Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Rise of the Phoenix

The road to redemption is long and toiling.My soul has gone weary,my heart weak.The wings that lifted me up had betrayed me.With broken and torn wings I tried to rise above the storm...over and over.Defeat and death were right before my eyes.My silent screams and dry tears had remained concealed.I just can't show it...but I was hoping that a friend would see beyond the aura of control and freedom!

I was in bondage of my own prison...I was behind bars that robbed me of my freedom.I was in chains of blissful misery.The fear of breaking free was too unbearable.I WAS AFRAID OF FREEDOM...I was not ready to take the burden of freedom...freedom would mean losing the meaning of my surrender!

But I had been here before.And I should have known I needed to embrace my shadow...the destroyer of my sanity.I have plunged into the dark side of my own humanity before but I know there's so much more of the unknown.I am lamed by my fears.Fear that I might never come out of the pitch.But I know myself somehow.The delay doesn't mean I won't take the jump.

All I needed was a greater fear...a fear that is far more terrifying than my fear of losing meaning.Existing in two worlds,my inner phantom and my objective pilgrimage, half-hearted was never appealing.I needed to be whole...then the fear of giving up on my search for deeper meaning revelled with my fear of losing what I had previously found.

Then I broke into tears.Shed off my torn wings.Gave up my heart.Set my soul free.I let the fires devour the very essence of me until there was nothing left of me but ashes.The flames were fierce but by allowing myself to be burnt its blazing strength had become part of each and every particle of the ashes I've left.By losing everything,I have been redeemed.

The Phoenix has resurrected!

October 19, 2010

Silent Screams

All the pain in me is incomparable to the emptiness I feel.
The silent cries that sent out soundless sobs
had let me shed tears that made me blind.
My spirit has gone weaker as I fake a smile
and the void grows overwhelming as I try to fight.
I clamor in secret, my suffering unknown
although I have fervently hoped that someone would hear
what I could not reveal!
But everybody is deaf, and everybody is blind
and so my silent screams remain eternally unheard
and burried in this dungeon inside.

My Confessions/Archives
Phantom Pilgrim
7 Aug 2008

The Art of War

Sun Tzu said, all wars are based on deception. If life is a war of wits, then one must ironically reveal how weak he can be to win the fight. Through, which one would give the illusion to his opponents that he can be underestimated. And when the enemy strikes, one would know the strategies by which these people fight their battles...and it is by knowing one's enemies that one wins.One cannot fight what is unknown to him. It is always better to allow people to underestimate your capacity for when you reveal your real strength, it is then that you become vulnerable. When your opponents think less of you,you'll catch them off-guarded and when you strike back you will have greater chances of having them defeated.

But nobody really wins in wars. The real victor is s/he who found the way to prevent wars.

Phantom Pilgrim
23 November 2010


October 17 at 11:23pm

I need someone who shares the deepest desires of my heart…
Someone who could share the couch with me on a lazy afternoon watching movies or singing along with our favorite songs, and would never hold back his tears when moved by the movie scenes or the mundane truths depicted in the movie lines...
Someone who would not ask why my music collection genre is so varied...tribal (celtic, ska, lumad, gnawa, chibumenga, fuji, apala), folk and country, classic, ballad, R n' B, Slow Rock, Pinoy Bato to symphonic metal...
And did I mention, someone who won't be irritated when I'd pause the dvd player to jot down the tag lines in the movie?
Someone who would love and crave for my recipes and beg me to cook or bake for him,
Someone who loves kids more than beer,
Someone who can kneel and pray with me,
Someone who would understand that I don't like parties,
Someone who's willing to embrace the fact that I can't sleep well without my mosquito net covering my feet,
Someone who would understand that I need to be constantly assured that he loves me,
Someone who would love to laugh and bathe in the rain with me,
Someone who would understand why I believe in Soulmates and reincarnations,
Someone who would miss me when I'm not around,
Someone who would want me to love him and teach me how to love him,
Someone patient enough to understand that I have never been a man and that I need him to tell me and show me kindly how he wants me to love him...
Someone whom I could converse with about politics, war, policy-making, human behavior, astronomy, astrology, children and babies, business, Queen Seon Deok, Sun Tzu, Paulo Coelho, Viktor Frankl, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Friedrich Nietzche, Aristotle, Jesus, Gaia, Zeus, Hera, Sakura, Sakuragi, Rokawa, Hotohori, Tamahome, Nakago,Mamuro,etc,
Someone who would forgive me whenever I'd spend time reading about ancient and lost civilizations,
Someone who would not think I'm crazy with my fascination in the possibilities of time travel, whiteholes, and wormholes,
Someone who may laugh but not ignore my ideas that astrology can be supported by astrophysics,
Someone who would love the beauty of nature as much as I do,
Someone who would share to me his thoughts,
Someone who would be willing to share an email address with me,
Someone who would not be offended and be defensive when I happen to take hold of his mobile phone,
Someone who knows what he wants and would allow me to be part, even in the background, of how he plans to get it,
Someone who will not see me as a rival but rather a partner, a supporter, a source of extra strength, a well of unconditional love,
Someone who would love to spend the weekends with me and our kids,
Someone who can make me laugh, and would laugh at my humorous sense,
Someone who can sit beside me stargazing without a word and without getting bored,
Someone who could watch the sunrise or sunset with me with a cup of vanilla or mocha frapuccino,
Someone who's a bit like me, a cracked Bisaya pa, LIKI. =)
And someone who would enjoy hanging out at National Book Stores for a free reading.Ü
Someone who can see things beyond the conventional... I would say, I often fall first for a man's ideas, ideals and talents before I get attracted to him physically...

Hahaaay...naa pa kahay buhing binuhat na ingon niani karon? Hinaut pa unta nga naa pa! =)

This someone should better be my Soulmate. Only my Soulmate can understand this complex simplicity in me...

♥ mjyl ♥

Travelling Back in Time

My friend uploaded pictures of the FG Choir and our Theater Arts Guild in high school.Thank you so much,Nichie Balaga Taggart!Looking at the pictures sends me into a nostalgic drift. Had my mama allowed me to pursue my admission to the Psychology,&Music programs in UPD I would have most probably opted to take up music and theater acting, and who might have known, I might have had the courage to pursue my passion--stage acting!

But I guess, I am really meant to embrace psychology. I had first took and passed in the qualifying exam for the BS Zoology program in MSU but changed my mind at the very last minute and thought about pursuing political science, but ended up taking the qualifying exam for the Psychology program! After all, I have made up my mind when I was in grade six that I will become like Dr. Maxwell Maltz, the author of the book my Mama gave me to help me...Power Psycho-Cybernetics. His book helped me understand that I was not living a normal life and that by experiencing it myself, I can understand better kids who are like me.Taas ayo ako mission sa una but when I took up psychology, I realized that understanding oneself is the hardest thing to do! But anyway, with Dr. Maltz's book, I learned how to look into the eyes of people, managed to carry casual conversations, and most importantly, to smile! Smiling was a struggle for me before...only my Papa could make me laugh way back then. Cracking a joke was next to impossible. But in MSU, with Maltz's book and of course God's miracles I've faced my dragons and slain some of my monsters! Maybe I was challenged too when my Mama told me I can't go to UP Diliman because I'm too shy and sickly to survive there. Da, gikulbaan hinoa ug samot ako Mama pag bargain nko na sige, sa Marawi nalang ko kay naa ra sa Mindanao. I wanted to go somewhere far, where nobody knows me. I got tired of living under the shadows of my Mama. Whenever people would see me, they'd always recognize me to be my Mama's daughter and then they would expect me to be just like her, but I wasn't. She has this overwhelming image and reputation in the schools I attended. She was known to be confident and intellectually outstanding! I was not confident and I never wanted to talk about intellectual abilities. I just wanted to learn but never be compared. And though they would say liwat ko sa akong Mama except that I am too shy, I never wanted to be compared to her. I knew I was a different person, apart from her although I wanted to be changed – to be sociable. The best place to work on with my transformation is somewhere far, where I can build my own name and image. By God's grace, somehow I made it. In MSU, I am called and identified by my name: Mary Jhunitz (although my name is simply a combination of my parents' names, but at least I am Jhunitz, and not just the daughter of Jhun and Nitz). It felt good! And though it was never as I had always thought, that I only get to hold responsibilities in school because of my Mama’s reputation, I had the courage to face those who doubted my abilities back at home…that I deserved the recognition and trust that were bestowed on me by most people. :D

Somehow, the thought of what my life would have been had I not pursued Psychology still crosses my mind. But I have never doubted the truth that I have always believed that I am on the right track. With this field, I found the courage and the ability to look at my struggles in the eye! I understood my childhood depression and suicidal tendency in my Physiological, and Clinical Psychology classes…that my suicidal ideation and later, attempts were due to my depression brought about by my medications for my bronchopneumonia and other complications. I have come to appreciate the thing that my Mama was telling me that I miraculously survived considering my weak immune system and to be relatively mentally normal despite all the medications I had since birth until I was six. My Mama and Papa had to make a decision when my Pediatrician told them they can choose to either let me go or let me have my medications with a 95% risk of impairing my mental ability, that is, I’d be mentally retarded. But Mama declared that the Holy Infant will always keep me safe and decided to let me have the medications. Somehow, my mental capacity remained relatively normal but I was struggling with my emotions (not to mention my emotional Zodiac sign…hahaha). Psychology helped me through it… It’s God’s way of helping me deal with this lifetime’s challenge! And miraculously, I have dealt with my suicidal tendency without any medical interventions…only faith and determination! Someday, I hope to inspire other suicidal individuals to believe that they too can overcome it. It wasn’t easy, the emptiness was so overwhelming and death was so inviting…especially on tough times, with just my best friend to lean on even when he himself could not understand why I was feeling that way…but spirituality, and the will to overcome what you love the most (death=deliverance) and embrace that, which scares you (life=suffering) makes the impossible probable (living=freedom)! :D

Looking back, I would not change a thing… I needed to fall, so I could stand stronger. I had to be broken down into pieces so I would long to be whole and appreciate the journey to wholeness as each missing piece is put into its proper place one at a time. Everything works for good to those who believe! But even my faith has been tested by reason and science but God held me closer to Him with each step I took away from Him. He is simply stubborn and He believes in me! And so I have faith that everything I went through plays a very important role in His great plan for me and the lives of the people I’ll come in contact with. I will never stop making mistakes because I never want to stop learning from them. I am not perfect, not even close, and so I am trying to be a little considerate of myself. That’s the only way I would be able to recognize how I was wrong, only then can I start learning from my mistakes. :-) ...and if being right here is another mistake, then this must be the most right kind of wrong I have ever done in my entire life! haha

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fulfilling A Covenant

My Mama told me that she had to offer my life to the Holy Infant when I was just about a week old. My parents were a young, struggling couple. I was a very fragile baby. She was asked by the doctor to choose, have me undergo treatment and take a 95% risk of mental retardation or to just let the pain go away and let me go. She declared with conviction that I can have the treatment and I will live a normal life and she'll raise me to be someone who'll make a difference. I survived but spent my early to middle childhood in the hospital. I grew up to be socially withdrawn....and suicidal. I could not play with other kids because the slightest physical activity would send me to a week of stay in the hospital. I had my own world...the ideas and stories I found in my Mama's books. The time came when I became dissatisfied with just understanding stories by pictures. I got curious with what is written in books with no pictures on them at all. I felt the need to learn how to read at 4 years old. I learned under my Mama's instruction. Then I learned from those books that there is more to read than fairy tales. I read about life and meaning...and that of other people's sufferings. I wanted to do something at 5 years old but I was too weak. I felt frustrated and started to become suicidal. Then at six years old I had an accident that had my right hand rehabilitated. I was supposed to stop schooling but refused to, so I had to learn how to write with my left hand...I did. The experience boosted my confidence. I was the only one in our class who could write with both hands. But my memory was affected after I went through general anesthesia with the accident I had with my right arm. Frustration crept into me feeding my depression. The tendency to hurt myself was still there. It was then that I started to get interested in understanding why I was so different. In grade school, my Mama bought a book by a Psychiatrist and Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Maxwell Maltz called, Power Psycho-Cybernetics. That was then that I fell in love with psychology. The struggle against depression and suicide ideation (and attempts) continued. Then I was to take up BS Zoology in college but eventually decided to enroll in Psychology. To cut the story short, I defeated my suicidal attempts and depression when I understood its cause. A spiritual struggle preluded a deeper faith that helped me rise above my tendency. Taking up a field that is not yet so widely accepted and appreciated as a profession in the country entails the possibility of engaging into a much more demanded career, teaching. But never did I dream of teaching...I was simply too shy to be one. I would never be credible I thought (I was a cracked pot), I wasn't ready nor interested. Then I got jobs. Ironically, I taught in a nursery school and enjoyed being surrounded with kids but never really planned to pursue teaching older children, worst young adults. I tried office work but I got bored. Got other job offers but never really jumped into them. Then I felt like I had no other choice but to try teaching. I was blessed to get hired in a University. I love hearing ideas but struggled with the paradigm shift in the instructional approach of the institution I was trained and that of my employer.

While teaching, a student asked when I started to love teaching. I didn't know what to say but said, I still don't. But I love it, I was just not convinced that it is my passion.

Then this morning, the Story of Teddy Stallard and his 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Thompson send me to sobbing in a room filled with fellow teachers from all over Davao Region. Then I recalled what my Mama told me, that she offered my life to God and that she'll raise me to be someone who'll make a difference. I never really felt that I had lived the life that my Mama has intended me to live. I was not a pious student, I got extended in college for insisting on a thesis topic I was discouraged to pursue but still pursued. I often lost track in academic work because of spreading myself too thin in extra- and co-curricular activities. I was suicidal. I doubted God's existence. I questioned authorities. I challenged taboos. I was unconventional. I was not the perfect daughter that I should have been if I were to offer my life to God. I thought of joining the nunnery as a child but realized I might just leave before I spend a year inside. Then I tried to ask my Mama after my graduation in college to let me join the Maryknoll Missioners in Africa but she refused. Then I just found myself before a room filled with young faces waiting for me to speak and tell them what's the day's lesson.

Stallard and Thompson's story moved me and made me realize I am destined to be here. I am meant to touch lives, as many as I can. There might be times when I feel so incompetent but it must never prevent me from fulfilling His will. I have to do my best to do His will. I have been praying for this all my life, to find my passion and God revealed it to me at a very unexpected moment. I was having second thoughts at attending the seminar this morning in fact. I am home...I thirst for knowledge...and teaching is just the perfect way of life for pursuing learning and continuously sharing and partaking everything with everyone.

God is great! He paves the way for our own good! Everything works for good! It feels a lot better to know I am meant to be here, that I made the right choice...and it was never a mistake to be just here instead of being somewhere else.

I am fulfilling my Mama's covenant with God 29 years ago...

On Letters to Juliet

10/23/2010 10:26:30 PM

I am supposed to write about something else, graduate school requirements. But my heart is telling me I need to let the emotions flow. I had just seen the movie, Letters to Juliet. It was light yet very heartwarming. But it never appeared to me that early how I could possibly relate to it that much. The plot was far from my own story but the struggles Sophie was facing basically reflected my own battle.

She loved her fiancé. She tried to live in his world. She did her best to love everything that was dear to him until she felt she was not special to him anymore. That he simply looks at her but never sees her after all. Couples were supposed to want to be with each other all the time even when they really have to be apart. They are supposed to miss each other so much that when they are not together they could hardly wait to be reunited in each other’s arms. But she didn’t feel that Victor felt that way about her. He could go on for days without her. When he is on the phone with her, he would hastily say goodbye for some work to be done, and when he is with her he is always on the phone talking to someone for some work to be done. But Viktor loved her, no doubt. It was just that he loved other things more.

I had not identified with Juliet at the start of the movie not until she started writing that letter for Claire. I realized I had so much of her in me when Claire read that letter that Sophie wrote for her. Listening to it was like listening to the very words of my heart. Juliet believed in the same things I believe about love. I am a psychology professor, not a writer nor a poet. I am supposed to look at emotions objectively but this is how I was born, stubbornly romantic. I am a behavioral scientist who happens to believe in destiny, Soulmates, and TRUE LOVE. I AM romantic and I surely hope to be found by a man who would be in the same length of experiencing life as I am.

I have studied about love and attraction. I have always been convinced that, “birds of the same feathers flock together” but was kept attracted to men who rarely shared anything in common with me. The countless failures and failed relationships I had made me think that maybe I am never meant to be with anybody, blamed my lovers for what happened, and made myself suffer from guilt. But Sophie’s story allowed me to be a little bit more convinced that it was nobody’s fault…we were simply incompatible. I am romantic and very particular with fidelity, honesty, commitment, and the preservation of the traditional values of the family. My former lovers then had a different perspective. It all had to end. But now, I am more confident that God has not brought me this far just to drop me off. He loves to see the rest of my love story just as He has always planned it to be. In all of my breakups, I have never completely gone over a previous relationship before I jump into another. But this time it has been different. For the first time in my life, I truly understood and embraced the truth that the very cause of my failed relationships was incompatibility. This enlightenment has made me forgive my former lovers and myself. This forgiveness had released me from the chains of bitterness, suffering and unnecessary sense of guilt. For the very first time, after several failed relationships I have moved on, completely... I have gotten over with my recent breakup, surprisingly while single.

Certainly, God wants me to be psychologically ready for my Soulmate. He wants to see me grow mature. He wants me to fall for my Soulmate not because I needed to, to get over with somebody else, but because I simply could not help but love him! God works in amazing ways, truly. I will not worry from now on. I am in GOOD HANDS. I will not choose who to love; I am asking God to do it for me. I surrender my will to Him. I will not even worry about how I will know that it is him. There was nothing He ever did that has not benefited me in the long run. He wants me to feel complete first before I find myself looking into my Soulmates eyes…because He wants me to know who exactly I am looking for and what I truly need by knowing first who I really am and what it is that I certainly need. Somewhere, I know there is someone who has been praying for me to find him too and like me, God is still molding him into that man I am looking for and truly need just as God is shaping me into that woman that my Soulmate has been praying for.

I suggest, you watch the movie if you haven't done so. It's sweet and is definitely an eye-opener...simple but heartwarming.