March 20


The Opposite of #Blessed

By Odyssa

March 20, 2023

It's been three years since the first lockdown was implemented in the Philippines

For most of us, the last few years was a cross between awful and beautiful. The awful occupies a significant space in our memories. It changed the way we work and live.

As for me, those years were when I felt most unlucky, overlooked by the same hand that showers blessings to mankind. 

Matters of health and relationships disrupted plans I thought were firm enough to stand on. I had no answers then and have no answers now. I'm not even sure if it's worth finding out.

A dog rescued from a dumpster is now in a better place. However, his life can still improved by getting adopted into a loving home. Please like BiBi The Shelter Facebook page if you are in Hanoi, Vietnam and plan to adopt a dog. 

A long interrogation

Is there any use to knowing why our circumstances happened the way they did? How do we cope? How do we survive a tragedy?  When do we cut ties and end a chapter?  If we did find out the answers, what would we do? 

There's nothing more to change. 

Should we fill ourselves with regret and try to be better people to yield better results?

Books, experts, and religion tell us to get rid of negativity, use the law of attraction, and stay positive. The formula does not work for everybody. 

For Kate Bowler, mom, cancer patient, and writer, "there is no formula. We live and we are loved and we are gone."

The only thing that's certain

These tragedies leave us in unspeakable pain. Years may take for recovery to catch up. Sometimes, no amount of time, therapy, and self-care can lead us to the recovery we're hoping for. The agony only becomes more bearable but never completely gone. 

What made these life events useful was how they, despite the rough endings, served as caution to this principle-

the unpredictability of life is what we can count on. All of us, with no exception, are under this sweeping truth.

Another dog rescued by BiBi the shelter, ready for adoption. He used to be unlucky then a kind woman took him in. His fate changed. Hanoi, Vietnam.

What doesn't kill you makes you

In retrospect, I can point out things that I missed and should have done better. But saying "what did not kill me made me stronger" may be inaccurate. 

What they gave me was a broader, more grounded view of this life we are in. That in one blink, everything can be taken away. That the most important things we hold close to us are quick and easy to lose. 

We lose people before we can learn to live without them. -Kate Bowler

What doesn't kill us does not make us stronger. It simply makes us. 

This is a response to this writing prompt by Kate Bowler


About the author

Odyssa is a writer from the Philippines. She is the author of Like A New Sun Rising: A Collection of Poems on Love. When not working or writing at home, she's out walking their dogs. She enjoys traveling, practices yoga, gets lost in books and Korean drama. To her, making time for a daily practice or ritual is the best gift to one's self.

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