Service doesn’t need to be loud.
Appreciation doesn’t have to be required.
The question, “Why do people cheat?”, is so common I’m rewording it. I understand the top reasons why they do but I really need to know why they can’t. Are their families or partners not enough reason not to? Do they think of their children, of the people that will be affected, of the consequences should it be revealed? Does karma’s and conscience’s font sizes in their dictionaries not big enough? How big is temptation’s and temporary pleasure’s then?
I have a confession to make. I’ve dealt with cheating three times in my life already in my 22 years of existence. I haven’t even had a boyfriend, just so you know.
ONE.. But not the first. In an almost relationship, I found out just when I was so ready to tell my parents I want to say yes and be with him regardless of their response. I was very prepared to face the pressures from academics and my relatives along with it. All the time he was courting me, he was trying to get back with his ex-girlfriend. With each day I spent with him, which was almost everyday, they also spent time together. He either visited me first or last. Bravo, right? I was fortunate enough to hit my head onto a rock right before I did something I will only have regretted. Thank goodness I have guy friends who found out and informed my girl friends right away.
TWO.. The most devastating moment of my life (until last week). I was in 2nd or 3rd year. I had the instinct to check my mom’s phone one morning when everyone was still asleep. I read all the saved messages from and to her other man, who happened to be the most caring godfather of mine and her almost lover back in the day. I broke down in the bathroom for an hour, prepared to face the problem thru writing in a notebook, entrusted everything to the Lord who was the only one I spoke to about it until later when I told my former Closest guy Friend, lowkey asked for my batchmates’ prayers during retreat, spoke and printed messages to her, received her apologies and mocking of my plans, and am keeping it to myself until now to protect my sisters and father whom I love so dearly. All these happened when I was an innocent, quiet, fragile yet courageous 14-15 year-old.
THREE.. Now, the worst of the worst. I’ve been my daddy’s girl ever since. I’m the eldest of 3 girls. I’m my mother’s stronghold. Not many months ago, he finally created a Facebook account. He found his Bicol batchmates from elementary to high school, spoke to and talked about them often, even teased mom about his exes and crushes he’s having updates already. Every time mom begins to act all jealous over petty things such as that, I unwittingly answer back and easily gets pissed. I hated how mommy jokes and thinks about daddy having an affair. I’ve always know he would never do that, plus the hidden fact that it was she who’s had the guts to.
I started noticing the changes just a few weeks back. He’s always wearing his earphones, holding his phone near even when sleeping, staying in the car moments after we arrive home. Mommy noticed, too. She’s half-teasing half-pissed that daddy wants to go to the dermatologist, was buying skin care products, opened our group chat less and less, replied to our messages fewer as days pass.
One night when he was asleep and had his earphones on, I had, again, the urge to check a phone. His was upside down. I took it and saw a woman’s name, with an ongoing call that has been on for long already. I realized I was right. I realized that all this time he was wearing his earphones when he’s fetching me, she was listening in on our father-daughter conversations. I ran to the living room and gasped for air. I tiptoed back and ended the call before running to the kitchen. His phone rang. He woke up to accept the call and went back to snoring. So she’s addicted to the sound of it? I tweeted this right away in the middle of tears:
Girls’ gut feelings are never wrong. I hate that it’s never wrong. Why do I have to be right all along? 🔪
My world crushed. I’ve always believed in him. I’ve always believed in the good of the world because of him. I’ve always trusted in the good in people because of my parents. I’ve easily let go of #1 and haven’t had trust issues with boys because of him. I optimistically didn’t generalize men to all be cheaters because of him. I kept #2’s affair from him all these years because I would hate to see him hurt and our family to break because of the pain it may cause them. I chose to silently be tortured for it and let him be innocently happy. How can he do this to us? The innocent version of me somehow always disliked Tay’s song, Mine, because I believed I couldn’t ever relate to this lines:
Flash forward and we’re taking on the world together
There’s a drawer of my things at your place
You learn my secrets and figure out why I’m guarded
You say we’ll never make my parents’ mistakes
Again, I choose to keep my silence. Again, I choose to speak only to the Lord God about this. Again, I’m not acting on my emotions and planning so hard on what I will do. This has happened before. My younger self was brave enough to face this. Again, I’ll get through it. Tomorrow, I will let him know.
I, deep down, have never forgiven the first and second persons. What about him? What more when it comes to him? Why can’t they not cheat? Answer me.
No matter how bad your day goes, there’s always someone up there who wouldn’t let it end that way. You just have to take the time to notice the little things.
So far, it has been a struggle to wake up each day and get to work. I have a problem with my status, my workload, my worth, my rights. I’m losing all the motivation to do my responsibilities. I won’t get into details but it’s really a mess right now. And just lately, I’ve convinced myself (with the help of my beloved coworkers) to finally do something about it.. and not just anything, but the biggest risk one could do. I’ve set my plans, but I’m still having difficulties executing them, let alone the fact that aside from my colleagues, none of my friends and family have any idea about what I’m going through. I’m also trying really hard to distract myself from other problems I concurrently have.
There I was, getting out of the building from working late, dreading the thought of going home and not getting a good sleep from worrying and getting up again to face life. I saw the buses filled with people standing and sighed. My mood and the condition of my ride home is just a good combo, isn’t it? Then, as I read the sign from the coming bus I was about to ride, I was surprised it was the one that could take me home easily! Buses like this one never (in my whole experience) come this way! It was such a blessing. I kept sighing in relief as I boarded and comfortably sat.
So I thought He was done surprising me. I read today’s teaching from The Daily Bread and it just strike me right through the chest. He wanted me to surrender all plans I have to him, reminded that He is beside me through it all. It even has the scripture that I have a copy here on my phone as a wallpaper that I use each time I needed it.
“God is within her, she will not fall.” Psalms 46:5
Minutes later, as I was writing down my reflections for today’s reading, the song Heavy played on the bus. This is the one song that really gets to me especially in times that everything feels heavy. I let out a deep sigh. The song was followed by Superhero, one of my all-time motivating songs. I mouthed a “thank You” as I began to realize the consecutive ways He’s been letting me aware of his presence. No matter how hard these days are to me right now, I’m never alone in this fight. So are you.
Ever been so physically and emotionally tired you’re holding back the tears on a bus ride going home?
Then a mother, with her two kids, enters and sits on the stair portion at the back…
Lots of questions were racing in my mind as I finally sat in the bus. Why didn’t my best friend tell me about the real situation? Why did she lie to me? Why me, of all people? Why couldn’t she tell me? Why hasn’t she planned on telling me up to the last minute? How insignificant am I to her? Did I do something wrong to her? Was my reaction when she told me she was getting married too sharp she took a step back? Why, no matter how hurt I am for how I accidentally found out she’s pregnant, can’t I stay mad at her for long? Why, as betrayed as I felt I was, do I still want what’s best for her? Why did I have a hard time choosing the perfect wedding gift, one that would be of great use and value, dismissing the cost, size, and weight? Why was I hand-carrying the gift all by myself? Why do I have nobody beside me to carry the weight for me, to share the burden with, both literally and figuratively? Why am I such an independent and strong woman I sometimes feel it’s too much? Why do I have this big of love to share but feel like there’s none this big to receive? Why couldn’t I answer back to the cruel driver who was mocking me for not being able to walk across and find a seat while the bus was moving and I was carrying a big, heavy load? Why do I have no one to share all these thoughts and frustrations at this moment? Why do I feel helpless? Why do I not have a choice but to go on, despite being so tired? Why am I having a hard time holding back the tears?
Moments later, they arrived and sat down beside me. Without thinking, my mouth opened, “Miss, let me carry your child so it wouldn’t be too difficult for you and your baby.” She instantly handed over her baby. I was shocked, both at who she’d given me and at what I said. All the questions and the pain inside and the exhaustion subsided in just a second. I couldn’t help but smile as the baby bounced and played with my bag. I took out my phone to capture the unbelievable situation. Her mother took her from me when she was becoming noisy. I asked for the little boy to come sit on my lap instead. It’s very clear to see that they need assistance. I just couldn’t offer my seat because of the space my gift was taking up and I know it would be less comfortable for them three. The mother was gently urging her son to come to me, but he was very shy he didn’t want to.
Another batch of thoughts waved in. This time, realizations. How nice it is to offer someone help, though you are fully aware you needed help as well. Person suffering x (Others suffering + Good deed) = Lessened hardships for both parties. I’m not sure if my equation is correct. Haha! Also, good deeds, though unbeknownst to many, bear the same value. Even if no praises are received for a kind act, self-awareness is more than enough.
I’m still in the bus. I did plan to write all this while it still is fresh, but just moments ago, I realized one more thing.. What if they were God? What if He brought them to me to erase all my worries? What if it was He or Jesus Himself who came to rescue me from the negativities?