February 26, 2020 - Wednesday
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Davao City, Philippines

Sweet and schmaltzy

February 14, 2020 - Friday 4:02 AM by Eva Aranas Angel

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Being married to you Ted is almost pedagogic, an inexplicable concoction of -ologies, theories, academics, isms, ad infinitum. Like you say, we have often a meeting of the minds, despite how polarized we are. ‘We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make our world’ from Siddharta Gautama. With our choices, we define the kind of marriage we make. We carve out and create the marriage we have.

Over the years, we’ve had peaks and troughs, the occasional times we hit rock bottom, the clichéd down but not out. Because we have a God who’s bigger than our biggest problems, we soldier on, with ‘faith, hope and love.' Yes, 1 Corinthians 13.

Ours isn’t a marriage made in heaven not only because nothing ever is, but also because, opinionated that I am and the lawyer that you are, we also argue at times. But props to you for tolerating me because as you know, sometimes, I argue even with myself. Hormones.

Instead, we are a marriage of two people either of whom knows how to say ‘Sorry’ and ‘Thank You.' But more importantly, we have a marriage of two people who know how to forgive ‘seventy times seven.' We are a marriage between two ‘forgivers.'

Life with you has been my redemption, my greatest blessing, my innermost strength. Despite all this, I must confess that a tiny part of it at the same time is my deepest sorrow because, yes, when it comes to loved ones, I worry a lot, you know.

I learned from the words of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk who says ‘When we feed and support our own happiness, we are nourishing our ability to love. That’s why to love means to learn the art of nourishing our happiness. Understanding someone’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name. If you don’t understand, you can’t love.’

But as a Buddhist friend always reminds me - ‘always keep your equanimity of mind and spirit. Anger is cheap and easy. Repose and stillness are invisible hard work.’ Perhaps this is why we are still together despite life’s vicissitudes.

Lately, we’ve been beset with what would seem like insurmountable challenges, my faith wobbly and quivering in resignation and helplessness. But you have always taken my hands, clasped both of them in prayer and encouraged me to keep the faith. That if I cannot trust His ways, I must trust His heart. Because of your steadfastness and faith in the God of mercy and the God who heals and saves, here we are, prostrate, humbled, bent on our knees in prayer.
Because of you, I am living the words of Albert Camus , ‘In the midst of winter, I found, there was within me, an invincible summer.’

In spite of it all, ‘you are my sun, my moon, and all of my stars ‘ ~ e. e. cummings

I’d do it all over again, if I have to. Happy Valentine, my Love.
 

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