Monday, April 5, 2010

Of Friendships, and Endings

One of the hardest things that you will ever have to do in life is tell a friend that the friendship is no longer wanted. It is never easy to tell someone that you have shared so many events with, and have developed a bond with, that it is over. It doesn't matter if it was a short friendship, or a best friend, or how much you actually care about the person in question. Ending a friendship is never easy, and it takes a lot of heart to actually go through with it. It isn't easy, but here are a few tips as to how you can go about ending it.

The first thing to think about is if you have actually exhausted every option. Have you tried talking to your friend about the issues that you have? Have you given your friend a chance to change whatever it is that is making you end the friendship? Sometimes you just have to tell someone what is bothering you, and they will get the hint, and change their ways for the better. Most friends don't want to be a burden, and will gladly work with you to make the friendship more beneficial.

If you have tried talking the issues out, and nothing has changed, you probably need to cut that person off. There are a couple ways you can go about this, and you could either tell the friend it is over, or just let that person fade away. Chances are if you are seriously thinking about ending the friendship, you are probably not seeing this person as much anyway. Give it a week or so, and if your friend doesn't say anything, you might be able to fight the battle without firing a single shot.

However, if there is still contact between the two of you, you should tell them straight up that you are done with the friendship. Just ask your former friend to not text you, call you, or ask to hang out anymore. You are no longer friends, and tell that person why you don't want to hang out or be friends anymore. If your friend doesn't get it, just remind them of all the things that you needed changed, and weren't. Stick to your plan to end the friendship unless things change.

If you friend knows you are serious, and is willing to change, then go ahead and try to work things out if it seems like it would work. Otherwise just stick to your guns, and don't talk to your friend anymore. Try to keep things in perspective though, and don't end a friendship over a small fight, as friends will have those from time to time. If you feel like you are not getting anything out of the friendship, and you need to move on, move on.

Ending a friendship is never an easy thing to do. Not only do you not want to hurt anyone's feelings, you don't ever want something like that to happen to you. Empathy is a good thing in this case, but you have to look out for yourself first. Stay strong, and stick to your plan if you are going to end a friendship, and don't let your friend guilt you into coming back.

Some things are very hard to define, quantify or put a value to and friendship would definitely fall into this category. It is something special which you can't just acquire and then dispose of. Friendship comes in different sizes, shapes and forms, and at different times. You never know when it might happen and you can't just order it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Of Hearts and Tigers

It has been ages now since I put into a written account some things that came to pass in the recent months. A lot of things did happen... and a lot too did not. 2009 ended without me putting any written-account about it. I thought of writing a year-end-blog of sort about it but time did not permit me.

Anyhow, I have got a little time now and here, I am chronicling my thoughts on love and tigers.

Last Friday was Valentines Day (or Single's Awareness Day to some, me included), and Chinese New year at the same time. I just spent the day with one of my best friends, Jopat. We were supposed to have a single's dinner, but Ian, another best friend of ours went to Baguio to spend the weekend there. Our other friends were not available as well, so we decided to change plans. We instead went to a friend's mom's birthday bash in Quezon City. That was how I spent the twin holidays of February 14, 2010.

So, Chinese New Year and valentines, huh!

They say The Metal Tiger is a violent year, with most weapons made of metal, and many Fung Shui experts say that a double holiday like that of last Sunday is actually not so good. But despite this, I think it’s rather poetic that the day of love should fall on the start of a new year. It’s almost as if the singles are reminded that they can always make a new start, especially when it comes to love. And for those who are happily in love, it’s a reminder to be thankful that another year has been given, for them to spend happily together.

As for me, I’m just grateful that love is in my life in spades – from family, friends, and my baby whale. Not that I don’t get negative energy from haters, because I do too, but having the good stuff, somehow insulates you from the bad. So welcome, metal tiger! We’ll find a way of co-existing with each other with a minimum of violence, and be nice, okay?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Of Glasses Broken

I got to taste the feel of real feelings in a simulation of life last week, when I attended ALC along with 48 other brave souls. One of the strongest key takeaways I got from the retreat was my view of the commitments I make in life.

Reading from an old magazine, I came across upon a quote that pretty much preaches about agreements that we make – to ourselves and others.

I quote:

"Sir, I do not share your faith. But if I did - if I believed what you say you believed - then although England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would crawl the length and breadth of it on hand and knee and think the pain worthwhile, just to save a single soul from this eternal hell of which you speak."
~Charles Peace

Charles Peace was a career criminal in England in the 1800s. He committed numerous burglaries and was ultimately convicted and hanged for murdering a man. Charles made the statement above to a reverend that visited him prior to his execution. It was the reverend’s job to give Peace the opportunity to confess his crimes and save his soul prior to his execution.

It came so strongly to me, as weeks ago, I made a commitment to a dearest friend which I broke rather deliberately. My intentions of living up to it proved to be unworthy, simply basing from the results I produced. Based on results as the benchmark to conclude, intentions were absent to begin with. This is so, because in the realm of possibilities, I could have driven myself steadfast to the agreement I made.

It takes incredible commitment to accomplish big things in life. Whatever your cause, you have to fully commit yourself to it and believe enough in it to risk everything to make it a reality. We often go about our mission in life on autopilot. We approach even vitally important matters with half-heartedness especially when it takes years to see it through to completion. In what do you believe? How committed are you to your cause? Will your present level of commitment be enough?

Apparently, the reverend provided this type of service for the prison regularly. It might have become somewhat routine to him. Apparently, this was obvious to Charles Peace. The reverend’s passion and commitment to his faith obviously did not shine through to Charles. He was not convincing.

We cannot persuade others and get them behind us in our cause, no matter what it is, if we lack passion and commitment! We must demonstrate our commitment to everyone around us. They have to see it in our actions and hear it in our voice. It isn’t so much the words you say as it is the way you say it. You don’t have to be an eloquent speaker to persuade people, but you do have to be able to convey your passion to them. They have to feel it.

Charles Peace did not feel the reverend’s passion and therefore he was not convinced. Maybe this is why others aren’t jumping on the bandwagon of your cause. Maybe they don’t feel your passion. Have you lost the fever?

Obstacles will always arise to block us from attaining our goals. However, if we are truly committed, then we will not be deterred. Notice that Charles says if he believed, he would crawl the length and breadth of England across broken glass to convince others. In other words, he wouldn’t hold anything back. The pain would be worth it. He would go the distance and do whatever it took to meet the demands of his cause.

Are you giving it your all? A good cause will demand sacrifice. There will always be a struggle to accomplish anything worthwhile. Pain is a part of the game. What are you willing to give?I imagine the reverend reflected heavily on Charles Peace’s statement to him. In fact, I think it probably haunted him. Was he truly committed and passionate about his faith? This was a question he had to wrestle with. The reverend had dedicated his life to his cause, but had the flame burned out?

It often takes something like the reverend's encounter with Charles Peace to rock us out of our sleepwalk. Where are you at in the level of commitment to your cause?

Would you crawl across broken glass?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Of Mismatches and Misplacements

One of the random pictures I took on our way to Sonya's Garden in Tagaytay for Ate Leni's birthday:

Pasta and Bar are heartbroken. Their partners cheated on them.

I wonder why would I need a Dolby Digital surround sound while eating pizza?
Also, what is the (.) dot doing there, by the way?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Of Tomorrows, and Another-Days

They say we are only given challenges that we can handle. They say that the “unmoved mover” and the universe have their own way of awarding us things that we could bite and chew which decide our fate. But may I ask by which standards do these awards are being benchmarked against? By asking, do I necessarily question my faith? And by asking, do I thwart myself out of driving a point?

Fate and faith are separated by a thin line. Philosophers would argue that we decide our fate as we were given the liberty to live our lives the way we see it fit. Given that liberty we are also making ourselves accountable for our actions so that later on we can be judged based on these actions carried out with will and volition. But faith teaches us to accept that there is a greater design - a design that puts us in a destined place in the larger scheme of beings. And that the mere existence of this design teaches us to believe that things that are meant to be will be meant to be; that things that are not meant to be will never be meant to be. That is a whole new story versus the latter, if you ask me. Around us are battles that we need to fight - battles that will very well define our destiny. Whether they’re destined to be our fight and whether we’re destined to win or lose is something that we could only make a hypothesis of. But here’s a two cents worth on that matter - I remember one person saying 'we only fight battles that we could win'. I agree. These are battles that are material to how we become a substance more than a mere existence. While some will say that failure teaches certain values of maturity, I have my reservations against failing just to learn. A lost cause provides enough precaution before it blows out of proportion. A dead end usually winds up before it cuts you short. So, is it worth to live and fight another day? I say take the hint, cruise along and die another day. I asked 'by which standards are challenges benchmarked against' as I would like to understand why do we need to take the hit on such inexplicable levels. Fate. Destiny. There you go again. But seriously, I am intrigued and fascinated why such tests must come in like torrential rains pouring as hard as it could, flooding ones’ shabby condition, exacerbating what seems to be an already deplorable state? In an attempt to put reason behind the interplay of cause, causalities and the whole nine yards, we either end up more confused or making lame excuses for the very things that have dampen our spirits. Now, where do we lean on moving forward? Do I daresay I make my own fate as I decide which battles I can only fight, or has the great design all figured that out, that a destination has been written and predestination decided nevertheless?

Today I resign from all of these. Tomorrow is another day. Or maybe I’ll do it tomorrow for the morrow after tomorrow, is yet another day.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Of Fears and Hopes

It’s Easter Sunday, and a quote from a friend’s facebook handle caught my awareness:

The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances.
- Robert Flatt

One of the spiritual messages that Easter brings is the gift of resurrection, which the scriptures say was brought about by the atonement of Jesus Christ. He made resurrection available to all mankind and it is a reward free for all. I am not a religious devout or any sort of a pious person but this message of Easter thrills me, as for me, it is also a message of hope – hope for better things.

This Lenten message holds true, and was demonstrated through a recent event in one of my dearest friend’s life. In my previous post, I referred to closures as something not totally necessary in ones moving on. I still hold steadfast to that premise, but I am but happy that my friend was brave enough to seek out that yearned-for closure from his most recent relationship. To drive quickly to my drift, he went on, threw off the bowlines, and sailed on in search of that closure.

He did not find closure. What he found was something even better. He found hope. What he found was a person in need, a person who is broken and needs fixing. My friend stood tall and extended his hand for help, and offered hope. Whether they officially end up being lovers or getting back together was brushed off the picture. What is important now is my friend is going to be there for that person, and be an instrument in God’s hand to make him whole again. They both have started from somewhere now, and hope is shining bright.

In the course of these events, my friend defied FEAR - fear of rejection. Fear of being hurt. Fear of what the other party will say. Fear of putting oneself out there ‘on the line’. Fear of the unknown — what COULD happen! But it was not enough to hinder him to the point of inaction. The fact remained, that if you do not put yourself ‘out there’ sometimes, you won’t get anywhere. No risk, no reward.

Many times we allow an obstacle to get in the way of reconciling. It’s just too easy to say “oh well, I tried.” But on the flipside there are actual solutions. That’s right, every one of them. Despite what the gurus would have you believe, there are no solutions that work 100% of the time, simply because we all possess free will to do as we please. My friend knew what he wanted and bravely went on with it. Having that said, he defied the inability to overcome obstacles.
He has also defied pride. In my friend’s case, there were things said and done in the course of their relationship - things that caused so much pain in him. He could have clung to his pride and recover and cope from those things said and done. It is a basic human desire to be right. Nevertheless, he did not see it that way. He did let pride prevent him from moving to the right direction. He was able to demonstrate humility, and it served him best. Humbling and opening himself up to that special someone made him overlook past mistakes and forgive.

I have heard said that our hopes should always be greater than our fears. Yet again, I have seen it play out in action from this demonstration.

I really like how Robert Flatt put it – start over, no matter what the circumstances may be.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Of Doors Left Ajar

It is truth that when we say that the relationship is over often it truly is not. We know of persons who split up years ago, and yet one of the partners (or even both) cannot seem to let go emotionally. What makes parting difficult is not physical absence – rather, it is the letting-go-emotionally. The memories, the good times past - all these and many more factors make it very hard for some people to let go of a relationship. This is why there follows a period of mourning after the parting which for some did not end with a period. It is also true that many couples go on in a relationship after it is over. The factors mentioned above keep them from walking away from potential happiness.

Closure is a HUGE issue. We all want something to end completely. We all want answers, to understand. We often hang around in a relationship, doing damage to ourselves, because we are looking for that moment when-it-all-gets-clear; when we finally say what we mean and what we feel and finally feel heard by him/her. When we feel a chapter has closed.

Only, it hardly ever happens that way.

We can end up spending so much of our lives waiting for, looking for, praying for, listening for, asking for, demanding, envisioning, thinking about, and writing about…Closure, which never happens.

And then here’s the question to ask - Is Closure necessary? Is it really all that is important?
I say NO. We most often, will never get closure, and perhaps that’s a very good thing. Perhaps that’s the way we learn to be softer, more fluid and flexible - To roll with the punches, and to be surprised. Perhaps this is where we finally learn to give up control.

So - there we are. Don’t NEED to close anything. Leave all doors be, let air move through, around, against, up and down all the open and half-closed and slightly ajar and slammed shut doors of our lives, until the doors finally disappear on their own, from misuse. Let the cobwebs gather around the old patterns, let the old pain drift away, let things crumble as they will.

No closure - just movement. Moving forward, onward to Happy-Ever-After.

I wrote of this account for a friend who deems he needs closure from a recent relationship. This is not to go against what he thinks is best for him, but maybe an option or a thought he might want to ponder. Point being? Closure is not a prerequisite of moving on.

As a friend, I will bless the day when this friend of mine finds happiness in love, whether behind closed doors, doors left ajar, or doors left open.