When do we lose our innocence?
When do we wake up and decide we are not good enough?
When do we stand in front of the mirror and tell ourselves we are not as beautiful as someone else?
When do we look at our backpack and think about the things our classmates have but we don’t?
When do we trade the childlike glee for the fear, the sadness, the feeling of inadequacy?
When do we start putting ourselves down?
When do we decide to break ourselves?
When do we start feeling unworthy?
I can’t remember the first time I told myself I was fat.
I can’t remember the first time I told myself I couldn’t do something.
I can’t remember the first time I told myself I would fail.
But I sure as heck know I said those things to myself many times before.
But what I still remember was the fullness of my heart when I finally learned to ride a bike without training wheels.
I still remember the smile on my face when my crush told me my drawing of Titanic looked good.
I still remember the relief I felt when I accidentally dented a still car while riding a bike but the driver, instead of getting mad, told me to be careful next time, saying he can fix his car but I only have one life.
I still remember my embarrassment when I peed my pants in kindergarten yet the school nurse assisted me to change without getting disgusted.
I still remember how my classmate cried because he didn’t like what he got from the Christmas party exchange gift so I volunteered to trade.
I still remember the staff that patiently and gleefully assisted my cousin and I when we got lost at a theme park.
I still remember kindness.
I still remember deep-rooted happiness.
I still remember hope.
I still remember genuine laughter.
I still remember being true to my feelings and saying them out loud.
I still remember forgiveness.
I still remember loving and being loved.
Of course, I still remember the disappointment when I first got a grade of 79.
I still remember crying inside the school bus because I was teased for not wanting to be without my grandma.
I still remember the sadness that enveloped me after my grandma left for Canada (and how I started a sob party at home with all my relatives).
I still remember buying a shirt and never putting it on worried what other people might think about me.
I still remember my desperation when I failed three subjects in college and had no idea what I wanted to do next in life.
I still remember how completely hopeless I was after falling like never before.
I still remember the feeling of being rejected for the first time.
As I look back on the good, I somehow still feel the same fullness and happiness I felt back then. And somehow I remember the bad but it doesn’t hurt the way it did before or doesn’t hurt one bit anymore.
Is that naivety? Is that foolishness? Is that magic? Is that faith? Is that optimism?
I think it’s just time healing wounds. It’s us becoming wiser, more aware of who we are, and knowing how to rise back up.
All I know is that the good will always triumph over the bad, the fullness will always last longer than the emptiness, the highs will always remain as the lows pass away, and the richness of life will always stay with us as the dullness disappears.
Every day is a decision to remember the good and forget the bad.
Every day is a decision to tell yourself you’re even more than just enough.
Every day is a decision to take hold of your thoughts, actions, and, ultimately, your life.
One fine Sunday, my hands were raised in worship of Him, the Almighty, the Messiah, the only God I know.
A few months before, my eyes would’ve already shed too many tears. I have been sweetly broken far too many times before. His presence during my brokenness has become home to me.
But this time was different.
This time I had no tears to shed. This time I had no broken parts for Him to fix. This time I felt an overflow. This time was a quaint smile. This time was a cool breeze. This time was a warm embrace. This time was a genuine contentment. This time was paradise with Him by my side.
This time was a realization that all of my brokenness has already been healed when He laid down His life at the cross of Calvary thousands of years ago.
The truth is, we shouldn’t be broken anymore. One glance upon the cross, one call upon His name, we can be whole again.
We will always lack something, but we will always have a lot more than what we lack.
We will always fail at something, but we will always succeed at something else.
So, why are you not rooting for yourself?
They say, “All good things come to an end.” But so do bad things.
Everything ends, but you choose which lives on even after they end.
What choice will you make today?
(Featured Image by Kristina MM)