Sometimes, things happen that temporarily suspend our ability to think straight. People we value do us wrong, throw away our love and friendship. Intoxicated by their betrayal, we find ourselves making poor choices, moving away from who we are and compromising the values we grew up with. We end up acting on our heightened emotions, forgetting that wanting to cause pain to people who hurt us will do nothing to ease our own pain.
In time, the dust settles. The shock, pain and anger dissipate. We sober up, and as our head clears, so does our perspective. We become aware of things we shouldn’t have said and done, regardless of what was done to us. By then, it’s too late to take back or undo them. Nothing we say can justify any of it. Worse, others come and take advantage of our momentary weakness. When mixed with our truths, their lies become easier for others to believe, and we are punished even for things we did not do.
And so the lessons come. We look back at every move we made and lament on what we should’ve-would’ve-could’ve done instead. We think of the people that got unwittingly involved. People we hurt simply because they were in the way of our tornado of feelings. People we took for granted while we were so focused on ourselves.
With those lessons come realizations. We see the situation for what it is—so much less complicated and fearsome than we imagined. As our flaws and vulnerabilities get exposed, we also begin to see people for who they are—the ones merely waiting in the wings for the delight of seeing us fall, the ones only in it for entertainment, and the ones who love, forgive and stand by us through everything.
The sad reality is, lessons come with pain and difficulty. The beautiful truth is, they also come with hope and choice. After seeking forgiveness, there are two things we can do when we make mistakes. We can wallow in self-pity and regret, allow ourselves to be hindered and condemned by fellow human beings who forget that we are all fallible, that we have all done things we’re not proud of, that we all have skeletons in the closet and the only difference between them and us is that we no longer have to hide or be afraid of ours.
Or we can make the choice to forgive ourselves, rise above it all and move forward. To realize that our exposure is a chance to acknowledge our mistakes, then do things differently so we don’t ever repeat them. To show that our mistakes don’t define who we are and who we can be. To embrace the hope each day brings, wipe our slate clean and get ourselves a brand new start.
When we can be at peace with our past, gratitude sets in. Not just for the happy times or the people who have been good to us. We begin as well to appreciate the pain we once rejected and the persons who caused it. We realize that they have actually given us a gift: that of freeing us from fear, of leaving us forced to fight our monsters, of helping us find great things within ourselves that we wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. We come out of it with newfound courage and wisdom, ready to once again begin.
Everything and everyone changes, and to refuse to accept it is to refuse to grow. Nothing is ever stationary or static. Even for a tree planted firmly on the ground, seasons give way to seasons: from being abloom, its leaves shed and its flowers wilt, and just when it seems resigned to staying barren for good, its bloom is renewed—each full circle a transition from stagnation to growth. The same holds true for all of us. Each “death” is a mere “passing on” to a new and more fulfilling life, if only we embrace it.
Dress from Bangkok, maxi skirt from The Catwalk. Freshlook Illuminate one-day contact lenses from Sarabia Optical Rockwell.Lookbook // Chictopia
After “Ligaw,” we’ve been getting requests to do videos on a more regular basis. Since we do everything ourselves with the help of friends, doing a video like this takes weeks of preparation, shooting and editing. But yes, a follow-up to “Ligaw” is in the works!
Learn how to put on your freshest face with this tutorial, plus get to win this fabulous face primer and shine eliminator from SUESH. First, let’s continue last week’s tutorial.
Photo from my Instagram @shailagarde. This is my usual makeup: natural-looking, fresh and dewy. I take inspiration from Korean models and actresses who always look like they just woke up after eight hours of sleep filled with wonderful dreams! Haha. There’s one thing about it that I don’t quite agree with, however—that to achieve the natural look, you have to cover up your face with layers upon layers of (usually pricey) makeup. My approach to it is pretty simple and straightforward, and definitely won’t hurt your budget.