Truly loving a person sometimes entails excusing the inexcusable in him. It is not turning a blind eye to his frailties but seeing beyond the imperfections and beholding something totally beautiful.
It takes courage to admit what I do not know. But this admission is the first step to learning.
It takes courage to admit that I am scared. But this fear starts to dissipate the moment I acknowledge my fear. For the greatest of fears is borne from not knowing. And courage is knowing and confronting that fear.
It takes courage to admit that I am wrong. But something or someone cannot be corrected unless it has been acknowledged that a mistake was made. And being wrong sometimes paves the way to doing what is right.
It takes courage to admit that I am helpless in some ways and in need of help. But it is through this that I learn how to value other people. We are interconnected individuals and I cannot exist as one.
It takes courage to admit that I am proud. But this is my first step to humility for the height of arrogance is when one is too full of himself and yet too proud to admit it. And this I refuse to happen to me.
It takes courage to embrace change. For comfort zones are called such because there is security in what is certain. But it is when we let go of our certainties that we open ourselves to possibilities.
It takes courage to trust. To love. To hope. To live. For life will always be wrought with risks and challenges. And courage is about conquering these.
It takes courage to admit that I lost. In my struggles to triumph over love and life’s challenges, I sometimes stumble and fall. But it is in these losses that I learn that courage is also about trusting in my self even when things become overwhelming. It is proving my resilience to the world.
It takes courage to be different. But courage is basically about finding that strength to go against the tide and just revel on being one’s own self regardless of what other people say.
Courage. It is what makes the vulnerable invulnerable.
Gil Grissom: It is interesting to me how you always expect the worst.
Catherine Willows: You see that way, I’m never disappointed, and sometimes, I’m nicely surprised.
For eight years, I was the apple of the eye of each family member. My relatives doted on me and they catered to my every whim. I was a brat and loved every minute of it. Then my youngest brother came and little pampered me was relegated to the sidelines. Or so the child in me thought.
I resented my brother at first. I hated the way the family would gather around him and exclaim how cute he was and how adorable. Didn’t I use to be all those and more?
When my brother was nearly a year old and I was about nine, something happened that changed my life forever. Mommy promised that she would take me shopping. I was ecstatic! Finally, bonding time for us! And her time just for me!
On that promised day though, my brother got sick so mommy said we had to first make a stop at the doctor’s clinic. Mommy, my baby brother, the nanny and I then went to Kalibo but since we did not have an appointment, we had to wait. The waiting took more than an hour and when it was nearly twelve noon, I became impatient and annoyed. In my most bratty manner, I came up to my mom and demanded that we go shopping.
“Mom, you promised,” I implored. My mom was trying to pacify me. “Later, honey,” she said. “This won’t take long. Your brother has to be checked by the doctor.”
“There’s the nanny,” I pointed out but my mom shook her head.
I did not know what made me flared up then. Maybe I was hungry. Or I got tired of waiting. Or I was just sick of having a brother who usurped what I thought was my rightful place.
“You shouldn’t make promises you couldn’t keep,” I accused, my eyes shooting sparks. And I said this in the loudest of voices too. “I wish I were home,” I added petulantly. “If I knew we’d come to this, I shouldn’t have come with you.”
Mommy, who was usually patient, then flared up too. “You’re being selfish. Your brother’s sick and all you think about is yourself? If you wish you weren’t here, then I wish too that you weren’t!”
Stung, my pride torn to shreds, I haughtily squared my shoulders then walked out on my mom. “Fine. I’ll go. Don’t bother looking for me. I don’t need you and I hate you.”
And off I went, complete with some stomping of my feet and clenching of fists.
Ten meters from the clinic, I stopped. In my stubborn, proud but hopeful heart, I waited for my mom to go after me.
I stood there but she did not come. The two minutes I spent waiting was like eternity, with each second more painful than the one before it. I remember crying then angrily wiping my tears with clenched fists.
Then I forced myself to move. And started walking aimlessly.
I later found myself in Kalibo’s town plaza. And that’s when it happened. In the park were a lot of people but my attention was drawn to two children. The girl was almost my age and the boy was maybe about two. They were begging for alms and when they came to a couple on a bench a couple of meters from where I was, the couple gave them a sandwich. As the children walked off, I watched in fascination as the elder sister halved the bread and gave the bigger portion to her brother.
Stunned, that’s when I realized just how selfish and bratty I had been.
Buoyed by what I just witnessed, I stood up and made my way back to the clinic.
A block away from the plaza, I bumped into my mom and that’s when another realization hit me – I’m loved! Of course I am! As we stood there, both of us were crying. Mommy was saying sorry for losing her temper on me. She said she and the nanny weren’t able to follow me because just after I walked out the door, their turn came. I just smiled and said sorry too for being selfish. When I asked where my brother was, she said she already sent him home with the nanny while she stayed to look for me. She added she was mindless with worry. The fiercest of hugs was then exchanged.
And so I was a runaway for a couple of hours. But that experience changed my life - my life as a sibling and a daughter. It was my turning point for that’s when I resolved to myself to be the best big sister that I can be.
Just how much of a big sister have I become? Oh, enough to give up my brat throne to my baby brother and lavish him with so much love and protection that sometimes, I end up saving his hide from mom’s scolding. Te he!
God listens. And whatever His answer is, listen – with faith, with trust.