Dear Survivor, Celebrate Yourself for The Strength and Grit
In a world full of strife and pain, where we are struck by a pandemic, I want to take a moment to celebrate the courage and grit you have shown throughout life’s challenges during the pandemic, the strength you’ve shown in the face of adversity, and the courage you took to see life out of your comfort zone.
How long has it been since this pandemic struck the world? Long enough for you to start questioning almost everything that has something to do with it! Okay, it’s actually been 15 months of struggling, fighting, living, braving the pandemic, and surviving life. You remember how you felt so unaffected when this all started? How you didn’t think this could actually blow up out of proportion and how much impact will it make not just to you as an individual but the entire world? Despite the news of the pandemic hitting other countries so bad, you were firm to believe that this will come to an end even before it will wreak havoc to your country, let alone to your small city and community. But you got it all wrong! the virus spread like rapid fire in the wild and in a blink of an eye it became a pandemic – a worldwide health threat where nobody is being spared from. It became like the grim reaper claiming so many lives and he’d never been so busy! While the severity of the cases continued to rise, still it didn’t really bother you that much because you felt safe and okay with the “new normal” as we all refer to how we live life in this time of the pandemic. The lockdowns, the stay-at-home thingy didn’t feel so new being someone who have been working from home for years already! But as the days, weeks, and months progressed, you are slowly feeling the impact of it. The possibility of losing your sanity in isolating yourself from the world, with almost no physical interaction due to the restrictions and the fear of getting infected. It has brought a toll on you at some point. You become so scared, not just for your own life but for your children and your loved ones.
While you are thankful that this pandemic hasn’t really hit you the hardest (like losing a family member, or having anyone in the family infected with it), you cannot help but be terrified! Frightened of how tomorrow will look like. You get to face the questions like “Will I still have my work tomorrow?”, What if my employer gets infected, what if I will lose my job? – you are slowly losing your sense of security. And what scared you the most is the question of losing someone you love. With all the worries and fears, you longed to share it with someone wishing it will help ease the emotional burden. You imagined just lying there with someone holding your hands giving you the peace you needed despite the turmoil and fear the pandemic have brought. BUT YOU ARE ALL ALONE.
The prolonged isolation led you to travel to your past almost opening old wounds. The part of your life where you thought you’d never survive, the pain of betrayal, infidelity, and abandonment. It led you to question your worth and your value, even with how you lived your life. What is it that you’ve done to deserve all the pain, the betrayal, and being abandoned. You asked, “Why am I facing this now alone? Don’t I deserve to be with someone? To be loved just as hard as I love?”, Why do people keep on hurting me and ditching me?
You see, you don’t have to experience death to feel the “pandemic pain”. You don’t have to be infected to feel alone and isolated. Just because you are not infected, you are safe and free. This pandemic has put a lot of people into a state of depression out of fear, nothingness, and loneliness. Sadly, even to the point of ending their own lives to be “free”. And before you know it, ANXIETY have hit you! You panicked, you asked, who will protect me? My children? My work? My home? My health? The questions went on and on and on that it almost consumed you. So, how did you arrive to this point writing this letter despite all the reservations and doubts? You held on to your faith, you held on to God’s promise of security and protection. You held on to His faithfulness.
Life & Death
I have seen so many deaths since the pandemic. I have lost some relatives, friends, acquaintances, and I have seen so many of my friends losing their loved ones in the most unimaginable and painful way. Each day a life is being claimed, whether it’s due to the virus or not, lives are lost and I see it through my social media feed, hear it from the radio, and even see it through my own eyes. Rich and poor, famous and regular individuals, the pandemic surely does not discriminate. The daily death toll is painful and disabling. This pandemic, made me see life in a whole new perspective. It made me value life more. I am brought face to face with questions I would’ve never dared ask myself and come up with real and honest answers, confronting myself with my reality and clarity. What am I here for? What is it truly important in my life? What is it that I really cherish? You see, I used to focus on the material things, those that I thought will make me the happiest, the tangible things that I thought will fulfill me. And this crazy need for validation from other people. But NO! Life does not only mean ME. It’s about being selfless and kind. It’s about living it to the fullest but with much responsibility. What matters most is honoring the sacredness of life and according every living thing with respect. Recognize the value of people around you, not just your family and your friends but even those complete strangers, those you do not know because you never know what these people have gone through or are going through. And you’ll never know how much your respect and kindness will bring sunshine to those you cross paths with. Remember that all people are created in the image of God who called us to recognize that everyone on earth is worthy of our respect and care.
Realize that life is short so be kind to yourself too. Be grateful for what you have Infront of you. AND! Do not be afraid to love, no matter how this “love” might’ve hurt you in the past. Love just as hard as you can be, because in the end that’s what matters the most. Tell people you love that you love them. Don’t waste any moment by holding back, being proud, scared, and being selfish. As for me, I want to live my life in a way that’s responsible, meaningful, and purposeful. With that I pray with all my heart for God to hold my hand and guide me through life, help me fulfill my mission while honoring Him with my life – amidst all these.
I hope you continue dear self to live your life to the fullest and not be afraid to face it head on. Leave the past behind, don’t dwell on the past hurts but rather bring the lessons you’ve learned from it today and for the rest of your life so your tomorrows will be much better. Remember that your past hurts and mistakes does not and will never define you. You have come this far, braved the pandemic mostly by yourself, leading your own home while trying to keep everyone around you safe. Always, always choose to believe in yourself, stay grateful for all and everyone that you have in your life, to stay positive amidst all adversities, amidst the uncertainties this pandemic has brought. Explore, do not be afraid to do and learn new things, know yourself more, spread the positive vibe, get out of your box and be a blessing to others. This may sound cliché, but the world has so much negativity already so be a catalyst of positivity (just not the virus okay? 😀 ). While you are on it, make sure to be one with the community and with the world because that is also your responsibility. Be cooperative, be responsible, and be a part of the solution rather than being the scared, self-centered, and irresponsible one.
Finally, choose to love yourself in this time of crisis, and do what makes you happy the most. Do not be paralyzed by the threat this pandemic brings. Continue to push through life. Leave that place that no longer deserve you and push towards that place where you always wanted to be and where God wanted you to be. You’ve got this, trust me. You have survived enough, I am certain that if you give yourself that loving chance, you will show the world, what it feels to not just merely survive but to truly thrive.
With Much Love and Gratefulness,
Em / LadysodaPh
This story is an entry to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project Season 2: Dear Survivor”. The initiative continues to respond to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. The “Write to Ignite Blogging Project” Season 2 is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, with Eastern Communications and Jobstreet as co-presenters, with AirAsia and Xiaomi as major sponsors, and with Teleperformance as sponsor.