Love Until It Hurts

Love is something magical.

When people in love, they would do anything! Anything. They would change everything! Why? Because they are in love. People will translate falling in love as a LOVE itself. But it is not (Read: The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck – for further insight). Love is way beyond that scope.

Have you ever been in a situation when you do not love someone, but you have to help that person? In that scenario, you are the one who is there at that moment (might be wrong for you) to offer help. If you give your help sincerely, then you know what is love.

After I read the collection of private writing by Mother Teresa, Come Be My Light, I was amazed with the scale of her heart. She would do anything to please God, not because she is merely in love – but because she loves God. If she was merely in love with God, she would walk away when God started to keep her in silence (for more than 20 years!). But she stays. She is hurt by the love that she has, toward God and people around her.

Mother Teresa

I am in the position where I have to love others that I do not love. For me, it is hard. Let me spell it for you: H.A.R.D.

Giving my care and attention to someone that I consider as undeserving is not easy. But then, somehow I hear a soft voice in my heart saying that I need to give even more – to teach me how to love sincerely. I did, and yet, the battle inside of me is not yet over, because the help that she needs is still there. She still needs help.

I can choose to quit at all time. That’s the lesson I’ve got from the society – why bother giving to someone that never gave to you. But then again, the image of Mother Teresa at our dining room (yes, a huge paint ordered by my Dad) reminded me of her saying. The paradox of giving and loving until it hurts will eliminate the hurt … and let love remains.

I am not yet there to understand, but I want to give it a try. Now. Today. It might be hard, but I could not find any reference to prove that it is impossible. So, it is hard, but it is possible to do.

Forgiveness: An Available Option

During hard times, it seems impossible for us to see the possible outcomes and lessons in the future. We focus our attention to the most effective way of reducing the stress and manage the problems. During this time, other people in your life will play their parts – either as part of problem-solving, or they contribute as the causal.

I heard many times that forgiveness is only for the weak, because they do not have the power to fight back and defend themselves. Forgiveness is not an option for the strong ones. Many people believe this and they choose to put forgiveness as their last choice. As I grew up, I learned that forgiveness is for the strong ones. Those people who can stand up again after every fall and bravely decided that they have to let go off their burden – in the form of anger, revenge, disappointment.

These past few days, I have been reminded on forgiveness again. I was thinking on one person who gave me a real hard time of life. I was angry and hurt, I had to go for personal retreat, counseling and went through the moment of depression. It was really hard for me and I never imagined that another person would do such thing to others. But through the love of my closest ones, I was able to stand up once again. They pray for me, they talk to me, call me and simply being there for me. Time was the answer that I was loved by them and they were sent by God for me.

It took me a few months before I decided that I need to forgive this one person. Once I decided so, it took me three years to really be able to let everything go. I quit asking all the why questions (why me, why now, why why) and accordingly, I quit looking for the reasons behind that hard time. I decided that I can choose my action in the future and regarding his actions, I have no rights to know.

Cathedral Church of Manado - Jan 2013

Cathedral Church of Manado – Jan 2013

As I am standing here today, I would ask for a chance to tell that person that he has taught me the best lesson of life. He taught me that I can choose forgiveness when I am hurt. He taught me that believing in God has to be seen through behaviors and characters. He taught me that those people who really love you, would never walk away from you. He also taught me the lesson of loving the flaws of life – in me, my spouse, my family and friends. There is no such thing as perfection – it is only the illusion of perfection. He was that illusion. And I am having my real life here with me now. Thanks to those lessons!

Forgiveness is a choice that we can always take. It is for you – not for those who hurt you. Forgiveness does not say that what others do to us is acceptable, but it says that we can always choose to make them no longer painful or hurtful for us. We can carry on, without those burden in us. Choose forgiveness and be free.

A Lesson From Paper Shredder

Today I spent my time by working. Not the office or clinical work, but my casual work. I have a part-time job at BRIDGE office, which facilitate Sister School Program between Australia and Indonesia. I’ve been working there for almost 5 years (since AEC office).

BRIDGE is a project funded by Australian Government, and therefore it won’t stay forever. The project will end this Dec 31st. So, these days will be pack with packing the stuff.

I will share a bit about paper shredder, by which I’ve spent most of my time today to shred unused documents.

While the machine was doing its function, I saw at how the cutters shred the papers. They destroy the whole page within seconds into tiny parts (3mm wide). I saw that the used-to-be-important document was nothing when it came to the paper shredder. As if it came to an end or death.

I was wondering if our mind can work the same as the paper shredder. Would it be easier for us if we can tear or destroy bad memories within seconds? Would it be nicer if we can throw the trauma and bad images into a machine – so that we don’t have to remember it again?

All of us bear some burdens, in which we all carry our traumas, mistakes, grave errors, bad thoughts, nightmares or our darkest past. We are all the same. The difference lays on how we react to that burden. Some people choose to stay in the trauma – somehow enjoying the pain. It looks like paper jam in the paper shredder (happened to me few times this morning). Some other people choose to wait for while, embrace the feeling and then drop it (what a great message from Richard from Texas in Eat, Pray, Love). But some other people choose to ignore the trauma and walk through life as if nothing happened. Well, how can you live a life that way? Even though you act as if nothing happened, the trauma is still there – burning inside you!

If we have a machine or organ inside our brain who can work like a paper shredder, I believe we won’t learn from our mistakes. We can easily throw away our mistakes, wipe it away. We won’t have any reminders of that mistake again. Mistakes and wrongdoings are there as reminders for us in living our lives. They act as reminders to stop our ‘id’ in leading the decision making. Mistakes were made as a lesson for us today.

Thanks to the paper shredder at BRIDGE office which turned out to be my inspiration.

Writing is my way to share it to you.