that which is beyond distance
We are apart, yes, but only physically
For in our minds and more so in our hearts
We keep each other and the memories that we have shared.
Our prayers go where the two of us cannot go
And so even if we cannot be together
We know that we reach each other through our prayers.
Hearts never cease to talk, they communicate for us
Time and distance are therefore not against us.
Come what may, my friend, I know our friendship stands
For it is not just a plain friendship that we share
But a true and endless one.

written in 2003 for a friend who went to Europe.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I am living in a society where the standards of beauty have already been laid. To be beautiful means to have white complexion, a pointed nose and other mestiza-like features. Consumed with vanity, when I sometimes look at myself in the mirror, I would wish to have more attractive features.

When I was a kid, I was teased for being “negra” because of my complexion. With cousins who are all mestiza-looking, I was the odd one out. Next to these paternal cousins, I thought I looked like their house helper. People’s teasing and jokes, no matter how well-meaning they may be, hurt. My self esteem was crushed. Thus, I disliked my morena (light brown) coloring as I was growing up.

I also sometimes wish to be someone I am not. I would wish I were better at singing and dancing. I would wish I knew how to draw and paint or to play any sport magnificently. I also would wish I were good in Math and with anything that has to do with numbers.

I remember there were also times when I would wish for another family. Whenever daddy or mommy hurt me deeply with their words or if they won’t let me do or have what I want, I sometimes would mentally wish for a different set of parents. I have my ideals. And so I wish for people and things in my life to be in perfect accord with my ideal family or with the ideal self that I want them to have. I want them to be what I want them to be.

There are also events in my life I’d rather forget. Oh, how many times have I wished to turn back time to change the course of some events or to have an entirely different set of circumstances. But of course, I can not do that. I can not turn back time. It’s over and done with. And so what I did was to deny - to deny that those happened to me. I can not accept that my 4th year high school experience did happen to me. It is too painful, too humiliating. And so for years I buried it in the abyss of my mind.

So many wishes have I got that are contrary to what I have. So many ideals and perfect things in my mind. Comparisons have gotten me nowhere. It’s either I become proud because I, for example, got a better grade than what a classmate got or, sad because someone got a grade higher than mine. Too busy was I looking for what others have that I do not have that I failed to see my own blessings.

God is always with me. In times when I struggled with people’s hurtful words, He was there to soothe the pain. In times when even I could not like my self, He was there loving me at my most unlovable. His were the eyes seeing me through my worst times. His was the presence giving me strength and comfort when I was so weak and was badly needing comfort and assurance. His was the heart so pure, constant in His love for me even if I had wandered far away from Him many times in my life. Oh how many times have I doubted Him. There even was a point in my life when I was angry at Him for I thought He had forsaken me. Yet, He was full of love and understanding. He was patient. He waited for me to mellow and mature and, when it was the right time, to grant me the grace to enable me to understand and accept everything He has handed to me with great love and generosity.

Now is that right time, Lord. I gratefully and lovingly accept everything that I am and everything that I have. I accept my past as it is - all the smiles, the laughter, the tears, the pains and the struggles. I accept everything as parts of your great plan for me. I am who I am now because of my history. I also accept people and things in my life as they are, not as I want them to be. Each of us is unique, differently made and differently gifted. I can not have everything I want nor can anyone. You as our Great Creator knows us by heart. You know each one of us inside and out. You know and gives us only what is best for us. If we do not have it, we don’t need it.

I pray that you will grant me the graces I need to be always grateful and faithful to You. I may be teased and given names but I ask You to give me the courage I need to stand up to them. Their words won’t harm me. They can think of me as whatever they perceive me to be. They can name me with whatever names but I can not care less about them. What matters most is how You name me, how you see me. I am Your child. I am who and what You created me to be. You love me as I am and so I lovingly accept myself, all that I am and all that I have - fully and gratefully.

written when I was twenty.