I wish God will turn back time when what makes me happy was just watching TV, when it was still easy to forget hurtful memories, when just a scoop or two of ice cream can ease the pain, when it was still normal to throw tantrums, when it was still valid to lock doors and weep silently. As a school-age child, I was a crybaby. I easily shed tears on instances such as when my younger brother would tease me and I was totally pissed off, or when I hate my new haircut, when I don’t get what I want or when my mom would scold me. I would go into my room where I would cry and cry while imagining things like leaving home and requesting God to take me in His palace where there is no grief. I would always think what will they do if they found out I’m dead? Will they regret what they did to me? Because of my imagination of worst scenarios, tears will easily pour out and swallowing saliva will be hard because of an invisible lump in my throat. I’ll stay locked in my room for hours until I fall asleep. And when I wake up,the pain is gone. Most of the time my dad will knock and pacify me.No one can appease me but him. I never thought that the same thing will happen again, not especially on New Year ’s Day of 2012. While we were having our breakfast, we had a discussion about participating in games which I said that I hate. My mom had stated something about employment that sounds like if I stay as I am I wouldn’t be able to find a job.(Man, how come it went to employment? What has games something to do with it?)My dad who is always on my side on such times said, “She’ll be able to find one at the right time.” As simple and as petty as it may seem but what my mom said hurt me. What did she mean by that? It was not the best time to say those words, not when I am dying to have one, not on new year’s day for Pete’s sake! In my mind, “You just don’t know how much I wanted to be employed. Who wouldn’t want to? If you haven’t asked me to take up nursing I shouldn’t be in this shoes in the first place!You never know how many hospitals did I apply just to get ignored and be frustrated in the end. You do not know the feeling of being useless. You do not know how hard it is for me to accept the fact that the fruit of all my labors and hardships when I was studying were all gone to waste! You do not know how much I long to earn my own money!” But of course I didn’t voice it out. I just cried all day until my eyes were puffy. My brothers didn’t ask what the matter is but my parents did. I didn’t respond to my mom but to my dad, I told him the real reason which he kept as a secret.(See?My dad is really a spoiler!He’s the best!)My mother hasn’t any idea at all! I left the province the next day with an aching heart. If there is one problem with my memory, it is it’s hard for me to forget hurtful words I’ve been told. I easily forgive but it’s hard for me to forget even if I wanted to. This brain’s got no delete key, man I know my mom wasn’t aware of it. I know that she didn’t intend to hurt me.Who’s parent will ever do that on purpose any way? Whenever I’m in our province I always listen to this radiodrama entitled “Once there was a Love.” One certain line that is being narrated by the author caught my attention somehow. It says, “Ti puso ket nalaka a mapasakitan”( The heart is vulnerable to pain) and it was absolutely true! Heartache is not that kind of pain which can be eased with some topical or oral analgesics. Band aids can’t hide it. Though to others you might appear fine, deep inside you are hurting like hell. Times like this, I just wanted to do what Psalm 55:6-8 narrates; Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest Yes, I would wonder far away; I would lodge in the wilderness I would hurry to find a shelter From the raging wind and tempest Isn’t it that it is what we want when we are hurt? Be isolated in a place where no one can see us. Be in a place that is peaceful where what we could hear is just the chirping birds, wheezing of the air and the sound of waves. Be in that place where what we could see is the beauty of nature, the sunset, the endless ocean and the blue heaven. If we could just stay there for the rest of our lives and forget what is left behind. But life isn’t called life if we haven’t taste all flavors of it. Bittersweet memories are part of life’s journey. Proverbs 21:23 states that whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble. Sometimes it is better to keep our mouth shut. Most of the time it is better to voice it all to God than to man. But of course it is hard to control this muscle, no human being can tame the tongue. It is restless evil full of deadly poison (James 3:8).I had attempted to do it many times but still sometimes I fail. I live here in the city with my brother. Even though the same genes and DNA run in our blood, of course we have our differences. He is relax and cool, seldom does he shows temperament, rarely does he become angry. My personality is the opposite. I am cranky, hot tempered and I easily got angry. Being the eldest I admit I have this superiority complex. I hate it when he is not following what I said. I hate it when he is being sloth. For these reasons I can’t help myself to nag sometimes. We quarrel and exchange hurtful words. The next day we end up not talking to each other. Many times did I pray to God to give me patience in dealing with my brother. Keep your tongue from evil (Psalm 34:13) God said. What my mom said to me were not intended to hurt me. It was just that I was vulnerable to topics about unemployment because at that moment, I was a certified bum (Thank God, I am now employed!). But still I was hurt! How much more does my brother feel when in fact we exchanged not so good words with each other when we fight? I realized it could have probably hurt him more, though it just doesn’t show. This year I intend to control my tongue. A soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger (Psalm 15:1).It would not be easy to do it especially when you are angry or hurt. It’s as hard as a child shutting mouth instead of reasoning out to parents. My first step is to set my mind to be cautious of every word that comes out to my mouth. When my temper is provoked, I have to count one to ten for my anger to subside. The best way would be to ask God to remove from my system things like cursing, name calling, bullying and all bad words existing in my vocabulary. I’ll ask Him to control this mouth of saying devastating words to my fellowmen whom He commanded me to love as I love myself. The tongue is a muscular hydrostat on the floors of the mouths of most vertebrates which manipulates food for mastication. It is like a double edged sword. It can be used to spread God’s words, share the good news, counsel the needy, advice the broken hearts and provide words of encouragement to the hopeless. But the other side, when used wickedly, it can bring a disaster. Such a small muscle could wreck a heart or ruin a life. How many families had been broken because of couple’s quarrels? How many neighbors were sent to court because of disseminating rumors? How many teachers were accused of child abuse because of verbal exploitation? All of these were effects of the wrong usage of the tongue. It really is like a sharp razor (Psalm 52:2).It plots destruction to those who do not use it properly. So, let us use our tongue properly. Keep calm and tame your tongue!
PS: This article was written in 2013..I am already working in a tertiary hospital. Me and my brother are in good terms.We live in the city together with our youngest sibling and we attend church services regularly. There is no more cursing, no more name calling. I thank God for teaching me the art of controlling my tongue.