The Cause and The Cure.

The Cause and The Cure.

“Man, human frailty is real,” I said as tears ran down my face. I had just heard about a family member’s personal struggles and I lost it.

The person’s story broke my heart.

Not because I felt sorry for them, I sobbed because I saw my own story in theirs.

And all I could think of was the fact that none of us humans is exempt from life’s letdowns, both caused by ourselves or others.

We hurt and get hurt. We grow from traumas others caused us, while passing on a whole set of new traumas to the next person in line.


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It might sound synical but this is not a sentiment of defeat.

As a person who is used to beating herself up to death internally, I know what it’s like to see the world through the lens of defeat, disappointment, and apathy.

This deep realization and acknowledgement of the human condition has grown from my recent life experiences and trip to Indonesia.


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It was such a short (well not really, I left J for 1 full month!) and meaningful trip.

Cuddles with my parents, story time with my brother and his wife, card games with my aunties — for the first time in about 21 years, I finally felt like I had a home.


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That says a lot about the way I grew up, I know. You might be surprised reading this, since a lot of people know that I grew up in a Christian home with parents who are well known for their religious vocation.

But going back to my first point — human frailty does not discriminate.

We are all navigating through it every second, no matter what our calling is.

So you can imagine, it took SO MANY letdowns for us (my family) to get to this point.

Each of us have struggled for SO MANY years both collectively and individually, most of the time behind closed doors. And those struggles have lead to many traumas and toxic tendencies that we all bounce off each other both knowingly and unknowingly. They have robbed us of each other for SO LONG.

Thanks to the pandemic, 2020 as a whole, and God’s unfailing grace — we have all cracked the door open to this magical space where we begin to feel like an actual family again.


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It’s not smooth and perfect, of course. I still am annoyed at many things I noticed here and there.

But for some reason, for the first time in forever, I was okay with letting them slide and just love my family past the letdowns.

A few months ago I went MIA from a ton of people including my family. I couldn’t take the judgement, meddling, and weird comments because my pain was still too raw to be scrutinized by other humans.

I chose to hide and only gather with selective people who’d give me support, warmth, and love in a way that didn’t threaten my peace of mind. A way that’s more aligned with what I knew I needed at the time.


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Was I being selfish? Maybe. But it was how I processed my pain. In the words of Brene Brown:

“The last thing we need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human.”


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Growing up in a Christian family, I am sooooo used to religious points of view and toxic positivity pep talks that have damaged me and those practicing them, more than they have blessed me.

Phrases like, “It’s all God’s will” or “everything happens for a reason” literally make me want to light a house on fire nowadays.

What is it about Christians (or religious people) and pain suppression? Most of us are so good at masking our pain with Bible verses and call it perseverance.

We don’t even validate other people’s pain when they open up to us. It’s almost like it’s taboo to admit that sometimes life sucks, you suck, people suck, and you just don’t get it. As if God would be hurt or offended if we spoke our mind and heart out?

The all-powerful and all-loving creator of the universe brooding over my petty comments? I don’t think so.


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For some reason, a lof of us believe that because we live by a certain faith, we SHOULD have it all together, know better, and do better all the time.

If you questioned the common practice or failed, then you probably don’t love Jesus enough or your faith is BS.

Yikes.


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I believe wholeheartedly that the frail human condition is not a vile thing God turns His face from.

I believe He loves us through it and despite of it.

Heck, I’d even go as far as saying —> He loves us BECAUSE of it.

Why? That’s where He comes in and stand in the gap for us!

That’s the whole point of this partnership, lordship, friendship we all want to build with our creator! We can’t do life on our own and we need a higher power to elevate us and carry us through.

For me, that higher power has a name.

Don’t worry, I am not gonna break into a worship song here.

I just wanted to express that it might not be obvious, but I’m team Jesus all the way. 🙂


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With all of this in mind, I visited home (Indonesia) not knowing how I was going to handle people. I didn’t know if I could stand my ground, protect my mind, and love on people regardless of how I feel about what they think of me and how I should live my life.

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After going through a rough PMDD (google it) cycle during quarantine in late April, I somehow lost the energy to try to prove myself during this trip.

I was done negatively labeling myself, so I decided to lean in and try to see the heart behind what people do or say.


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The more I leaned in the more I realized that we are all bleeding from life’s letdowns. And no one has it figured out! So why should I?

This realization I have about the fact that we humans are all frail and delicate is not a sentiment of defeat.

It is not a dark and hopeless point of view, in my opinion.

Because it comes from a place of grace!

It comes from a realization that hey, I got my struggles, you got yours, but we grow from them.

The people who disappoint us help us grow. The people we disappoint grow from their experience with us, too.

It’s almost like our frailty is both the cause and the cure for our pain.

And acknowledging it is the first step we could take to set our hearts free.

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I’ll leave you with this song by Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers. LISTEN TO THE LYRICS and picture him singing it to you.

It hurts me to hear, to see you got no faith in yourself.

It bothers me now to watch you, you got no faith in your own self.

You listen more to your friends than to your own heart inside.

Well, you listen to them, oh but you hide.

You don’t got nothin’ to be afraid of.

You’re not as bad as you think.

You got yours, I got mine. Let’s learn to navigate through it all with gentleness and enjoy our loved ones as often as we could!

-Deb

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