ALTHOUGH the expression may have originated as a pun for “life's a b*tch,” this creative wordplay called “life’s a beach” is certainly a powerful statement that’s in a class of its own. The beach with its power to bring calm and peace, also has the same force that can be rough and rigid through its waves.
Life is indeed like that—beautiful but not easy. It can get messy and complicated with the complexities of daily life. But sometimes, it’s the attitude with which we face adversity or even life in general that spells the difference—b*tch or beach. The choice is ours. Paradise, after all, is not just a place but a state of mind.
I was designing our vacation photo-books when the pictures of my oldest and only daughter, Louise, doing early morning yoga on the beach with her cousin, Zara, grabbed my attention and made this popular adage echo in my head. The pics fill me with emotion because this kind of balancing pose is something I never imagined she could do.
She was a sickly kid diagnosed with Rheumatic Heart Disease and Sydenham’s Chorea (a neuro issue that affected her nerves). Later, she had to undergo biopsy surgery because of a lump that grew on her neck. One of the images of her stuck in my mind is her undergoing a scan and telling me not to worry too much. Now at 15, all the issues have minimized, but she’s still taking medication for her heart.
All the medical uncertainties, which had an effect not just on her body but also on her studies and social activities, were hard to take. When someone is diagnosed with an illness, everyone in the family feels the tsunami of overwhelming emotions. Nobody wants to see their loved ones in pain. Though she was afraid, my daughter had no choice but to bravely face challenges.
She is my testament that there may be mountains, but by God’s grace, we can climb them. Most of all, she showed me that being positive doesn’t mean never feeling fear nor sadness. Positive people also experience pain, suffering, and ill-feelings. The difference is we don’t let the negativity fester and destroy us. We continue our fight for a good life, knowing problems don’t last forever and there’s always light on the other side. Trials happen only for a season, they occur for a reason, and they certainly leave a lesson.
In a way, all these rough episodes in our lives are blessings in disguise. It was my daughter’s medical struggles that taught me when it seems all hope has failed, it is senseless to ask, “Why is this happening to me?” When burdens seem too much to bear, kneel and pray. Bear in mind that this too shall pass. When everything turns upside-down, assume a different perspective. Topsy-turvy is not always a bad thing! Let not the difficulties of life make you bitter but better. Now, the question I ask is, “what is this situation teaching me?”
Yes, I get that people handle things differently. The other day, my father and I were discussing how one of his friends made a dramatic declaration that she is leaving social media. When asked why, she said it's the negativity. She hates it when people quarrel over differences in their beliefs or politics. She also dislikes it when people post positive stuff about their own lives—“payabangan lang, e.”
That’s when it dawned on my dad and I that she is the negative one who will never really be happy as she looks at everything with a predisposition to negativity. This aura is very obvious in people’s social media posts and the way they carry themselves. Those who are full of complaints about everything are more prone to stress, high blood pressure, and other ailments; simply because a bad attitude has a negative effect on health and quality life. Do not allow negative people to turn you into one of them.
Be with those people who have a positive and cheerful attitude, living a relaxed, tension-free life. They’re the ones who laugh a lot, have inner peace, and are more content with what they have. Their happiness does not rest on having tons of material wealth because they know nothing beats peace of mind and contentment of heart. They’re not competitive and have more self-esteem as they realize comparing themselves with others is a thief of joy. These are the people you want to sit with and talk with when attending social gatherings.
Personally, I am genuinely happy when I see other people posting the positive things happening in their lives. I am generous with my likes and compliments. Why should we act b*tchy and be sad when we see other people happier and more accomplished than us? Inggit lang yan and envy is so negative as it triggers feelings of bitterness, anxiety and depression. It will only pull us down. Again, the choice is in your hands—be that whiny son of a b*tch or be that crazy little SUN of a Beach!