Last Friday, our family decided to pull out on our decision to build a house and move back to the province. At first it all seemed surreal. It has been a rollercoaster of emotions as the decision to leave was made overnight. There were a handful of heavy days in the past two months when voices were raised from the stress that came along with such a huge life decision.
And we were truly set to leave. We paid an architect, engineers, and an interior designer to complete the plans of our house. And our documents are currently in the town’s Fire Department, awaiting clearance. In fact, my mom had already packed the family pictures in our living room.
But I won’t be talking about the reasons why we stayed, rather about what I learned so far from this experience.
Surrender is not easy. More than anything, I am attached to the people who live here in Manila and NCR+. My friends to me are my family because since moving to the Metro for college, we’ve been away from my relatives. My current home is a place where people have come to see me for more than a decade. My parents have embraced my friends, especially those they got to meet. My home now is full of warm memories of my family and friends having dined and told stories, and occasionally slept over. I love how, despite how messy and aging it is, my home has embraced so many people even for just a short time.
Learning to let go of these attachments was the course I had to take during these past two months and it wasn’t easy. It’s like being able to understand “surrender” theoretically but unable to experience it within me. I listened to countless podcasts about love being something that comes form within and not from outside of one’s self. I’ve read Gospel teachings about putting our trust in the Lord and surrendering our worries. Every day I prayed that my spirit be able to feel the peace of this surrender. But I only got, perhaps, midway.
Now that we’ve decided to stay, the lesson on surrender remains to be learned. It’s like a journey I can’t turn back from, it confronts me despite the absence of the pressure to leave.
I’ve noticed that some of my friends remained with me while I was being heavy and difficult during this time, while some of them weren’t around. I realized that people leave, regardless of whether I stay or go. And I struggle to hold on to a love that is no longer as palpable as before. How do I remain loving regardless of the circumstance? How can I be in surrender regardless of whether things go my way or not?
Regardless of which path we were to chose from this crossroad, I was meant to be confronted with this lesson. Even more so, grace will abound if I open myself to it.