Don’t Let Your Fear Dim Your Light

Two years ago, I thought I was going to leave this world. In the middle of the pandemic and online classes, I was there fighting for my life. No, it wasn’t covid. This isn’t going to be a story of how I survived that life-threatening situation. This is more of my realization after surpassing that rough patch. 

Before this thing happened, marami akong takot. Takot akong subukang gawin ang isang bagay even if I have the urge to do so. Takot akong mag-isa. I was so afraid to take the leap of faith just because I was also afraid of the judgment and disappointment that I might get from people who believe in me. I realized that for so many years I silenced myself to give voice to other people’s expectations of me. Until death confronted me. 

I had a fever for two months and a cough for six months; I got sore eyes, measles, and aching bones; I couldn’t walk or write; I had to stay outside the hospital for three days and two nights, waiting for a room. All of that happened in six months and I remember how I prayed during those times, “Lord, if I have to go through this to get to a better place and in a better situation, I’m willing to endure it. If I have to be in pain now, I’ll embrace it.” 

I’m not going to deny that there were also times where I just wanted to give up and there were nights I couldn’t help but wonder the reason behind that pain. Most of the time, I was afraid, not of dying but of knowing that I haven’t lived my life yet. Hindi pa ako ready. That thought hit me like a rock to my head. I was imprisoned by fear. So, when I got my energy back, I made a decision to finally do the things that scare me, to listen to myself and figure out what I really wanted. I started to believe that I can do things on my own and will no longer wait for people to say yes to me to experience life and see that it has more to offer.

Takot akong mag-isa, so I started going out alone. Yes, I got nervous for the first few times, but you know what? It was indeed peaceful. No one decides but you. You won’t have to waste 30 minutes or so to argue where to eat, which happens most of the time when you’re with somebody. Naisip ko, kung palagi akong maghihintay ng taong sasamahan ako, kailan ko pa siya magagawa? Baka hindi na. 

I used to doubt myself big time, so I learned how to trust my decisions even in the smallest things, from picking my own skin care products to how I will spend my day.  I finally have the courage to fail, learn from it and use it as a steppingstone to be better every day. No one is perfect anyway. If I fail, I can try again and again and again. 

Takot akong baguhin ang nakasanayan dahil baka hindi magwork, so I try to deal with things in a different way now, despite the possibility of messing up. Just do it and find out if it works. If it didn’t work out, try another way.

Takot akong masayang yung ingredients na gagamitin ko just in case ‘di masarap yung maluto ko, so I cooked that certain dish that’s been on my mind for years. I can say it turned out well and my roommates/friends loved it. 

Takot ako sa mga bagong tao, so I joined my cousin’s yearly outreach program. I consider myself talkative, but with new faces, I’m silent. Though that’s been my goal ever since high school– to join programs that will help people and to hear their stories. How would I do that kung hindi ako makikisalamuha sa ibang tao? Now, I’d say I have met amazing people and volunteers. I finally have the confidence to engage with new people and see what I can learn from them. 

I became strong-willed with what I wanted. I became ready for bumpy roads and failures. I now enjoy failing (but I’m not doing it purposely, just to be clear). 

It’s only been a year, but it has changed me and my perspective in life. What I did might seem like a little thing to other people, but to me, it’s not. Naging malinaw ang direksyon ng buhay ko. I came to know what I really want in life: to be wealthy financially and mentally, so I can help those in need. I want to be a safe space, a comfort, a happy place for other people. I want to have enough resources to provide the essential needs of people who can’t afford it. I want to give people hope that their lives will shine one day. With that decision I made, finally, I know how it feels like to be fulfilled and satisfied. Yung pakiramdam na parang wala ka nang hihilingin pa. 

Why shouldn’t you let fear dim your light?

It will steal your life: the fire in you, the desire to live to the fullest, the enjoyment, growth, the fulfillment of your purpose and the knowledge that life has more to offer. You’ll never know how beautiful a place can be and how much progress you can make if you stop trying. Let’s be honest here, no one wants to live with so much “what ifs”. My mantra: “Hindi mo malalaman kung hindi mo susubukan.” I was once afraid and I still do have fear, but I choose to believe that they are meant to be conquered. 

My message to whoever reads this:
Just try. No, I’m not expecting a better outcome. I just want you to try. Give it a shot. If you fail, so what? On the one hand, I understand you’re still afraid. On the other hand, kailan mo pa susubukan? As someone who experienced being on the verge of death, I hope you don’t wait for it to scare you, because it’s SCARIER than any horror film you can watch. 

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