I’ll let you in on a secret (or maybe it’s not so much of a secret from people who personally know me): I come from a family of nega stars. I’m not happy/proud about it, but it has to be said, out in the open–because, well, someone has to snap everyone out of it.
I swear, spend a day in our ancestral house and you will find yourself drained and miserable (ask Daddy A!). You are either too fat or too thin; your wedding is so-so despite all your efforts to make it the best wedding in your family’s history (true story); and there are endless talks about broken relationships and the hope to revive the spark (and kill the mistress in the process) even after decades of trying desperately instead of just starting a new life.
I, myself, have the tendency to focus even on the smallest fault. I tend to complain over the pettiest stuff, to want a lot of things I don’t have. I also tend to be fearful– of the unexpected, of the unknown, of everything that is out of my control.
The good news is, I am aware of it and have slowly taught myself to live a life of contentment and genuine happiness–not the kind we get from buying expensive shoes or going on grand dinner dates. I’ve learned to appreciate little things, to be grateful each day of my life, to see the beauty and joy even in dark moments. This is awesome because my shift of thinking changed my life and made me happy. As in happy for real.
I hope my relatives will find in themselves the need to change as well. It’s just sad that they are living in a world of misery and fear. Just today, I got into a conversation with one relative who is outrageously afraid of death.
She asked me about our trip to Regina Rica–but she didn’t focus on the experience, but the safety of the place and the road leading to it. I mean, sure, I’d ask about the safety of a tourist destination too, but I wouldn’t spend 20 minutes (or was that half an hour?) going around and around the same topic. Imagine being asked these questions about a religious place:
- Is the road (it’s a zigzag road kasi) safe? Are there chances that their car might go over the cliff?
- Are there rebels who might stop them on the way and hold them hostage?
- How many people were there? (this is out of fear of a stampede)
Don’t believe how scared this person is of death? One time, they were about to enter a building and she was so scared of the thought that it might collapse while they are inside. When they took the stairs, she expressed fear that she might slip, hit her head on the cement wall and die.
It was funny and, at the same time, a cause for concern. She is like a living dead–not the zombie apocalypse kind, though. What I mean here is that she is alive, but because of her fear of death, she’d rather stay in the safety of her home for days on end because it shields her from the dangers of living life. Which makes her a living dead. Alive, but not living life.
This is the case of many of my relatives. I am not writing this to put them down or make fun of their misery. I am writing this because this has been in my thoughts for the longest time and I want them–and other people like them–to change. It ain’t fun being miserable and scared, right?!
I stepped out of this mentality and I swear, deciding to live now is way better than hiding and forever waiting for a better life.