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“It’s not about my pride. It’s about how I feel. Please understand that.”

And with that, some closure. However oversimplified it may sound, the statement above suffices. While a flicker of hope remains J would turn around and forgive me, the matter of feelings is enough. Although I am emotional and impulsive, I do not live my life based on feelings alone. Any spur of the moment reaction is restrained by a logical evaluation provided by hindsight or realization. I do not let my feelings get the best of me.

I remember my fraternal grandmother telling her grandchildren to never base love on feelings alone. In fact, she would go as far as to say never act on feelings alone. During her ninetieth birthday celebration a few years back, one of my cousins asked her how she was able to maintain a strong, lasting relationship with our grandfather. She told us, “will to love”.

feelings

Love is not a feeling. After all, feelings are fleeting. They do not last enough to serve as stable ground for any sort of relationship: romantic or otherwise. You could be feeling “hot” today because of the weather, but the moment you step inside an air-conditioned mall, that “hot” feeling is gone. If you’re thirsty, you drink. The feeling is quenched. Feeling sad? You watch a funny movie and that sadness is taken away.

So many days in my life, I don’t feel like going to work. Waking up can be an obstacle, especially when you lack sleep. But do I give in to my feelings and lie to my supervisor and say I’m sick? No. I will myself to get up, take that damn cold shower, and go to work. It’s hard. It’s mind over matter. But I have to go to work. I need to work. I need to be productive, to earn my just financial compensation, and to rely on myself to survive. If I gave in to my feelings and stopped working, I’d be unemployed and dependent on my folks.

To stop loving a person because you no longer feel in love is perhaps one of the stupidest reasons a human being could think of. It is simplistic. It is arrogant. It is weakness.

How your feelings are of bigger importance to the shared emotion is an insult to the beauty of a relationship. Isn’t why it’s called such? You relate. You associate. You strengthen each other’s sense of self.

My mother would often say if she based her marriage to my father on her feelings, she would have long left him. It’s harsh. But she stayed because she lovers my father with a bullish willingness rare in a day and age where ephemeral feelings are more important than the enduring quality of love.

“When I don’t feel up to the task of being his wife, I remember I am also a mother, the mother of his children, your mother. And then I will myself to love him, and I forget myself. Unfortunately, kids these days want to be in love, want to do things lovers so, and want to be married, but also want to keep their whole selves. They value their pride too much that the moment they face the idea of sacrificing something, the moment they are confronted by something they cannot explain in their relationship, they just turn around because they feel it is over. Imagine a world where people did things because they felt like it, and not because it was the right thing to do.”

Today, more than any day in my life, I am reminded mothers do know best. It’s disconcerting how wise they are. But it’s also damn reassuring.

But the feeling
It tries to escape
Bleeds through the light
Even when I close my eyes
It’s not seething
The weight on this shoulder
I can’t wait to chase the fiction home
And carry on

Favors in reverse
Songs are unrehearsed
When I get through this
I hope I get through you

Stains on my mind
The cloud on that hour
The minute you closed the door
My eyes washed the floor

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