Things, like people, always come and go. Truly, nothing is permanent in this world. Whether we like it or not, we would always need to deal with a lot of "letting gos" and "moving ons." That's just the reality of life.
Just last night, I lost my phone to some teenager who must have needed it more than I do. My co-passengers advised me to report immediately to the nearby police officer because the suspect was just walking across the street (it happened in Anonas). So I got off the jeepney and started looking for a police officer or at least a barangay tanod. However, I did not find one. With legs shaking and a heart pounding so hard on my chest, I decided to just go home.
Everything happened so fast but that incident taught me valuable lessons that I would carry for the rest of my life.
1. Nothing lasts forever. As I said, things, like people, come and go. So, first of all, don't get too attached to the temporary. Part of my presentation for CLP Talk 3 is a text box that says "Do not invest yourself here!" Because our citizenship is in heaven. Next, because we know that there's no such thing as forever and the only thing that is infinite is God's love, we must make the most of what we have. Dance like nobody's watching, sing like nobody's listening, live like there's no tomorrow. Savor the now! Because that is all that truly matters. Because that's all that we really have. No matter how much effort we put into taking care of our possessions (and the people we treasure) and no matter how hard we try to keep them, sooner or later, we would still lose them. So it's best that we prepare and accept the reality that everything will just pass.
2. Grieve... but not for long. It wasn't the first time that I lost my phone (seven years ago, I was held up and was threatened to be killed with a knife if I won't give my phone to the teenage boy who looked like a gangster), and in both cases, I cried like a baby soon after I have processed everything that took place. Last night, I managed to keep my composure until I reached home. I was even able to rent a computer in the nearby internet cafe just so I could notify my friends and family about what happened. But when I got inside the apartment unit, I sat down and wept like a hungry child (well, for one, I was really hungry then :D) for a few minutes. I just needed to release all the tension inside of me. I wept for my lost contacts, for the photos that were not yet transferred to my laptop, for the inspiring messages from my angels, especially from MP, for the saved homilies and notes, for the video and sound recordings of the mass songs we rehearse for SFC Chorale, for the load, for the unused call minutes, for everything there is in that precious phone. I wept because it was given to me by Papa Jun. I wept because it has become a part of my life. But the thing is, life goes on, with or without it. So I grieved, but not for long. After a few minutes, I was already back to normal. I did my household chores, took a shower, and had a great conversation with my brother who just came from a date with his girlfriend. We eagerly talked about how our day was, we laughed so hard, and we went to our respective beds with smile in our hearts. :)
3. It's not just the other person's fault. Take some of the blame as well. I know I was also responsible for what happened. I should have been more vigilant. I should have sent the text message to my brother before I left the CFC Center. I should not have opened my bag in the middle of Aurora, even if I was already inside the jeepney. I lost my phone partly because of my own fault. I should not put all the blame on the snatcher or on the police officer who wasn't there, or on the jeepney driver who did not warn us of the impending danger, or on anybody else.
4. Forgive... yourself and the offender. Don't be too hard on yourself. Human as we are, we have weaknesses and shortcomings. While I take part of the blame for what happened, I cannot forever condemn myself. I must free myself from the sense of guilt which would not be healthy for me. I must also forgive the offender. I'm sure he didn't want that kind of life either. Maybe he just wasn't given the same opportunities that I have to improve his life state. I definitely abhor his action but that doesn't give me the right to judge him.
5. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts. The people around you have a lot to say. There are those who would give you a litany of what you should have and should not have done. But they don't really know all the facts. You do! So instead of allowing yourself to be stressed by the opinion of others (okay, let's give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe their statements were well-meaning after all), just let them say what they have to say, but choose to keep and treasure only those that could help you become better and not feel worse about yourself or the situation.
6. Choose the more loving response. I could have cursed that teenager. I could have entertained ill thoughts toward him. I could have shouted at him. I could have blurted my anger and resentment to everyone I meet. But because the Lord is challenging me to love more, I chose the more loving response. I prayed for that boy that he may truly use that phone to buy something for his family and that he won't need to do it again in the future. I prayed for all my fellow commuters and to everyone who travels, that the Lord would continue to clothe us with the mantle of protection and keep us from any harm on the road. And though I was a bit disappointed with myself, I chose to forgive and just move on.
7. Be excited for the better, grander plans of God. For the past 27 years of my life, God has never failed to replace everything that I've lost with something (or someone) better. Though there are things (and people) I regard as irreplaceable, God has proven that He knows better. One of my closest brothers in the community shared during a household how peaceful and excited he felt when the woman he was courting rejected his profession of love. Sa lahat ng mga lalaking na-basted, siya na ang pinakamasaya. Why? I loved how he explained it. He told God how that woman makes him happy and how he would love to spend the rest of his life with her. God answered through the woman's rejection, "Son, I have someone else better prepared for you." And he knows very well that when God says so, it will be so. My life verse is taken from Jeremiah 29:11. I believe in God. I believe in His love. I believe in His plans. :)
8. Thank God for everything you have. I lost my phone. Just my phone. I was not harmed. I am very much alive. I have family and friends who comfort me and pray for me. I don't need to beg or to rob just to have food on my plate. I live in a decent apartment unit with all the provisions needed for a healthy living. I have a soft, comfortable bed to rest my back on. I have a job which supports me and my family financially. I have everything I need and more. And for everything that I still have, I am more than grateful. :)
Life is beautiful! God is good! And I gotta keep moving on. ♥
You may report your lost phone to NTC at the following contact details:
Landline Number: 926-7722 | 921-3251 | 920-4464
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Let's be more vigilant. Especially this Christmas season. Above all, make a conscious effort everyday to love more. :)