Peace of Mind

I would do anything for peace of mind! A lot of people are striving for it and are even in constant struggle to achieve it. I would even kill if I have to. But then again, doing so would defnitely not give me what I need. Like I said, I would really do anything for peace of mind… anything!!!

Sadly, peace of mind is not that intrinsic as what other people claim. Yes, I agree with them when they said that it has to start from within. It really has to start from the inside before it blooms to a level that can be more appreciated. However, human as we are, we can never be fully immune to extrinsic factors. Oftentimes, we end up changing our environment in order to set the self-determined prerequisites before working on for inner peace.

Every moment in my recent relationship was a constant struggle for peace of mind. No matter what we (my ex and I) do to resolve our issues, it only ended up to futile efforts. There even came a time when our conflicts can no longer be talked over and was already intractable. I tried to ask for space but it was not granted. In every day that passed, issues were stacking on each other and all the more was it hard for me to forgive him and move forward. I became desperate for peace of mind by changing the situation on another approach and that meant getting out of the relationship. I was desperate to escape!

I remember the times when I used to leave the house with a heavy heart. I would often attend my masters’ class bringing along with me insults that I constantly processed just to look decent in front of my classmates. There were a lot of times that I was scared to go back home because I did not know what waited for me - another fight or another additional insult? I did not show weakness because I had to remain strong for my family and for myself. I got strength in the relationship when all I needed was just support. Totally, peace of mind along with my self-esteem was draining until it vanished.

I lost some things essential to my emotional and psychological intactness. I needed to get them back! Although it was initially difficult for me after the break-up to decide on how to start picking up those elements, looking at myself now being single again, I have gained some of them back and still in the process of fully gaining the sparkle that I once had.

If I ask myself now if I have peace of mind, the answer is a big YES despite the pain of losing him that I constantly bear. If I look at myself now on another angle, I guess it is better dealing with this pain and appreciate peace of mind at the end of the day than following my passion in loving him unconditionally yet not have inner peace at all.

Right now, I am in high hopes that someday I will be with the man who will share passion with me and the celebrated peace of the heart, mind, and soul that I so longed for!

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My Support Systems

I always get excited whenever a Tuesday hit my calendar. It was the time I was scheduled to go to Saint Louis University (SLU) to attend the psych class for my masters in nursing. It was also the time I met my classmates whom I consider as one of the biggest support systems I have in Baguio City. After the class, we would often go to Gloria Jeans and spend some additional time to talk. We even share problems and give psychotherapy to each other if needed.

There are a lot of times when I faced them sad and confused because of problems with my ex who was then my present boyfriend. They let me see a lot of angles and share a variety of opinions and proposed solutions to the then current dilemmas. Some gave an obviously inappropriate advice (could be due to lack of understanding of the salient points) and some said some bright words that hit the right spot. Whenever my ex would inhibit me to go out with the only real social life that I have in Baguio, I would really assert for my right to go with them because it only happens once in every one or two weeks. Unfortunately, it often turned into another conflict between the two us.

It is actually not the amount or appropriateness of the advice that I am after whenever I see my friends. It is simply their presence and the experience of having people willing to spend time to listen and share both positive and negative energies with. I tried to extend my life to these people and what they had to offer because I do not want my world to revolve around my partner. The need for belongingness from friends is something that should not be denied nor forbidden. Nobody has the right to stop you from fulfilling a need.

I have learned to appreciate my support systems not by the quantity or number of people I have but on the quality of friendship and connection that we have in terms of genuineness, sincerity, and the implied promise that whatever happens, you are just there for each other. And yes, my real friends both in Baguio and in Tagum were completely there for me after the break-up.

There was not a day that nobody would call me just to check on how I was doing. While I was in Tagum City to spend the grieving process, my friends in Baguio kept calling on the phone just to listen and reflect with me. On the other hand, my friends in Tagum visited me at home and listened to my stories while offering a hand to hold on whenever I feel like crying. My best friends regularly took me to the local coffee shop to spend time talking and enjoying the wifi. Meanwhile, my mom and older sister would take me to malls and places where we could shop clothes and stuffs or to the supermarket for some groceries.

My Mom, my older sister and my real friends were all there and are still there to keep me sane, to check on my physical safety and emotional intactness, and to keep me diverted whenever I need to. They are my support system and I can not ever move forward without them.

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Anger - the second stage of Grieving

Around three weeks after the break-up, just right after the denial stage, life for me started to turn into a big mess. I had a difficulty in picking myself up and I was in utmost confusion because I did not know where and how to start. I was a total wreck and all I can think of was just to stay in a corner and cry miserably.

I remember the time when I used to close my room and sing with the karaoke machine while tears roll down my face. I would often turn the mp3 player on and lock myself in my room and spend all day crying even while under the tune of the happiest dance songs. One of my favorite activities – cooking - was not a good diversion either since I could not even get started by not thinking of the times when I used to cook my specialty Chopsuey for him and he in return would show his expertise on Adobo for me.

I know that what we had together was very lovely and the break-up is something I consider as one of the biggest downfalls I have in this lifetime. Whenever I suffer miserably in thinking of the loss, I always go back to blaming everything on him. For me, it was just all his fault!

I was not contented with just believing that he was to blame for everything. I felt the need to hear from all my friends that it was indeed his fault. Hearing things against him from people I consider my allies seemed like music to my ears. Every time I felt down I always talk to my mom and friends of how and why he was to be blamed. It never fails to boost my ego.

Speaking of the ego, anger was the only way for my ego to rebuild itself. It was an emotion that I know I should not contain otherwise I will blow up. It took me three months to deal and manage my anger. It was a good thing that this emotion did not get in the way of my job because every time I face my students I automatically shift to the teaching mode in full flow but, during break s I always deal with the sadness and the anger that comes right after it.

It took me a lot of power to finally master the skill in managing my anger until it slowly left my system. When the point came that I was no longer angry at him, I realized that my ego had already mustered the strength for it to receive painful blows from the truths. That was the time I reflected on my own contributions to our problems and facing the fact that it takes two to tango a good and a bad dance.

The time to blame him was over and the time to blame myself began. I realized that if it were not for anger, my ego would not have been prepared for the next ego-breaking stages of the grieving process.

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