To wish love on your pain

About a month ago, I attended my first The Better Story Project workshop entitled Love in 8 Chapters. It was about love, obviously, and I attended because: (1) I figure it’s about time I attended one; (2) Isa is a good friend of mine; and (3) it’s about love, and everyone knows I’m a romantic sap. ((Not lately, though, but that’s another story.))

I went to the workshop, ears, heart, and mind open, because I wanted to learn things about love. Things I don’t know, or remind myself of the things I knew but somehow forgot. It was a great night, and yes, I did learn a lot, and I’ve been meaning to blog about them but somehow I couldn’t find the words until now. There are several things that I want to write about, but for today, I will focus on these lines that the speaker shared, something she wrote in her journal some years back:

To set yourself free, you need to remember to love again. To sincerely wish love on the source of your pain, without want for anything in return.

That was all I got to copy when it was flashed on the screen, but it was enough. I kept on going back to this in the past days and weeks, especially during my prayer time. It’s a lovely, lovely thought, but it’s a hard one to really live out. To sincerely wish love on the source of my pain? Are you crazy? I’ve always thought that I could really, truly and sincerely say “I’m happy for you” when the time came that I need to say it, but the time did come and it killed me that I couldn’t say it. Because guess what? I’m not happy.

Okay, fine, I mean, I am happy, sort of, because other people are happy, but I am not happy for myself. And it’s so hard to say you’re happy for someone when inside it all feels like just a big lie. Who was I kidding, anyway?

That, ladies and gentlemen, is my ego talking right there. Down, ego. Down.

But what did I quote about joy again, at the start of the year?

Because joy and delight are not happy feelings: they are the choices to let love win. They are the choice to trust love triumphant.

I’ve been going back to what Carisse, the speaker in the workshop, said, and then back to that line about joy. It’s hard to wish love and joy on the source of your pain, because of the simple fact that they are the source of your pain. But think about it this way, too: somehow, the source of your pain isn’t solely just another person, but also, you.

In a way, I am also a source of my pain. Of course, I don’t mean to hurt myself, but there were many times that I did some things that caused me pain unintentionally. Or, you know, sometimes they are intentional, but in the figurative sense. More often than not, our actions and words and thoughts also become a source of our own pain. Like when we can’t let go of something. Or when we refuse to forgive. We don’t just refuse to let go or forgive others, but we also refuse to let go of our faults and forgive ourselves in the process.

So in a sense, wishing love and joy on the source of our pain is also wishing love and joy for ourselves. Right?


It’s hard, but I’m working on it. I’m working on choosing to take delight even when it’s painful, to wish love and joy on others and myself, even when it’s the last thing I ever want to do. Because joy is what happens when you let love win, even if it’s hard and painful.

I mean, just look at Jesus on the cross. That’s pain right there, the one we brought about because of our sins. But guess what? More than pain, that’s also love. The most triumphant love, ever.

And it’s the kind of love that has and will always set us free.

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2013 Mixtape

You know that I don’t actually really make mix tapes, or recorded one in my life, ever? I mean the actual cassette tapes, because I made mix CDs as gifts to friends (and crushes), because it was fun and I was one of the first few who had CD burner before every household that had a computer had it. I remember making this a Valentine’s Day playlist in college (ooh, idea for next year) and gave it to several friends because why can’t I give a gift to my friends on Valentine’s Day?

While I haven’t made mix CDs / tapes for other people, I still make playlists for myself. Like I mentioned in previous related posts, you can tell my mood mostly from the music I listen to (or the lyrics I tweet).

So for my first 2013 recap, I present you my soundtrack for 2013. 13 songs for 2013, songs that aren’t included in the “EP” I listed earlier this year. :D

Warning: #feels all over.

(But perhaps not the kind of feels you are expecting.)

Image source
Image source

1. Start With Meby Meredith Andrews (Worth It All)

[youtube b4izl8DjGHQ]

My life is an empty cup
Fill it up, fill it up!
I wanna hear every rescued heart cry
You’re enough, You’re enough!
Break what needs breaking
‘Til You’re all we see
And start with me, start with me, yeah

I heard this song in one Boundless podcast and immediately bought it. I think it was one of those nights at work when I had a hard time sitting still, and this song helped me be still in so many ways. This also became my Lent song.

2. Not With Hasteby Mumford & Sons (Babel)

[youtube jIKE2_ZoUFE]

And I will love with urgency but not with haste

Funny thing: when I first tried to listen to a Mumford & Sons song during one road trip, I didn’t like them that much because I didn’t really like their sounds. And then, my favorite adopted brother gave me this song for my 27th birthday, and I learned to listen to their lyrics…and well, wow. That’s all I can say: wow.

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