At the onset of my illness, a very good friend of mine sympathized with me. I felt her deep sadness along with a question that until now still lingers in my mind. After all, (with) the kind and encouraging words she uttered, she also asked me – “…I just wonder why this happened to you when both you and Stephen (are a) very prayerful and Godly couple?…”
The question offended me (at) that time, but (later) I realized that the question was more for herself than mine. I felt great woe for her. That feeling of woe (for) my friend made me ask myself what kind of life I was showing others back then. Surely after I have received Jesus Christ in my life years before my sickness I made it a point to do my part in making Him seen in all my endeavors.
In all my struggles I call upon Him, in blessings after blessings I give thanks to Him. I never fail to mention Him to people each (day) they come for non therapeutic advice. I thought that I was already doing what God wants me to do for Him in my everyday living. Looking back, I can say I have been up and down my own little hills in life. I always get to the peaks of these hills. Down on my knees throughout med school especially during board exams, I was able to make it despite financial difficulty.
I remember I used to just feel so much for my batch mates who had the capacity to waste their time and money in med school while I have to stern, work double time, and never really enjoyed the days. I know I had scarred many hearts back then as they perceived me as someone hard to approach and never easy to get along with. Little did they know that the “id” behind my facade is envy of their good and comfortable life. I have compensated this need (envy) by “not being one of them” all the more. I have placed myself in solitude, seeking and searching why my heart (was) always in turmoil. I pray, I get calmed but like opium my prayer does not last very long. My mind is right but I always feel that my heart is always wrong as it was never at peace, and I did not see the reason why for I was making it better than the others.
My marriage to my husband (was) the highest hill peak I had reached. He made me more anchored to God, made me more at peace with myself, made me more confident with myself. It was a relief finding someone who would take you as you are. I (didn’t) have to be brainy (my strongest defense from all my inadequacy) with him all the time. But our union was not at the peak all the time. In fact, it was about to go downhill early on as it was tested by infidelity early at its stage. Took me years to forgive, and until now I still remember the pain of the worst thing anyone can do to someone, betrayal! My love for him never allowed me to tell anyone about it so I suffered alone not wanting to destroy his image of a God fearing person. It was a good thing that truly he is a God fearing person, and that situation was just a one event. Through prayers, God did not allow my pride and pain to destroy us. The Lord won the battle that I thought I could never make. I chose psychiatry as (a) medical specialty perhaps to help myself (in) the first place.
One school of thought (that a) psychiatrist believes is that “one’s” behavior is determined by her “id”. As “id” is that part of the mind that is always for pleasure, comfort and release, I may have been in the field because I wanted to find the peace I (had) been looking for everywhere. For even when my mind (was) right, I (felt) that there (was) something wrong in my heart. I did find myself, knowing my own psychodynamics and all, and it gave me peace at the beginning. Knowing me though was not the answer. The jungle I was into still ate me up and made me more a monster. Competing with others is(was) my worst weakness. I always (had) this need to prove my supremacy over others. I (did) a lot of extra reading, extra work, extra of everything and I shout(ed) it to the world. I needed to be appreciated! Although it was part of my psychodynamics, I just did know how to treat it. I (was) stressed and just plain tired but could not stop. My “id” was just too powerful than my “ego” and “super ego” combined. In my inner struggles I (kept) working for the Lord through lip service, showing that I (was) Christian in my walk in life but deep inside, God as my opium just did not work anymore.
My personal relationship with Christ, which (was) the only thing He require(d) of me, was no longer there. Now my friend’s question struck me as very valid and relevant to all that (had) happened and (was) happening. How come my sunny life (had) been made gloomy with thundering rain despite my struggle to be in allegiance to the Supreme Being. It was after all an utmost effort to show His presence in my life despite not feeling Him, thus it deserve(d) good blessing(s) instead of sickness. “God sees through the heart”! “He is all knowing” and “there is NOTHING, absolutely nothing that can be hidden from HIM”. “He knows my every thought, he knows the deepest part of my heart and He knows MY EVERY NEED!” He saw my struggle, He perceived the tiredness of my heart and He saw my need for rest.
The unrest in my soul (was) His reason for placing me in my present SITUATION. He wanted to tell me that I am more important than what I do. My happiness and my comfort are more important than my need to be appreciated by others. He wanted to tell me that I have no idea who He is and my perspective of Him is far from the truth I know. In my present solitude He wanted to tell me of my NEED FOR LOVE. LOVE (is) a very powerful emotion that can both build and destroy.
Even the biblical definition of love is so hard to achieve as it is a perfect manifestation of something that seemed to be just a concept. “Love is patient and kind.” The book of life says. “Love does not envy, it does not boast, and it is not proud.” “Love is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no records of wrongs.” I could “act out” this definition of love but I find it difficult to feel. I am exactly the opposite of all of these therefore it is so difficult for me. Is he giving me something difficult to achieve? Something that would make me crawl on my knees just to perform? Is He making my life more miserable? Of course not! As He opens my eyes in my daily reflection, it dawned on me that the LOVE that I NEEDED is not the emotional one. It is Jesus Christ Himself. He is the perfect manifestation of love, He turn the concept of LOVE to reality. He is kind, patient, not rude, not easily angered, and KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONG! I can love easily if I walk with the source of love Himself. Such a beautiful realization of Him, it touches the core of my heart! I find it hard to love because I never have or I never allowed the SOURCE of love Himself to dwell (and I to dwell in Him) in me completely. As I go back to my friend’s question which I perceive(d) as tantamount to asking “Is my sickness a punishment?”
I believe that punishment is not of this lifetime! In fact this lifetime is meant for pure happiness and comfort; for I believe this (life) is (just a) glimpse of what is to come. He meant for me to enjoy every good thing that He had ever made, to give me an idea how much better it is in the next. This sickness is just His, just one of those reminders He already had made me experience before. So many times He had worked in my life but I have never yielded. He has no other way now but to break me completely, reminding me that my “days here on earth is numbered” and that “my life is in His hands”. Done out of LOVE, He is now in my everyday isolation, gently moulding and remolding me into better person.
My sunshine will come out soon and I am looking forward to what He has in store for me. This time my hope is that my life will not be like a “clanging cymbal” or a “resounding gong” as I learn to LOVE in His perspective. I hope to reflect, without effort or struggle, that a personal relationship with God, my walk with LOVE Himself is the only thing required. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of this is LOVE.” (1Cor.13:13)
by: Maria Ella Regondola-Cabanlet
December 17, 2010,
Friday, 6:14 am