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HOW'S YOUR HEART?

Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
It's become customary for us to ask people how they are; often a part of a conversation, we give or get a curt and brief answer: I'm doing good/I'm fine, thanks for asking. I'll be honest with you and tell you that more often than not, I rarely even think about how I would respond to a simple how are you and just automatically go for my template reply. It could just be me, but I somehow observed that the essence of asking how people are doing and responding in a more truthful manner has become a bit of a routine rather than a heartfelt and warm conversation shared between two souls. It sometimes feels a bit too rush, too brief, and you wish you could hear more or say more. It's probably because of the way we've been operating from day to day, when we usually are all in a hurry and have a long list of things to accomplish, that we unconsciously set aside time to really think of how we truly feel and wonder about how the people around us are feeling as well.

A few weeks ago, while I was asking a dear colleague for work-related things, she asked me a simple question: How's your heart? And while I was typing away my work-related thoughts, I was honestly taken aback by the sudden but strangely comforting question. It's rare to receive questions like this from people nowadays and so whenever asked, I'm automatically drawn to ponder and actually evaluate how I truly feel or what's really been going on in my mind. It felt really different and familiar at the same time. As slowly pressed on backspace, I eventually found myself willingly typing away how I was truly doing and was able to ask her the same thing. For a moment, I was able to be in my own bubble, free from work-related thoughts. I was able to sit down and unexpectedly share a brief yet meaningful life conversation, a heart-to-heart as the elders would coin it.

To me, being asked about how my heart was doing took me out of my comfort zone, gradually taking all my defenses down and brought out the truth that's burrowed deep in my heart and in my thoughts. I forgot about my default response and was able to genuinely pour a bit of my heart to someone I hold dear to and someone I haven't really been seeing physically in months.
There is something more personal about asking How's your heart?. It makes one pause for a bit and think - it makes one evaluate their thoughts and feelings, it brings us back to our honest and vulnerable selves. Asking somebody how their heart is doing can somehow be compared to experiencing your first sip of drink - you start with the unfamiliarity, you begin to associate yourself with the taste and the aroma, and eventually, as you go for every sip, you're eventually comforted and most likely have experienced a certain sense of joy.
So, how's my heart?

I've been coping. I think I've been coping for a long time about a lot of things in my life, but I am not giving this season a time limit or a deadline. I've been coping with infertility and my heartache of not being able to bear a child until now. Honestly, seeing a lot of my love ones post about their pregnancy journey and activities of their children still somehow brings me to a rollercoaster of emotions, but by the grace of God I am comforted and constantly brought back to the truth that whatever happens, I am loved and that I have a loving husband who tirelessly journeys with me through all this; I've been coping with my insecurities by constantly going back to the Word of God, listening to preaching podcasts online, and pouring out my heart in prayer. I've also been speaking to my husband more about how I truly feel, I used to be shy thinking that I might be too shallow or senseless, but I've come to learn that it's all part of the partnership that we both chose to be in - we open up and become vulnerable knowing that there's someone we can truly trust and hear the truth from; I've also been coping with the things that I don't like about me and my surroundings by changing a lot of things - both in behavior, mindset, and how things or objects appear around me. I realized that there really won't be any change in the things that bother or burden me if I do not act on it and do something to start and ignite change; 

Lastly, I've been coping with how this pandemic has truly put all our plans on indefinite hold. It's already a given that this year will never be the way we pictured it to be, and I am for the movement of moving past that idea and start to reconfigure how we can shape our lives along with our current conditions and resources. At this point, I am grateful enough to even be able to keep my job despite the challenges our company and the entire economy is suffering. This is also why I do not find any right to complain about anything because I know that even the thought of being able to freely write my thoughts in this space is a privilege that not everyone get to experience or even imagine. I've started to put more of my heart on the things that I do and stop focusing on the things that I cannot do or attain. Surprisingly enough, this kind of mindset not only affects the way you see things but it also influences the people around you in far ways than we can ever imagine.

I've been called out for being too optimistic before and that caused me to curl up in my own shell and keep my thoughts to myself. But at this point, in this generation, in this situation, what's a girl like me to do but place my anchor into hope and faith? To me, optimism is not about being positive 24/7 and not having the right to feel down or think negatively, it's about rising above it and choosing to look and move forward. Optimism runs alongside resiliency, and these are very powerful things that will aid us in coping with every possible thing that can be thrown our way.

I know these times are hard for anyone across the globe and I wish to encourage you to ask your loved ones or even those you don't normally get in touch with how they truly are. It would more or less mean the world to them and make struggling feel less burdensome or lonesome. It's the best time to care for each other and not just ourselves. With these thoughts laid out here, I wish to ask you the same thoughtful and heartwarming question gifted to me: How's your heart doing, really? I'd love to sit down and read about you, hopefully, include you in my prayers as well.

As always, wishing you love, light, and a Happy Heyday!

FOLLOW THE HEYDAYS

Comments

  1. I loved this post. Really related to it too, especially the part about having a template reply to the question of how are you? In a world where everyone always seems really busy it can feel hard to open up about how you really feel because that would be more time consuming. Really like how your colleague asked how is your heart- so sweet and the more personal nature is lovely. I'm so glad I stumbled across this post today (and your blog) because I feel I needed to see something like this today.

    esterella.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Hi Estrella!

      Thank you so much for taking time to visit the blog and read through my entries. I'm glad that in my own little way, I was able to bring comfort your way. Indeed in times like this, words and actions no matter how small or big it is, impact us in a whole new way. Wishing you are well and safe!

      Cheers,
      Hanna

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